Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 18 May 2005 - Part II

No new comics today... maybe I can start to catch up on some of the last couple of weeks' worth of reviews...

JLA Classified #7: "Hell Freezes Over": Wow. I did not expect the ending of this one. With the light-heartedness of this run in general, it was a powerful shocker. 3 starfish

Lions Tigers & Bears #4: About what I expected. This will read better as a collection than a mini, but it was pretty good nonetheless. 3 starfish

Hero Camp #1: "Where To Begin?": A non-powered child of super-powered parents gets thrown in with a bunch of super-powered children because his parents are convinced he'll get powers eventually. Sound familiar? Yeah, well, PS238 does it a LOT better. This one is readable, but not spectacular. 2 starfish

Conan #16: "Horror on Uskuth Hill": We get a bit more of the framing sequence from the zero issue here, and it's nice to see. Wazir isn't an innocent in this one... The story itself is typically strong. Conan's hatred of civilization leads him into trouble with predictable results. I like the conclusion... when Conan decides on a course of action he tends to go after it full throttle. A nice solid read. 3 starfish

Samurai Executioner Vol 4: "Portrait of Death": Mochi! Food of warriors! This volume has four stories, all of which are brutal. But then, if you expect anything else from a book about an executioner then you are having delusions. The first story in this one is about a group of samurai who are bitter at no longer having positions, who take revenge on the merchants who are changing their way of life. The second story is about an artist who draws pictures of executions. The third story is a very short piece on giving comfort to a prisoner in her last moments. And the last story is a sharp contrast to that, showing what happens when the government suspends executions to save moneyand lets prisoners in the overcrowded prisons kill each other. As usual, Asa is a man who is surrounded by violence, who commits violence every day, but is at peace. He does the job he is expected to do. The educational elements of the stories, from the social upheaval caused by the rise of the middle class down to what new straw means, make this book one I just can't miss. 3 1/2 starfish