22 Jun 2008

Mini Reviews 22/6/2008

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.

Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Steve McNiven & Dexter Vines
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: I was wary, but this turned out to be pretty damn good. It’s been mentioned elsewhere – and it’s unavoidable really – but it’s hard not to be constantly reminded of Clint Eastwood’s classic Unforgiven when reading this. It’s almost certainly an intentional reference – McNiven even renders Logan to look like a latter-day, grizzled Clint. My only concern is Millar’s plan to crossover this story with his current work on Fantastic Four and 1985 which, on paper, sounds like a ridiculous idea. You never know, he may make it work if he keeps whatever idea he’s got lined up unobtrusive since it would be a shame if this promising opening is derailed by some unnecessary intertextual nonsense. 8/10

Writer: Jay Faerber
Art: Jon Sommarvia
Image $3.50

Matt C: On it’s way to becoming the best thing I’ve read by Faerber, Gemini continuously wrong-foots the reader with its twists and surprises. An original premise brought to colourful life by some witty dialogue and exuberant art from Sommariva, this is tremendous fun from start to finish. 8/10

Writer: Peter David
Art: Valentine De Landro & Drew Hennessy
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: The (eventual) end of this X-Factor arc couldn’t come quickly enough for me, as it’s been dragging a fair bit. The team has potential, but the confines of Mutant Town - which doesn’t have too many mutants anymore - have become seriously stifling. The art is consistent enough, and works well for the feel of the book, and I’m interested to see how the next story will pan out. 7/10

Writer: Ed Burns & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Siju Thomas
Virgin Comics $2.99

Matt C: Funny how quickly the possibilities suggested by the first issue evaporated - Dock Walloper has since revealed itself to be nothing more than a massively uninspired rehash of just about every period gangster cliché you could think of. And Ed Burns sees this as a potential stepping stone to a feature film adaptation? Ain’t gonna happen. The only thing that really stood out has been Siju Thomas’s tonally perfect art and the efficient use of colour by both Thomas and R.C. Prakash. 4/10

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Paul Pelletier & Rick Magyar
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: It’s not quite found its feet yet, but Guardians Of The Galaxy continues to show every indication that – once it does – it’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The character’s are all distinctive from one another, the snappy banter mean it rolls along smoothly and Pelletier whips up some terrific cosmic action sequences. Adam Warlock is slowly revealing himself as the group’s most interesting member, but he’s got some stiff competition for that title which indicates this book will never be anything less than entertaining. 7/10

Writer: Mark Andrew Smith
Art: Marcelo Di Chiara
Image $3.99

Matt C: It’s an amusing idea, if slightly one-note, but it only manages to vaguely entertain intermittently. I guess I’m getting a little fed up seeing yet another postmodern variation on some very familiar archetypes. Oh, look! That character’s like Superman! And that one’s like Spider-Man! It’s funny at first, but the joke has well and truly been worn thin now and only something truly radical will bring the laughter again. I had thought this was the beginning of a new series but all signs point to it being a one shot. Either way, one issue’s more than enough for me. 5/10

Writer: Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch
Art: Nick Runge
IDW $3.99

Matt T: After moaning about the art for a fair few issues, the artist was duly changed. Unfortunately, it’s still awful. Towards the end of this issue there even seems to be either a honking big mistake on the part of Nick Runge or a poorly indicated hallucination, as Wesley switches from current suited appearance to old-style stubble-and-shirt then back again with little reason as to why. The story itself is a little confusing in places, but the nods to previous series of the TV show are gratifying for a longtime fan. 6/10

Writer & Art: Jamie Smart
SLG $3.50

Matt C: Moments of surreal genius hold my interest but overall this second issue is too scattershot to be truly great. I think I miss the Garfield-on crack madness of BearUbu Bubu doesn’t quite have the characters to really make me go for it in a big way. Smart’s an extraordinary talent but sometimes his demented stream-of-consciousness approach can lose the reader along the way. 6/10

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Davide Furno

DC/Vertigo $2.99

Matt C: Last month I caught up with the last six issues of Scalped after not feeling I was getting the full experience on a monthly basis. It did the trick, absorbing me straight into its dangerous world, and solidified its status in my mind as something of a masterpice in comic book writing, a multi-layered crime epic that could take on some of HBO’s best dramas with its riveting, complex characterization. The issue is semi self-contained, focusing on a single member of the supporting cast, Officer Franklin Fall Down: it’s dark , desolate but utterly fascinating and - now that Y: The Last Man has ended - it's taken its rightful place as the best series Vertigo are currently publishing. 9/10

Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Art: Ed Benes
DC $2.99

Matt T: Great looking, intelligently written, with the only real downside being how bloody long it takes to come out! Keeping Red Tornado in the spotlight is an excellent move by Dwayne McDuffie, as he’s a character I’m not massively familiar with. The various twists and turns are working well, I just hope I don’t have to wait two months for the next one. 8/10

Writer: Matt Wagner
Art: Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment $3.50

Matt C: I really want to enjoy this but while I appreciate what Wagner and Francavilla are doing, I get a sense that the book is being a bit too respectful and playing it safe. I’ll persevere for a while longer but if it doesn’t shift gear I’ll be knocking it on the head. 6/10

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