17 Feb 2008

Mini Reviews 17/2/2008

None of us have time to review all the comics we get every week as there are just too damn many of them! Instead, we try and provide a snapshot of the weeks' releases, mixing the good with the not so good.


X-FORCE #1
Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Art: Clayton Crain
Marvel $2.99


Matt C: The main problem I have with this book is the notion of Cyclops putting together a team of killers, which – to my mind - goes against everything the character has represented for the last however many years. Taken on its own terms it’s not bad at all, and the writers have a much better handle on Logan than certain higher-profile storytellers. Crain’s art may be an acquired taste for some but while it seemed a little ‘stiff’ in places it did suit the dark nature of the plot. Trouble is I can’t get past the Cyclops thing – if they were a rogue team in the same way the original X-Force were I would probably keep up with this, but Scott Summers approving of this kind of behaviour….. well, it’s not the character I grew up with. 6/10


WOLVERINE #62
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Ron Garney
Marvel $2.99


Matt C: He’s at it again! Here Cyclops suggests to Wolverine that he go and kill Mystique.!! What the hell has happened to Summers that he’s now resorting to endorsing murder as a solution to his problems? Any chance the guy is really a Skrull?! I can’t understand what else would explain this dramatic change in his personality! Anyway, I mainly had a look at this book because of the addition of Jason Aaron on scripting duties. He’s been rightly acclaimed for his work on The Other Side and Scalped, so how would he fair with the ol’ canuckle-head? Judging by this issue I’m not sure whether we can definitely expect great things from his run. It’s well written, Garney’s art is fantastic, and there is a clever twist that I didn’t see coming, but I think the whole Cyclops thing sticks in my craw so much it puts me off somewhat. Still, Aaron has shown he can deliver the goods in the past so while I may not keep up with X-Force, I’ll give the first story arc on this book a chance. 6/10


BOOSTER GOLD #0
Writer: Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Art: Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund
DC $2.99


Matt T: I’m bloody annoyed to have missed most of Booster Gold, as this issue was a cracking read. As ever with the Blue & Gold duo there are plenty of jokes, but there’s also a sense that the pair have done more good than harm in averting Ted Kord’s fatal shot to the head. A clever, well-structured book that makes the most of DC’s often convoluted history. 8/10


NEW AVENGERS #38
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Gaydos & Jose Villarrubia
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: A solid issue dialogue-wise, which is lucky as that’s pretty much all there is. The post-Jessica-Jones-leaving argument has valid points on both sides, but the art is below par throughout. I’m hoping the same artist isn’t around for the action scenes in future issues, as they could be a real let-down. 7/10


THE FOUNDATION #2
Writer: John Rozum
Art: Chee
Boom! Studios $3.99


Matt C: We get a lot more background on the shadowy organization known as The Foundation this time around, and writer John Rozum is wise enough to throw in not only the kind of sceptical questions most people would ask but also satisfying answers in response. It is a very dialogue-heavy instalment, but the strength of the ideas presented keeps it compelling. 7/10


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #550
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Salvador Larroca & Stephane Peru
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: Another interesting twist in the new Spidey run, with Menace turning out to be fairly evil and not just a Goblin rip-off. Not sure if I will keep my patience with this switching and changing of writers, but right now it’s a pleasant distraction. 7/10

Matt C: Gugenheim pens another thoroughly entertaining chapter in the Brand New Day saga, and his stint on the book is so far proving to be equal, if not better, than Slott’s. Hopefully he can keep the quality up for the third part of his tale. 8/10


COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #11
Writer: Paul Dini w/ Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Mike Norton & Mark McKenna
DC $2.99


Matt T: All of the stories are starting to meld into one cohesive tale, but it feels a little forced. Piper has somehow found himself on Apokolips, as has just about everyone else, and the seemingly convenient manner in which the last few issues unfolded made it look less like there was a grand plan for Countdown, and more like this was a last minute attempt to make sense of it all. 5/10


