Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Comic shop comics: March 6

Ame-Comi Girls #1 (DC Comics) DC decided to make this book an ongoing monthly, and arbitrarily decided to do so with what appears to be the penultimate chapter of the Everyone Vs. Brainiac storyline that Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and a variety of artists have been producing and DC had previously been publishing as a mini-series.

I meant to drop it when the miniseries ended, but forgot to do so, so I bought one more issue, so as not to stick my local comic shop with one more copy of this book where a bunch of scantily-clad super-ladies fight Brainiac, who has boobs, because everyone else in the comic does.

In this issue...well, nothing of note really happens. Wonder Woman keeps fighting Dark Supergirl, then all the villains (except Brainiac) team-up with all the heroes, to continue fighting Brainiac.

It's drawn by Eduardo Francisco, who does a fairly great job of drawing sexy, shapely ladies in skin-tight clothes. They all look alike, unfortunately, and he does resort to at least one instance of full-on brokeback posing, but it was Powergirl, and she's Kryptonian, so maybe they have rotating spine joints that we earthlings don't have.

Age of Ultron #1 (Marvel Entertainment) Since there were so few comic books that I planned on purchasing coming out this week, I told myself I'd either pick up Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski's Sex #1 of this gold foil embossed monstrosity from Marvel Comics, knowing I'd read them both in trade someday. Well, my shop didn't order any copies of Sex, so I went with this—It's a $3.99/29-page book, so I guess the embossed foil cover didn't add to the manufacturing costs...?

So this comic is basically Hawkeye shooting people between the eyes or in their open mouths with arrows and crossbow bolts for about 20 pages, followed by nine pages of The Avengers living like Morlocks and being scared of Ultron. It reads like an issue of New Avengers co-plotted by Mark Millar, and it looks like an issue of The Ultimates. It's not as bad as it sounds....? I'll have more to say on it tomorrow.

Green Lantern #18 (DC) The art team of Dough Mahnke and his seventeen inkers are MIA this month (really curious what he's going to be drawing when the GL books get new creative teams). It's been replaced by two other art teams. One is Szymon Kudranski, who drew that truly awful Penguin miniseries, as colored by Alex Sinclair. It is, like that Penguin comic, awful, but since its set in "The Dead Zone" (if you acknowledge you're using a phrase another writer came up with for something else, is it still lame to use it...?) inside the Black Ring or Book or Wherever, it only really matters when he tries to convey action of any kind, like above.

Oh, and there's a funny part where Sinestro mentions that they seem to be trapped in the Dead Zone with a hundred or so others (Kudranski never draws more than like six vague shapes milling around in the background), and Undead Tomar Re says "A Hundred? There are millions of them here," and the "camera" pulls back to reveal maybe eight vague shapes milling around in the background.

There are a few pages set outside the Dead Zone; these are drawn by Ardian Syaf and Mark Irwin (with Tony Avina coloring) and they look pretty great compared to the rest of the comic.

Legends of The Dark Knight #6 (DC) While past issues of this anthology series have seemed to be something akin to new talent showcases, this particular issue features a trio of stories from established professionals, providing a trio of very solid, very visually striking stories featuring Batman, lurking behind a dramatic cover by Guillem March, of a good-old-fashioned gray-and-blue Batman.

First up, there's the Atlas/Red Hulk creative team of Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman, presenting a ten-page story that is little more than an extremely dramatic, kinetic, well-choreographed sequence of Batman chasing down and capturing some crooks who have just robbed a liquor store.

That is literally all there is to it, and yet Hardman draws the hell out of it, and together with Parker he's installed so many cool little moments that it works, slight as it is, to define some of Batman's many virtues.

Like I said, there are only ten pages to it, but I'm having a hard time narrowing down a list of favorite moments in it any narrower than three.

I have no idea whey these two aren't super-ultra-exclusive at Marvel, but here's hoping they get a chance for bigger, longer Bat-comics in the future.

That's followed by a pretty silly Batman vs. A Dragon story by Michael Avon Oeming, in which, um, Btaman fights a dragon, but is well worth your time for Oeming's artwork. There's another artist who was pretty much born to draw Batman.

