Okay, okay. This is long overdue. But the reality is that
between catching up at my day job and sorting through all
my convention stuff, I had to re-think how I approach reviews.
And after the DK2 opus, I
realized I was getting way too wordy. So from now on, I'll
only go into mini-essays when a book really warrants it, instead
mainly throwing around much more concise praise and brickbats.
Let me know what you think.
Once again, Bendis and Gaydos deliver another thought-provoking
chapter in the ongoing sage of Jessica Jones. As she searches
for Rebecca Cross, Bendis throws in a little of the small-mindedness
that some religious figures can develop. He also makes an
interesting point with a piece of bathroom graffiti, at least
one fit for the Marvel Universe: Jesus was a mutant. Well,
yes, in Marvel terms anyway. But what has made this whole
thing interesting for me is the effect of mutant bigotry (occasionally
a thin plot device elsewhere in the MU) on ordinary people.
The Authority: Kev
Is he the luckiest most incompetent agent on the face of
the planet, or is it all an act? Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry
don't quite answer the question, but we'll get more chances
to find out, as allegedly the folks at Wildstorm want more
Kev. After reading this book, you will, too. It's good to
see The Authority back in action, and it's even better to
see Ennis and Fabry working on them. This title suits Ennis
to a tee.
Okay, so at Comic-Con the Batman writers claimed that Bruce's
crappy treatment of Sasha is intentional (on the writers'
parts, not Bruce's). In their minds, he's still grieving over
losing Vesper. Fair point. Finally, though, Sasha gets pissed
about it, refusing any help in her appeal. What kind of a
screwed up world is it when an alleged murderer gets exonerated,
but his convicted accomplice remains in prison? An all too
real one. Rucka adds a twist, and with the McKenna's inks,
this is the most assured job Lieber has done on the book yet.
Doom Patrol #11
Stuck in their own private hells within Hell, the Doom Patrol
finally reveal more about themselves than in the previous
ten issues. Arcudi finally brings the book all together, balancing
the weirdness with the unique characterization that should
make us care about these guys. As always, Huat delivers quirky
visuals to match, with a cover and inside baddie that I guarantee
will make Michael Goodson refuse to read it. For those who
are not terrified by the slightest suggestion of spiders,
this issue also makes an excellent jumping on point.
In a bittersweet tale, Winick jumps around in time and space
to fill in the blanks on the relationship between Nocturne
and Thunderbird. Though both the readers and the rest of the
Exiles missed it the first time around, Winick gives us careful
vignettes that show a growing love and respect. It also reminds
us that with these characters, we can miss a lot between issues.
And that's okay, as long as what we do get is as well-done
as this. There are no battles, and no particular demonstrations
of superpowers (except for Morph). All in all, it makes for
an excellent interlude.
With just a few panels, Robinson and Johns fix a small whole
in post-Crisis continuity. Nobody really cared about the Seven
Soldiers of Victory the first time around, but it's nice to
see the Golden Age Green Arrow finally replaced. As for the
present Green Arrow, he and Hawkman have their hands full
against the new Spider. The creative team delivers great action,
and a slightly unexpected change in the relationship between
Carter and Kendra. If there's a gripe, it's in the overly
detailed line work of Rags and Bair; even the whites of the
eyes look like they're carved from wood. I mistook several
characters for hypnotists.
Rising Stars #19
Those in political power have schemed against those with
real power. What they didn't count on was that "The Specials"
would have prepared for just such an emergency. As we reach
the final stretch, JMS ratchets up the tension. Though Poet
rightly points out that the opposing forces could just wait
for the specials to die of natural causes, it's obvious that
no, those with less than the public good on their minds can't
wait. This can only end badly. And that's good.
A guest-team steps in to tell this story of a somewhat random
battle between Superman and Major Force. Even though it sort
of moves a subplot along, the thing that saves it from being
a yawn is the characterization by Geoff Johns. Taking place
at a Little League game, the whole thing is reminiscent of
an Astro City tale, with Superman remembering that
he doesn't stop often enough to do the little things. In short,
when was the last time you remember Supes having fun? The
Astro City comparison continues with art by Brent Anderson,
which is the best that Superman has looked all year.
Ultimate Spider-Man #25
Bendis lays the groundwork for an Ultimate Venom (just pay
attention to what the Goblin's hallucinations tell him). As
a knock-down drag-out slugfest, this issue works. And the
team puts a couple of new spins on storylines we thought we
knew. But I have to admit that some things are starting to
With rare exceptions, the approach on this book has been
to put new spins on storylines we thought we knew, instead
of breaking real new ground. (Ultimate Marvel Team-Up
took a different tack, but then, the original Team-Up
stories were largely forgettable excuses for trademark renewal.)
Whether under Jemas' influence or not, Bendis has fallen prey
to Batman the movie syndrome - too many villains are
closely tied to Peter Parker. Granted, John Byrne pulled that
crap on the initial revamp a few years back, but we rejected
it then. At least Bendis is too good a writer to make it too
obvious. Let's just see more new adventures that really are.