BEST OF THE WEEK
What I bought and what I thought, week of August 6
FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE 2
Honestly, I don't know how I can add to what I've said before: it's like Giffen and Dematteis found a script they had written back in 1986, dusted it off, and turned it in. Highlights this time around: the running joke with Fire, Sue Dibny, and hubby Ralph, the intellectual thugs, and the small, but hilarious Oberon cameo. Small...Oberon...BWAH-HA-HA! Big difference between now and then: Kevin Maguire has grown as an artist...his facial expressions, which were always realistic but sometimes didn't always match the emotions required back in the day are letter-perfect now, and he's gotten looser and more imaginative with his layouts. Only one complaint: colorist Lee Loughridge really needs to rethink his color palette. I suppose if I wanted to be true to this issue's spirit, I'd give it a 9, but instead I'll just stay with the norm and give it an A.
BAD GIRLS 1
What we have here is really nothing different than the sort of TV movies you see on the Disney Channel all the time, and since I watch Kim Possible whenever I can, I see plenty of that sort of thing on that network. Strong Buffy vibe, too. It's also reminiscent of theatrical releases like Zapped!, The Craft, or Clockstoppers. Or if we must compare it to comics, perhaps H-E-R-O combined with Will Pfiefer and Jill Thompson's recent miniseries Finals. A teenage nerd creates a serum which gives the four "Heathers" of his school super-powers, and it definitely doesn't appear as though they'll use them responsibly. This was an engaging read, despite the second-handedness of its plot, and well drawn by newcomer (to me, anyway) Jennifer Graves, who inks herself this time but I read where personal fave Jason Bone will do the tracing honors next issue, which is just fine with me. Still, I'm glad I got to see her own inks, and I'll be interested in what she does next. Gotta give a special mention to the nice Darwyn Cooke cover, which induced me to pick this up in the first place. Again, murkily colored by Lee Loughridge, who really should take that colorblindness test I had to take years ago for my graphics jobs... A-
ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL 4
Moody and fast-paced, as usual, and Wade Von Grawbadger is a much better inker for Ryan Sook than the guy they got last time...but the story jumps around from place to place and flashback to flashback, often making it hard to follow, and I'm not sure if the focus didn't shift from the "Fish" too soon. The Demon's coming up, and all hell promises to literally break loose, so I'm still interested. B+
SOCK MONKEY Vol. 4 2
I still like Tony Millionaire's oddball sense of humor, and his excellent re-creation of the turn-of-the-century cartooning style...but his last few Sock Monkey stories have sported downbeat, glum endings which don't reward the faithful reader at all and definitely tempers my enjoyment and appreciation of his efforts. I'm not one that expects to be uplifted and favorably entertained every time out, but geez...misery doesn't always love company, you know. B+
STRANGERS IN PARADISE Vol.3 59
How typical of Terry Moore to finish his most involving issue in months with that hoariest of hoary comic-book cliches, the bitter victim of parental abuse. In this ever changing world in which we live, I suppose it should be reassuring to know that Mr. Moore will always be counted upon to do the melodramatic and cliche without fail whenever presented with the opportunity.