Thursday, March 27, 2003

Image Hosted by


Time now for
What I bought and what I thought, week of March 26

Javier Pulido works wonders with Ed Brubaker's emotionally heavy script as the title character deals (or fails to deal, in some cases) with the aftermath of the previous issue. Simple on the surface, Pulido uses a number of different styles to illustrate a number of different scenarios, from the crime noir scenes with Slam Bradley and Selina to the open and airy dream sequences. He gets a lot of help from the colorist, too. It's rare to see an illustrator do his scripter such justice. And lucky us, there's more to come. A

In which our anti-heroines go out and get jobs in the real world (instead of dealing dope), and charm as well as entertain as they do so. Sure fire formula for success, at least with me: engaging characters plus clever, distinctive artwork=Dave likes. A

While I still prefer Marcelo Frusin's version of Johnny-boy, guest artist Lee Bermejo has some genuinely creepy moments in what's shaping up to be yet another excellent story by Mike Carey. A

4. JLA 79
Joe Kelly continues his somewhat heavy handed anti-war allegory, but it's still cleverly done and I, for one, like these new JLA members, especially Major Disaster, who's shaping up to be kinda likeable in a pugnacious kind of way. It goes without saying that the Mahnke/Nguyen art is excellent. A-

Joe Mays' cutesy anime style, all round heads and missing noses and wannabe Adam Warren stylings, damn near sinks this otherwise enjoyable (and long overdue) tale of everybody's favorite fishnetted sorceress. The rendition of John Constantine is especially grating, after being accustomed to the likes of Sean Phillips & Marcelo Frusin. Dini is more than welcome to write as many Zee stories as he wants, and the DC editorial braintrust is more than welcome to find him a more suitable art partner next time. B+

Message to Mike Avon Oeming: don't quit your day job. I didn't hate this- it's actually well done, for the most part. The art by one Neil Vokes (I've heard the name but have somehow managed to avoid picking up anything with his art in it before) is a little derivative of Mignola, Kevin O'Neill and Oeming himself but is overall high quality. My biggest problems came with a story that took a long time to present us with the old bromide that "Pride goeth before a fall", quite literally, and had at its center a mystery that was challenging if one is five years old and a little slow. For $5.95, I want more. B

7. LEGION 18
Hate to rank this one so low...actually, I liked several things about this issue. Problems were Abnett & Lanning's tendency to ignore or overlook little things like internal consistency and common sense in order to make the story flow smoothly, a half-assed solution to the Princess Projectra/Sensor mess which was literally Draconian, and some sloppy, indifferent art by a guest illustrator that I hope they don't use again. Other than that, I liked it. B-

Like sports teams that tend to rise up to the level of their competition, Warren Ellis seems to be a writer that impresses when paired with an outstanding illustrator and not so hot when teamed with a lackluster one. Guess which one is true this time out. Artist David Lloyd is not a name I'm unfamilar with– I understand that he's done some excellent work before, mostly in British comics (I think he did V For Vendetta, a book that many people seemed to like a lot in the 80s...didn't care for it myself), so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that account. Very little of that ability is evident here, though, and his sloppy, badly proportioned art makes an uninspired, cliched Ellis script (that left me wondering whether it might have been a leftover Authority plot idea- the lead character is very similar to Jack Hawksmoor) even more unbearable. If the rest of the limited series is going to be like this, I'm hanging up on the Global Frequency early. C+

For those who thought Codename:Knockout was highbrow spy spoofery. Phil Noto is a fine cover illustrator that would have been a busy, busy man in the 60s doing movie posters. Problem is, he's just not very good at sequential art...everything looks sketchy, awkward and underdrawn. And he's not helped by a lame, cliched, leering, monotonous script that makes me sorry I decided to go ahead and pick this overpriced, overlong trainwreck of a comic book up in the first place. D+