neljapäev, märts 15, 2007

Comic Book Reviews for March 14, 2007

I get most of my comics shipped to me through an online service a week or two after their release, but I still pick up a few things in stores. So then, some thoughts on a few of this week’s releases and a few older ones I’m just getting around to reading.

Civil War: The Confession—Ah, yet another in the seemingly endless stream of books Marvel had to put out to provide the satisfaction that Civil War itself failed to give us and to explain the many, many, many extremely important story elements they just couldn’t fit in. Like, for example, what the fuck Tony Stark was thinking. Civil War: Frontline 11 took a step in that direction and Brian Michael Bendis finally makes some sense of it all. Admittedly, the “I realized this was coming while King Arthur and I were fighting zombies” logic is a bit flawed, but the emotional beats of the story are spectacular. As is the art. Structurally, it’s a bit shaky, with one powerful extended monologue taking up most of the issue and then a flashback to a bunch of shouting two days earlier. I see what Bendis was trying to do in terms of setting up the whole “was it worth it?” line but it comes across a bit disjointed. Maybe it’s partly the unnecessary “Marvel Comics Presents The Confession” title appearing for a second time at the start of the flashback. Also, while I realize part of the point was showing the extent of Stark’s reaction to Captain America’s death, he has a couple of horribly awkward, childish and arrogant lines (like the “Uh, yes” and the “You’re a sore loser” bits) that seem out of place. The first part of the story is far better than the second in that sense. Still, it’s a huge step toward rejuvenating the character and it’s probably the best single issue to come out of Civil War.

Up next, a five-part miniseries about characters reacting to the death of Captain America, the climax of Civil War that didn’t actually happen during Civil War. Can’t wait.

Moon Knight 8—Through the magic of Marvel scheduling, Steve Rogers makes his final living appearance here, the week after his death in a story that takes place before Civil War 6, which shipped in January. Not that the Civil War connection here is particularly relevant to Charlie Huston’s story. Though Marc Spector sums up the whole event better than pretty much anyone else has: “People being murdered while you and Stark and your pals play capture the fucking flag. You self-righteous son of a bitch. Coming in here acting like this is anything but your regularly scheduled grudge match to work out all of your differences. All of you. Trying to prove who has the biggest super power.” Always count on the crazy guy to make sense of the riduclous. And we now return to our regularly scheduled Moon Knight story arc, in which we get our obligatory moment of extreme violence and more hints about the return of the Midnight Man. All wonderfully drawn by David Finch in what sadly appears to be his final issue on the title. I read the first arc in the collected hardcover and I definitely get the sense this arc’s going to read better that way too. Hopefully Huston has more in mind for the upcoming Punisher and Iron Man guest appearances than a brief tangential cameo.

Grifter/Midnighter 1—Chuck Dixon wrote this? Really? This? I used to love Dixon’s work. His runs on Detective Comics and Robin were some of the most entertaining books of their time. Exciting, fun and extremely well-paced. The man was a master of the character-driven action story. And now there’s this. A few pages of the Authority fighting monsters inside Midnighter’s head, a whole bunch of melodramatic bickering between team members and six pages of Grifter literally doing nothing? I was oddly looking forward to this series. It sounded perfect for Dixon. But despite a few nice moments, this is pretty disappointing. Ryan Benjamin’s art has never looked better, though.

Wonder Woman 5—I really should have looked through this before I bought it. With Will Pfeifer taking over for an issue, I assumed this would be a lead-in to his Amazons Attack thing. Instead it’s a perfectly competent completely stereotypical fill-in issue. Bit of a letdown.

Coming soon: TV recommendations, music, maybe college basketball picks. Who knows?


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