Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 6th, 2007 -- SPOILERS

It was a busy week by my standards with 5 books coming in. We had Buffy #4, Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness #4, Lone Ranger #6, Omega Flight #3, and Dark Tower #5. Plus, my copy of The Walking Dead Book 2 came in the mail. Unfortunately I'm not quite done that book yet so that review will have to wait.

Buffy #4 -- So the first storyline comes to a close... kinda. Those looking for closure will probably be disappointed here as it's clear that Whedon is concentrating on building the overall season 8 storyline. Though some questions are answered many more still remain (or are brought up). The dialogue remains Whedon true and true as do certain little additions to the story (like Buffy talking about her lips being chapped before going into battle). And the art remains strong. There was one scene where I was a little confused where it appeared as though Buffy was channeling Willow or something. I didn't quite get that but maybe I have to re-read it. I was really impressed with Willow's strength in this issue though. Her facing of death and a whole bunch of pain on the way to getting there was very impressive (or possibly scary). I am interested to see if the conversation between Buffy and the military guy concerning their motives is brought up again (is it because they are women in power or is it just as he says, the power alone). I'm a pretty big Buffy fan so of course I'm still recommending this book but I do really enjoy it.

Marvel Zombies/ Army of Darkness #4 -- And yet again we get to blame Quicksilver for something and in this case it's the zombification of all the heroes. Though to be fair, he did think he was saving his sister and didn't know it was Mystique. Most of this book is Ash versus Doom in a war of words. And in the end we have Ash being a complete idiot. I'm not sure I liked that part so much. On the one hand, after all that Ash has been through in his life he's not one to trust someone who is imprisoned, especially one with powers, but on the other hand it is the Enchantress and she is being imprisoned by Doom (just like Ash was) so it's not that out there either. But in some ways this book seemed to fall into the usual "calm before the storm" as it sets things up for the next (and last) issue. And the other artists taking over for the last few pages, that kinda irked me. It's almost like we're hit with a new story or something with such a drastic change. But as I've said before, I'm a big advocate of having one artist do a book. All in all it was more Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness fun and I'm sure if you've read the series this far you'll enjoy this book too. And if you haven't been reading the series I recommend it for someone looking for some fun zombie fighting/Ash wisecracking. And if you go with the collected version that they're bound to put out you'll probably get all the covers to all the printings in a gallery in the back which I'm kinda sad that I'll be missing out on as the covers really are quite cool. And I'm not about to start picking up every printing of each issue.

Omega Flight #3 -- Well at least some of the team is coming together and at least everyone has appeared now. I'm still not a big fan of Omega Flight being almost entirely American (or alien). The comment from one character that it wasn't about being Canadian but serving Canada makes some sense but it still irks me that the Canadians just gave up and threw in the towel before this series even started. And really, having the guy use the Gladiator suit seemed a little lame. Ok, he needs it to keep his powers in check but they can't change the colour scheme and get rid of the maple leaf? It seems that the writer is trying to twist things so that it makes some sort of sense for an American to basically be wearing a Canadian flag and it's not really working for me. And I wasn't a big fan of the art at times. It just didn't look like a strong outing for Kolins. Some faces looked rather funny and USAgent looked like he had distorted arms in some panels. And as for the colouring, it just looked too fuzzy for me. Maybe I'm just biased but this still isn't really working for me as a series. It's so much better than previous attempts at an Alpha Flight series but it still doesn't feel right for me. Though some may like it, I'm still looking for a Canadian superteam book and this isn't it for me so I just can't put it on my recommended reading list.

Lone Ranger #6 -- I felt this book was a bit of a step in the right direction. I thought the artist did a better job of showing what's happening and telling the story. I thought the writing was better and it was easier to read than some of the previous issues. But all in all, I didn't feel it was enough to make me reconsider my choice of dropping this book. Maybe now that this storyline has pretty much come to a close the book can pick up a bit and maybe I'll regret it. And I know the book will work for many people but it didn't for me. And that's why I'm not recommending it though it falls into the category of something you should probably check out for yourself to see if it's for you.

Dark Tower # 5 (of 7) -- I haven't been overwhelmingly positive about this series in a while either but just like the Lone Ranger, this issue seemed to pick up a bit. Though there were parts where it was a lot to take in and figure out (especially for someone who hasn't read the novel), it just seemed to be presented better here than in the previous issues. And I didn't find Jae Lee's art jarring or confusing. As I believe I've said before, his work is really hit or miss with me and it depends a lot on the subject matter he's drawing. And this issue seemed to settle on a subject matter that suited him whereas previous issues, not so much. I just think the way this book was put together with someone picking story elements from King's work, Jae Lee drawing the pictures, and then Peter David coming in and trying to fit some narrative and dialogue to those pictures, may not be the best approach to making a comic. It may work with some and it's pretty close to how Stan Lee used to work but I don't find it working here so much. Which is why at the moment I'd go with only recommending this book to Stephen King fans (especially to those already familiar with the comic medium, other Stephen King fans may not get it) and possibly just comic fans looking for something a bit different. But if this was an ongoing book I would have probably dropped it by now.

Now I'm looking forward to finishing up the Walking Dead book 2. It's been great so far and I'm almost done. And then I want to fit in some time over the summer to finish up watching the Dead Like Me season 2 DVDs, the Alien Nation complete series DVDs, and possibly Battle Star Galactica season 1 DVDs (courtesy of my brother). But I'm not sure where I'll find the time. Especially now that I'm back to working on my webcomic (albeit much more slowly than I had been).

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