Thursday, March 03, 2005

Recent Reads: Lex Luthor, Legend, Intimates, Fallen Angel, Case Files

I had some time last night, before closing, to pick up a handfull of the new books.

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel is going to be a very good series, I think. Azzarello has a tendency to start out slow and then really get good at the end. This book showed some of Lex's inner workings - he's kind to those less fortunate, and he harbors a fear and hatred of Superman. It sets the stage for why Lex is out to destroy the "Caped Crusader," and also shows that despite having billions of dollars he is still human. I'm looking forward to seeing where Azzarello takes this groundwork in the next issues. The art was fantastic too. I found myself reading the book and then having to go back and just look at the pictures again.

Legend is written by Howard Chaykin and published by Image. This story seemed like a combination of Smallville and the Hulk movie. A man does scientific experiments to create a super-human, and then does the experiment on his own child, Hugo. But, instead of the child being a green man, he looks a lot like Beaver Cleaver from Leave it To Beaver fame. (In fact there's a bully that he later beats up on the school playground referred to as Eddie Haskell) Hugo, the super-boy has powers akin to Superman: he can jump very high and far, he is very fast, and very very strong. His parents are constantly trying to teach him to be gentle and understanding and not use his strenght in bad ways. But boys will be boys - he becomes bored and rambunctious and wants to "test out" his abilites. He also becomes rebellious and doesn't always listen to what his parents say. I didn't think this was a great book, but I did think it was a good comic book. I will at least pick #2 and see how it progresses. My fear is that #1 may be the best one.

Intimates #5 was ok. The series is written in what I'd consider as a "teen age voice." It is supposed to be set in a special high school for kids with super powers, training them to become super heroes. It's something different, which is nice, and I think that it incorporates the struggles of teen age life with humor and super powers fairly well. It's just not my genre, I guess. That asisde, I thought this issue was pretty good - it dealt with teen suicide, and how much more difficult life can be when you're a super powered teen-and virtually invulnerable, making suicide fairly challenging to commit. One of the super-teens, who is ususally very self-centered reads online postings written by the suicidal teen, and wants to try to stop it from happening. But, isn't exactly sure who it is at first who is suicidal or how to go about preventing any action he/she might take. His friends think he's nuts, and the teachers think he's the suicidal one.

Fallen Angel is coming to an end. I thought last month's issue would have made a good ending, but it seems that there are still a few more issues remaining, and apparently some loose ends or something that need to be taken care of. Fallen Angel is now just an angry vigilanty. And Sachs and Volens made a visit. I didn't really care for this particular story line. I hope it ends on a better note, because I usually like this comic but I did not care for this issue (#19).

Case Files, Sam and Twitch is a book I enjoy. It's an "off the beaten path" comic, written for adults. It's a "gritty crime" story with two very different police detectives and often some unusual crimes to solve. This issue, #14, started a new story arc. Looks like Sam and Twitch could have a vampire in town murdering people this time. An ancient Japanese vampire who doesn't look a day over 20, and her mighty army of vampire minions. It is black and white, which I don't mind. In fact, with this book I think it ads to the "gritty" feel of the book and the stories. Personally, partly because they are often late, partly because the story arc can get involved, I think these would do better as novels. Either way, if you like CSI or NYPD Blue or other crime solving tough cop shows, you would probably like this comic.

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