Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rapid Reviews

Ah yes... another attempt to catch up on my review writing, not to mention my reading. Starting with the next week after these, I haven't read any of my comics except Aquaman #41. Ouch...

22 February 2006

Oz: The Manga #8: "In the Country of the Quadlings": The final part of the book, the one that most people don't seem to know. Dorothy and her friends meet the other good witch of Oz and everyone gets their final wishes. This has been a consistent and great adaptation, and I've enjoyed it from the beginning. 4 starfish

Usagi Yojimbo #91: "The Ghost In The Well" part two: Nicely done and nicely creepy. I like the way the final bad guy is captured though I didn't expect it. The cliff-hanger ending was a major surprise. Another excellent issue of an excellent book. 4 starfish

Batman #650: "All They Do Is Watch Us Kill Part 3": Very dark, very depressing, very much an ending and yet perfect for this sort of a cliffhanger. I really don't know how this one will turn out, and I'm not really sure I care. 2 starfish

Green Lantern #9: "Branded": Batman and Green Lantern team up to fight the Tattooed Man. I'm still not 100% satisfied with this book. It's ok, but I want more than "ok" from Green Lantern. At least the design of the new Tattooed Man was pretty cool. 2 starfish

JLA: Classified #17: "Blood is Not Enough": Not getting into this story, either. The idea of a former tyrant striking back at the Justice League through all the other rogue nations that hate them is good, and the methods seem vaguely interesting, but my attention just hasn't been caught by this book. 2 starfish

Wonder Woman #226: "Cover Date": The final issue of this run of Wonder Woman. We get a series of flashbacks in the form of reaction to a gossip magazine. It's not bad for a final issue. Except for the "one year later" multiple earths ending it's actually pretty good. 2 1/2 starfish

Legion of Super-Heroes #15: This was the final issue we planned to get of this book, as it's the last issue before the one year later jump. And it's a good one. Some really fun flashback stories to what I presume are other versions of the Legion, and fun retro art. And, as usual, the letter column is one of the best parts of the book, bar none. So ... yeah, it's worth buying. Especially if you've bought the rest of this series so far. 3 starfish

Solo #9: "Scott Hampton": I wasn't familiar with Hampton's work before reading this, but I definitely enjoyed it after finishing the book. Another great issue of Solo, even down to the silly "Monsters" story in the center of the book. The final story is remarkably creepy. All-in-all, a solid issue. 3 1/2 starfish

Mouse Guard #1: Unusual format and size, but the art is magnificent, the story is intriguing, and the characters are excellent. I want more of this series. 4 starfish

1 March 2006

Infinite Crisis #5: "Faith": Ok, not too hard to follow. I like how Alex describes other earths as ones that would have existed if not for the Crisis. As for Superboy... how many are there? Seriously, is there just the two, or was Luthor making a third one somehow? Or was he just healing Superboy after the fight? And if so, why? I really want this series to end so I can reread it and maybe figure it out. 2 1/2 starfish

Detective #817: "Face the Face": Another one year later book... and Bullock is back on the force... Jim is commish again... and Batman and Robin are back on the job and ready to tackle Poison Ivy. But who is Robin? And what happened during that year? We get lots of hints, but no certainties. A solid issue to start the OYL. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #5: "Stardeath": I'm reminded again of how much I don't like DC cosmic stories, and how little interest I have in such tales. This just wasn't my cup of tea. 2 starfish

JSA #83: "Who's Afraid of Ghosts?": I loved the backstory on Jim Craddock. When a writer does that for a character I'm always interested. And this was a good one. I'd like to know how he became the Gentleman Ghost from those origins, but the origins alone were great. And the ghosts haunting each member of the team... it reminded me of the summer annuals from a few years back, in which the Justice League got haunted, only much much scarier. Good stuff here. Go check it out. 3 1/2 starfish

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #40: "Once and Future": Everyone seems to want to know what I think of this issue. I'm much more interested in seeing how everyone else likes it, as I'm not the one who can bring the sales up and keep the book from being cancelled. But I'll indulge, since this is a review section...

I knew about the prophecy before I read the book, as Kurt told me about that much in our phone call. I had no idea who the Dweller was, though (my suspicions were completely and utterly wrong). As for Arthur, the new Arthur, himself... well, I'm going to have to reserve judgement. I love the idea of a fresh new character who is taking over the mantle... it's not so far-fetched in the realm of superheroes. I'm really glad the new guy is also named "Arthur Curry" (because he wasn't originally), I like the continuity even though it has caused some confusion and consternation among readers who prefer to have their stories spoonfed to them. I also like all the nods to previous runs and previous continuity. Geist being a part of the project is a nice touch. The mysteries set up in this issue, followed by the surprise reveal in the last panel (The Dweller is Orin (and I don't feel bad about spoiling it since #41 has already come out)), made for a great read. I put the book down wanting more right away. That's the kind of feeling I want from a comic. 4 starfish

Justice League Unlimited #19: "The Justice Rangers Ride Again!": I like the fleshing out of Vigilante's character in this one, as well as the "Never Mind. It's Time Travel. It's Complicated." Heh. Definitely a high point of this series, which has had a lot of excellent issues. 3 starfish

Fallen Angel #3: "Day & Night": We get a lot more of the angel's history in this issue than previously, although we've had hints. We also learn a bit about what happened to Jude's wings. It's funny, when this series first started at DC I wasn't sure I liked it, but I kept buying it because it fascinated me. And now... I keep buying it because it fascinates me. I'm still not sure I like it. 2 1/2 starfish

Local #4: "Two Brothers": This one hits the "ouch" criteria. Megan's got some rotten luck, running into those two. I don't really have a lot more to say about this one, except it's typical solid writing from Brian Wood, and decent artwork from Ryan Kelly. Go check this series out. Each story stands alone, so don't worry about what issue you get. Just go read. 3 1/2 starfish

Star Wars: Empire #40: "The Wrong Side of the War": I like the conflict that Luke caused with Tank Sunber, which really is the main focus of the story. And, of course, while the series ends, the problem of who is really on the wrong side of the war continues. I believe Sunber is supposed to show up in the next version of this book. All told, not a bad little story. 2 1/2 starfish

PS238 #15: A rip-roaring adventure featuring poor Tyler figuring things out and we also get to see The Revenant in action. But the cliffhanger makes me want to cry. I really want to see what's going to happen with Ambriel. This is, quite possibly, the best book on the market right now. Go get this book and read it. 4 1/2 starfish

8 March 2006

Powers #17: While Christian gets powers again, Deena starts to use her powers. I really wish this book would speed up just a little. Not a lot, but the long delays between issues combined with the pace of the book is beginning to drive me bonkers. Not that I can really talk... I'm still six weeks behind in my reviews. But I like this book a lot (even if I feel like I have to take a shower every time I read the letter column). I just want to read it more often. 3 starfish

Dorothy #5: "Echoes of a Road": The last issue ended with Dorothy dying from the wounds given her by the giant snake, while the Scarecrow tried to find help. This issue starts with a side trip to the wicked side of things before returning to let us know that Dorothy survived. This is another great issue of a great series. I'll understand if some Oz fans find it a bit much... but I have just been finding it great. If you haven't read this book yet, check it out. The trade is now available, and definitely worth reading. 4 starfish