Aaron, bag, comics, Jim Lee, Johns, Justice League, Manapul, Nord, Samnee, stack, The Flash, Winter Soldier, Wolverine and the X-Men, X-O Manowar
My Microviews for the week of 8/29:
Excitement was high in some alternate–and assuredly opposite–comic reading universe. Some humanoid out there was bristling as he slipped his books from his bag. The skin on his hair was probably sitting down.
Here, in my page-turning reality, however, my stack read like a bottle of Xanax. With a cap that gives you all sorts of crap.
I was watching So You Think You Can Dance but I wanted to crack open a book–you know, to read something during commercials and the pre-dance packages. Figured I’d go with something mindless. Luckily I had picked up Justice League #12–for the kiss, of course. Duh. Why else would I return to this title? I was reminded immediately of why I dumped it after issue #5: God Almighty! It’s awful! I won’t bother with Johns’ writing; I haven’t been following the story. On the art side: Jim Lee has taken the most iconic characters in comicdom and turned them into languid lookalikes, into blah B-listers. Oh, it’s painful to see them rendered so! The layouts lack life, a spirit; they seem to stubbornly avoid inspiration, as if inspiration were illegal or something. By the way: while thumbin’ through the book, I could’ve sworn the guy givin’ it to the League was Helspont. Turns out it isn’t, but this guy’s just as compelling. But what about super-hyped kiss? To be fair, it’s a smart turn–an easy one at this point, but smart, nevertheless. Ever hear of a slow burn? Yeah, neither have these guys. Hmm. Felt a little forced, no? Kind of like they had to shove it into #12 even if it didn’t fit too well? Whatever. This was a one-and-done return to Justice League for me.
I waited for a little quiet time before wading into Winter Soldier #9. Boy, oh boy. If it weren’t for the twist at the end, I would’ve thought Brubaker was mailing it in on his way out. I mean, from the get-go, this one felt right out of the most recent run of Captain America, which has been unpatriotically poor–so much so that I ditched it, despite Cap’s being my all-time fave. A really microview: James hangs out in front of a vid screen for a while then goes into action and then snaps the Black Widow out of her trance all too easily–“Nat! It’s me!” “Oh. OK.”–and then TAH-wist! Boy, oh boy! I’ll be soldiering on, for sure.
I read The Flash Annual #1. It was all right. The story was fine. My biggest gripe: I didn’t care for the kitchen sink approach to the art. In fact, for five bucks, I feel kind of ripped off–especially since it wasn’t a one-shot annual, which I could’ve passed on. Don’t get me wrong: the art was fine; but since I’m an issue-at-a-time Flash fan at this point, I’m practically Patrick Henry: Give me Manapul or give me a break! No gripe here, though: the last page. Who doesn’t love an army of pissed off gorillas? Who doesn’t believe in Grodd?
Next up: Wolverine and the X-Men #15. It starts off on a solid note, but then gets a bit too jokey for its own good down in Beast’s lab. Iron Man, in particular, is insufferable. But Aaron works it out with the Xavier/Quire thoughtdown and delivers a satisfying issue that ultimately doesn’t feel too overburdened by AvX. Thank goodness. Be honest: you welled up a little bit while rooting for Mortimer. Don’t you go blaming it on sawdust, too, you big baby.
I closed out the week with X-O Manowar #4.
Solid book all the way around, with a huge draw at the end. One thing worth noting: as I admired Aric’s aerobatics during his dogfight with the Italian air force, I couldn’t help but think of the beginning of The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1. Anyone else? Quick unsolicited comparison: Samnee’s work conveys more energy, more urgency than Nord’s. Super unsolicited comparison with a twist of grudge: They both, however, have it over Lee.
Glad I passed on JL.
Your review of Flash? Exactly.
I really liked Winter Soldier, if only for it’s spot-on tone of Cold War paranoia. And that twist. And, oh yeah, Michael Lark’s unbelievable art (which remained consistent despite two different inkers – good synergy guys!). It brought to mind Mazzucchelli in his DD/Batman mode and even the great Noel Sickles. Definitely an issue that I went over a second time to admire the art. So yeah, I liked WS.
And XO was solid fun. I think I’m less enthused by the imminence of Ninjak. This book is month-to-month for me.