Monday, November 28, 2011

comics for the week of 11/23/11.

The shock of the DCnU is fading a bit. There's things about it that kill me still, but, overall, I just don't care enough to continue raging against it. The couple good books are great, but overall...I'm just tired of it.

Fantastic Four 600 - 100 pages of amazing. This book was frustratingly priced when I bought it, but I don't understand how anyone could regret paying for it after reading it. What a great read. Every single story was good, the different illustrators all brought their strengths and we've got several stories that are still intriguingly going. There were some resolutions, but not many; more like halfway points. Hickman's got a gift for the long view and I'm really enjoying the way he's weaving together disparate elements. Johnny Storm's story is the one everyone's going to be talking about, but I think it's clear that Franklin Richards has been the simmering star of this book since Hickman's taken over. This is just another aspect where Marvel, tragically/unbelievably not DC, has been pushing their legacies in a true, meaningful way.

The Flash 3 - Perhaps my least favorite issue of this run so far. Manapul's art is as beautiful as ever, but it's just not enough. The story is cool enough, I guess, but I'm having a hard time caring about Barry and his relationship with this woman, when we all know that Iris is waiting in the background. Plus, his buddy, whose name I can't even remember, doesn't feel like a character I care about, nor should. He's been introduced, I've been fed their retconned history, but I don't believe that he's going to stick around, so why get attached? The biggest compliment I can muster for this iteration of the Flash is that I would love to own any page of the original artwork.

Invincible 85 - I'm not going to insist on my viewpoint having to be right, but damn, how great would it be, after Oliver's monologue in this issue, if he ended up having to protect Earth from his brother? Robert Kirkman has such a wide lense available to him insofar as storytelling and it's magnificent to see that he's able to continue in such diverse ways. The only bad note on this book was Cory Walker's art, which is a sad thing to say, given that he's the OG, but let's all just be honest: Ryan Ottley is a far superior talent. The art looked flat compared to Ottley's brilliance and it took away from the story, even if just slightly. The battle between Nolan and Allen has been brewing for a while now, and I'm looking forward to seeing the two of them truly go at it.

Locke & Key One-Shot - I had told myself that I was going to stop buying the individual issues of Locke & Key. The wait between issues is just too frustrating, and the hardcover trades are just too appealing, so it made little sense to spend double on this title. But I just couldn't resist its appeal on the shelves and I was right not to. At first blush, this book seems like a short, unnecessary read. But upon reading the guide to the keys in the back and going back through the story to see who the characters actually are, and their relation to the characters we know, it seems like some of this info might come back in a useful way. Bode's hand-drawn additions to that appendix, also, are a totally great touch, indicative of the level of thought that's going into this title, making it the best comic book on the market.

The Unwritten 31.5 - The backstory of Pullman - and he's old as hell! I mean, we knew that, but damn. This got the point fives off to a great start and now I'm looking forward to these supplements even more than I was when I first heard of the idea. I loved the mini-stories, each with its own art team, and I loved the fact that the character they were profiling didn't even appear in each. This is how a story can truly be broken down (or decompressed, if you prefer that Bendis-ian term) in a way that is enlightening for the reader, not just padding for the company.

Wolverine and the X-Men 2 - This is what I've been waiting for! The X-Men are not only good again, they're great. Bachelo's art is hitting the spot and Jason Aaron (remarkably) is writing this book in the perfect manner: it's got nods to the past (check the big bad) and a deft handling of a group cast. I can see myself reading and loving this book for a long, long time. The only bad note is the acknowledgement that, yes, the kiddie Hellfire Club is ridiculous. I can't take them seriously. If they get replaced or aged, this book will be perfect.

Book of the week would have been Wolvie, but Fantastic Four was just too epic. If this isn't your book of the week, that's because you didn't pick it up and if that's the case, you made a huge mistake.

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