Thursday, April 27, 2006

Comic Reviews for April 26th

Well, after a few slow weeks I get hit pretty big this week with 5 books. So here are the reviews (I promise to make them shorter than last week although there are 5 so it might look daunting), spoilers to a minimum.

Incredible Hulk - Hulk's off planet and starting to enjoy himself. He gets to smash all he wants and gets women handed to him so long as he keeps smashing. He has no desire to join the resistance (against the oppressive and corrupt King) because he knows that afterwards he'll be back to being treated like a monster just like the humans do (ask him to save the world then treat him like a monster). But he also has no desire to be sent off to live in peace because he knows that will never last. He's getting stronger (the effects of the portal are wearing off), he survives a trap that was orchestrated by the King and his team is starting to come together (even though they lost two members this issue), and in the end the King's next plan is revealed. Next issue it'll be the Green Scar (Hulk) vs the Silver Savage (Silver Surfer). Finally, the Hulk is getting some respect in the comic world with Marvel maintaining a solid writer and artist team on the book and pushing just how much of a monster the Hulk can be. Great book.

Astonishing X-Men - Keeping the spoilers to a minimum on this one (you're welcome Carl). Although I'm not sure I know what the heck is going on so I probably couldn't spoil it if I tried. Whedon continues to weave an intriguing tale and you just know it's leading to something cool even if this issue didn't reach that level of coolness on its own. And of course we have the humour. My only complaint, having to wait 2 months for each 22 pages.

Thing - Now I've been hyping up Slott's writing for a little while now thanks to She-Hulk, GLX, and this series but I think he's letting things slip here. There's nothing in particular that's wrong with this issue by itself (other than the fact that they had the Hulk green in a flashback shot yet he was gray when he was part of the New Fantastic Four) and having Spidey make an appearance led to a few good one liners (it's funny that Slott would take shots at the New Avengers and Spidey's suit even though this must have been written before Bendis took his shot at Slott's writing and the theory about the Hulk not killing anyone... but Slott's comments all had a good natured feeling to them). But the series just seems to be dragging on for me now. It's almost starting to come across as one of those books they make for children to teach them values like "money won't solve all your problems" and "nice guys don't always finish last". If the series doesn't pick up soon I may be dropping it.

Villains United Special - The Villains United series was a very pleasant surprise for me during the build up to Infinite Crisis so I had higher hopes for this special than I did for the OMAC one. Unfortunately, I found the issue lacking. The art was ok I guess but the writing was choppy. There didn't seem to be a flow to the book. You'd have a page with 4 or more panels but each were from a different storyline. Maybe it was supposed to give the impression that all this was going on at the same time but it was just too jarring for me. And the art didn't help. It wasn't always clear what was going on (like a panel where Black Adam was fighting a Nazi guy, it looked like they were fighting on the ground but I guess they were supposed to be high up in the sky... but that could have been a problem with the inking and colouring as the background was just done all one shade of green). And at least the OMAC special tied up some loose ends, this series didn't really seem to have any so it showed some background of how Alex Luthor went ahead with his plan to release all the villains and send them to Metropolis. But they lacked the motivation behind it all. And the big finale, Doomsday. *yawn* If this was the first time we'd seen Doomsday since he killed Superman I would be drooling like a fanboy but DC has really mis-used this character. He's popped up more than a whack-a-mole mole and been beaten down each and every time. He's gone from unstoppable Juggernaut to that guy you keep bringing out to show just how bad things are getting. Well sooner or later if you keep using that trick it becomes a lot less effective on the reader and makes the character seem downright beatable. It's like that classic Jaws story where Spielberg learned that if you keep having the shark pop up throughout the movie sooner or later the audience stops jumping. A disappointing book to be honest.

Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show #2 - As I read this book bits and pieces of the novel come back to me but it's been so long (and my memory is so bad) that it's almost a new story for me. The art still seems to work and the writing is pretty solid and makes you want to know where exactly this story is going. The problems, it's a quick read and still comes across as a recap. The narrative still reads like "this is what happened previously before our story starts" and I'm starting to wonder when it's going to get into feeling like "and this is the story". Now trying to fit issue 1 and 2 into one book would probably have ruined a lot of things but I'm wondering if the story could have been presented with less of the "backstory" feel to it. And although the art is nice I kinda wonder if the pace of the book could be picked up with smaller panels. Although I also notice that comics seem to move quite a bit faster when there are no ads to slow up the reader. So perhaps that also throws me off. But these are really small issues with the book over all and this has been a very good adaptation of the novel so far (at least for me but as I said, I don't remember the book all that well). Plus, it's got topless chicks! Always a plus. Sorry, I had to let the immature fanboy out at some point. ;)

Monday, April 24, 2006

To the pesron who swiped my lunch...

I hope you get food poisoning!

Seriously, I was so looking forward to having my Lean Cuisine Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Weekly comic review

I guess I need to start picking up more titles as I only read the one book this week and yet again, it's not one of my regular titles. This week it was Wolverine Origins #1.

