Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Comic Reviews:
Infinite Crisis and Moon Knight


Infinite Crisis! Do something already!That'll work.
I guess.
Which Superboy was Conner Kent, anyway? Earth Zero? Earth Fuschia? Planet Starbucks?
Well, no, I guess he was 'ours', and his death, while tragic, gave a much needed shot in the dramatic arm to an entirely lackluster sixth issue.

This one seemed rushed to print. Maybe DC freaked about deadlines after going all of February with no Crisis book, and with all this One Year Later nonsense , and 52 coming right around the bend; it's all about product, people. So Infinite 6 gets a paper thin cover and shoddy art.
It seems like something that (shudder) Marvel Comics would do.
Yeah, I said it.

Infinite 6 begins with this useless exchange:
So it's nice to know that Yankee Stadium has survived the carnage and flooding in New York City, and that Major League Baseball is callous enough to say 'Play Ball' in spite of the death of bazillions (after all, if we don't resume our normal lives after the Infinite Crisis, the OMACS win).
A word to Geoff Johns: quit shoving Ollie and Hal down our throats. We know you like the 70's Adams-O'Neill run, we all did. We get it.

God this issue is just bad all over: cheesy dialogue, and some real ugly art. I think it's Jerry Ordway responsible; though I may be wrong. But just look at this:Ugh! Couldn't they have cleaned that shit up in inking? Ugh!

I think what frustrates me the most about this issue is that there's enough potential there; it just seems like Johns has no idea how to wrap up the series. And One Year Later and 52 just seem like a way to avoid him having to do so.
The reason that something like Crisis on Infinite Earths, or even Identity Crisis, worked was that it was self contained: beginning, middle, and end. Making us slog through back issues of freaking Catwoman to follow lingering story threads is a practice of DC's that's growing old.
I like the interaction between Batman and Brother Eye (a bit too 2001, admittedly); if only because it feels like it's all in Batman's head, that a darker side of himself than he's willing to face wanted this all to happen.
Those scenes feel like the genuinely exciting climax to some old cheesy sci-fi movie you'd run across on TBS at 3 in the morning.
And Superboy Prime continues to be a real kick-ass villain. The mostly Jimenez penciled rematch with him and Conner Kent at the end of the book is really fun.

There are some nice gory moments, like the Spectre disintegrating Star Sapphire:But, who is she again? If Johns had balls, Spectre would have passed judgment on Zatanna for her Indentity Crisis brain tampering. But, being a Seven Soldiers man, I'm glad they didn't. Speaking of the Seven:This makes the only soldier not to make a Crisis guest shot (and Crisis takes place after Seven Soldiers #1, don't forget) The Bulleteer.
A soldier must die, I know, but Alix? Say it ain't so.

I'm not holding a lot of hope now for the wrap-up of Crisis in number 7. Will we actually get to see the great event that takes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman away from the world for a year, or will that be revealed in Hawkgirl #whatever?
Wake me when it's over.
Infinite Crisis #6: C-

I'm not really at all familiar with Moon Knight: his world, his powers, his enemies. Which makes his re-launch a perfect place for me to jump in.
Moon Knight #1 does everything that a re-launch should do, it introduces our hero, gives hints of his backstory but also hints of a larger arc of redemption, it paints his world in a specific color (in this case the intense black and grays of the city contrasted with the brilliant white of the hero). Most of all, it's entertaining.

The art is really nice, too. I'm not a big fan, in general, of David Finch's work in New Avengers. Sometimes it comes off as an uneasy compromise between Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee; pinched, tiny faces with rippling abdominals and gigantic breasts.
But here his style works, probably because the general dark atmosphere (and masked hero) feel more authentic than Finch doing the bright red and yellow world of New Avengers.
The only problem, once again: it's too short.
Marvel comics in general, and their top selling titles specifically like New Avengers and Astonishing X-Men, puts out all their stories in a very cinematic style. Few words, lots of action, large splash pages (or pages with only three or four panels to them). It can, when done well (especially by Finch here and X-Men's Cassady) be extraordinary, drawing you deeper into the world on page than you ever could have hoped.
It can also leave you feeling ripped off, getting through a 22-page story in two minutes tops.I'm also not sold on Charlie Huston's writing skills. Yet.
It seems like this issue could have worked well (or even better) as a silent book. The narration really adds nothing to the proceedings, except to tell us that Moon Knight really really likes breaking necks.

And certain aspects of the story, especially the 'Moon 'Copter' and its pilot Frenchie, while probably faithful to the character's history, play more than a bit silly.
If Marvel plays it right, they could finally have their Batman. Handled wrong, just another Spawn.

Moon Knight #1: B


uncle fester said...

I'm pretty sure the Spectre drawing you deplored was by George Perez --therefore he also drew the Klarion panel (which shows how hard it's going to be to keep the Seven Soldiers characters on-model in future appearances when you have to follow an artist like Frazer Irving, whose style is so refreshingly different from most)

the2scoops said...

i think the Hal - Ollie exchange about baseball gave insight into their attitude about this mission - count on making plans later, becuase if we don't think we're going to 100% pull this off, we won't. I like the reviews, I'll be sure to check in.

Matt Guerrero said...

I know the exchange was meant to be taken that way, and I think that it's completely in character for Hal and Ollie to banter that way. It just felt a bit forced to me.
Much of John's dialogue is that way (even at his best). I think he's a good plotter, and a decent storyteller in general. Sometimes he just gets a bit too cute for my taste.
Thanks for putting in your 2cents, 2scoops.