Monday, October 1, 2012

comics for the week of 09/26/12.

Including the review for last week's Unwritten first, since I didn't get to it last week.

Unwritten 41 - Wow. This was some real shit. Richie Savoy gets some hard truths and we see how their relationship is going to be so, so, so different from this point forward. We've already seen some of the future, so obviously they're going to reconcile, but this is really going to change things. It also explains more of the relationship between Savoy and Rausch that we've already seen. The ghosts were a good touch, and the acknowledgement of the meta-level story was great. Mike Carey is proving, month after month, that his name belongs on the list of writers who know exactly what they're doing. Tommy's journey of healing began here. Great issue.

*

Angel & Faith 14 - Still a better book than the mainline Buffy book. The characters feel real, their relationships feel like they matter and, as is driven home so many times in this issue, they have progressed. Angel, Faith, Willow and Connor, for as much as they may revisit the past (literally for all of them in this issue/arc) have changed in significant ways since their respective inceptions. Angel may have been a lackluster show in comparison to Buffy, but the ways in which the supporting cast have developed is no comparison to Buffy's stagnation. The journey to Quor'Toth finished, the gang all goes their separate ways, and the London Slayer crew gets a nasty surprise. Things are going to be tense as we draw ever nearer to the conclusion of Season 9.

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 3 - How perfect that this book ends with the words, "And so it begins." This is one of the two BW books that makes the whole experiment worthwhile, and I don't think that I'm saying that just because Jae Lee is on it, styling on fools. Lee's art is superb, some of the best in the game (ever?) but Len Wein's writing is exquisite! He really gets who Ozymandias is: an arrogant asshole. The contrast between he and the Comedian drives this issue, but it's the introduction of Dr. Manhattan that gets the biggest reaction out of Veidt. Little does he know how connected those two will be in his grand finale. Man. This is just great, great stuff.

Invincible 95 - And finally, we get the whole story of Amanda and Rex on the alien planet of Flaxan. Good stuff, especially from Cory Walker, whom I normally don't like as much. The story was touching, the comedy hit the right notes, and Rex is totally the type of guy who'd get carried away with power, thinking he was right in all aspects, and lose the babe and the planet. Bummer to see, but Kirkman certainly nailed it. The recap finally over, here's to hoping that next issue we see some forward momentum and that Mark can go back to starring in his own book. I love the side characters and I've enjoyed this story, but there's an overall arc to get back to and it involves Mark in a huge way - not to mention his own race.

Mind MGMT 5 - Almost to the end of Book 1 and we have many confessions in this issue, which the margins warn us we should not trust. It's an incredible read, and definitely the best book coming out right now, since Locke and Key is still on hiatus. The gorgeous art and the intricate storytelling are one of the best combos I've seen. The fact that Lyme and Meru's conversation in this issue primarily takes place over water, and that all of Lyme's stories happen on land can't be a coincidence. The Immortals showing up is no surprise, but the flashback (or wraparound, whatever you'd like to call it) was. It was delightful and made me want to go back and read issue one all over again. This is a series that I will enjoy time and time again, reading it in single issues as well as trades. The reveal with Lyme's wife makes it seem one way, but I'm still not convinced that's actually what it is.

Rachel Rising 11 - Well. This is certainly ramping up, huh? I mean, it started as a seemingly sleepy, small town type of thing, but now we're all the way up to epic levels of Good and Evil. OK. I can go with that. Terry Moore really does go for the gusto on pretty much every level, and I'm good with that. Oftentimes, it falls on its face, as the ending of SiP proved (it's difficult to change the story and still stick the landing) but when it works, as it did with Echo (especially for one issue [12?]) it's thematic goodness. We'll see how this one goes, could be either at this point. The good guys are down, the bad guys are up and it seems as though Manson is in for some trouble - that is, unless the plucky (male) detective can solve the mystery in time! OK, so I'm a bit cynical at this point. I have faith that it'll get better.

Ultimates 16 - It's kind of comical how quickly one man is able to solve everything, but in that aspect, this might be the most pure comic that I got this week. Cap is elected President, and he single-handedly brings the wartorn nation back together in what seems like a few hours. This is a crisis that the Ultimates all together, along with the United States government, couldn't handle, but Cap can do it. On the other hand, it's kind of the antithesis of the first and second volume of the Ultimates, where they tried to be hyperrealistic. I dig it. It's funny and not great writing (some of the leaps are more than chuckle-worthy) but I'm OK with it. Don't read it if you haven't already been following along, but the scope, the split with the 616, the sheer absurd scale of it...? It's worth it.

Book of the week goes to Mind MGMT. When you are the best book on the market, it's gonna take a knock-it-out-of-the-park issue from something else to dethrone you and that did not happen this week.

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