Friday, April 08, 2005

This week's reviews: Barbarossa, Intimates, Lex Luthor, Zatanna, Strange, Y the Last Man, GLA

I thought that from here on out I’d also use a grading system to better convey my overall opinions on the comics I review. I’ll use a 15 comic bubble system.
[[[[[ is the best – this book is SO awesome, you’re totally nuts if you’re not reading it.
[[[[ is good – if you looking for something new, try it out.
[[[ is OK – only average. Nothing out of the ordinary.
[[ is Not so hot – it looked interesting but I was not impressed after I read it.
[ is HORRIBLE – I really didn’t like it and would not recommend it to anyone.

Barbarossa and the Lost Corsairs #1: For the most part, I’d say this was a good book. The story had good action and the Countess character was feisty and a lot of fun. But it was also predictable – get the girl, her father pursues, a sea battle takes place. The end was disappointing too; I know they’re in a parallel universe or time because I read the PR bit from the publisher, Kandora. But, other than one frame at the very end, I don’t really find that out in this issue. I was really hoping for some kind of shocked surprise from the characters before the book ended, as they realized they weren’t “home” any more. The art was inconsistent too. There were certain frames and characters that were highly detailed, and then other frames where it was heavy ink and simple colors with much less detail. There was a picture of Barbarossa – the one on the cover, that appeared here and there, the same picture it seemed, just resized and inserted, that was so detailed it looked like a photo. But then you’d see another frame with him and he’d look like a cartoon. I was hoping for a book full of great art, and a lot of it was, but I didn’t get why some was great and some was only average, oh well. [[[[

The Intimates #6: Sometimes I’ve liked this book, other times I haven’t. This was a “haven’t” issue. I got totally lost and confused. Something about Empty Vee pushing a button on Syke’s suit and the next thing you know everyone is in some other dimension. I just couldn’t follow it. There were people who appeared to be shot, the characters were suddenly 6 years old, Henry Duke can’t stop crying and confessing his darkest innermost thoughts. Crazy issue! [[

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #2: Loving the art – Lee Bermejo is excellent. It’s detailed and has a water color look to it, but conveys the darkness of the story. I won’t spoil the issue – but it has a great end! We discover that sometimes Lex’s thugs are the bad ones in this world, they do Lex’s bidding, but in “non-conventional” ways that Lex either doesn’t approve of, or simply doesn’t want to know about. He is shown in this issue to be quite the business man – profitability motivating seemingly everything, for better or worse. Azzarello often saves the best part of his story for the very end, and this is only a 5-issue series, so I’m sure each issue will continue to get better. [[[[[

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1: As was the case with all of these so far, except Guardian, Morrison likes to write about weird stuff. I thought Shining Knight was very strange, and I felt the same with this one. Not necessarily strange in a bad way, so don’t get me wrong. He gets so into telling us about these grandiose and mystical settings that I think he doesn’t do the characters any justice. I don’t feel I understand the character much, but I know they’ve come from or experienced some kind of weird location/dimension. The Seven Soldiers books seem interesting, and I like the premise, but they are each only 4 issues long, and I’m concerned that (with the exception of Guardian) we haven’t gotten much into the character development. Based on the premise and the #0 introduction, part of the entertainment of the Seven Soldiers is how each of them is SO different from one another, yet they have to work together. And I think knowing more about the inner workings of each of them would be a benefit to the part of the story when they come together to do battle. I will continue to read the Seven Soldiers series – it’s interesting and I want to see how it all comes together at the end. Morrison can be a good story teller, and for the most part I have liked the books. I just would say they’re a little weird. [[[[

Strange #5 (of 6): I really really like this comic book! First, the art is excellent. Second the story is excellent. I never knew much about Dr. Strange, and this is basically the story of his origin. As with the other issues, there is plenty of action and mysticism. Leading up to this book Stephen Strange went from a man who wanted to help others through medicine to a man who wanted to help himself – “caged by gold bars” as he puts it in this issue. He has no idea of the power he will eventually control. When he looses the use of his hands in a sking accident he also looses everything he has in the quest to regain their use. Eventually he meets up with the Ancient One, and is told of his latent abilities and how he is needed to protect earth from those from the world of evil. At first he rejects the idea, believing the Ancient One and his caretakers are basically crazy. Then he finds out that there is another dimension, one that would destroy our current world, and he accepts the task. That is where this issue begins. I won’t spoil the issue for you by going on. Let me just say I have very much enjoyed the series and while I am looking forward to seeing how it ends, I’m sad to see it end. [[[[[

Y The Last Man #32: Yorick is still the only man around – and now he’s onboard a cruise ship retrofitted to be a cargo ship. His monkey Ampersand is thought now to be the reason he survived, and the monkey is mission on board the ship. Again, I won’t spoil the issue for you by going into what happens. But it’s pretty good stuff, with a cliff hanger or two at the end. I have thought this was a great comic book for a long time now! The art is very well done, and the stories are great too. Sometimes it did seem like there was just too much of the same thing happening issue to issue, but in the last couple of arcs they’ve been making progress again, are back on the move, and have continued to develop the main characters and their relationships to each other. If you’re looking for something different than your typical super hero comic, this is a great read. Even if you love your super hero stories – I say check out this comic.[[[[[

GLA (Great Lakes Avengers) #1: A team of misfit super heroes, from Milwaukee. How can you not at least check this out? So I did. But it wasn’t quite as funny as I’d hoped. The best part was the first page, and the occasional appearance of Monkey Joe. In this team you have Craig, the main character of this issue, who is the one who actually forms the GLA. He’s Mr. Invincible, as he seems to be unable to be killed. There’s also Big Bertha the Ample Amazon – a HUGE and strong woman, Dina Soar- a woman alien who looks like a dinosaur, Flatman the 2-D Defender- a man about the thickness of cardboard, and Doorman the Living Portal- a character who can phase. Those are the characters that make up this team right now. Mainly they do nothing of consequence, but when the Avengers disassemble, it’s their big break. I won’t give away any more. It’s a clever idea, and overall it was fairly well written. But just not as funny as I thought it would be. I wanted to laugh out loud, frequently, when I read this, and I didn’t. [[[

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