31 Mar 2008

Mini Reviews 30/03/08

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.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: JM Ringuet
Image $3.50

Matt C: Jonathan Hickman scores again with this enthralling documentary-style look at two companies involved in kick-starting mankind’s next evolutionary leap. Stylistically more conventional than Pax Romana thanks to JM Ringuet’s appealing artwork, it’s nevertheless another striking example of Hickman displaying the versatility and possibilities inherent in the comic book medium. 8/10

Matt T: Being unfamiliar with Jonathan Hickman’s work I gave this a crack expecting something different, and I definitely got that. The storytelling wasn’t standard comic fare in pacing or format, but the documentary style worked well as an introduction. It’s not a new trick by any means, and I get the feeling the series will work better as a single collected edition, but I’m at least intrigued. 7/10

Writer: Paul Dini w/ Adam Beechen
Art: Jim Starlin & Rodney Ramos
DC $2.99

Matt C: Not quite as “good” as last week’s issue, but Jesus, was it depressing!!! And has the series really been leading up to the resurrection of an old Kirby character?! With only four issues to go, no matter how entertaining they may or may not be, it’s pretty clear nothing can prevent this series from being viewed as a gigantic folly on DC’s part. 6/10

Matt T: Well, everyone’s dead. Is it an alternative universe? Or will there be some time travel effort involved? 20 issues ago, I might have cared. 30, and I might have even been intrigued. Now, I just want this series to end, so I can have every issue to truly appreciate how good 52 was. 4/10

Writer: David Lapham
Art: Tony Harris & Jim Clark
Marvel $3.99

Matt T: Up to this point this book has been trundling along like a pleasant trip down memory lane, with the odd contemporary reference to set it out from the norm, but otherwise being an interesting reminder of what Spidey used to be like. The end presents an nice twist, and might make the last two issues something more than pure nostalgia. 7/10

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Paul Azaceta
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: You kind of wish a ray of light would shine of Matt Murdock every once in a while because, no matter how well plotted this title may be, it is unremittingly bleak. In his guise as Daredevil, Murdock has fallen off the edge once more and spends his evenings pummelling petty crooks to a pulp in Hell’s Kitchen. There’s some nice work from Paul Azaceta – last seen on Potter’s Field – and colourist Matt Hollingsworth ensures the books distinctive, gritty look remains intact. While it may not be up to some of the peaks it’s reached in the past this is still a compelling read, but it might be nice to see Brubaker cut the titular hero some slack! 7/10

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Gary Erksine
Virgin $2.99

Matt T: I’m glad that I’ve stuck with this book now, as the story is gaining pace. I found a technique that helps: forgetting this is a Dan Dare book. As a piece of straight sci-fi it’s getting far more entertaining, and final battle should be a corker after a muddled start to this series. 8/10

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mark Bagley, Mark Djurdjevic & Danny Miki w/ Allen Martinez
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: Djurdjevic’s panels are exquisite and I have to admit I did enjoy some of Doom’s dialogue, but as usual Bendis’ writing style proves to be a bad fit for the Avengers. There’s too much irritating histrionic behaviour amongst the team members and most of the threats are treated in an offhand manner. There are kernels of fantastic ideas buried beneath the plots, but Bendis rushes through things at such a frenetic pace none of those ideas are given room to breathe and germinate. Yeah, so for all intents and purposes we’re shown which one of the team is a Skrull, but when you reach that part it’s more of a “yeah, whatever” moment than an amazing revelation. And I guess that sums up my feelings for this book: yeah, whatever. 5/10

Matt T: Let’s been honest, the Mighty Avengers has been about Ms Marvel, Iron Man and Sentry, with the other characters turning up from time to time to spout some pithy comment. I clean forgot the Wasp was even involved, and Ares has become a comical Thor knock-off with half the powers and personality. Matt C’s spot on with the artwork comments though, but I get the feeling the talent would be better spent elsewhere. 5/10

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
DC $2.99

Matt C: It’s questionable whether we need another rehashing of GL’s origin (if it is necessary, surely it’s more suitable for a mini?), but this time it seems to be tying in to next year’s Blackest Night event so it might possibly make more sense in forthcoming issues. Gripes aside, Johns has such a firm grasp on the Lantern mythos that you find yourself willing to follow him wherever he leads you. 7/10

Writer: James Kuhoric
Art: Jason Craig
Wildstorm $2.99

Matt T: Blimey, that was one heck of ride. Just as I was starting to lose faith in the comic incarnations of Army of Darkness this superb book pulls it out of the fire. Granted, anyone who's seen a halfway-decent horror flick knows how this should - and does - end, but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been fun. Freddy at his malevolent best, Jason being harder to kill than a cockroach and Ash kicking ass and taking names. What more could you want? 9/10

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