Friday, December 12, 2008

Open Fire! Reviews! Catching up part 1.

Sometimes things are far too big to handle in full portions. So we’re going to chop up what would be page after page of epic reviewing, and condense it nicely into Open Fire! Reviews, from last week’s Secret Invasion to November’s comics. We line them at the post and ready our guns, ready, steady, Open Fire!

Secret Invasion #8

Written: Brian Bendis

Art: Lienel Yu

There are so many ways to put “pointless” on a comic. Secret Invasion is an event that looked to truly crack open Marvel and break it’s universe from the very ground they stand on. Unfortunately, the event itself is pointless and that is never made more obvious then it’s 8th chapter.

For one, this could have been so easily shortened to 6 issues and worked much better. But it wasn’t, so I can’t fault it for what it wasn’t when it was set as this.

The events are told through narration, which, as one would figure, is just to take up space and try and put things simple. Rather then letting the art tell the story, Bendis insecurely writes with a bland and poor narrative.

The event of Wasp’s death was all right, but it was as close as we get to highlights. This entire issue was an example of how not to tell an event. If your event only relies on that it has a great ending on the final page, but the event itself has little to really do with the ending so much, then don’t tell that event and give us 8 issues of story that actually matters to us.

Though I must mention the art, Yu turned in the work of his life here and it was incredibly impressive from issues 1-8 it was solid greatness. Though sadly, it does nothing to free me from the disappointment that was Secret Invasion.

But at least it’s over and Dark Reign can come in and hopefully clean up this mess of an event .Bendis has already started Dark Reign on a weak note just as Secret Invasion ended on one. While SI wasn’t poorly written, for what we got, which was very little, it was highly disappointing.

2 out of 5

Pass It

Batman #682

Written: Grant Morrison

Art: Lee Garbett

This issue was very strange, even for Grant Morrison. Though I’ll admit, I didn’t hate it as much as some people seem. A lot of people didn’t like the jarring storytelling, and while I’ll admit, it’s odd, at the same time, it does a good job of putting Batman’s history in perspective.

While seeing things like Joker as more a prankster and the original Batwoman are all very strange and in today’s Batman continuity, they stick out like a sore thumb, Morrison still does an all right job going over these lower points in the Dark Knight’s career. This was definitely the worst time to be a Batman fan, and Morrison puts that into perspective really, even if it doesn’t seem so at first.

The fact that this is tying into Final Crisis I found interesting. Final Crisis is an all right event to me personally, but as a tie-in, this is doing an all right job to tell Batman’s struggle under DarkSied’s minions.

The art here is nice, but it’s nothing too special. It’s typical DC artwork to put it simple. It doesn’t stand out much, if it all like other artists such as Dustin Nguyen, but it’s still nicely done and helps convey the story well enough.

Overall, an all right read, jarring for sure, but for what it is, passable.

3 out of 5

Check It

Marvel Zombies 3 #3

Written: Fred Van Lente

Art: Kev Walker

Marvel Zombies 3 is easily one of the stranger yet better mini-series that Marvel has chosen to debut this year. Van Lente clearly has a love for this series and it’s characters and he’s really pouring his best into it to tell a strong story that everyone who is a fun of the series will love even if 2 turned you away.

The overall plot here is nice, but I must admit, it’s not quite as good as last issue. Last issue had some great moments and, even better, the character dialogue between Machine Man and Jocasta was absolutely amazing there and since the two are not together this issue it is a bit weaker.

Still, for what we get here it was nicely done. The plot advances very nicely, and everything is set up perfectly to wrap up next issue. It’s fairly simple, Machine Man is near death, Jocasta is walking into a hell-hole of zombie infestation, and it’s now or never, someone’s gotta step up and save the day. And Machine Man would do it, but he seems to be missing his lower half…and his face.

A great issue, but not quite as good as last issue. Still, I’m really enjoying this series and I highly recommend it to anyone interested.

4 out of 5

Must Read

Broken Trinity: Witchblade

Written: Ron Marz

Art: Nelson Blake 2 (whatever the 2 means)

Despite my disappointment over the ending to Broken Trinity, I was psyched to check out the fallout one-shot starring Sara Pezzini. However, there’s little, if practically nothing to say here.

Sara has a sex dream about Jackie, she meets him the next day in cemetery, they have 2 hot kisses but that’s it and he’s on his way. Jackie kills a man who was involved a job where a young girl died and Sara says she has no idea who did it even though she knows it was him.

Oh sure, it was all right, as always, Marz was born to write these characters as the dialogue was nice. But really, it was all very pointless and uninteresting compared to what we’ve seen prior.

Still, while I was disappointed with how little we get, I should say that it was still an enjoyable read to the point where as a fan I liked it, but as a reviewer, it was certainly disappointing.

The art here is nice, but nothing too spectacular, with no action or really all that interesting of scenes, there’s little to nothing to say about the art.

Overall, while not all that bad, a rather boring read. I don’t recommend it.

2 out of 5

Pass It

Hulk #8

Written: Jeph Loeb

Art: Arthur Adams and Frank Cho

Last issue was a fairly all right read, I was more then happy to see Joe Fixit back in town, but it seems just as things are sticking good they get poor.

The Vegas venture is the highlight here as Moon Knight is awesome, Sentry is handled nicely and overall, it’s not too bad. It could have been a lot better if we got more though, but we get so little of it that I was disappointed here. And right now, this is the thing, Hulk being divided between the two Hulks is a far weaker experience.

The second story involving She-hulk and friends as also nice, but again, we get so little it’s just not enough. We get so little that really it begs to be a full solid issue.

So really, I can’t comment much. While I personally enjoyed this issue, I can’t deny that this issue was far weaker for being divided, despite the absolutely gorgeous artwork. Adams and Cho turn in more great work, and it makes the price worth the read that the art goes with. But in the end, I can’t suggest this arc of Hulk. I suggest you wait until February, when the book will hopefully return to a better story.

2 out of 5

Pass It

So ends our first round of Open Fire! Reviews. My soldiers need to go reload their guns and we need to clean up the mess from all these bloodied books. So check back tomorrow for the end of our epic Open Fire Reviews where we end with all the leftover comics form November.


Cat said...

Yep the Hulk wasn't that good....but the art sure was pretty huh? Secret Invasion let me down a bit too. Lets hope the aftermath plays out better. I'm really looking forward to the Hawkeye & Mockingbird reunion. Been following them since I was a kid. The Hawkeye mini by Gruenwald is one of my faves!

Andrenn said...

I think Loeb wrote himself into a corner with Hulk. Both characters are all right on their own, but to tell an interesting story they need each other.

Dark Reign still looks to be good and I have my hopes up for it. As for their Reunion, it's a mini-series starting in March, I figure you might want to check it out.