The first dedicated "review" blog of last week's comic releases, or at least the ones I bought. Thanks to Chad W. and Dave F. for suggesting this as a feature.
So, welcome to Reading and Writing for 2.8.2011 - Books released on 2.2.2011
Batman Odyssey #6
That said...This is the first issue of this series where I had trouble figuring out what the hell was going on, and simply how I was supposed to move from panel to panel. I also respect Adams' desire to fit a lot of story into each issue, but this is like the full opposite of the decompressed storytelling that's overrun the industry. Yet, in a way, it's exactly the same. The story doesn't really move very far forward in this issue, but a crap-load of exposition is spewed out.
Not to mention a really, really poor ending. I mean, Bruce says, "I'm tired," and collapses into sleep on the Batcave floor? What the hell was that? It was almost like a joke, a way to end the issue quickly because, well...that was 22 pages.
Brightest Day #19
The "Aquawar" section was at least propulsive, but, maybe I''m stupid, why are Mera's people attacking the surface world? The answer might be in the book, but, frankly, it made no impact. It was just something for Aquaman and the new Aqualad to run from/through, then, bam! Black Manta cuts off Aquaman's hand...again.
The art is really solid, and unified, on this book. That's saying something for this schedule and the sheer number of artists working on it. It at least looks fantastic.
Jonah Hex #64
"Nelson" was this month's artist, and he's got a very clean, precise line. His women are nice, too, which is fitting for a story turning on a beautiful woman. He's (She's?) an artist I would love to see on any superhero book, it's that kind of work, but it didn't really feel like Jonah Hex art. Too clean, in a modern comic book way. I've grown used to seeing very identifiable, quirky artists on this series, Jordi Bernet, Darwyn Cooke, and Nelson doesn't have a lot of quirk.
The Stand: No Man's Land #1
It's hard to really mention anything else. If you're reading these connected mini-series, you're likely a Stephen King fan, and if you're a Stephen King fan, you've likely read The Stand. There's not going to be a lot surprising, nor is there anything that's going to upset you.
I mean, my only complaint is that Larry Underwood has looked less and less like Bruce Springsteen (who King suggested should play the role in a movie) as the series have gone forward. But, y'know, whatever...
...and there you go.
Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #5
I mention this because, it took me at least 4 pages to try to re-set my brain to where we actually were with this story, and what the hell was at stake. Yeah, yeah, Marvel provides a "quick recap" on the first page, but does anybody else remember when, A) you got that info in one cation on the opening splash page, and B) The characters themselves would re-iterate the events throughout the story? Yes, I know that's not the most "realistic" way for people to talk...
But I remind you...It's a COMIC BOOK, about a man out of time, a Norse God and a dude that build himself a suit of armor that would need a nuclear reactor to power it. I don't read superhero comics for realism, no matter what Mark Millar's deal is. I just wish, especially if your artist is gonna need five months between issues, you reflected that in the writing.
Now, on that score, Frank Cho's art is pretty stunning, but not his best. Some of the female figures, which we all know is his strong suit, seem a bit out of proportion in some panels. It's not terrible, and I certainly couldn't do any better, but with the wait we've had...?