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02 December 2004 @ 09:11 am
Still Waiting...  
Nope. No word yet.

Because It's Thursday
Bit of a thin week for me with respect to comics. Here's this week's haul:

This actually came out last week, but undershipped, so I had to wait. It's a blast, just like the first issue, focusing a little sharper in on the plot and delivering all of the dread and wonder of "big" DC stories of yore (and surpassing most, if not all, of the more recent ones). Geoff Johns' writing is stellar. If this series shows the same quality all the way through, this is going to be the story he is remembered the most for. And Van Sciver's artwork shines as well -- there are images here that have power, especially one particular splash that shows just how intimidating an encounter with the assembled Justice League might be like. Batman's characterization here is pitch-perfect, though every character is treated with care. No DC fan should be disappointed by false characterizations of their favorites (which happens a little too often these days). All in all, this one gets an A+.

This is David Lapham's first issue, and, sad to say, it's heavy on the atmosphere and not much on story. He does nail Batman's personality much better than the last few 'Tec writers, but I was hoping for less of a slow-burn story from a veteral crime writer like Laphap. But then again, this is the first issue of a 12-part story (though it seemed somewhat self-contained to me), so maybe I can cut him a little slack. Anyway, I liked it, and am intrigued enough to stick with it for a few issues, but for now I'm tentatively underwhelmed, though hopeful for a more satisfying read when read as a whole: B.

I was going to wait for the collection of this one, but I couldn't help myself, and I'm glad for it. Millar and Hitch knock one out of the park with this one. Heavily influenced by current real-world events, the story jumps right into a quagmire of moral dillemae with seeming abandon, addressing pre-emptive strategies in Iraq, the use of WMDs and terrorism, among other issues. Millar picks up the story a few months following the first Ultimates series and isn't afraid to shake up the status quo. What I appreciate the most is that he doesn't muck around with the status quo just for the sake of doing so. He actually had a point, and takes pains to make the changes spring from the characters themselves (as opposed to dropping a truckload of random changes on the reader simply for the sake of being kewl). This is a great series, and has been much more interesting than the title that inspired it (The Avengers, which has relaunched again this week with a new #1. I didn't pick it up, though, because, er, I really don't care.). This one gets an A+.

Jeph Loeb's alternate future tale about a world ruled by an iron fisted Superman/Batman team continues, and veers off into an unexpected direction. This is a real action-packed issue, and a good example of traditional superhero comics done right. This issue earns an A-, and I'll tell you why. The conflict between Superman/Batman and Wonder Woman/Uncle Sam (and the rest of their rag-tag team) happens much too quickly. While I appreciate the fast pace of the story and the fact that Loeb had a lot of ground to cover this issue, I think that the 22-page format hurt this story by preventing a more satisfying pace from being employed. Otherwise, the issue is a delight, and I can't wait to see what Loeb and McGuiness (who is showing some mean chops here) has in store. The cover for #16 looks like Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, makes an appearance, which would be fantastic -- he's one of my favorite Jack Kirby creations from the 1970's.
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