Friday, February 09, 2007

Weekly comic reviews for February 9th, 2007 -- SPOILERS

Well, I have a lot of reviews to get to including season 4 of 24 and not so much time right now so let's get right to it.

Incredible Hulk 103 -- The usual thing for me with this issue, the story overall is good but I just find the storytelling a little lacking. The art seems good taken individually but overall I find the flow off. It seems that we're rushing through parts of the story and it feels like I'm being dragged through the events at a fast pace. Yet in the end, the overall story almost seems to be dragging. Maybe that's from knowing that Hulk is already scheduled to come back to Earth and do some serious smashing. But overall, it's still on my recommended reading list. And this book has a few highlights like the re-emergence of Banner, the Hulk's true character shining through (Pak gets the Hulk, and I have a lot of respect for him for that), and the Hulk's wedding (yep, he's off the market ladies). A "lowlight" is Miek and the Brood sharing a "moment", but at least it leads to the discovery of the Hulk's ship and triggers Miek's plan on bringing back the "fun" Hulk (ie. the smashing Hulk). So the book ends with some promise of great times ahead.

White Tiger #4 -- I do find this book improving from issue to issue as the story gets more flushed out. And I had fewer problems with the art than the previous issues. But sometimes I just find it misses the mark. The storytelling sometimes seems "jumpy" as the reader is thrown from one scene to another at times with no resolution or warning. And the cameos, the Luke Cage one was okay as it made some sense but it was hard to take considering we've already had a few different cameos in this series. But then when Emma Frost seemingly appeared out of nowhere I was just left wondering what the heck she was doing there. Are these cameos part of something bigger or what? Because if they don't amount to something in the next two issues they'll just seem out of place. Also, I know my blog got linked on the writer's livejournal page as a negative review. Perhaps I do come off as somewhat negative of this series in my reviews but overall, I think this is a good series with a new character that shows a lot of potential. I just think the book could have been improved in some areas.

Lone Ranger #4 -- For me, this series seems to be losing its luster. I'm still pretty stoked about the whole Lone Ranger thing but the storytelling is starting to fall short for me. One example of something that isn't working for me is that the reader is often not given an establishing shot when the setting changes (a shot from further away to show the reader the setting). So many times through this series when we are taken to see Black Bart's scenes we see only him and not his surroundings or those he's talking to. At times this can set an interesting mood. When it's done too many times it takes me out of the story but I'm more of a visual guy anyways. So after reading this issue I felt a little let down for the first time. I think this book was originally supposed to be a 6 issue series and it was recently announced that they'll be going beyond that. I'm not so sure I will.

Tales of the Slayers TPB -- Not to be confused with the Tales of the Slayer books. This is a collection of a few short stories from the Buffy-verse about various Vampire Slayers. Some are written by Joss and one is done by Amber Benson. The book seems rather short considering and I was actually expecting a bit more to it but beyond that, it delivers. There are some really great stories of previous Slayers as well as another story about Fray, the future Slayer. Each one leaves me wanting to read more stories about these characters. Each one is so distinct and fleshed out in such a short time. It almost makes me laugh considering some comments recently posted by Paul Jenkins about having only 13 pages limitting what could be done when bringing back Captain Marvel. These stories show otherwise. Sure, some stories are a little predictable at times but even then, they're enjoyable to read through to the end. This book definitely gets me even more stoked for the upcoming Buffy season 8 comic.

Hellboy: The Black Wedding (also includes a second short story) -- I was warned that this book wasn't good and I think that warning was appropriate. Starting with the main story, it wasn't that good. It's not Hellboy from the comics, it's the animated Hellboy and I was okay with that but the story is lacking and drags on. The storytelling is choppy and seems rushed. And the art, which is based on the animated Hellboy so it's more cartoonish, is hit or miss. Some panels are okay, others just miss the mark entirely and are a bit of a mess. This book almost seems like something that you would rush out to be included free with the animated Hellboy DVD but even then I'd probably recommend passing on reading it. The second story (a short story involving a very young Hellboy) is a little bit more fun but it can't make up for the main story.

Hellboy: Phantom Limbs -- This was a 32 page comic that got slipped in to the DVD (which I haven't watched yet so you'll have to wait for that review). I actually found it to be a much better book than the Black Wedding. I was expecting something a little more general audience so some scenes kinda surprised me. But overall the story seemed better, the telling was clearer, and it was a nice treat to go along with the DVD. So I guess I should be happy it came with it rather than the Black Wedding.

24 season 4 -- Yikes! Who doesn't get tortured in this season? Guilty, innocent, somewhere in between, they all get tortured by Jack and/or his CTU allies. I'm sure there are a lot of interesting discussions out there about that part of the season so I'll avoid it for now. Overall, the intensity of the show continues throughout the season as you never know what's going to happen next. Who will live? Who will die? Who's good? Who's bad? It's all in the air. That's what I like most about this show, you attach to characters because there is a real sense of danger. You don't know if they're going to make it through the day or not. And of course, there are the characters that you want to smack upside the head for their stupidity or pig-headedness. But I definitely prefer watching this on DVD where I can watch it at my own pace and I don't have to wait for a week in between episodes. The main downside, the package and DVD menus do give stuff away. After seeing some characters on the packaging you know they'll be making an appearance. So when Jack says he calling the one person he trusts and you're supposed to be left wondering who that is DVD viewers have a very good idea of who it is. I'm looking forward to season 5 now and I'm still avoiding season 6 spoilers. But 24 is definitely on my recommended viewing list.

So that's it for me for now. Hopefully I'll have some more reviews to do shortly. I have The Life and Death of Captain Marvel and Marvels still to read and the animated Hellboy movie to watch. And the animated Invincible Iron Man movie will be added to my collection shortly.


clmcshane said...

That would have been me, and I said "some are not nearly as positive as the Silver Bullets or Mad Monk's.", not negative. For what it's worth, I would not have linked your review if I didn't think that it was honest, reasonably well-written and rational.

Darrell said...

Thank you for the clarification and the compliments.