Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Comics Out 10 January 2007

The only book I picked up this week was Runaways, which has always been a bit of a lame duck book, since I am getting it only as a background to Whedon's run. Don't get me wrong, it has things to recommend it, but, on my own, I would have stopped reading when they removed the main conflict at the end of the first run (before they started re-numbering).

I did, trolling reviews on Newsarama, find a few other reasons to hate Civil War 6 (in addition to the ones I mentioned in the comments to last week's comics out post): why is Susan's underwater breathing thing a mask with cords to her ears? Is the point of that scene really a recap? And why did Cap let the Punisher on the team after he killed to C-List villains and then freak out after he killed two D-List Villains? On the plus side I did discover the purpose of the Dr. Strange scene, and I will give it to the writers and admit I missed it -- it is to show that there will be no deus ex machina, and thus a necessary scene for building tension. Issue still sucked, even if that scene had a point.

As usual recommend, review, discuss.


TonPo said...

New JSA was pretty good. The only good book Johns is writing right now, which says a lot (IMO) since before IC he was banging out some genuinelly good character books.

Tales of the Unexpected was some of Lapham's weaker Spectre stories, and the Dr. 13 got so caught up in making the crazy crazy it seems to have lost sight of...what was it again?...oh yeh! Storytelling! (It could be argued that Azzarellos entire run on the book has been like this, but I think he took it a bit too far to reign in this time)

Nightly News is awesome.

Phonogram continues to be irritatingly charming in that music-snob, anglophelic kind of way.

Ping33 said...

I threw this out last week but now I'm ready to defend it...

Exterminators is THE best $2.99 Monthly comic!

contradict me.

Ping33 said...

Runaways: I see where you're coming from except for the facts that:

a) Alphona rules and I can't see the new guy injecting half as much whimsy and character into his art


b) The "return" of Alex Wilder and subsequent changes to Chase have been some of the best plot-points in EITHER series.

I admit that V2 has been far less focused than V1. But it's highs have been higher and its lows have been lower which is something which I would think that Mr. Klock would appreciate. I have zero faith that the book will be any better as a whole once Whedon takes over. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a nifty idea or two to kick things off with, but Alphona and BKV breathe life into these characters... how could that improve?!

Patrick said...

Highs from Runaways V2:

The reveal of Victor’s father.

Karolina finally coming out.

Vaugahn presenting us with a priest character who is not a self-righteous bigot and/or a pedophile. (I’m Catholic)

The beautifully written and dignified death of a major character.

A convincing heel turn by another major character as a result of that death.


Lows from Runaways V2:

The far too easy defeat of Victor’s father by a B-list superhero team.

Karolina being booted off the team the same issue she came out.

Dagger’s assailant leaves a glove at the scene of the attack. A freaking glove? Come on man!

Vaughan using cheap stereotypes about priests as sex offenders to foster suspense. (I’m Catholic)

Xavin. Specifically trying to sell (the clearly male) Xavin as a lesbian.

Geoff Klock said...

Ping: I have got to get exterminators. I agree that Alphona is good -- particularly on those Werewolves -- and I agree that a big strength of the book, as it is a strength of Whedon's, is to let characters change. I just don't have any idea why I am not more enamored of it. I guess the low points you and Patrick mention were too low for me, and I like, but don't love Alphona (again I really don't know why). I will have to think on this.

Patrick -- I agree with all your highs and lows -- for some reason the result is not as memorable in my mind. Like for some reason I don't remember the priest.

Ken said...

I totally agree with you about Runaways. The book is very charming, but there is something about v2 that has made it hard to keep my attention.

v1 was much sharper, and I stopped reading v2 after "the death".

James said...

All I got this week was Runaways and Green Lantern Corps. I really like (GLC artist) Patrick Gleason; there was a great moment last issue where Guy Gardner points his finger like a gun, and after he has "fired" an arc of green light shows there was some "recoil". I also thought last issue's writing was reasonably fun, aside from the excruciating closing pun (it turns out there is a black ops division of the Corps, called - wait for it - the Green Lantern Corpse. Vomit). Unfortunately, this issue did the story-telling equivalent of expanding upon that pun for 20-whatever pages. Boy am I sick of picking up titles just to drop them an issue later.

