Thursday, April 24, 2008

Snap Judgments: Quickie Comic Reviews for 4/23/08

Short comic reviews based on initial, lizard-brain opinions. There are probably some spoilers herein. Arranged from BEST to WORST.

Batman #675 gets an A from AHR
Excellent emotionally-charged art from Ryan Benjamin, and a story from Grant Morrison that on one hand feels like covered ground (Bruce's girlfriend senses a dark side), but on the other is done with a raw sense of urgency and ugliness that indicates a very dark road to come in the R.I.P. storyline.

Hack/Slash #11 gets an A from AHR
I dropped off this book for a while cause I thought it was getting a little cheeseball. But this issue is great; it picks up on old plot threads, yet also has a simple, impacting done-in-one storyline. It's nowhere near as depressing as the last issue, but still maintains some emotional depth around main character Cassie, who is thoughtful and reserved about her sexuality in a way that's highly unusual for an ass-kicking comic heroine to be. I'm hooked again.

Ultimate Spider-Man #121, Fall of Cthulhu #11, The Spirit #16, Countdown #01 and Flash Gordon #0 all after the jump!

Ultimate Spider-Man #121 gets an A from Albo
I haven't read an issue of this comic since the first couple of years it was on the stands. I never could get past Bagley's art to fully enjoy Bendis' great storytelling. Now Bagley is gone and the team of Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger are producing some really great stuff. They are capable of drawing teenage kids that actually look like teenage kids and have oodles of personality. Oh yeah, and Bendis is still a great writer.

Fall of Cthulhu
gets a B from Albo
I picked up Cthulhu Tales on a whim last week and really enjoyed it, so I took a chance and hopped onto this book to see if it provided the same level of solid horror storytelling. The verdict: Pretty much. It doesn't really do anything new, but the ominous sense that the people in this small town are about to face some truly horrific shit provides a chilly enjoyment.

The Spirit #16 gets a C from Albo
*Sigh* I miss Darwyn Cooke. This tale is such a by-the-numbers murder mystery you wonder why they bothered.

Countdown #01 gets a D+ from AHR
This issue opens with Jimmy Olsen recounting a bad dream in which he was given the impossible task of writing a good story about the post-52 multiverse. Get it? Bet the fans who bought this crap every week for a year are loving that one. Though apparently Harley and Holly Robinson are living together now, so maybe it was all worth it.

Flash Gordon #0 gets an F from Albo
Oh God why? The storytelling in this preview book is nonsense. The art looks like the anime crap you can find painstakingly scrawled on notepaper in every high school in America. And not content to just draw poorly, the artist reuses the same drawings over and over again. Not in succession or for comedic effect but just whenever he doesn't have the energy to draw a character's face again. Which for some reason is a lot. You'll see what I mean when we do Panel Discussion this weekend.

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