Saturday, December 10, 2005

New Comics Day: About Damned Time!

Alright, so I got some comics last weekend and haven't posted yet but I've been a busy boy. Sue me.

And away we go!

Ultimate Secret #s 1-4-
I think I'm one of the few who downright really liked Ultimate Nightmare. Ultimate Secret wore on me, though. Here's why.

I bought Ultimate War (the Mark Millar/Chris Bachalo X-Men/Ultimates crossover from when the universe was young) and was treated to four issues of prologue to what was to be continued in the pages of Ultimate X-Men. Read: Ultimate X-Men wasn't selling like Ultimates so let's cross them over and lead them into the X-Men book. Lame.

Miniseries where nothing happens piss me off. Ultimate Nightmare was okay because a lot of action and some semblance of horror snuck in. I was okay with not being totally satisfied by the end. Ultimate Secret comes around and I'm getting a little bored. It's the second part of trilogy of miniseries being told in 13-14 issues when the whole thing could have been in 5. I know this.

Warren Ellis writes great dialogue with the new Mahr-Vell (whom I'm totally down with) but it gets lost in so much techno-jargon that I almost turned the pages only to look at the pretty art by Steve McNiven.

Until the third issue where McNiven is replaced by Tom Raney. Don't get me wrong, I like Raney. I really like Raney. I super-dig Ellis/Raney! But can't Marvel keep an artist on a book for longer than 2 issues?

I'm a little meh over the whole thing.

House of M-
Yeah, I only picked up the last 2 issues and the Decimation follow-up but I figured I'd read the whole series through at once to give it a fair shake (it was boring me at around issue 2). What a lame duck series this was. If Bendis actually made me care about any of the characters that he killed/depowered then maybe it might work.

He killed White Tiger, which I enjoyed. He killed Hawkeye, which I thought was a shame but still enjoyed. He brings Hawkeye back to life (sorta) and expects it to shock people when he's been dead for like 5 months. Now he depowers all of the mutants save 200 or so.

All those cool mutants Morrison and Quitely created in New X-men. Nope, no longer mutants.

I'll be putting this all on eBay very soon methinks.

Fell #3-
I consistently love Fell. It's rad. Super rad.

Ellis writes cops so well it makes me wonder why he keeps writing the same superhero story over and over (oh yeah, the money).

This issue breaks away from the 12 panel grid they've stuck to so diligently in previous issues. It still appears but it's a little freer in this one. A man tries to blow himself up in the store where the old lady who owns it provided the gun to the person who shot his brother. Detective Fell tries to talk him out of it. The characterization between Fell and the bomber is priceless:

"Hello. I'm a suicide bomber."
"I can see that."

It seems I'll be buying this book until it really starts to suck. At least until they tell the story of the nun with a gun!

Infinite Crisis #2-
I don't really know what to think of this book. I don't like Power Girl, Supergirl or any of that mess. I don't tend to enjoy the multi-earthed pre-Crisis DC either. It seems that is where they are floating to once again.

Johns' usually stellar dialogue fell flat on me this time. There were some nice moments, though. Joker killing the King of Spades being the high point.

It may have to be read as a whole.

All-Star Superman #1-
I'll premise this by saying that I haven't read a Superman comic since he died.

I loved this issue. It's a #1 so you have to retell the origin. The one page origin leading into the godlike iconic image of Supes was gold. Gold, I tells ya!

I loved the "God Superman" contrast against the bumbling Clark Kent like the olden days. I liked the moment with him and Lois and was a little surprised Morrison went there in the first issue but I won't question him.

Quitely's art looks sparkling even though he can't draw bald people (Lex Luthor) without making them look like Cassandra Nova. Even Xavier looked more like Cassandra and she was the clone of him! Weird.

I'm in for the ride on this one. It's how Superman should be. Way better than Frank Miller's "creepy uncle" take on Batman.

Teen Titans #s 27 and 28-
I'm not sure whether I am a completist or a glutton for punishment. I validated buying this because Gail Simone wrote it. She wrote on of my favourite miniseries of the year: Secret Six!

Alas, she succumbed to writing a two-issue fill-in arc for Liefeld to get the chance to draw Hawk, Dove and Kestrel again. Hawk & Dove was Liefeld's first pro work and he hasn't improved over 17 years! In fact his old stuff was better because it wasn't so overdrawn.

The writing is the saving grace? Nope. I could write these comics at 12. Seriously, I was writing this kind of comic story when I was twelve. Maybe if you're good I'll show them to you someday.

I'm going to go file these away and pretend I never bought them.

They Won't Stay Dead-
Next to All-Star Superman, this one is my fave of the week. It comes courtesy of Stacie over at Final Girl.

Ever read a silent comic? Okay, only few of you. For those who have, ever read a silent comic that was both cute, hilarious and left you with a sense of dread? Didn't think so. Okay, one or two. But I bet the ones you read didn't feature stick people! Stick people fending off stick zombies!

I loved it. You folks know of my zombie fetish but this one is refreshing. It pulls out all the earmarks of zombie films (mostly of Romero zombie films) but does it with a satiric and lighthearted angle that makes it sort of like the Shaun of the Dead comic featuring stick zombies. I really like typing "stick zombies."

The drawing is better than you think when you hear "stick zombies." I find horror comics a hard sell because the reader has too much control. With a movie you're along for the ride and all you can do is pause it and take a deep breath. Horror pacing in a movie is essential.

It gets lost in comics because it's damn near impossible to mimic that pacing. Where a comic can succeed is emotion. Stacie Ponder puts more emotion into a stick figure's face with 2 eyes, a brow and a mouth than Bryan Hitch or Greg Land can do sometimes with their hyper-realistic style.

Stacie! I eagerly await "They Still Won't Stay Dead" or "They Won't Stay Dead Again" or "I Know What You Did When You Weren't Staying Dead." In order for me to see a sequel you must all go to Stacie's blog, get her email contact and send her $1.50 (for you Yankees) and $2 (for you 'Nucks) via Paypal to get your own copy.

Whew! I'll be back over the next few days with movie stuff, story stuff and general monotony of my life.

In the meantime: go check out my comic eBay auction extravaganza!!!

2 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

Blogger Stacie Ponder said...

Wha! You are far far too kind, my friend! But thank you very, very much. I'm glad you like the book and I do plan on doing more stick books in other horror sub-genres. Yay! Who needs rendering? :D

I'm not a Superman fan at all, but I picked up All-Star #1 because I just adore the Morrison/Quitely duo, and I absolutely loved this book, for all the reasons you cited here. I can't wait for the rest of it, thought it'll probably take several years!

Thanks again- you made my day!!

2:36 am  
Blogger Des said...

No worries, thanks for the great book. Would a Stick-Cenobite be too much to ask? ;)

ASS (he he) shouldn't take too long (hopefully). DC solicited issue 3 for January (Lois turns into a Kryptonian Superwoman!)

6:07 am  

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