Monday, May 15, 2006

New Comic Reviews:
52 & Super Skrull

52 #1
"Booster Gold, Ladies and Gentlemen! He's from the future! How cool is that?"
Well, actually, surprisingly cool. I like Booster Gold, his pomposity, his grandeur, but mostly the fact that he's an E True Hollywood Story waiting to happen (sorry, I've been reading Godland). If we didn't know that Booster is a genuine hero when the chips are down, all this grand show would be unforgiveable. But we do know that, so we cut him some slack.

I've never been sold on the fact that DC can pull off 52. Monthly is hard enough to sustain fan interest and as we saw last year over in the Spidey books at Marvel, 12 issues is a long story arc when it's done badly: so 52 straight weeks of story?
Well, I'm still not convinced about the long haul, but they've started well here. Issue 1, while not perfect was fun.
I'm not sure if the split page storytelling with Ralph Dibny, Rene Montoya, and Steel is going to work. It was fairly tedious in this issue, especially the Steel fragments. Luckily, they dropped it after the first few pages. Still, it could become a crutch as they go on.
I do like where the Montoya story arc is going, and this is the first time I've seen the character. But, again, 52 weeks of redemption is a lot of heartache to handle. Can we make her an honest to god superhero, like, now?


Can I stop for a moment and just say that Black Adam is a bad-ass? Did you see what he did to Psycho Pirate in Infinite Crisis? Bad-ass.
I hope they do him justice here, he's got great anti-hero possibilities.

I also like the twist towards the end, with Mr. From-the-future-isn't-that-cool totally freaking out at the absence of the DC Holy Trinity. I think we're figuring out that IC re-arranged not only DC's past, but its future as well. And what is Booster without his foreknowledge? I guess you'll have to stay tuned, won't you?

Over in Gotham, Rene goes to sleep one off but is distracted by some Dick Tracy reject stamping his symbol over the Bat signal. Somebody tell Mr. Eko! Take me to the question mark, Locke!

Anyway, one last thing: I love the ultra-dramatic, 'Next time in 52':Which tells us nothing at all, of course, but is a blast.
Kind of like the whole issue.

52 #1: B

ANNIHILATION: SUPER SKRULL #1

This book is a few weeks old, but I missed it and had meant to pick it up, because I am a great admirer of Javier Grillo-Maxuach.
For those of you who don't know Javi's work, he wrote some of the best episodes in LOST's brief history, including All the Best Cowboys..., Collision, and ...In Translation.
He's really good at the kind of redemptive stories that are the cornerstone of the show, and he jumped full steam into comics last year with the fun-for-all Middleman. So how does Javi fare when set loose in the Marvel Universe?

Um, well...uh...

Ok, first of all, I admit I don't know anything at all about what this 'Annihilation' cross-over is all about, all I've noticed about it is bitchin' covers and god-awful interior art. Unfortunately, that's a pattern that continues here.
Greg Titus' layouts are confusing and his faces contorted when they don't need to be and not contorted when they should be!
It's the kind of Marvel Western-Anime hybrid style that kept me from getting back into comics for years. One of the few people any good with this style is Chris Bachalo over at Uncanny X-Men. But do you see me reviewing Uncanny?
Nope, cuz I ain't reading it.

There are some vintage Javi momets shining through:

"...you so much as look at me the wrong way and the last thing you ever see will be your spinal cord in my clutched fist--do we understand each other?"

And I like the plot, with Super-Skrull, by all rights one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe, considered a joke by his people for his inability to beat Reed Richards and his Fantastic Four. And the fact that Super-Skrull must ultimately team up with Reed to save his son (Son? Whaaaa?). There's a lot to like here, but the difficult-to-follow art is derailing a potentially strong story.

ANNIHILATION: SUPER SKRULL #1: B-

1 comment:

uncle know-it-all said...

RE: 52
So you got this anyway...bet you can't east just one! I think DC will bend heaven and earth and any number of assistant editors to get this out more or less on schedule. I'm happy to play along, except that if it gets me into the comic book store every week I'm going to end up buying other comics I might ordinarily leave on the shelf.

I guess I'm turning into the DC Answer Guy but the "Dick Tracy reject" is The Question, originally created by Steve Ditko for Charlton Comics (whose characters were purchased by DC in the 80s for a warehouse full of DeLoreans and uncut cocaine)