Saturday, June 03, 2006

So many comics so little time

The last few days I had little time to write about the comics I read because of the comic fair in Stuttgart, the preparations for Erlangen, my job and all the other things like bad translations. This week I had no intention to go to the comic shop because my brother went on Thursday to get his new comics. But since Monday is a holiday and issue 25 of Superman / Batman has finally come out I decided to go anyway. Like I mentioned in one of my first postings I stopped reading Superman / Batman when the storyarc with art by Carlos Pacheco started. At first I only wanted to wait till the end of that story so that I could enjoy it in one sitting. But then I never found the time to read it in a quiet moment and the issues just kept piling up. Summer went by, Christmas went by and finally even New Year´s Eve went by without a chance to read the issues. So I decided to wait till issue 25 which is the finale of the story with art by Ed McGuiness.

Therefore I went to my comic shop on Friday but because the comic was resolicitated and I ended my subscription to the series with issue 25 I never got it. Which meant that if I wanted to finally read all the issues I had to either wait or go to my emergency comic shop which is the Sammlerecke in Esslingen, a shop where I know the owner very good and even worked there for a while when I was studying art in NĂ¼rtingen and he had nobody who was able to take over the US subscription section. I call it my emergency comic shop because it´s the first place I go to in a comic emergency like a missed issue or a special Paperback I absolutely need. They are always good stocked with trades and new comics - if I can´t find it there often it can just not be found anywhere. But of course it´s very dangerous to go there because they have everything and I´m always tempted to spend like 200 bucks and end up leaving four to five trades I wanted to buy. Of course I kept missing buses and trains on the way there so it took longer than necessary. I found the issue I was looking for but also a ton of other stuff so I ended up buying more stuff than I wanted. Don´t get me wrong - I didn´t buy ANY comics I didn´t want to buy. It´s just that I had planned to spread them over a longer period of time. But since I have so many new comics to read now - especially with the new ones of my brother - it´s high time to write about the ones I read so far. I have decided to write a little more about what happens in the issues since I´m very far behind my reading. Also, you are probably already reading the newest issues of the series I´m writing about so anything I write is old stuff for you. And you are by any chance only here by mistake since I don´t get any comments which means nobody is reading this anyway. I still don´t know how to contact other websites and get them to link my blog. So by the time I have that figured out everything I´m writing about right now will be many months old.

Now the comics I read from my brother´s pull list :

Nightwing 120

In the third one year later issue the conflict between Nightwing and Jason Todd who has been posing as Nightwing gets more intense. The art is still not very stunning and this whole fashion world surrounding seems really strange to me. Especially the Nightwing fashion line. That´s just so typical for my brother that he misses the issues with good art but gets all the issues with not so good art.

She Hulk 7

This whole story about Starfox is kind of strange. Not only does it portray an honorable member of the Avengers as a criminal and sex offender but it has no real ending. It seems that the writer had no idea how to end this and just opted for an open ending. It kind of reminds me of the ( mathematical ) isssue 100 where Dan Slott wrote himself into a corner and could not find one reason for She Hulk not to be erased from the time stream therefore making the whole story redundant. The ending that she saved the judges seemed really farfetched to me and the result - the judges ruled in her favor because she saved them - didn´t have much to do with impartial judgement. Is this really how justice should work ?

Artwise it´s not that bad - not worse than Juan Bobillo´s stuff - but I´m just glad Paul Smith is the new regular artist. What also irritated me was Jen´s reaction when she had the suspicion ( and not much more than that ) that Starfox might have taken advantage of her. Just beating him to a pulp without any proof seemed a little extreme for me especially from somebody who should assume people innocent until proven guilty. But maybe that´s part of Jen becoming slowly unhinged and part of a longer storyline. As for the whole argument about Starfox using his powers to get lucky I wonder if it is so different from a famous movie star using his fame or a pop star like Robbie Williams or an athlete with his superior physique. Some people have more money, or are better liars, or look better or use whatever power they have to their advantage. It may not be fair but nobody said life would be fair. Would you put somebody to trial for that ? And I´m not talking about an episode of Ally McBeal here.