The final story is "Look Inside," written by Rob Williams and drawn by Juan Jose Ryp. It introduces an incredibly scary new villain with an incredibly scary (and unique) gimmick. There's a bit of a story cheat to that gimmick, and the way Batman gets around it, but, thanks to Ryp's highly-detailed, highly-stylized artwork, it really works, and that last panel is absolutely chilling.

The Shade (DC) This is the trade collection of that very long mini-series (do they still use the word maxi-series?) James Robinson wrote about his Shade character that DC started publishing at the exact moment that they realgined their fictional setting so that The Shade and all of those characters James Robinson got popular writing never really existed, and thus didn't "count" anymore. That was post-Cry For Justice James Robinson, too, so I trade-waited it (Even if James Robinson was still writing like Cry For Justice James Robinson more than Starman James Robinson, the series still had artists like Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson and Before Watchmen's Darwyn Cooke drawing it).

Normally I would have purchased this trade through an online retailer, because I would have gotten it at a dramatic discount and also I am cheap and terrible, but I decided to buy it from my local comic shop today, in an effort to be less terrible a consumer.

I did not read it yet, so I can't really offer any review at this point. Wait, let me at list flip through it—Okay, I see Cooke drawing The Vigilante (nice), Pulido seems to rule (yes), New 52 Deathstroke is in it for some reason...Eh, I'll let you know in a few weeks.

Superman Family Adventures #10 (DC) General Zod and the Phantom Zone criminals open up a hot dog stand, both of Superman's dads are revealed to still be alive (or at least alive-ish), Terra-Man cameos and there are some giant, sentient hot dog monsters. As a vegetarian, I don't dig on swine, but that cover makes me want to try a veggie dog in a poppy seed bun.


Anthony Strand said...

I'm excited to hear what you think of THE SHADE. I mostly really enjoyed it, and I haven't been able to say that about Robinson in a very long time.

Matt D said...

I hope you'll be getting Hickman's Avengers in Trade Form.

Did you read his Fantastic Four/FF? I don't remember anymore.

JohnF said...

I asked the guy at the comic book store if they sold a version of "Age of Ultron" that did not have the repulsive foil cover bullshit. I was informed that they did not, that I'd be stuck with this embossed foil disaster, this unwelcome relic from 1991. He seemed sad about it, at least.

Caleb said...


I've liked the first two or three issues' worth; I'm sure I'll review it here at some point though.


I am planning on picking up Hickman's Avengers in trade, eventually. I said the same about his FF run too though, and haven't gotten to it yet. I'm much more excited about his Avengers business, though.

SallyP said...

The Shade was pretty darned fabulous...I hope that you enjoy it.

David Charles Bitterbaum said...

Robinson can be a great writer when it's about anything relating to his Starman work, therefore "The Shade" is in fact amazingly good, making me wonder if maybe he has to care about the characters as he clearly does with these to do a good job--as "Cry For Justice" was just so bad he must have not cared and/or tried. The Nu52 does kind of make the comic impossible tho, but the Nu52 Deathstroke appearance is really the only thing from that universe that intrudes into a tale that otherwise could have easily been in the Old 52. In other words, it's a stellar read.

Akilles said...

A great blurb for Age of Ultron: "Not as bad as it sounds..."

JohnF said...

I get the feeling that most writers really want to craft stories where Hawkeye just straight-up kills people. Every alternate history/alternate future/alternate present story with him involves lots of gruesome Hawkeye headshots. Ultimate Hawkeye kills lots of people. Secret Invasion Hawkeye killed an assload of Skrulls. Now Age Of Ultron Hawkeye shoots guys in the head left and right.
It makes you think, if he's just going to kill people why not upgrade to guns?

JohnF said...

J. Hickman's Avengers is really excellent, but it's discouraging that they're on issue 7 and have already used three different artists. All of them have been good, but it's just jarring. Maybe it was planned so they could put out bi-weekly issues, but I miss the consistency.