Buffy. This, the fourth and final part of Vaughan's arc, is better than the last three, but still not what I would call good. Buffy writers, on the commentaries to the episodes, all say that when someone compliments some scene, it is a scene Joss has written. I have a hunch the stuff I like here -- the ending, the darker Giles -- is Whedon's work, while the stuff I do not like -- the dialog, the death of that girl and that guy who was working with her, is Vaughan. Just a hunch. That force field thing is from a Fantastic Four issue, maybe Ellis, maybe Miller, maybe some earlier writer. The art continues to be dowdy. And you want to see some lazy art, check out Faith's little devil tee-shirt. Bad enough the "symbolism" (if you can call it that) has to be so painfully obvious, but worse -- the devil icon has been lifted by the artist and placed on her shirt REGARDLESS OF THE SHAPE OF HER BODY. It does not curve where she curves. Don't do that, Just do not do that. Sheesh. Though it is not happening at an Aaron Sorkin Studio 60 rate, Whedon is burning through my goodwill here.
The Order. Kitson, who I like more and more every issue, just does the layouts here. That was not always true right? And is that the new status quo? The art in this issue is good, but some charm might have gotten lost in the translation, maybe. (I say "maybe" a lot on comics out posts, because these are first impressions).
Ultimates 3. I almost was going to like the art here -- I liked Madureura on the X-Men ten years ago -- but the monotone color palate drains it of any energy. Bachalo often uses a monotone color palate, but I like it there. I am not 100% sure what the difference is, but there is a big one because I love Bachalo and Ultimates got me really frustrated. Is it that Bachalo knows the right moment when to make an icon pop off the page? Cause check out the Loeb's introduction of Captain America. You don't remember how Captain America was introduced in Ultiamtes 3 #1? No one does -- that was how unbelievably dull it was. This was the worst introduction of a main character I can think of since Superman Returns. This thing reads like a 90s Youngblood issue, complete with poster-ready splash pages of anatomically bizarre women (the placement of her nipples is just absurd), AND the cliched intro of your team in a big splash ready fight with a monster in the opening sequence so you can introduce all your heroes. If that was not bad enough check out this horrible exposition:
"It's like Clint Barton died with his family and the only one left is Hawkeye, Tony's locked himself into his bedroom drinking his way into oblivion, Thor is shacked up with a nineteen year old girl who turned up here six weeks ago with the powers of a "goddess" and no real explanation for it, I still can't get security clearance for the Panther, except that Cap vouches for him and ... [Dr. Pim overdoses]."
She might as well be on the very first page, speaking the "previously on the Ultimates" recap. I am not asking for the Wire or anything (that show just drops you in and wonderfully assumes you will be smart enough to figure everything out), but at least watch some of Whedon's better work and see how you do exposition. I am never getting this again.
In comics news this week, One More Day continues to do what everyone sadly expects it to do.
Review, recommend and discuss the comics you got this week. Click the labels to read my first impressions of earlier issues of the titles discussed here.