So fans of the original Origin series (a six issue limitted series with the Origin of Wolverine going back to his childhood) have been looking for a sequel for a while now and this new series is supposed to fill that need... somewhat. Instead of having a second limitted series start off where the first ended we get an ongoing series that starts off in the current day (in comic terms at least) where Logan has got all his memories back and I guess the story will jump from current day to different times in Logan's past. And instead of getting someone with the talent of Paul Jenkins to write it we have Daniel Way, a guy who Marvel keeps claiming is the next big thing yet everything he touches ranges from being a slight disappointment to a huge disappointment. And instead of getting cool art like Andy Kubert pencils painted over by Isanove we get Steve Dillon, who's not that bad an artist but it's a huge step down. Personally, I would have taken the limitted series over this, it would have been easier to hype up the limitted series as something special. This is just another Wolverine series but I guess if Spidey can have more than one book to himself so can Wolverine. Oh yeah, and for some reason Wolverine has decided to wear his old brown costume in this series while still in his new yellow and blue one in the other books. *sigh*

As for this issue, I just wasn't impressed. The art got the story across but was rather dull. Even the fight between Wolverine and the samurai robot thing came across as boring. And as for the story, lame. I absolutely hate the idea of presenting Wolverine's history in this way. They tried this, before Origin they kept giving snippits of his past with each writer saying "Wouldn't it be cool if Logan was married in Australia at some point", "wouldn't it be cool if Logan was married in Japan at some point", "wouldn't it be cool if Logan joined the circus".... and it became a huge mess. So what do they do? They wipe the slate clean only to do the same thing again. Learn from your mistakes, if you're going to present his history get it all straightened out and present it. Don't fly by the seat of your pants again. Way's dialog is amateurish, I really don't see what Marvel sees in this guy.

Okay, Logan was thought to be in the White House and a missile landed on the front lawn and the secret service either just happens to leave this one very high ranking woman who knows something about Logan's history behind? You would think she'd have had guards on her at all times to begin with, where did they go? And would her reaction really be to just stand there and wonder why everyone left her? So maybe they left her there on purpose and some higher authority is at work, but that doesn't make sense either. Why give Logan a chance to talk to her? And if you are going to kill her and had that power why make the big production? You'd be able to make her disappear quietly without dropping a missile on the front lawn of the white house. And I expect there will be no answers to these questions which is why I'll not be picking up issue #2 of this series. Maybe I'll pick up the TPB if I start to hear good things about the series but for now, Marvel is losing me on this one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Darn cold

I'm convinced my brother brought home some evil spirits from Panama or something. He came down with some sickness (maybe more than one) shortly after he got back and sure enough, he's passed on at least the cold portion of it to me and my uncle (visitting from Sydney, Nova Scotia). I went to bed last Monday feeling fine and woke up feeling miserable. Neo Citran, chicken noodle soup, juice, tea, halls, drugs, ... nothing seems to be able to get rid of it. Sleep might help but it's hard to get to sleep when you're hacking up a lung all night.

So as for those 4 days off from work, at least I got to relax a bit but it's tough to accomplish everything you want to do when you feel like crap.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Weekly comic reviews

Starting this week I'll be posting reviews of the comic books I read. And of course I start with a slow week for me. In fact, none of my regular books came out so I only got Exiles #79. So off we go:

Exiles #79 - First up, a very brief intro to the book. It's about a ragtag team of superheroes (and some not so super or heroes) from various dimensions who have to travel through other dimensions fixing stuff. Characters die off, they get replaced with characters from other dimensions. So we get a revolving door of differing versions of characters. So if I don't read this series why did I pick this issue up? Well, Proteus has been hopping from body to body, dimension to dimension killing his host and anyone who gets in his way. After killing Mimic he took over the Hulk from 2099 (an alternate future take on the Hulk which seems like a good host as he usually ends up eating up his host but the Hulk's healing factor keeps him alive) and now has travelled to another alternate future where the Maestro (an amped up Hulk turned evil) rules. His plan, to take on the Maestro's body. With all that Hulk action, I had to take up the series for two issues.

So without dragging this out even further (I'll try to be quicker with my future reviews, this one just seemed to need the build up), I really liked this book. Of course, with two Hulks I was bound to. But it also ties in nicely with some of the stuff that Peter David built up in his stories. We have Forge's anti-Hulk gun make an appearance, we have the female Captain Marvel, Rick Jones, and Spider-Man 2099... all Peter David stuff. And art-wise we have Paul Pelletier who is quickly becoming a favourite of mine since his work on She-Hulk and the Great Lakes Avengers. And it was all going along so well until the end. It's not quite clear to the reader exactly what happens during the last few panels. We know Power Princess threw one of Longshot's blades into the Maestro but exactly how it happened is left to the reader to decypher. It seems to me that in the confusion she could only see something big and green and assumed it was Hulk 2099 but that's just my take on it.

Overall it was a good book, especially for Hulk fans but it's disappointing that the writer and Pelletier dropped the ball with the ending.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On the shelf again...

Well this week has started off rather poorly. On Sunday I hurt my foot during our 11-4 loss in ball hockey and I woke up at 5:00am this morning unable to breathe because of a cold that came out of nowhere. I was worried about the foot injury because this past September I sprained my ankle pretty bad so I was hoping I didn't do it again. But it's weird, the ankle itself doesn't seem to hurt, it seems to only be around the foot itself. So no hockey for me this week.

As for the cold, I really wish I could have taken today off but no rest for the wicked (especially when the wicked has a demo to do tomorrow and a new release on Tuesday... hopefully). But I was a little surprised. I went to bed feeling fine, a little rundown maybe but it's been a busy time for me. Tonight I plan to plant my fat arse on the couch under a nice blanky with a cup of neo citran. I wish I was there now.