Thursday, October 27, 2005

In the future, we will take our comics in pill form

Today, however, we must rely on capsules. I didn't buy much this week, and I'm still way behind on just about everything. Also, Solo #7 was sold out (curses! Foiled again!), so I have to wait for that 'til next week. Here there be spoilers!

JLA #121: I know Morrison is a tough act to follow, but Mark Waid and Joe Kelly did well with it. Morrison showed the JLA as a cosmic pantheon of iconic hero-gods; Waid gave us a JLA with one foot in Silver Age-style superheroics, the other in grounded human personalities and flaws. Joe Kelly gave us a League that was equally important as a political force as they were a heroic one.
Then, by all appearances, DC gave up. "We'll never meet that level of quality again, might as well not even pretend to try." So we got Chris Claremont's plodding, convoluted, boring-as-hell prelude to Byrne's "Doom Patrol." We got Austen's moody, equally boring navel-gazing, as seasoned heroes fell all over themselves like first-year rookies when confronted with death. I don't think a single character acted in-character for that arc. Certainly not Martian Manhunter, anyway. Johns' arc was good, and Kelly's #100 was all right, but didn't match up to most of his other work on the title. What is with DC continuously sabotaging what ought to be one of their flagship titles?
Anyway, I didn't see why people didn't like the last issue. I thought it was a little lame, but not too bad. This, on the other hand, was awful. Leaguers throwing fits and showing off like little kids, Dawn having another "gasp!--revelation!" and Aquaman rebuilding the JLA computer system.
Red Tornado? Sure. Steel? No problem. Snapper Carr? Why not? But Aquaman? I mean, he's a smart guy, but he's not one of the League's many resident techies. Anyway, a general C- or worse for this issue. I really hope the One Year Gap improves JLA, because something should.

JSA: Classified #4: On the other hand, JSA: Classified is such a fantastic book that I really hate to see that it's the last issue for Johns and Conner. Damn, this was a fun arc, and a beautifully-rendered one at that. I would totally buy a Power Girl ongoing if Conner was on the art duties. Or a Superman ongoing. Come on, DC, give the woman something big to work with!
There's a boob joke in there someplace.

Legion of Super-Heroes #11: I can't wait to see the resolution for this, mainly because I want to see Brainiac 5 outsmart death. Flash outran death (twice), why can't Brainy out-think it? Also, I think I see how Lemnos is going to ultimately be defeated: he'll go to Dormir, where people eventually become the ideas they embody, and he will become the embodiment of lost memory and will cease to exist. Just you watch.

JLA: Classified #11-12: Super-decompressed writing, but awesome characterization (though Martian Manhunter seems a bit too hostile). Perfect dialogue between Lois and Clark, but inconsistent art. Great splash pages, but crappy covers. It seems like, for every awesome thing this story arc has done, they've tried to balance it out with a crappy thing. Butch Guice was involved with the art duties on Action Comics for years after I started reading that series, and he was my least favorite of the four Superman artists the entire time. Sometimes his stuff looks great, like that splash page of Superman flying between the buildings, but sometimes it looks terrible; characters look too old, everything gets bogged down in sketchy inks...I just wish he could be more consistent. Overall, this book's decent. Not really worth the $3.00 cover price, especially with the expanded pacing, but the dialogue really makes up for most of the other problems.
Too bad this couldn't be the regular JLA book.

Fables #42: I really like Fables, but I have two problems with it. First, I can't usually remember what has happened from one month to another. The second is a consequence of this: it reads much better in chunks than in single issues. This usually isn't a problem, since I'll often kind of forget about it and leave it in my bag and buy six or seven issues all at once, but when I do buy an issue monthly, I end up feeling like there should be more. This really isn't a complaint about the series, since it's top-notch in every facet, I just don't know why it's like teflon to my brain.

Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four and Devil Dinosaur: I picked up "Where Monsters Dwell," too, but haven't read past the first story yet. Both of these are just as good as everyone says they are, though I preferred Fin Fang Four, since I'm more of a Fantastic Four fan than a Hulk fan. Great art on both counts, and plenty of good humor, though the best part about FF4 was when Sue asked if she should turn invisible, for no apparent reason. You never realize how useless Sue was before the invisible force fields, until you read early Fantastic Four comics. Or see that awful, awful movie.

Teen Titans #28: Ha! Not a chance. Maybe if it were free. Or less.

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Jon said...

No, go back and buy Teen Titans. It's one of the most spectacularly bad comics I think I've ever read. I'm pretty sure DC threw it out there as a diversion, as if to say "I know JLA's been terrible for the last two issues, but at least it's been on time! And not drawn by Rob Liefeld! And not written by a possibly drunk Gail Simone!"

Tom Foss said...

Well, I do have both of those issues in my pull bag...maybe I'll pick them up at the next 50% off sale.