Monday, May 05, 2003

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What I bought and what I thought, week of April 30, better late than never!

It's not often that I rank this book at the top of the heap, it's usually always consistently good but rarely ever grabs me to the point that I think it's the best thing I've read for that week. However, with Mike Carey on board I have a feeling this is going to change. Creepy, fast-paced, exciting finale to a two-issue story that appears to be the prelude to something more. Very well drawn by Lee Bermejo, whose name is familiar but I couldn't tell you anything else he's done. That may change, too. A

The angst-filled aftermath of the Black Mask storyline continues, with all the various characters going through various emotional crises...this would be a slog indeed if not for the deceptively simplistic, beautiful art by fill-in artist Javier Pulido. Nothing against regular illustrator Cameron Stewart, who's no slouch himself, but I'll be sorry to see him go. A

3. LEGION 19
Effective setup for the latest big multi issue epic, interesting mainly for the new art team of Chris Batista and Adam Hughes' best inker Mark Farmer, an improvement over some of the inconsistent fill-ins that have been featured since Oli Coipel left. Several nice character moments here as well, but that's not unusual- it's plot structure that is usually Abnett & Lanning's downfall. Note to Batista: generally it's a rule of thumb when illustrating the human body that the hips are more or less proportional to the shoulders. However, if Jennifer Lopez ever needs someone to draw her, then you should be at the top of her list. Don't expect to hear from Sir Mix-A-Lot, though...A-

The Grrls deal with new jobs, look for jobs, find jobs that aren't really suited for them, wear shirts and hats with band names on them that change from panel to panel, and one of them finds a boyfriend and an enemy at the same time. All this would be dull as dirt if not for Jim Mahfood's sense of humor and clever, angular art style, which make these events a hell of a lot more interesting than they should be. A-

5. JLA 80
Joe Kelly is striving to bring the JLA down to earth a bit, and I think that's an admirible goal, but he tends to be heavy handed and often throws in significant events "between pages", which can be extremely annoying. For me the sharpness of his characterization tends to outweigh the sloppiness of his pacing, so all in all, I enjoyed this issue despite the lackluster art by Duncan Rouleau, the fellow who follwed Humberto Ramos on Impulse and shares Ramos' predilection for bigfoot stylings on his figures. Problem is, that's all he shares with Ramos. His Wonder Woman in particular was just atrocious. B-