Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Comic Reviews for August 5th 2009

So with cash to spare I’m thinking about adding one comic to the pull list, pretty sure it’s going to be Secret Warriors but if anyone has a book they would like to recommend then feel free to recommend it.

Now I got 4 comics this week, sadly they where all just okay and meh, with the exception of 1. Let’s review them and find out which was best. Now I decided to drop the plot description before the review, it just adds unnecessary length and I can point out plot points on my own. Anything else you’d have to read the comic to see.

The Amazing Spider-man #601

Written: Mark Waid (back up story) Brian Bendis

Art; Mario Alberti (back up art) Joe Quesada

Opening Comments: Coming into this issue with painfully low expectations I must say I was not the least bit frustrated by this book. If anything I quite enjoyed it a lot, mostly for Waid’s enjoyable dialogue and the good art. Still as much as I enjoyed this issue there wasn’t anything about it that made it stand out or feel all that Amazing.

Story Comments: I must admit I liked the opening that reminds us about the wedding last issue, Peter got drunk (can’t blame the poor guy) and goes to bed with his roommate’s sister. Ouch. Normally one would think “all right, Spider-man is getting back in the game!” ehhhh no. Spider-man rather was drunk off his ass so he doesn’t even remember it, pissing her off.

This was a funny way to open the comic and truth be told it sets the tone perfectly. What we get here is a light enjoyable romp that has a lot of comedy and little tension. It almost was like those cartoons before comedy movies back in the old days. It sets everything up perfectly and gets you in the mood for a fun good time.

Peter spends the rest of the issue figuring he’s dead and that he needs to find a new place. Also hilarious. So spider-man spends this issue fighting crime, looking for a new place (and failing) then trying to figure out where he and MJ agreed on for a date. It’s more of a one in done issue and I am grateful for it.

It’s sad seeing how much the city has turned against Spider-man over the years. With Jonah as mayor I guess it’s no surprise but really how long can this last before it gets crazy and frustrating as all hell? I myself don’t like that Jonah is mayor and look forward to his eventual loss of power.

It’s hilarious seeing how Spider-man keeps trying to find a place to stay. We get some great character moments and it was really fun to read.

We get the obligatory “Spider-man saves the day” scenario. Nothing new or all that interesting, he saves a burning building full of people is all. I know that’s a big accomplishment but for Spider-man it’s every day stuff. It all ends with MJ and Peter missing their date, since MJ was passed out all day, and we get a reveal that she knows Peter is Spider-man. Also we get a hilarious final page but I’d be a comic book sinner to spoil it for you.

Overall while I really did enjoy this issue, the character work the moments and the overall ending where great. Something about this issue just felt very simple and meh. Nothing really stood out that made it feel important or overly interesting and I certainly wasn’t glued to every page excited to read more. Still for what it’s worth Waid did do a good job and he had a great voice when it comes to writing the wall-crawler.

The back-up story by Bendis and Quesada was the real attraction here. It was a simple discussion between Spider-man and Jessica Jones but it was done so well. Sure we get the typical Bendis Speak but damned if I didn’t love this especially how it ended.

Art Comments: Alberti is an interesting artist. I like his style, his character work and overall what he can do but at the same time he has some weird moments. His sty le is still pretty good and unique and he fits Spider-man well enough. Though truth be told he doesn’t really do anything that impressed me enough here.

Quesada is an amazing artist, I don’t even have to say it. He brings Bendis’ amazing little back up story to life beautifully and it looks great.

Final Comments: Am I going to buy Spider-man on a regular basis? No. Absolutely not. I am however going to pick up the next issue and the ones with Black Cat and when Deadpool shows up in a few months. Spider-man may not be fully redeemed but he seems to finally be on the path to greatness once more.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Jersey Gods #6

Written: Glen Brunswick

Art: Dan McDaid

Opening Comments: After a month’s delay I’m ready for more goodness from the Jersey Gods. After the status quo has been created it looks like Brunswick is already looking to shake things up, but not before giving us a nice chance to breath in this great issue.

