Thursday, September 28, 2006

Comic reviews WITH SPOILERS -- Sept. 27th, 2006

A busy week ("busy" for me at least) with four titles coming in: Civil War Frontline #6, She-Hulk #12, the Great and Secret Show (can't remember the issue number), and the Ultimates #12. I also picked up the the Pride of Baghdad hardcover but didn't get a chance to read it thanks to ball hockey last night. Every review will contain spoilers (the Civil War Frontline one will avoid spoiling Civil War #4 as Carl hasn't read that yet).

Ultimates #12: The guilty pleasure continues. In this issue you get to see the Aveng... oops, I mean Ultimates do what their regular continuity counterparts won't (unless you are reading Civil War). From the Hulk ripping the Abomination's arms off before putting his first down/through the Abomination's throat (is it still a "decapitation" if it's not the whole head that pops off?) to Quicksilver taking Hurricane past Mach 10 and watching her rip apart in a fight that took a few pages to show but only lasted the second or so that it took Hawkeye to fall to the ground (providing a really cool visual where you see them fighting at super speed while Hawkeye almost looks frozen). The violence is definitely upped for this issue and the gruesome level of detail is pretty amazing. But I do have two not so good things to say about this issue. The "Iron Man 6" armour? Meh. A big battle cruizer type ship with loads and loads of guns. Why they even call it "Iron Man 6" I'm not too sure. And the ending, it was cool on its own even though you knew it was coming (Thor disappears from his cell, Loki finally makes his presence known, you knew it was inevitable... though Scarlett Witch's line was another fanboy moment) but that's the second issue in this storyline (and the second issue in a row) that has ended with the cool return of one of the Ultimates. As Spielberg learned in test screenings of Jaws, there are only so many times you can do the surprise shark scene before people start to wise up and get bored. Fortunately for Millar, the Ultimates are all there now so there's nobody left to have show up in a triumphant return at the end of the next issue. Plus, I think the next issue is the last of his run (and this storyline).

She-Hulk #12 -- Uh oh. I gotta say that I'm not looking forward to this book as much as I once was. I've still found the art rather lacking. It started off ok and I had to double check to see if it was the same artist. Then all of a sudden faces became skewed like their heads were being pressed between two pains of glass and I knew it was the same artist. And I'm actually getting a little tired of the storyline. Every page that John Jameson/Man-wolf/wolf-god-whatever is on I just find myself getting bored and rather annoyed. At least his father had some personality, this guy is just a pain in the arse for me. And then we jump to the Starfox trial in mid-issue (which seemed really weird and didn't seem to flow at all). So Thanos shows up with the claim that Starfox is responsible for his love of Death and therefor made Thanos the mad-Titan that he is (making Starfox somewhat responsible for all of the death and destruction that Thanos has caused). Without going into details (like the fact that Starfox's powers aren't supposed to work on Thanos)this seems like another hoax of some kind. And we just got through that storyline an issue or two ago. And you know what? For a She-Hulk book it seems like this book is spending a lot of time going on about characters other than She-Hulk. I hate to say it but it's getting dangerously close to being taken off my monthly list.

Civil War Frontline #6 (Spoilers included but anything that would ruin Civil War #4 is left out) -- Urich confronts Tony after the Civil War #4 battle and questions him on the battle and the possibility that the Green Goblin was set loose by the pro-reg people. Tony's not impressed. The female reporter (can't remember her name) is detained and questioned (with Reed Richards being the man behind the mirror directing the questions). Reed is then seen talking to Speedball and offers to set up a chance for Speedball to meet with congress (where he is shot in a page that used Lee Harvey Oswald as its template). And Wonder Man discovers the Atlantean sleeper agent is just part of a somewhat more dangerous looking program. And of course we have the last little poem mirroring a historical event with the events in this storyline. All in all, not very impressive. The art, meh. It wasn't overly bad but I can't really say it was all that impressive either. The 4 stories in one book is still rather lame for me and the writing was rather off. There were times that I had to go back and double check to see if I had missed some narration or something. The characters start off with narration, then it stops for a few pages, then starts up again almost in mid thought and I'm wondering what I missed. And who's editting the Civil War books? The big event from Civil War #4 is depicted totally different in this book (and yes, it's kinda important to the effect of the event). I've also been told the prison is depicted differently in this book than in another book as well (which seems to make sense considering how lame it looks here). But then you have Reed Richards. Yet again we have him infringing on the reporter's rights. Then we have him setting up Speedball in what is obviously a possible death sentence (sending him out in the public after you've convinced the country he's responsible for 600 deaths). And throughout it all he's an @$$ who doesn't seem to care that his prison is making people go mental and kill themselves. And as for She-Hulk, she's the friggin' She-Hulk. She's always been opinionated and quick to take action. Yet here we have her as the background voice saying "something isn't right" over and over before getting pushed aside by "security" as Speedball is taken on the wrong path to congress. Regular prisoners get a bulletproof vest to protect them, you'd think she'd have some sort of force field put in place to protect her client here. And she's 7 foot tall mountain of female muscle, she doesn't get pushed aside so easily. Many of the pro-reg characters are being depicted as arrogant, pig-headed, and borderline evil while those who aren't seem just plain stupid. Yeah, as much as I'm trying to keep an open mind to Civil War I don't necessarily like how Marvel's pulling it off.

Great and Secret Show #??? -- This one will have to be shorter as it's almost time for lunch. Art wise I still like this book a lot. Story-wise, I'm getting lost. Characters are popping in and out that I can't keep track of. There were times where the story really didn't flow (one minute they're in a car with a guy, the next that guy is in a car with another guy, and the others are then seen going into talk to the Randall), I just get lost. I think from here on I'll be picking up the issues but not reading them until the series is done. It almost makes me wonder if I would have been better off waiting and hoping that there would be a Trade Paperback version that I could just read over one weekend.

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