Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snap Judgements: Ex Machina #39, Thunderbolts #126, Ambush Bug #4 and More

Short comic reviews based on initial, lizard-brain opinions. Arranged from BEST to WORST. Beware some minor spoilers.

Ex Machina #39 gets an A from DEgan

From the beginning, Ex Machina has been one of the only books to actually give you a sense of "this is what it'd actually be like..." And that's saying alot considering so many books strive to achieve just that. But Ex Machina is the only one to deliver on that promise-and it delivers well. This issue is the conclusion to the "Dirty Tricks" story arc-and gives us one of the most intriguing final showdowns between a "supervillain" and a "superhero"... And that's assuming that Karl Rove wasn't the supervillain of the book. He makes a subtle appearance at the end-they don't say it out right, but he's a white house deputy and looks alot like our favorite turd blossom. His inclusion in the story only furthers the sense that this really happened-and again that's impressive considering one of the characters speaks to machines! If you aren't reading this book, get caught up! Its one of my favorites.

The Flash #246 gets a B+ from DEgan
This issue deals with one of the most genuine and loving relationships in the DCU-Linda Park West is dying and the flash fam is not too happy about it. Considering 6 of the pages are series flashbacks (and still don't convincingly explain how she goes from local reporter to world class scientist)-its impressive I enjoyed it as much as I did. Even the hardened comic book cynic that I am, is still genuinely concerned about the outcome of this story. They've done a great job at making me believe Linda is actually on the brink of death (hell, even the Spectre says its gonna happen...) And if she does die... well I just don't know what I'll do with myself... This book had me feeling it.

Thunderbolts #129 gets a B from AHR
I stopped reading this after Ellis left, but this is the start of a two issue interlude by Andy Diggle, so this is probably a good time as any to get back on. And wouldn't you know it, this issue offers all the good stuff that attracted me to this series in the first place. Norman Osborn acting like a dick, Bullseye being scary, and everyone being mean to poor lil Songbird. This issue also features the scene I've been waiting for a while, in which Moonstone, in full blown evil psychiatrist mode, tears down Penance for a lame and boring character. Yay!

Reviews for Street Fighter II Turbo #2 and Ambush Bug #4, after the jump...

Ambush Bug #4 gets a B- from DEgan
As confusing as this book is, it has me laughing an awful lot. I wasn't privy to the Ambush Bug heyday in the 80's... so there might be alot I'm missing. But there's something about it; I feel like I'm on the outside looking in-but so want to be on the inside! This book is really only for the diehard DC fans-but luckily this issue dealt heavily with 52 (which I followed obsessively) so for once I was half in the loop! The issue begins with Dan Didio suffering an embarrassing death-and follows the inexplicable Argh!Yle (Ambush Bug's nemesis who happens to be a sock) through the pages of 52 as he tracks down the Bug. I particularly enjoyed the 52 parody "time/place" subtitles which were all replaced with "page 9, Panel 2" and so on. Its also good to see Wicker Sue Dibny make a cameo. I dunno... this books to odd to explain. But there's some sick part of me that keeps bringing me back for more. I used the word "but" an awful lot in this review... and that goes to show how torn I am about enjoying this.

Street Fighter II Turbo #2 gets a C from AHR
I loved the first issue of this series because it was just a bunch of crazy fights and character moments. This issue has it's share of crazy fights, but aside from a nice moment of pathos early on, there isn't much else to keep your attention. It also feels really short, because there's an extremely boring backup story about Abel, a new character from Street Fighter IV. On the plus side, Cammie sexily assassinates a politician who looks a lot like George W., which is probably worth the price of admission.

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