Story Comments: We get a hilarious moment with Barock and Zoe in a diner, then them house shopping. I especially liked how Barock brings up this whole story about how having less made his people happier but Zoe completely misses the real point of his story as she really wants the house.

Brunswick has done a great job of building up these 2 characters and showing how while they contrast they really are a perfect fit. Barock is the kind of patient guy that can handle Zoe’s special brand of craziness and I liked seeing how Zoe’s craziness showed up even more at how badly she wants the big expensive house.

We also see Barock meet Zoe’s parents for another hilarious moment. I must admit it was great seeing these characters all interact. Brunswick is good at making them all stand out on their own and sound different. Plus the comedy here was amazingly funny, some of the best in the series so far.

We also of course get some sweet lovey dovey moments between Barock and Zoe, standard stuff really. Still this relationship feels very important and real. It’s not the typical “their just perfect for each other so roll with it” rather it’s a real honest to comic gods relationship that feels real and interesting to see develop.

Of course like always we get some obligatory action such as Barock saving a falling plane (this feels familiar) which was a nice moment as Brunswick hasn’t forgotten that this is still a super hero book. Not completely and totally a romantic comedy.

Hecticus is our new villain and I must admit he comes off as the typical sinister business tycoon. He clearly has some long and evil grudge against Barock and he’s got some evil friends along with him. We get a good introduction to him even if we don’t know his full reason for hating Barock.

I am glad to see Brunswick establishing our new villain so soon rather than just rely on the villains from the last arc only. He’s giving Barock a wide rogue’s gallery already and I’m happier for it as the more villains a hero has the more exciting his battles can become.

Overall this was another well written issue as Brunswick is doing a great job with this series and making it one of the best and most enjoyable books on the stands nowadays. I really can’t think of any negatives for this issue.

Art comments: Similar to usual McDaid has his good and bad moments. Sometimes he does a really good job like during the action scenes and sometimes not so much. When he doesn’t overdo it with the line work and he cleans his artwork up a bit more it looks better. Still he does a fairly good job this issue.\

Final Comments: Jersey Gods is a great comic that should be missed by none. Even though we got a breather this issue it was still great and the character work was amazing. Definitely a cannot miss comic.

Writing: 5 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Must Have

Captain America: Reborn #2

Written: Ed Brubaker

Art: Brian Hitch and Butch Guice

Opening Comments: After a fairly good debut issue I must admit I’m getting bored with Reborn. This issue didn’t really advance the plot by much, we move a few inches ahead and just when things seem like they might get interesting we cut off and we have to wait another month. I’m pretty sure I may drop this series but lets at least take a good look at this issue first.

Story Comments: I love the opening with Cap fighting off Nazis alongside American soldiers and it is a great way to open the comic as it sets a really action heavy tone and while we do get some good action in this issue it still doesn’t stop a rather slow issue.

We see Bucky Cap and Black Widow fighting off Ares, Venom and H.A.M.M.E.R. agents which is a good time but to be honest this fight is fairly pointless as it just ends with them getting beat and dragged off to Osborn. Still I must admit I did appreciate Brubaker utilizing Venom and showing him as a competent enemy for once. Nowadays he’s just a punching bag when in other comics.

Cutting to a scene with Sharon, Hank Pym and Reed Richards. It’s an interesting and really quick moment really but there was some good dialogue at least but it doesn’t really advance things much as far as telling us what about Sharon makes her this “constant’ that could bring back Steve.

Osborn soon lets out Crossbones and Sin which is an interesting development for these 2 characters. What their role is I’m not so sure but I can only hope it’s something bigger than the typical 2 goons going after the hero. Though I suspect as much since their not the most well developed characters.

Honestly I was hoping that Norman Osborn wouldn’t have as big an influence on this book really. I figured he’d probably just be a mild presence and not really effect the main story since he’s already so many other places nowadays.

We see Steve jumping through moments like his first time becoming Captain American and honestly by now this is getting a little old and boring. It was kind of interesting and unique at first but now I’m getting bored. He needs to actually do something at this point.

