7 Sept 2008

Mini Reviews 7/9/2008

Neither 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: Dan Slott
Art: John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: One thing I do like about the current incarnation of ASM is the regularity. I haven't had time to get pissed off and remember why I gave it up in the first place, and the current issue at least follows on from the relatively promising premise of the first. I'm hoping that the multiple new villains thrown in initially will be expanded on a bit further than the odd obligatory page or two. Anti-Venom has got some legs by the looks of it, and the appearance of Menace will hopefully clear up something of his origins. 8/10

Matt C: Great stuff again: Venom battles the new Anti-Venom - with Spidey caught in the middle - while Norman Osborn looks on, waiting for the right moment to strike. Romita Jr rarely lets you down, and Slott is proving all those fans who said he would be a great Spider-Man scribe right. 8/10

Writer: Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham
Art: Luca Rossi & Sean Murphy
DC/Vertigo $2.99

Matt T: The end of the first arc for the House Of Mystery brings about some semblance of an explanation of the origins of the eponymous house, but doesn't shun the refreshing weirdness that's been running through since the beginning. With the conclusion presenting yet more questions I'll be intrigued to see what the next run delivers. 8/10

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Jonathan Hickman
Image $3.50

Matt C: The delays have inevitably hampered the flow of the story, which is unfortunate for readers picking this up in single-issue doses rather than waiting for the trade. That said, it’s still an exceptional piece of work with Hickman continuing to push the brilliant concept into unexpected territory, not just through the intelligent writing but also with his incredibly distinctive art style. Unless he drops the ball with the final installment, we’re looking at a contender for best miniseries of 2008. 8/10

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

Matt T: We're heading towards the conclusion of Angel, and there's already been a decent amount of double-crossing, back-stabbing and revenge before the home straight. The amount of plot threads still hanging does make me think at least one story will be short-changed, but it's still far enough from predictable to keep me interested. 7/10

Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: J.J. Williams III
DC $2.99

Matt C: I will continue to dip into this series if they continue to bring in some of the most exciting artists working today for the occasional guest stint. What you have here is another atmospheric self-contained Western tale with a twist that is enlivened by J.H. Williams III’s often striking use of panel layouts. Hardly breaking new ground in the genre but worthwhile all the same. 7/10

Writer: Jay Faerber
Art: Yildiray Cina & Ryan Vera
Image $3.50

Matt T: As I'm getting ever closer to becoming a card-carrying Jay Faerber fanboy, I'm starting to appreciate his original pre-Dynamo 5 superhero family, the Nobles, even more. The old school superheroics combined with some good old family drama really meshes together nicely, and the fights are well crafted and drawn with plenty of gusto. My only slight criticism would be that the pacing is a little lumpy, but otherwise this keeps up the level of quality that I've come to expect from Mr Faerber. 9/10

Writers: Various
Art: Various
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I’m not about to try and convince anyone enjoying The Twelve that this is an essential read or that it features enlightening backstory for some of the characters - these are Golden Age reprints afte all, and back in the 1940s stuff like continuity, depth and logic weren’t really things creators were especially fussed about. The five tales included here are entertaining from a historical perspective but it’s not hard to tell why the likes of Captain America and the Sub-Mariner have remained popular throughout the following decades, while Rockman, Mr. E and Fiery Mask vanished completely until Straczynski resurrected them. It’s also a testament to Straczynski’s abilities that he’s taken such uninspiring knock-offs and injected them with real humanity. Get this if you’re a fan of comics history rather than if you’re a fan of The Twelve. 7/10

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