  • SHE HULK 7

  • Spidergirl 98

    Only two issues left till the final issue 100. And this time issue 100 for real without any difficult mathematical tricks. All the players have finally assembled and I´m curious to find out on which side Black Tarantula ends up. One thing´s for sure : the real Hobgoblin is back with a vengeance and this time he´s done with playing around. After the final page I just wonder if Spidergirl has any allies left and how high the bodycount will be at the end of the final issue. I´m just glad the series goes out with a bang and that Mayday Parker gets her big finale. I always hat it when comic series end without the chance to wrap it all up. At least with Spidergirl the creative team has the chance to go out with a bang.

    Now I have heard the rumors that there may be a continuation of the series but I have never been one to put much faith on the internet buzzing.

  • Spidergirl 98

  • Superman 652

    In the third one year later issue Superman starts getting back his superpowers ( he lost them during Infinite Crisis ) and for my taste I have to say - much too fast. I would have prefered it if he got his powers back at a slower pace. It could have been really interesting to have him jump over buildings instead of flying for a few issues and have his superpowers return one after the other. He could also build up his invulnerability over time which would be far more interesting. Like he could be in real trouble and then - BANG ! - his heat vision would be back and he would just fry his opponents weapons. That would be so cool.

    At least he´s back in costume although only time will tell how the general public reacts to his return. It´s not like this is the first time he has come back and I guess there will be some who wonder if it´s really him or just another impostor. What was a little hard to swallow for me was the fact that Lois stayed with him when he lost his powers. Since Lois was always more interested in Superman than in Clark it´s kind of hard to imagine her really enjoying a whole year without Supes. But maybe she had this suspicions that sooner or later his powers would return. They always have until now. All in all an interesting read even if the art is a little off putting.

    Ultimate Spiderman 94

    Another great issue. This is the finale of the Deadpool story and I don´t know what to say..that hasn´t been said before. Mark Bagley still delivering great art without missing a beat and an intruiging read by Bendis. And it is just me but when I look at the cover for the next issue ultimate Morbius looks just like normal Morbius ?

    The comics I spent money on :

    Infinite Crisis 7

    This is the big one. The monumental blockbuster drag-down steelcage monumental high-octane finale ! So far I have been really enjoying the series and the last issue kicks it all into high gear for one last time. Sometimes this big crossovers can be really disappointing but issue 7 really delivers. And like in the first Crisis Saga there is one loose end at the final page. Which some people didn´t like that much but I really love the ending.
    Teen Titans 35 and 36

    I´m still not thrilled with Tony Daniels art but since it seems he will be the regular artist for the next years there´s not much point in complaining. The story is really interesting with Beast Boy now being a member of the Doom Patrol but it´s kind of strange for me that DC cancelled John Byrne´s Doom Patrol series ( which I highly enjoyed ) when they are now putting them more into the spotlight. Considering what is revealed about the Doom Patrol I have to say I liked it better when John Byrne was writing it. What was unexpected for me was the revelation about Kid Devil ( I think that´s his name ). Really surprising this one hit me out of the blue.

    Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 8

    Okay, that´s it. From now on I´m only going to buy the issues with art from Mike Wieringo. No, really. The Ringo is back and just like that I love the comic again. That´s a sure sign that the main reason why I disliked the last two issues was the fact that they were drawn by somebody else. So I would like to say that this is the start to another storyline full of Peter-David-greatness but it just seems that I´m not objective on the matter. So let me just say that I really liked the issue especially the peek into what might have been if things had happened a little different for our favorite wallcrawler.

  • take a peek at issue 9

  • Wolverine 41

    This standalone double sized issue was kind of strange for me. Normally I really like Paul Smith´s art but there was not much of it left in the pages of this issue. Almost everything is black with patches of color and stuff. Not really the fine linework one has come to expect this comic looks more like an art school alumni´s project. The story is really interesting and it manages to put Wolverine in an unexpected role but it looks really weak.

