Friday, November 23, 2007

Weekly Comic Reviews for Nov. 21st, 2007 -- SPOILERS

A whopping three books for me this week. Plus, I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. Unfortunately though, I haven't had the time to read it yet. But it comes with 3D glasses and anything that comes with 3D glasses has to be good right? :) So as for the reviews we have Angel: After the Fall #1, The Incredible Hulk #111, and She-Hulk #23. So let's get down to it...

Angel: After the Fall #1 -- Without Joss writing it and with less hoopla surrounding it (let's face it, Buffy is much more well known than Angel) I wasn't sure what to expect here. But Joss is over-seeing it so I had high hopes. I don't want to get into too many details of where the characters are after the series finale (and not all of their situations are given in the first issue) but overall I liked it. Each character's reveal is a "wow" moment followed by 50 questions of how they got there. And you get the feeling that this is just the teaser and I can't wait to see what's coming next. So yeah, I think the story works and they nailed it. I don't think the dialogue and narrative match the Buffy series (especially with Vaughan's latest Faith arc succeeding on several levels) but it worked enough for me. The art I wasn't quite as big a fan of. I found they didn't really get the likeness of the main characters down and their big reveals were somewhat limitted by my wondering "Who is that???" But the art was solid enough in the storytelling and overall aspects of it. So in the end, yes, this does make my recommended reading list. And I hope Buffy/Angel fans pick it up quickly.

The Incredible Hulk #111 -- The end of an era (more about that spoiler later). Amadeus and his friends battle the small piece of the essence of Zom (released by Strange) who has taken over Iron Man's Hulkbuster armour. They spend a lot of time bad mouthing Strange and Stark for this and I can understand the hostility towards Strange, he did release the Zom thing, but I think it's somewhat misplaced on Stark in this instance at least. You could just as easily blame the Hulk for leaving the suit laying around after he imprisonned Stark. But Amadeus and friends are pretty single minded. As for the review, this issue seemed like total filler. Though it ties up a few loose ends (what happened with Zom and where Stark's armour went) even if nobody really cared too much about those ends and I don't think they really needed to be tied up even. We do get Amadeus re-stating over and over "Who is the real monster?" and such but with World War Hulk already ended, this seemed somewhat unnecessary and anti-climactic. It was a well written, well drawn story but one that doesn't necessarily have to be told. On the other hand, it does lead to where the book will be going next issue when it's re-titled "The Incredible Herc(ules)". So I guess for Herc fans or collectors who will be staying on it's a good lead in. Overall it just barely makes my recommended reading list. It's high quality comics telling that may have simply been wasted on filler for a bigger story that overshadowed it.

She-Hulk #23 -- Absorbing Man seems to be a tough character to right properly. For one thing, writers seem to mis-interpret his powers. Peter David even has She-Hulk comment on whether he's truly "absorbing" anything. I just found it somewhat inconsistent here too. On the one hand you have him going back to not only absorbing the physical texture and such but when he touches a shark he even gets the "abilities" (large teeth, poor eye-sight, etc) but on the other hand he accidentally absorbs the properties of lego? There was a time where he couldn't control his powers as well but for a character that's been around for a while and has been shown to have mastered it, that seemed like a silly thing that was done only for the sake of adding humour (almost to Dan Slott's level). They even make a point of saying that he only loses control in the end by the shear amount of water pounding on him and entering his body. But once you get past the comic-geek nit-pickyness the issue is a fun story with plenty of humour and action. The twists and turns continue (and I was way off on who She-Hulk's partner was and now I just have more questions) and the over all story is an interesting one. So overall, I still like the direction Peter David is going with the series but I'm just not sure it will be for everyone. And the art is pretty solid in this issue. In the end it makes my recommended reading as I think it's something you have to read and decide for yourself if it's right for you.

So that's it for this week. Switching things up a bit, I posted the 200th page of Divine Leap this past Wednesday. The sad part is that I'm going through another "down" time for me where I'm falling behind working on it and questioning whether it's worth the effort. I have a few other comic ideas I'd like to pursue so that's also a factor in my thinking. And I don't think the Tablet is really working for me yet, I still feel that I need the physical page in front of me and all that. I'm still determined to at least finish chapter 2 (it's about 6 or 7 issues and I'm currently drawing issue 3, posting issue 2) so I have some time to decide what's going to happen.

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