Thursday, March 22, 2007

This Week's Haul: New and Improved Aquaman, Super Hero Crushes and Mad Scientists

I've decided not to change the title of my weekly new comic reviews from "This Week's Haul" because I can't think of a better one. Also, I've already been tagging the old posts using that. But I have added a subtitle, which I think jazzes it up nicely.

The theme of this week's new comics is Getting My Money's Worth, because I certainly did.

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #16

New artist on this one, and we were all a little scared of that, but...

...he did good. David Hahn totally won me over with his drawings of Firestar:

Realism! That's how a tight costume would look on a young girl! You rule, David!

I love this comic sooooo much. Mary-Jane is with Harry, and Spider-Man is hanging out with Firestar, and Peter Parker is getting the cold shoulder from Gwen and Mary-Jane...oh the teen drama!

The Spirit #4

I have been waiting a long time to see this awesome cover somewhere other than the internet. Soooo nice.

I can't even think coherently about this series because I love it so much. It just keeps getting better and better, which is insane because the first issue was perfect.

One coherent thought: I love that the narration was Satin's, and that she repeatedly noted the dreaminess of The Spirit. But her narration was so tough that it lead you believe it was actually The Spirit talking for the whole first page.

Man this comic is fun. And Dave Stewart really works his magic on this one, with awesome washed-out colouring in the desert.

If you're not reading this series, you're just crazy.

The Brave and the Bold #2

Everybody earns their money with this issue. George Perez crams an unbelievable amount of art on every page. It's not just the cover. I believe that man could draw the entire DCU onto a grain of rice if he needed to. Bob Wacek had a whole lotta inking to do on this. Mark Waid has to put words in the mouths of two of DC's most famous self-involved chatterboxes, and he succeeds with witty banter and fun quips throughout. There is a hell of a lot of colour in this book , so kudos to Tom Smith, and my wrist hurt just looking at all the lettering that needed to be done. Well done, Rob Leigh!

Green Lantern and Supergirl. As it turns out, not a bad combo at all. Kara keeps flirting with Hal, Hal keeps reminding himself that Kara is 17. And that's gross, but also funny because it's Hal. Please go for it, Hal, just so I can watch Superman clean the floor with you.

Supergirl looked better than usual in this book. That's what you get when Perez is drawing, I guess. I will always hate that costume, but this was the best I'd seen it look.

Next on deck: Batman and Blue Beetle. We got a taste in this issue, but I really can't wait for more.

Detective Comics #830

Last we left our heroes, Batman was wearing an ill-fitting suit, Robin was sticky, and a terrorist was going to blow up Wayne Tower. Stuart Moore has been filling-in for Paul Dini for these two issues, and he did a decent job. This issue had some exciting moments. Bruce talking Tim through the removal of the blasting cap that was stuck in the plastic explosives covering Tim's body. The cap could be detonated at any moment, but they were both totally cool under the pressure. I like how the story has them only able to communicate though radio even though they are in the same building. It' s a tense little story. Good stuff.

I think I do like Andy Clarke's art. I was trying to decide on the last issue. It's very clean, but there's nice detail where detail needs to be. And this page is really nice:

Justice Society of America #4

What's this? A cover with a sense of humour from Alex Ross? Delicious!

I'll be interested to know why exactly Wildcat has a son who can actually turn into a wildcat. I am sure that he is interested himself. Until then, I'm just going to assume there's a good explanation and enjoy Ted bonding with his son.

This was another good issue. Another giant fight against Nazis. This series has been great at balancing the old characters and the new in a way that makes me care about all of them.

I'd like to give special attention to Dale Eaglesham's version of Powergirl. For Powergirl, she is downright presentable.

I mean, I've accepted that Powergirl is never going to be sensibly dressed, but that is a relatively small boob window she's sporting in this series. I also really like her very cute haircut and her loose-fitting, diagonal belt. I'd like to see her in some pants. I think pants suit her more, and kind of balance out the boob window, but I guess she's not supposed to be toned down.

Anyway, she certainly looks better when drawn by Eaglesham than by, oh, say...Michael Turner:

52: Week 46

Revenge of the nerds!!! Black Adam heads to Oolong Island to hunt down the team of mad scientists who are responsible for killing his family. The result? Black Adam gets served!
First of all, let's acknowldge, because it's easy to forget, how awesome it is that, in 52, we got to see DC's mad scientist all-stars piled together on an island building doomsday devices.

And then we get to see them beat up on a superhero/villain/misunderstood strong guy:

Grand! Well done, Morrison!

Then we get some sort of closure (I assume...I hope...) to the whole Luthor/Steel fiasco, with help from Clark "I wish I could fly" Kent. And, in other news, Atom Smasher wants to help.

Also, there is an origin story for this fellow named Batman, who sounds like quite the hero indeed! I must look into this brave young man and his essential story lines.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50

So, I didn't read much of the Busiek run on Aquaman, but I am familiar with what was going on. This was a nice big comic. It cost over a dollar more than usual, but I definitely felt I got my money's worth. It's a really fun read, and I would say a good place to start reading Aquaman if you're at all interested. I don't know much about Tad Williams , the new writer, because I don't read many fantasy comics, but the writing was great and I think Aquaman, being set under the sea and all, lends itself well to fantasy-style storytelling. There is no end to the creatures you can invent, or the landscapes.

