Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for Sept. 24th, 2008 -- SPOILERS

No smalltalk this week...

Hulk #6 -- Okay, I'll admit it, I went into this issue knowing I wasn't going to be happy given the first 5 issues and I wasn't disappointed. I'd like to use the phrase "steaming pile of poo" but I'll refrain. Oops, too late. The writing continues to be horrible in my opinion. You gather a team of heavy hitters to end issue 5 and they do absolutely nothing but take up pages bickering at the beginning of issue 6? Garbage. Everyone just leaves this uber-Rulk lying in the desert to continue rampaging? Crap. And speaking of uber-Rulk, this big tough guy goes down that easily? I can't think of a good word to use. And the "humour" in this book, the only time I laughed was when the Rulk started lecturing the Hulk on going to hell instead of heaven given that in issue 5 he said he didn't believe in gods. I know, minor detail there. This book was just painful for me to read and Hulk's dialogue... everyone's dialogue for that matter, was just horrible. Looking at what's to come in this series, they seem to be pushing "Ooh, buy this issue so you can see Frank Cho draw hot chicks!" and that doesn't sell me on a Hulk book. I like Art Adams' artwork but it ain't enough. So for the first time in about 20 years I'm dropping the Hulk. I know it means nothing to Marvel since they are making a killing on this book already but it means something to me.

Ultimates #5 of 5 -- Well, wasn't this a kick in the nards. I bought this series expecting an Ultimates series not some lame 5 issue teaser to Ultimatum. It seemed like every page just kept getting more and more painful. When Cap's asked why he's dressing up as the Black Panther and he says they'll talk about it later it felt like a slap in the face. It's not how you set up a mysterious element to the story. I'm done ranting about this book, it's not worth my time. Even the art seemed disappointing to me. I won't be picking up Ultimatum and unless a miracle happens, I won't be picking up Ultimate Avengers even though Millar is coming back. All this just leaves too nasty a taste in my mouth.

She-Hulk #33 -- Finally, a bit of good news. I liked this issue. She-Hulk was well written, good dialogue, good story, and pretty solid art. We get Jazinda's story and why the Super-Skrull is so determined to kill her. Now perhaps it's not exactly a new story but it has enough twists and emotion to work. Overall, despite some ups and downs I'm liking this series as a whole. But maybe it's because I need some Hulk stuff to fill the void.

Runaways #2 -- We fill in a lot of the story here so that's good. And it's still done in a light hearted, fun way so it's enjoyable. It wasn't an overwhelmingly good second issue and maybe not a great follow up to the previous issue but it was an enjoyable read. The art was a bit more of a miss with me in this issue though as I couldn't really get what was happening in the beginning (a lot of smallish panels with a lot going on, cluttering them up in my opinion) and characters looking a little too cartoony and contorted at times, almost making it more challenging to recognize who is who. But overall, I can look past all that and still enjoy it for the most part.

Skaar: Son of Hulk Presents - Savage World of Sakaar #1 -- And the longest title award goes to... Ok, getting past the title now. At times, this book fails for me in the same way much of Pak's Hulk and Skaar stuff do, I just can't quite follow it at times. The whole vines thing for instance, I had no clue what that was about. And I have to say, the art for the Caiera/Princess story was really REALLY bad. And I'm not quite sure how this fits because I though they'd established that Skaar could talk and wasn't an idiot in the last issue, yet they do so again here? Or maybe I'm missing something. So yeah, overall I'm still liking the series but it's not really making my "recommended reading list" (should such a list ever be created).

So that's it for the reviews. I'll try to get around to posting other stuff soon. I have a few rants and such I'd like to do. I just need to find the time to do them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quantum of Solace trailer and guns

Okay, I think I'm going a little whacko. While watching House last week the Quantum of Solace trailer came on and when the scene comes up near the end where he points the gun at the camera I quickly remembered the deal that was made about the Watchmen trailer and how a gun had to be removed/replaced due to MPAA guidelines. So, thanks to my PVR, I was able to rewind and pause it and I was sure the gun was removed here too. But now I'm looking at the trailer online and, although it's a little blurry depending on what version of the trailer you view and when you pause it, the gun is still there. Not only that, earlier in the trailer you actually see a gun pointed at the camera go off (albeit really quickly).

So first off, was I seeing things during House (which would be quite the coincidence wouldn't it)? And why didn't the MPAA step in on the Quantum of Solace trailer?

Yeah, I know that nobody reading this blog will have the answers but it's bugging me so I thought I'd put it out there.

Quick update: I double checked and sure enough, the gun was still there in the commercial during House. I'm guessing that it's just not on screen for long enough for the MPAA to make a fuss about.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 17th, 2008

A whopping 2 books this week...