We end this issue with Sharon exposed as the second killer of Captain America, Bucky and Natasha captured and Norman threatening that if Sharon doesn’t turn herself in he’ll kill Bucky. An all right conclusion to what was overall a just okay read.

Overall Brubaker did an okay job here but really it just isn’t sucking me in like last issue did. After a weak but still strong enough start Brubaker just sort of goes through the motions of the plot and doesn’t give us any real meat or anything overly interesting sadly. Still it’s not a bad read, just a meh read.

Art Comments: Hitch’s artwork was definitely better this time around and a lot cleaner as far as avoiding some of the ugly smudge like problems from last time which I’m glad where fixed. Still the art doesn’t go too far to impress, it just does a good job.

Comments: I think you may want to wait for the collection of Cap Reborn like I plan to. I will probably be dropping this next week when I get to the shop as it isn’t looking to impress as much as I thought it would.

Writing: 3 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It

Savage Dragon #151

Written and Art: Erik Larsen

Opening Comments: After a spectacular issue last time Larsen definitely slows things down to a painful halt to tell a mediocre story about Mako. While things do get interesting at the very end for the most part this issue was a boring and overall uninteresting read with some good art.

Story Comments: We get a groan inducing opening with Dragon’s kids at first arguing about how Angel has a crush on Daredevil and just…ugh. I really like these two characters, I do and they usually have good interaction but here they where just acting like…well, two stupid kids! Redundant as that may seem.

We get some really odd hints at some kind of relationship, a mention to that twitch inducing kiss they had in #144 (trying to forget about that one, kids, stop reminding me!) then an erection joke (because we don’t get enough of those) and the kids are told that Dragon is dead, of course like stupid kids they just say “dude, no way!” and even when they see the spot they insist he can’t be dead.

Mako is walking after punching out Daredevil. Dragon’s kids show up to fight him. The fight is, to say the least, boring as all hell. We see Dart show up to help Daredevil but that’s about it as far as something interesting happening.

It ends with Mako confessing why he’s here, he’s come to see his dying mother and gives what I can honestly say was a heart tugging speech about how he’s had it bad and how he never meant for things to come out this way. If more villains where at least somewhat this interesting I think I’d be more excited to read Savage Dragon.

Of course since he punched the kids all through the hospital his mother was at it collapsed around him, killing his poor mother and pissing him off. Another heart wrenching moment though after it Mako beats the hell out of the kids and runs off angrily. I can’t say I blame him, and I must admit I certainly am no longer fond of Dragon’s kids at all.

Things end with an okay cliff-hanger, Dragon’s body reanimates and kills 2 doctors that Overlord had working on the body.

Overall I can’t really say I hated this issue, I liked the twist that Mako was just trying to see his mother but besides that this issue just felt so dumb and boring. It didn’t really have anything major to it that really made me stand up and enjoy it. Larsen just goes through the motions of weird character moments and moving the plot.

Art Comments: the art continues to be great at least, Larsen is always an incredible artist. I especially loved the coloring here.

Final Comments: I am considering dropping this book just for the fact that I’m getting bored. Much as I like the cast and the art I can’t deny that it’s not doing it for me anymore. I’ll stick around for a few more issues, maybe up until October, but by then if things don’t get interesting again I wouldn’t mind dropping it.

Writing: 2 out of 5

Art: 4 out of 5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Check It


Kevin said...

Great reviews Andrenn.I think that is the great thing about Amazing Spider-Man as you can jump in and out of getting the series for a month and just pick and choose the stories you want to read. And usually the stories you don't want to read only last a month or two and not five or six months like all the other titles. I know I have jumped in and out of Amazing Spider-Man since the start of the new direction and still don't feel lost.

Also I thought Captain America: Reborn was slightly stronger in its second issue than its first. Though I didn't really enjoy the first issue all that much. Still issue #2 was an improvement, I thought.

Great reviews.

Andrenn said...

@Kevin: Thanks Kevin, I am glad that ASM is a series I can jump on and off with I think it's really cool.

I guess #2 of Reborn was petter than #1 but I still feel like dropping the series.