Well, two books for me this week so perhaps I should include reviews for "Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 1" and "Monster Volume 1", two manga journals I decided to check out. But first, it's Omega Flight #4 and GLI/Deadpool Summer Fun #1.
Omega Flight #4 -- Wow! It only took a couple minutes for me to read this book. Not much dialogue and what dialogue there is doesn't really seem to matter too much (other than maybe Arachne's daughter's little speach to get Michael Pointer into the fight). I guess the lack of dialogue isn't entirely bad as it's more of an action issue with the fighting going on but there wasn't all that much of interest to me in the fight either. And I didn't feel the art was strong enough to warrant a closer look. It's maybe not as bad as some of the previous issues but not great either. And there were a few times where it just felt the facial expressions didn't really seem to match the dialogue or grunting/moaning/whatever sounds the characters were supposedly making. And in some ways it felt like they were just trying to push the Canadian thing. Like the huge flag on the helicopter or Arachne's line of "Canadians only" while rescuing some civilians (which just seemed like a stupid line to me). I don't know what it is but I find Marvel just can't write a decent book that's not set in the US. As for the Gladiator costume, I almost got hints that maybe there is a reason behind keeping the Canadian look to Pointer's costume. That maybe they want him to portray Gladiator and hide from the Canadian people that he's not really Canadian. There wasn't anything official said in the book but that's something that seemed to creep into my head for some reason. Overall this may have been a strong issue in comparison to previous issues but still doesn't really make my recommended reading list.
GLI/Deadpool Summer Fun #1 -- In this one shot we get a few short stories that document the whacky adventures of the GLI and the man who becomes their first honourary member, Deadpool. Obviously, nothing in this book can be taken too seriously as they break the third wall and poke fun at Marvel's latest stories (Civil War is a somewhat favourite target). So continuity issues or storyline elements that don't fit 100% have to be ignored. Though it's hard to ignore how Pelletier draws Deadpool in his big unmasking scene given that other artists draw Deadpool unmasked and he looks nothing like that. I'm even trying to think right now, I think Pelletier even draws him halfway unmasked earlier in that story and he didn't look like that. So that seemed rather stupid. So over all it's a few funny short stories and good for a chuckle or two if you're into GLA/Deadpool kinda humour. And the multiple artists are all okay (though the first artist's rendition of Deadpool after Storm hits him with lightning wasn't great) and since it's all short stories having the various artists isn't an issue as it would be in other books. I'll say it doesn't make my recommended reading list but if you have a few bucks to spare and want some brainless chuckles you might want to check it out.
Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 1 -- This book was placed high in some "Recommended Manga" lists I saw on one of the forums I read and since I'm starting to dabble in Manga, I decided to check it out. Although the idea was interesting (a samurai turned assassin who travels with his infant son and even uses the son in his assassination plans) and the storytelling was well executed it just didn't connect with me. I'm not a big fan of the whole "ancient samurai" stories and I get lost easily when it comes to the different titles given to people (like the town leaders or people put in charge of the land and so on). The twists and turns, and the plots that the "Lone Wolf" comes up with and how he makes use of his son were all intriguing but I can't get past my personal issues. It kinda goes along with what people like Eisner or McCloud say in their books, for these stories to be effective you have to connect with a reader's interests and personal experiences. This book just didn't for me though I could definitely see it working for others. So I recommend checking it out with the notion that it didn't work for me.
Monster Volume 1 -- This book I was able to connect with a little more. It's set much more recently and oddly enough, starts off in the medical field setting. I say "oddly enough" because I've been in quite a few discussions recently about the medical field courtesy of a change in my job and of course, the movie by a certain film-maker that I won't name here because I don't really want people who are searching for blog entries about it to find this comic review post. In some ways the book is slow moving and by the end I almost felt that this is where the story should be after the first issue or "book", not the first volume. But fortunately for me, I'm reading it volume by volume. I couldn't imagine reading it a book at a time. But it's definitely a strong start to a possibly very intriguing story. I've ordered volume 2 to see where it goes from here as it has me intrigued and I'm curious to see where it goes from here. And maybe after reading that I'll have more to say on it. So I'm holding back on my decision whether to add this to my recommended reading list or not for now.