BEST OF THE WEEK
What I bought and what I thought, week of December 29!
ADAM STRANGE 4
Was this really the best of the week? Um...not quite- but it was the single issue that stayed with me the longest after I had read my stack. The grand space opera continues as Strange encounters the mostly-forgotten 80s space-opera team the Omega Men, and we get a few more pieces to the puzzle of what happened to Adam's adopted planet. Script/dialogue: fine, although I don't really think that cosmic is Andy Diggle's forté. Art, also fine, even though I'm beginning to wonder if Pascal Ferry knows how to draw a human figure that's not coiled, tense, and ready for action; plus this whole thing is colored way too dark for my taste. I know, most of the action takes place on a dark, deserted space station or somesuch, but geez- do we have to be as much in the dark as the characters are? A-
DAISY KUTTER: THE LAST TRAIN 4
Daisy winds up taking on the mastermind behind the train heist who hired her in the first place, and it's nicely done (with a tense-enough showdown at the climax)...but it kinda felt anti-climactic somehow. Guess it's just me- plus I'm willing to admit that it might read better collected, as I'm sure it will be soon, and I can wholeheartedly recommend to those of you who've been wondering. A-
What the-?!? Writer Greg Pak takes an abrupt left turn and gives us an ending which I sure as hell didn't see coming, and I'm not sure I'm all that crazy about- but like I said about Street Angel's Jim Rugg a while back, if you're going to confound audience expectations, then for God's sake don't be half-assed about it! I'm not 100% sure that he might not have been better off leaving well enough alone, since the back-and-forth between Warlock and Janie Chen was one of the things that I liked the most about #'s 1-3...but the ending works well enough, and I really wish that this series could have gone on a bit longer. A-.
CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA 1
For a little while there I began to wonder whether or not this was a comic book or a philosophy/social sciences lecture, but Concrete as a series and Paul Chadwick as a writer has always been talky anyway, so it's cool I guess. It's been so long since the last miniseries that I suppose I forgot. Anyways, if you're not a fan and pick this up wondering what the buzz was all about, you might not get converted right away but give it time. For those of us who've been a fan since way back when, it's a welcome return for this solid, if a little preachy sometimes, sci-fi series. B+
JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER 203
John's demonic "love" children continue to make trouble for him, but he acquires a mysterious ally of sorts. That's it in a nutshell, and it's more compelling for me to read than it is for me to summarize for you, honest. Not-bad, not-good job by Leo Manco on art- apparently he's lost whatever it was that made his mid-90's work so special. B+
The underrated Pete Snejbjerg takes over on art for the last two-parter, in which Alice gets herself kidnapped and prepares to be sold into slavery, and the Monolith has to find her. Even though it's a bit uncomfortable seeing Alice bound and shot up with smack, further perpetuating the violence against women that seems to be all the rage at DC these days, and I do mean "rage", still, it's not too excessive and I suppose if she wasn't in serious peril then we wouldn't have much of a story, would we? Anyway, since this is the penultimate issue, everything is condensed and is way too rushed- it would have been nice to have had an issue or two to drag out the mystery of Alice's whereabouts, and it would have made it more dramatic when the 'Lith comes to the rescue. Or maybe we would have had more violent interludes, who knows. B
THE WALKING DEAD 14
OK, the people in the prison building turned out to be cons left there by the catastrophe, who have survived, even though the facility is lousy with zombies. Fair enough. Then we get a weird incident at the end which really strains credibility, and lots and lots and LOTS of talk all the way from beginning to end- I think Kirkman gets paid by the word. Anyway, with this issue I think I'll bid a fond adieu to our embattled survivors; I hope they make it through OK. I just don't really care anymore- between this and Y: The Last Man, which I supported for about nine issues, I guess my interest in post-apocalyptic scenario fiction just isn't what it used to be.B-