DEAD OF NIGHT FEATURING MAN-THING #1
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasca
Art: Kano & Nick Percival
Marvel $3.99


Matt C: The cover and the presence of a ghoulish narrator should give you an indication of where the inspiration for this book is coming from. It’s a highly enjoyable, contemporary spin on the old EC style of storytelling and the character of Man-Thing turns out to be perfectly suited to this kind of treatment. Fans of old-school horror comics should check this out. 7/10


FANTASTIC FOUR #554
Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: I’ll keep this brief as Matt C has gone into great depth on the Ultimates team moving over to FF, but it seems to me that Millar has a decent handle on the characters. When and how things go tits-up for the secondary Earth being built hopefully won’t be as obvious as it looks, but right now the family interplay and sense of adventure are right there were they should be. 9/10


WONDER WOMAN #17
Writer: Gail Simone
Art Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson & Ron Randall
DC $2.99


Matt C: A bit of a lacklustre finale to Simone’s debut arc, and while its by no means enough of a disappointment that I won’t keeping picking up up this book, I was expecting something with a bit more wallop. I guess having another artist “assist” the Dodsons didn’t help matters, as unfortunately it was rather noticeable. 6/10


X-FACTOR #28
Writer:Peter David
Art: Pablo Raimondi & Jeromy Cox
Marvel $2.99


Matt T: With Rahne, aka Wolfsbane, buggering off to join X-Force this issue was pretty inevitable, although it’s nice to see Jamie’s powers being used in a creative manner. The search for Layla looks to be an intriguing one, and there are always a fair few surprises where X-Factor’s involved. 7/10


FANTASTIC FOUR: THE LOST ADVENTURE
Writers: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Art: Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott & Ron Frenz
Marvel $4.99


Matt C: It’s not the lost masterpiece some may be anticipating, and truthfully it’s a rather generic Lee/Kirby FF production, nowhere near their best. What does make this an enticing proposition is the package as a whole: you get the version of the story which is closest to what Kirby intended, you get a look at the King’s pencil art for the comic-that-was-not-to-be, and you get a reprint of the salvage job that was FF #108. Newbies curious to find out why the Lee/Kirby team was so revered should look elsewhere; this book is tailor-made for FF completists and Kirby collectors only. 7/10


SPOOKS #1
Writer: Ryan Schifrin & Larry Hama
Art: Adam Archer & Jonny Rench
Devil’s Due $3.50


Matt T: How many clich├ęs can you fit into a comic? Bloody hundreds if Spooks is anything to go by. A rogue agent of a shadowy government agency fighting werewolves and vampires takes on………. oh, I’m bored even writing about it! This may pick up later, but I won’t be there to find out. 3/10


GREEN LANTERN CORPS #21
Writer: Streling Gates
Artist: Nelson
DC $2.99


Matt C: After bigging up Peter Tomasi as the series’ new writer in my last review, this issue sees some guy called Sterling Gates on scripting duties. Not sure what’s going on and I assume Tomasi will be back before long (anyone know the skinny on this?) but as it stands this is a decent enough read which probably won’t mean anything unless you’re picking up the main Green Lantern title. 7/10


NEW EXILES #2
Writer: Chris Claremont & Tom Grummett
Art: Scott Hanna & Simon Bowland
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: Nice to see the Exiles back to doing what they do best, in a Marvel-Universe-meets-Quantum-Leap stylee. It isn’t a gripping or groundbreaking issue, but the team is back to righting interdimensional wrongs and that’s a winner by me. 7/10

1 comment:

Matt T said...

I'm not going to bother with X-Force I think, as it seems like there's going to be hundreds of X-related strike teams in the Marvel U over the next few months. I'll be interested to hear if anyone disagrees with my and Matt's assessment of Spider-man, as we seem to be agreeing with each other on the post-BND quality of the comic.