Saturday, November 01, 2003

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What I bought and what I thought, week of October 29

I suppose that if we must have Classic Superboy in the Legion, then this is a clever enough way to do it. Multiple storylines this time out, some flashbacks and some new stuff, illustrated by multiple artists, each turning in a fine job- even good old Dave Cockrum, the second old-time Legion illustrator to appear within these pages in the last two issues. He's the weakest of the bunch, but he's still not bad. Best turns are by regular cover artists Tony Harris and Tom Feister, and regular penciller Chris Batista, with a trio of inkers. Two surprising cliffhangers at the end, and a very cost effective (though not compared with manga, I know, John) 48 pages for $3.95 put this at the top of an underwhelming stack. A-

JLA 89
Well, the script hit all the right notes, and the art is fantastic, but this grand finale to the best JLA story arc in recent memory turns out to be inexplicably anticlimactic. Guess I just let my expectations get raised all out of proportion. Even so, if you've been waiting to get this when it's collected by all means go ahead- it's been a real great ride, even if the destination was a letdown. And I want a Joe Kelly Plastic Man ongoing series now. A-

Another ho-hum finale to an ongoing arc, and the last Cameron Stewart issue, doubly disappointing. Selina and Holly end up in St. Roch, a sort of alternate New Orleans, to seek out the Hawks for advice on the Thuggee-ish bad guys that have been following them around the country. Then Selina and Kendra (Hawkgirl) go clubbing, and Holly gets a big surprise. And that's all, folks! Next issue, Paul Gulacy, whose art style just doesn't seem to jibe with what's been established, stylistically. We'll see, I guess. B+

I didn't sign up for this, but the guy who pulled my holds at the comics shop thought I'd want it since I buy the Strangers ongoing. Well, I guess. Anyway, if one was hankering for a guide to the world Terry Moore has created, then they need look no more, 'cause it's all here- all the characters, well-known and obscure, and lots of trivial info about everybody. And no poetry, thank God, so I'll give it a B+.

Doesn't say much for this latest would-be Loeb/Sale classic that I couldn't remember reading this five minutes after I was done. Absolutely nothing of consequence happens in this installment, and what does happen is simply those old Lee/Kirby sagas of yore reshuffled and recycled, a sleight-of-hand which doesn't wash if you've read the originals. A real rip-off at $3.50, nice cover notwithstanding, and this relationship between General Ross and his daughter that Loeb's trying to establish is just plain creepy. Ross was a blockhead back in the day, but he wasn't creepy. C-

I also picked up the Essential Tomb of Dracula collection, but I haven't had the chance to sit down and read it yet. Having read many of the issues reprinted, though, I can say that I'm really looking forward to reacquainting myself with them. And so far my pages are still intact...