Sunday, August 9, 2009

This Week's Haul

Each Sunday I’ll be looking at the DC books I bought that week with a brief-yet-insightful eye, with a dash of praise and criticism thrown in. Hey, there are worse ways to spend ten minutes, right?

Superman: World of New Krypton #6: Okay, it seems like we’re halfway through this whole “World Without Superman” experiment, which isn’t a bad thing. While I appreciate the risk-taking and new ground being broken with taking Superman out of his own books, I kinda miss the guy, so can we get him back to Earth soon? Please? Oh, and this issue was the first part of the “Codename: Patriot” story. Not bad, not great, just a whole lot of set-up.

Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three #4: Kurt Busiek is great. There, I said it. He continues to amaze and impress me with his Astro City work, and it really makes me wish he was doing more mainstream DCU work, like a certain world’s greatest team that seems directionless right now. This issue was wonderful, and even better was the news that this title will soon be back as a monthly. Woo-hoo!

Jonah Hex #46: Part 3 of the “Six Gun War” finally reveals why Quentin Turnbull hates Hex so much, and it’s a doozy. And this issue just reinforces the fact that Palmiotti and Gray are fantastic storytellers.

Strange Adventures #6: Okay, okay, I think it’s time for Jim Starlin to wrap up his Weird/Synnar epic. It’s been great, it’s been cool, but it’s been going on for a bit. Kudos to Starlin, however, for being able to tell a massive cosmic tale in this day and age, even one that has stretched over three eight-part mini-series and two specials.

Secret Six #12: Gail Simone is disturbed. There, I said it. Disturbed in a lovely way, but disturbed nonetheless. This team is so damn dysfunctional I feel like inviting them over for my family Thanksgiving dinner and seeing the sparks fly. Jeannette takes down Wonder Woman, and the Six split apart. Good, neurotic fun.

The Red Circle: The Hangman #1: I wanted to like this story. Really I did. I like J. Michael Straczynski, but this issue fell sort of flat for me. There just wasn’t any reason for me to read it, much less endorse it. I’ll pick up the rest of the Red Circle one-shots to see if they improve, but I have doubts about buying any of the regular series.

North 40 #2: This Wildstorm offering was a step down from its premiere issue. The story seemed more than a bit fragmented, and none of the characters really seem all that amazed or shocked by what is happening. I’m hoping that the mini-series gets back on track with the next issue.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #4: The Human Flame runs, blows things up, and kills his former teammates; in short, loads of senseless fun. To be honest, this is really the only Final Crisis Aftermath title that is even remotely comprehensible, and I anxiously await whatever trouble Mike Miller gets himself into next.

Solomon Grundy #6: Grundy mad. Grundy kill. Grundy fight Frankenstein. I hated this mini-series when it began, but it’s grown on me lately. I think that I need to sit down and re-read it from the Faces of Evil one-shot to get the full story and to appreciate what Kolins has done here.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #2: Honestly, I really don’t care if Hal Jordan had a threesome with Huntress or Lady Blackhawk. I really don’t. I’m not going to get in a tizzy about it either. While this book has its flaws - really, not a fan of Mauro Cascioli’s artwork, but that’s just me – I do enjoy Robinson’s Bendis-like dialogue. It’s not perfect, but the guy has the balls to revive Congorilla and make him interesting, so he gets points in my book.

And now, the book of the week is…

Doom Patrol #1: I’ve been waiting for this book for months, and Keith Giffen delivers. I love Giffen. Not in a creepy, man-loving-another-man kind of way, not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but in the I’ve read his stuff since I was a kid and thoroughly enjoyed it way. JLI, Legion of Super-Heroes, L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89, Ambush Bug, even Suicide Squad…all home runs in my book. And while this may be the third reboot of the Doom Patrol in the past decade, this one actually gives the team a reason for being and seeks to address just why this misfit team of heroes risks their lives for the world. Good stuff.

Oh, and the “Metal Men” backup feature by the old JLI team is gold. They cream more story into ten pages than most of today’s creators do in two whole issues. Absolutely brilliant.


Arthie said...

I really like this format, much better than the one you did with Blackest Night. WIth this one, even people who don't know/care about the book can read and enjoy.

Andrew Dowdell... said...

Well, it's all on the same blog, and it's a little bit of everything...with Blackest Night, there's just so many characters and continuity that sometimes isn't accessible to readers, and I have a major hankering for explaining that stuff....but I don't to just do annotations, and I hate writing long-winded reviews, so I figure that short and snarky is the way to go :) Thanks for reading!