I like the introduction of Topo:

He's not your grandmother's octopus friend! He's a whole new breed of octo-pal!

Alright, Aquaman. You've got my attention. I'm looking forward to the next issue.


SallyP said...

Gosharootie, WAS a nice week indeed. Loved 52, it was nice to have some humor after all the angst of last week. I know they are evil, but Black Adam really did have it coming.

Hal and Supergirl were a hoot. Self-absorbed chatterboxes for sure.

Justice Society just keeps getting better. I too noticed that Peej actually looked strong and competent, as opposed to unbalanced and vacant.

P.S. Did you read Birds of Prey?
READ Birds of Prey! Voot voot!!

rachelle said...

I really need to get caught up with Birds of Prey. I was reading the trades, and then I got side-tracked from doing that, and I wasn't sure what a good jumping-back-on point would be. Any suggestions?

Bill D. said...

Eaglesham's Power Girl really is quite good, and nicely sums up how I've always thought of the character: a strong, confident woman who knows she's powerful, knows she's attractive, and is proud enough of both of those facts to want to show off a little.

That Turner cover, though... yeesh. That's just a poorly drawn substitute for folks too young or too chicken to buy porn.

rachelle said...

I was really pleased that the old boys asked Power Girl to be the new chairwoman. Now she's a confident, powerful, busty lady with responsibility and purpose! Now she can correctly be the Wonder Woman of the JSA instead of a pair of angry boobs.

Mory said...

You didn't think Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane went downhill this month? My problem wasn't with David Hahn- he's no Miyazawa, but he's good. No, my problem is that McKeever doesn't seem to be giving this as much effort. I always expect great things from him, and this issue was just going through the motions without the typical insight. I'm wondering if he rushed through the last few issues of MJ to get on to his DC work.

Reno Dakota said...

This latest issue of Birds of Prey is actually a pretty good jumping-back-on point, since it's the beginning of a new story arc - one featuring the Secret Six, no less!

Yeah, DC rocked like crazy this week - the new Checkmate was terrific too.

Anonymous said...

This week's 52 was by far one of my favourite, but riddle me this, Batman...SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S ISSUE...

how did Kent know Luthor was a fake, and how did he know so infallibly where the real Luthor would be? Before you say "super hearing and a million other powers to boot"...isn't he powerless all this year? And even if he wasn't, how the hell is he going to explain his really awesome hunch to the authorities without blowing his secret ID?

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

PS--That was me, by the way. Also, "favourites", not favourite. Sheesh.


rachelle said...

I guess Clark figured Lex out because...he's known him since they were kids (?!).

I'm guessing that Clark must have at least his x-Ray vision back at this point. I actually forget...did his powers come back all at once in the OYL issues, or was it gradual?

Steel knows Superman's identity, right? That would explain why he loyally follows a reporter back into the building and smashes a wall just because he says so.

I'ma pick up the latest Birds of Prey next time I'm at the shop. I see that Barda's been hanging out. That's rad.

Shelly said...

I'm pretty much in agreement with you on the ones we both read, but you were reading my mind with your review of The Spirit. I love that cover. It might become one of my favs. And the narration was wonderful and yes, I had to go back and check because I also thought it was Satin's from the start.

And I'll second, or third, or fourth or whatever re: BoP.

David Hahn said...

I am glad you like my work on SMLMJ especially on Firestar. Everyone seems to be relieved, which makes me relieved.

David Hahn

paperghost said...

"I see that Barda's been hanging out. That's rad."

paperghost said...

"I see that Barda's been hanging out. That's rad."

prepare to be amazed at how much more radness there is in that issue...


(GAH! why does your blog always keep the quote but strip out my comment :(

incidentally, I'm reading that Animal Man thingy you have there. Good stuff).

Anonymous said...

"It's just ... a little chilly out here, is all."

I thought Kryptonians didn't get cold?

... oh wait -now, that flirting ain't subtle, Supergirl!

I'm gonna start using that line. "I'm kinda cold, can we share your aura?" I wonder how well that 'll work with the non-super-powered-ring-wearing ladies...

rachelle said...

Aw, thanks for commenting, David Hahn! I really did like your art a lot. It must be a fun comic to draw.

Anonymous said...

Good reviews, I always enjoy reading them, especially about SMLMJ.

My only beef is that you tend to get atleast one Turner/Liefeld insult into each post. We get it, they're not very good artists, but I don't think it needs to be pointed out so frequently. if you don't like there stuff, then don't buy it, I think that's as far as it needs to go.

Johnathan said...

Keep insulting! Drive the bad artists out of the business!

Wildcat has a lycanthropic son because everyone loved Kingdom Come. Seriously: look at Justice League and 52 - the number of characters from Kingdom Come that have made it into regular DC continuity is astonishing.

And what kind of name *is* Topo? Based on that first panel, I'd have called him the Gesticula-tor.

rachelle said...

Just be glad you don't have to talk to me in real life, anonymous, because I am nothing if not repetitive in my insults of artists that I don't like.

I'll stop trashing Michael Turner the second he stops sucking. Plus, I have to buy his crappy art because he does covers for good comics.

And Jonathan, yes. I believe the secret of 52 is that Kingdom is Coming.

Johnathan said...

Dammit, I meant Justice Society.