Thursday, March 20, 2008

Week in Review

I've read all of this week's haul, except for Angel, so I figured, why wait with the reviews? Well, usually, I wait because I'm lazy, but not tonight. Tonight, I'm in a reviewing frame of mind.

Countdown to Final Crisis 6
I really liked this, mainly for the narration by one of the Cadmus researchers. His view of the growing disaster was presented without much emotion, as befitting a scientist, but his budding concern for Una was rather affecting.

Justice League of America 19
When a book is really good or engrossing, I don't notice a lot of little things that are off. When a book sucks, the little things that are off don't matter. But when a book is stuck somewhere in the middle, the little things make themselves obvious to me. The only thing I liked about this is that it ends up with Waller not knowing where the villains ended up. Cool. Here's what bugged me.
  • As people have mentioned, Vixen isn't looking very black lately. I can overlook coloring issues, but in this case, her features are growing more beautiful white woman generic and the coloring of the black males in the book, Black Lightning and John Stewart GL, is darker. Mari is dark only when in shadow.
  • John Stewart is there because Black Lightning is staying behind, thereby maintaining the one black female who doesn't look all that black lately and one black male in on the action. Much as I love Roy, it made more sense for him to stay behind, given everyone's skill sets, but then, we wouldn't get the third thing that bugged me.
  • Roy. Honestly, does every writer have to rehash the Roy/Cheshire thing? Sure, she's Lian's mother and he has to deal with that, but we got his conflicted feelings for her to death in the last Titans book and I really thought they'd pretty much brought it to a close. Now, it's back, and Roy is acting like a silly teen boy with a crush rather than a man who can put personal feelings aside and be professional. Made me wish he'd been left behind. Even his getting to help take down Kanjar Ro (a baddie I never heard of, or at least, can't recall) with his nifty swift arrow move wasn't enough to placate me over his being treated so shabbily. Roy deserved the chance to be in the JLA, but since Brad Meltzer left the book, he isn't acting like it. I miss Brad.
Birds of Prey 116
I'm thinking Sean McKeever wasn't too thrilled to see the name "Simone" on the cover and not his. I know I was startled. Oops. The story came to a nice conclusion, with some nice bits for Huntress, Zinda, and the loony Killer Shark grandson person. The Misfit vs Black Alice scene was nice and any book that includes Manhunter rocks in my mind.

Checkmate 24
Almost the end of Rucka's run. Super guest stars, led by Superman. Seeing the gathering of JSA and JLAers to help really drove home the seriousness of the situation. And now the rooks! Between this, the stuff in Countdown, the coming Final Crisis, the trouble facing the Lantern Corps, the time disruptions in Booster Gold, and the mess the Challengers of the Unknown are trying to clean up, the DCU is a very dangerous place right now. Makes for good reading, mostly, though.

Catwoman 77
I love the cover. The way Run Catwoman Run was worked in with the logo. The fact that the zipper on her suit was all the way up and she still looked sexy. The stark white, black, and red coloring. Adam Hughes does great covers. The story was fun, too, as Selina continues to live out her fantasy on an imaginary Earth, with Martian Manhunter getting through to her in time. Great stuff here.

Shadowpact 23
The Blue Devil storyline takes an interesting turn and Shadowpacts of the past and the future are summoned by the Phantom Stranger to join the one from the present to battle, next issue, yet another big bad. The book is average now. I miss the sense of fun.

Flash 238
An ill-advised comment by Wally about his need for money backfires as a new baddie, Spin, takes advantage of the situation. At least Wally's financial situation is being addressed, but his logic about needing a college fund for his kids who might grow again and be old enough for college in a year or so makes no sense. They'd never have enough education by then to be accepted. I'll accept that Wally's too stressed these days to be thinking clearly. An average read. The book started strong for me but is wasting opportunities to move to the next level, whatever that could be.

The Brave and the Bold 11
The Challs vs Megistus while Ultraman and Superman go at it before managing to work together to stop... Megistus. Next issue should be really good as the book's first story arc is concluded.

And there you have it. What I read today.


  1. Countdown wasn't bad, it was nice to see things narrated from a different point of view. Made for a change.

    I really thought that Mr. McDuffie was the writer for JLA, but apparently not. Yes, Mari is starting to look amazingly like Halle Berry. And look! The colorist gave John blond hair! I DO wish that Roy would stop whining about Cheshire, so I can't blame Kendra for being a bit cranky.

    Birds of Prey was...ok. I didn't particularly like the bit with Misfit, Black Alice and Oracle, but I greatly enjoyed the fun with Zinda and Huntress. THey have a good relationship going there.

    Checkmate was very good I thought. Nice to have Superman realize that some people really are BAD!

    Poor Wally. Poor poor Wally.

    The Brave & the Bold is consistantly good. Ultraman was something of a hoot.

  2. i couldn't get into crisis 6 i was waiting for a reveal that the lab worker was luthor the entire time. and it felt like they paced out the story badly so they stuffed all this exposition in to one issue.

    jla was okay the whole black lightining stay here we only need one black guy was a horrible idea, it would've been better if they hadn't mentioned it at all.

    brave and the bold also fell flat eventhough the ultraman at the daily planet stuff was awesome and the ordered myxzyezplilik(i'm not gonna try) was fun. do you think the arch after this one should follow the same formula. several team ups that build toward a common threat?

  3. Thanks for your comments, Sally. :)

    A lot of people didn't like Meltzer's run on JLA, but at least the characters were mostly in character and while the pacing was too slow for comics, there was a point to the stories and things flowed. The book just feels like a mess now, which is sad, especially after the big hoopla about its return.

  4. Hi, Stephen, I have enjoyed the concept behind Brave and Bold, so I hope they continue with it for the next arc. It makes the book special, I think.

  5. Anonymous12:00 AM EDT

    I was going to comment on how Mari, as Shelley said, "doesn't look that black anymore" adding that the artist could take a cue from afro-american actresses for a pretty colored woman, BUT sallyp torpedoed my argument in her second paragraph which forces me to ask what's wrong with having Mari molded after Halle Berry? I rather have that than have caucasian features on a colored person. Maybe the artists don't have it clear when distintive features to more than one pretty woman are required, an example of this is Michael Turner, as much as I like his art as a particular stylization of characters as can be Bruce Timm's or the next guy's, he has a tendency to draw al women with the same face, even worse with colored people, this proves that maybe artists need some sort of schooling before going into the business and not just be a wiz kid that doing it "by ear", there are exceptions but they are not the rule.

    -Bruce W.

  6. I have no problems with Mari looking like Halle Berry. I have problems with the coloring and with her seeming to look different from issue to issue. I'd have to pull out the earlier issues by the same artist to see if I'm imagining this or not.

    As for females being drawn very similarly, that's nothing new. Jim Aparo was notorious for this. I loved his work on Aquaman back in the uh, '70s, but if not for the different hair styles, hair color, and clothes, the women all looked alike. I always liked his work, but really needed there to be good coloring for me to tell the female characters apart. I can't say he improved much in this area.