Friday, June 3, 2011

comics for the week of 06/01/11.

I missed the last two weeks, but I'm not going to play catch up. Instead, let's talk about DC's new approach relaunch everything! I'm not a fan. I don't like being pandered to, and I feel like this is pandering in the largest sense possible. But, perhaps, I'll get into this in more detail soonish. For now, some notes on some books.

Abin Sur: Green Lantern 1 (of 3) - An interesting look at what might have been. Abin Sur is a great template for any GL story and he's used to perfection here. The contrast between him and Sinestro is striking, and even more so, the ways in which he and Hal approach the Guardians; some similarities, sure, but... I loved the last page with Sinestro and Atrocitus and am willing to buy this side mini-series, even though I usually veto things of this nature. The only way it would be better is if Johns was writing it, although Adam Schlagman does a fine enough job, but especially if someone else was on the art duties. This book calls for something other than the super cartoony tone, which is all I got out of it thus far. Not bad art, by any means, but not really fleshing out the tone of the book, in my opinion, either.

Flashpoint 2 (of 5) - The source of all the controversy! The book that I was barely even willing to buy! turns out that it's pretty good. The art by Andy Kubert is solid and the writing from Johns even feels like there are little subtle nods to everyone about what's going on and what's happened in the past. ("What kind of name is Eobard?" I love it!) The real pull to things like this is the trivia (that's why they're good in small doses, like the five-issue miniseries we have here, not the company-wide relaunching they're aiming for) so, naturally, I'm curious as to who the Gimp/Sonar is in the beginning of the book. But it's great to see Aquaman and Wonder Woman freed as the primal forces they always could have been. The intrigue with Thomas Wayne is a great thing, too, but it plays out a little too much like Bruce here. I suppose that's the point, but it's over the top by the end. Speaking of the end, I like the twist and wish they'd go forward with something along these lines, but we all know that won't be the case. Regardless, Flashpoint has turned into a solid read and I'm sure that, with what we know of the ramifications looming at the end of August, it'll shove plenty onto our plates in the next few issues.

Shield 1 - Great issue, super confusing, tons of fun, and felt like only a part of the story. This could be the one-line description for every single issue of Shield we've gotten so far. As I said above with the DC renumbering idea, I'm not a fan of arbitrarily going back to number one. I get that they're different stories, but it's still the same book; why not keep the numbering? Aside from that small complaint, I think this was a nice re-intro to the series. Someone who hadn't read the first ... chapter (?) could conceivably pick this up and not be too lost. (At least, not more lost than me, and I read the whole thing.) The battle lines are drawn between Newton and da Vinci, but I get the feeling that we'll be learning more backstory and filling in the gaps with Tesla and Leonid in this arc than actually seeing the battle, or the outcome. I'm fine with that, of course, because Hickman is just doing a great job with this idea. I did wonder as I was reading through the character bios at the back, if there were any living relatives of Newton's to whom Hickman's going to owe an apology (or more) to. Great stuff, as always.

Book of the week goes to Flashpoint for making me eat my words. I love it when a comic turns out better than I thought it was going to be, and that's the case when Geoff Johns plots an event. It's almost always better than I anticipate, and that's always a good thing. I love the alternate-world idea, always have, and am intrigued by what's going to happen here in this world to affect our own so drastically. (I know, I know! They're not different worlds. This is our world. Deal with it.) If you weren't picking up Flashpoint before the August 31 news, I'm sure you are now.

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