I am in the "don't love" Runaways camp, but then I have only read the last two issues and the rubbish Civil War tie-in. Still, I'm yet to be convinced that I should splash out on the hardcovers to catch up.

I very nearly picked up the All-New, All-Different Thunderbolts, but resisted because the Speedball thing sounds awful, and because I didn't see anything on a quick flick-through that grabbed me. If you're going to make Norman Osborn look like a Hollywood actor, why choose Tommy-Lee Jones and not Willem Dafoe?

Mitch said...

I think overall, the Civil War title would be improved if Millar and McNiven sent in more troops.

Didn't get to Midtown yesterday, but all I've got my eye on is Agents of Atlas, which concludes. So far, AoA has been an enjoyable experiment in revitalizing Marvel's 1950's properties.

Also, I'm just now reading Dan Slott's run on The Thing in trade form. Good wholesome stuff.

Anyone else fortunate to play the remarkable Marvel: Ultimate Alliance game? It's brilliant.

brad said...

I just picked up three weeks of comics. All Star Superman was inspired once again. It completely elevates the entire medium. This is a rare book. I always wondered what it would be like to have had to wait between issues of Watchmen or seen Star Wars in a packed 1977 movie theater. Now I know.

The same goes for Civil War. Just kidding. That book officially sucks. And I liked issues 4 & 5.

Pat - Savage Dragon is awesome. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. I think Larson is completely agenda-free. He shoots from the hip, creating a gushing flow of consciousness fed by every comic book he's ever read. Sometimes it's stupid. Sometimes it's sweet. And somehow in his chaotic, Jack Kirby universe, I sometimes find myself surprisingly moved.

I just caught up on reading all the posts from the last few weeks. Was Astonishing that forgettable?

brad said...

Just found the AXM posts from the 28th! There it is.

hcduvall said...

I don't know what you people are talking about. This Civil War thing is awesome.

Though obviously, I couldn't be bothered to pay money for it.

hcduvall said...

I'm sorry, I hadn't read that far down...they gave Venom eyes?

Mitch said...

That parody is infinitely better than the actual 6th issue.

Geoff Klock said...

Ken: good, I was starting to feel lonely.

James: Wow, Corpse, that's bad.

Mitch: Ultimate Alliance actually contacted me to help promote the game, but then stopped contact with me. I think whatever promotion plan they had fell through.

Brad: well said.

HCduvall: that parody is great, but I am not following you on the "eyes" thing.

hcduvall said...

If that's Venom in the big faceoff towards the end, he has these beady little eyes that look weird to me.

Matt Brady said...

Ping: I'll pick up the gauntlet, sort of. I dropped Exterminators around the third issue; it wasn't doing anything for me. So obviously I disagree; I don't think it's even the best Vertigo book. I'll take Y: The Last Man, Fables, Jack of Fables, and Testament over it. Even Loveless, although I dropped that one too.

As for Runaways, I love that book. I agree with most of the highs Patrick mentioned (I'm not Catholic, and the Karolina stuff went over my head; I'll have to reread volume 1 and keep an eye out for that), but I don't necessarily agree with the lows. Especially the comment about Xavin; since those two characters returned to the book, we see that very complaint being addressed. I think Vaughan is writing them well; Karolina mostly went along with him because of an obligation to stop a war, and now she's realizing it's not working out (especially after the stunt he pulled this issue).

Matt Brady said...

As for deus ex machinas in Civil War, I thought they were setting up the woman at the monument as a possible one. I was thinking she's Loki in disguise or something, saying things like, "I can't believe what I said led you on this course of action." Not that this makes any of it worthwhile.

Geoff Klock said...

Matt: yeah, I noticed that too, but I feel like it is something they should not do, though god know they might chose to screw it up even more by going that direction.