Saturday, April 10, 2004

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What I bought and what I thought, week of April 7

Clever, cute, charming...all the usual positive C-words apply to this nice little mini, which didn't disappoint me at all. After her period of doubt and her dalliance with the devil, Frankie reclaims her faith and finds that her diety never lost his, as the title suggests. I also was pleasantly surprised with the oh-what-the-heck ending, giving us a resolution to the relationship issues that you don't see very often, to say the least. Mike Carey has shown that he's just as comfortable with the lighter side of theological fantasy as he is with the more serious side we get over in Lucifer, and hopefully he'll get the chance to revisit it someday. Also nicely done was the art of Sonny Liew, who along with inker Marc Hempel kept the proceedings lively and gave us a fun vision of Frankie's world. More, please. This issue: A-, entire series: A-.

What is perhaps the strongest Hellboy spinoff series yet continues in fine form, as Abe, Roger, and Co. investigate further into the menace of the frog creatures from the first HB series. The jury's still out, at least as far as I'm concerned, as to whether the rest of the BPRD can be as interesting on their own as they are when they provide a contrast to Hellboy's mostly anti-intellectual approach...but I will say that I am becoming more and more convinced that Guy Davis is really hitting his stride in the last couple of years, first with Nevermen and now this- his art here is sharp, tight, and dynamic, something it frequently wasn't back in his Sandman Mystery Theatre days. A-

Thessaly searches high and low for the way to defeat the supernatural doom which has been sicced on her petite ass, and finds a glimmer of hope in a most unlikely place. The first issue didn't excite me much, the second kicked in a little over halfway through, and I was drawn in early on in this one, with its solid dialogue and enjoyable fantasy aspects (hardly a stretch for writer Bill Willingham, since he's been doing it so well over at Fables, but still not always easy- witness the first Thessaly mini) it's anybody's guess whether the finale next month will live up to my expectations. My hunch is that it will. Artist Shawn McManus has gotten better, too, with many of the mannerisms and inconsistencies that had bugged me about both the first issue of this (and the previous mini as well) ceasing to be such a glaring problem, at least to my eyes. And, of course, another wonderful cover by Tara McPherson...marred only by some dubious indicia-placement by somebody in production or editorial. A-

If I go get my copy of Swamp Thing #2 before Wednesday, I'll probably update this and add a review of it as well...but I ain't got it so I cain't review it. Same goes for Deep Sleeper 2, which may have been the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.