Saturday, September 08, 2007

Snap Judgments: Countdown #34, The Boys #10, Lucha Libre #1

Geekanerd's Snap Judgments gives you Triple-S comic reviews: short, sweet, and spoiler-free.

Countdown #34 (DC)

Thought I'd give this title another chance. Aaaand it let me down again.

Things started out promisingly enough, with Batman interrogating Piper and Trickster. The Bat's rooftop shakedowns rarely disappoint. But this spark of excitement is soon extinguished, and we're soon wading through boring fake science talk, two scenes that take place in laboratories, Clarion the Witchboy looking like a drag queen, and Holly Robinson fighting Harley Quinn in Gladiatorial Combat. Actually that last part was okay. But still no bang for your buck. Wake me when Eclipso comes back.

Hope Springs Eternal - Disappointment + Harley Kicking Holly Robinson in the Face = C-

Reviews for The Boy #10 and Lucha Libre #1 (awesome) after the jump...

The Boys #10 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Now that this arc is over, I can finally stop buying this book. Not that I haven't been enjoying The Boys - it's been fun, but when reading a hard, nasty series like this, I'd prefer to revel in the opulence of a trade paperback, rather than lurch along every month with single-servings of depravity. But that's just me.

This issue lacked the head-busting finale I was expecting, and continued with an annoying habit of playing gotcha games with certain character's perceived homophobia. I'm all for defying expectations, but how many times do we need to be told that men who use gay epithets may not, in fact, hate gay people after all? Wow, the more you know! On the plus side, this issue features a wonderfully over-the-top epilogue that encapsulates the series' attitude towards super heroes, and for once doesn't involve a splash page of a woman being sexually assaulted. It involves something getting sexually assaulted, but I wouldn't want to spoil the details of that whimsical surprise.

Unsatisfying Mystery Solved - More Lessons + A Touch of Humanity + Absurdist Perversity = C+

Lucha Libre #1 (Image)

It's a good time for Latino characters in comic books. Jaimie Reyes (Blue Beetle) is the best written teen character in the DC Universe, Renee Montoya is getting her own sexy, sexy series, and now we've got Lucha Libre, a slam-bang cartoon style series about five Mexican dudes in wrestling masks who fight monsters in East L.A. I hasten to add that none of these books are in fact written by Latinos, but...well...let's focus on the positive here.

Written by Jerry Frissen, ish #1 introduces a huge cast of characters, including an evil bug-eyed Elvis impersonator, stereo-stealing werewolves, bickering aliens, and of course our heroes, the Luchadores Five. The unblinking absurdity never seems forced, and the tone recalls the comedic glory of Sam and Max, and that, my amigos, is high praise indeed.

Even more impressive is the art, drawn and colored by Bill. Just Bill. His backgrounds are beautifully detailed, and his more subtle depictions of the characters go a long way in supplying some of the depth that can feel lacking in Frissen's writing.

Rockin' Toon Art + Bonkers Plot + Great Extra Story - A Wee Bit Light on Characterization = A-

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