    I was kind of thinking about taking it of my pull list with Humberto Ramos being the new artist. The few pages I have seen so far were kind of strange and very pointy but from what I have read so far from issue 42 it´s the start of a captivating new adventure. So I´m glad I still get this comic especially since Humberto Ramos has been announced as one of the artists in Erlangen. And it would be just too embarrasing to have to say : " No, I haven´t read any of your Wolverine issues because I just canceled my subscription to it when I heard you would be the new artist. Now could you please sign this other comic ? "

    Fantastic Four 537

    Part two of the Road to Civil War issues. This is the last one with a cover by Mike McKone and I must say the Civil War covers I´ve seen so far of Fantastic Four are nothing to write home about. If you get a different artist for a book shouldn´t he be at least as good as the one doing the interiors ? Just reminds me of the last Supergirl issues that had beautiful art of Ed Benes in it and really not so good covers. That´s contra productive. Because the covers are there to sell the issues not scare customers away, right ? I´m not sure if I should post the Civil War covers of the Fantastic Four since it´s bad enough you have to see them on the actual books. No need for unnecessary and cruel punishment.

    Now the story has an interesting explanation how Doom escaped from hell but the end was not all that unexpected. This issue has gone back to print which I´m happy about since I got the second printing with the much better cover. Be sure to get the one I posted here - it´s way cooler than the first printing.

    JSA 85

    Have I mentioned before that I really like how Rags Morales draws Power Girl ? No reader of Hawkman can forget the Mardi Gras issue where he drew her with really big cans. Yup, Mr. Morales sure knows his Power Girl.

    The origin of the Gentleman Ghost is being slowly revealed although it´s still not clear to me why he´s after the JSA. But maybe I just missed it. What can I say ? I got distracted by Power Girl. Damn, she looks goood !

    Usagi Yojimbo 93

    Stan Sakai shows again that he´s the undefeated master of the single issue stories. Although not much happens in this issue about Usagi and Tomoe partaking in a tea ceremony it is one of the best written issues ever. I would like to recommend this issue to all new readers of Usagi Yojimbo BUT I have to say if you haven´t read enough issues to understand the relationship between Usagi and Tomoe you will not understand much of what is going on in this issue. Still this issue is pure poetry and a little bit heartbreaking.

    Savage Dragon 125 ( 64 pages ! )

    He´s done it again. I don´t know why a guy like Erik Larsen who´s now the big muckamuck at Image and who has often problems bringing out his issues in time even bothers to do double sized issues. And I don´t care. Because he will do whatever he pleases in his comic and I wouldn´t have it any other way. So whenever Erik wants he just goes and does a double sized or tripple sized or quadruple sized issue and we readers just love it. It doesn´t matter if it´s 64 pages, 80 pages or 100 pages. So far it´s always been worth the money.

    Now in this issue there are some stories that have been published before but this is the first time they can be found in an actual issue of the old finhead´s own comic. And that´s a good service for all readers who don´t like to have to buy other comics to get Savage Dragon stories. Now there are two brandnew stories in this issue the second one being a story which uses the same panel over and over again. The only thing that changes is the position of the fly and the time the clock shows. And of course the speech baloons and the view out of the window. It´s not easy to make this kind of story but Erik pulls it off without boring the reader. You really get pulled in and after a few pages you don´t think about the fact that it´s the same panel over and over again. There were some pages in the series so far where this technique has been used but this is the first full story. And I have to say I prefer it when artist like Mr. Larsen keep trying new things even if they risk to fall on their noses. At least you know that the Savage Daragon will always be interesting and experimental. In my opinion the best superhero book nobody is reading.

    So that is all for today and I hope to be able to write a few postings over the weekend. Klaatu barata nikto.

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    Yeah, it IS a pretty cool site, isn´t it ?