Echo #6 -- I think I should have dropped this from my monthly list and went to TPBs, I just don't find it moving enough for me to enjoy in small monthly snippets. I still might. The art is solid, the story is an interesting one, and the characters are all great. But I get through each issue wondering "That's it?" A lot of the time I just don't even feel like anything happened in the book. The first TPB is out and collects the first 5 issues so it may be worthwhile for anyone curious to check that out. I think I'll have to get back to you on whether I'll keep picking this up. But with Hulk on the chopping block too, my monthly books are really dwindling.

Spike: After the Fall #3 -- I didn't find the art so bad this issue. On a technical level I thought it was better and it conveyed the story better than in previous issues (and in the Angel series). I am finding the story a bit week though. Having read the Angel series, it just seems like we've seen a lot of this already. Gunn's attitude, "vision" talk, and slayer killing just seems like "been there, done that." And the whole reveal of Connor at the end didn't really seem to be a strong end to the issue. I had been hoping for more answers surrounding the Fred/Ilyria situation but I don't seem to be getting them. So overall, I'm a little disappointed with this series.

Huh, two fairly negative reviews, that bites. It's really weird actually, with all the attention comics are getting from outside (movies, tv shows, etc) and all the excitement people seem to have for certain mainstream events (Secret Invasion, Final Crisis, etc) or books (Hulk, Thor, etc) I thought I'd be on a comic high right now. Instead, I seem to be moving away from looking forward to the weekly comic pickup and looking more at older TPBs or independent TPBs. Oh well, c'est la vie I guess.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 10th, 2008

I only had two books this week. I guess I'm saving quite a bit of money by cutting back on the books I collect but a lot of it is disappearing into Trade Paperbacks. Oh well. Zuda reviews are still to come but you should check out this month's contenders, there's some good stuff there.

Secret Invasion Young Avengers/Runaways #3 (of 3) -- In terms of a single issue, the writing was pretty good (though there were times I felt the dialogue was a little off or confusing) and the art was fairly solid (I thought it was a bit better this issue but could have been better than that). So all around, it wasn't a bad issue. As for the series as a whole, it was for the most part your standard big event tie in. Little impact on the main story (so that those reading the main Invasion series don't miss anything) and little impact on the characters (so those not reading this series won't be confused). There is a bit of character development with the two skrulls on these teams but not essential reading by any means. So it wasn't a bad series, it was fairly enjoyable to read, but it didn't knock me over. I'll be happy to get back to just reading the Runaways series. And was I the only one who thought it was weird how they kept referring to Xavin as "she" in the opening thing and then having stay in his male skrull form throughout the issue?

Marvel Adventures Hulk #15 -- Yeah, I'm still getting my Hulk fix from this series. It's kinda funny that with all the "Hulk smash" dialogue that has been thrust on him throughout the years, I now find it weird when he actually speaks somewhat coherently from time to time like in this book. But anywho, it was a pretty simple issue to introduce the Leader to the Marvel Adventures line. Obviously, his plan to just enter the UN and declare himself the leader of the world wouldn't work as a storyline anywhere but the Marvel Adventures books but that's to be expected. It was a fun issue with plenty of Hulk action and some funny bits thrown in. And the art was pretty solid and fitting for this book. I still think Marvel is doing well with this series and I hope it sticks around.

On the TPB front, I'm still buying more than I should. Three I've read are Criminal: The Dead and the Dying, Conan: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories and The Goon: Nothin' But Misery. They were pretty good but I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with them. Probably not Criminal but Conan and the Goon are possibilities. I also decided to pick up The Killing Joke deluxe edition as I had never owned it myself. Still an interesting read and you can see the inspiration it had on the Dark Knight.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 3rd, 2008

It was a very Joss Whedon week for me with only two books coming out, Buffy and Angel. So...

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #18 -- I found that we have the usual "penultimate lull" with this book. That's not to say it's a bad book, but it's clearly just there to set things up for the final issue. There are some pretty big twists and such so it's definitely an engaging read but it didn't exactly blow me away. The Xander/Dawn stuff was so quick that it almost seemed like an after thought which is too bad. The art was solid for the most part though there were a few shots where Fray and Buffy looked a little off, a little too thin perhaps. So overall, a solid issue but not the best of the series.

Angel: After the Fall #12 -- I'm just repeating myself over and over again with this book. I like the overall story and at the end of each issue I'm thinking "Wow, this is really cool and I can't wait to see where it goes" and yet I really dislike the execution. The art seemed messy at times and inconsistent to me. The narrative wasn't as bad as it has been but wasn't great. One thing that seemed weird was having Angel out of his body talking while his body still seemed to be moving (at one point it looked like it was sitting next to the wall with a leg bent up and his arm resting on the leg, it looked like a very relaxed pose for someone in his condition). Maybe reading the series in its entirety when it's done will be better but right now, I just wish the issues were being done better.