Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCatchup week continues, with QUICKIE TAKES ON THE LAST TWO WEEKS' WORTH OF COMICS!


I like Mahfood's work- Grrl Scouts was fun and likeable, and I've always enjoyed his other stuff here and there when I see it. This prematurely released collaboration with some hip-hop group may be the best thing he's done yet. Lively, clever, and consistently funny, often reminding me of those old Pedro Bell ParlaFunkaDelicmentThang album covers. Take it from this whitest of white boys- this is well worth checking out. A

Another solid chapter as Sir Justin gets acclimated to the strange new world he finds himself in. He spends much of this issue being followed around by Big Red's cousin. A

Heaven help me, even though these sorts of spandex-and-black leather goings-on bore me in other comics, I simply like the way Joe Kelly writes super-heroes. Everything's appropriately grim and often cynical, but Kelly knows how to leaven it with humor and fortunately has a genuine sense of wit so it works. And you should all know how much I like the Mahnke/Nguyen art team, because I tell you so every week. THIS is how to do modern superhero comics. A-

It's generally not a good thing when the most lively scene in your story involves your lead character puking corrosive substances on people. B-

I swear to God I would have ripped this in two if that guy had said "Holy buckets" one more time. Pretty pictures, though. C+

Remember that super-hot girl or guy that you had a crush on in high school? Then, years later, you attend your 20-year class reunion and the former lust object is now married with three kids and weighs close to 250 pounds, with a drinking and smoking problem? That's kinda the feeling I got from this. Like most comics fans my age that picked the Englehart/Rogers Detectives up back in the day, I have fond memories of that run...but I feel much of the positive recollections might have been a direct result of how much more vital, different and creative it was compared to the extremely bland fare that had been offered up in both Bat-books prior to their assumption of the writing/art chores. There's certainly nothing dark about Englehart's Batman here, nor does he get to be much of a detective either...and while Rogers' art really hasn't gotten any worse (or any better, for that matter) since then, it now looks as fuddy-duddy as Sheldon Moldoff's Batman must have looked to fans of Neal Adams' version in the 70's. Englehart does well by the Joker, always has, but overall this is not an auspicious beginning to this particular nostalgia wallow. C+

DETECTIVE 803, 805, 806
Finally got caught up with the David Lapham run, and I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt because I've heard so much good about his Stray Bullets, but this is a disorienting mess that started out as a pretty good Eisnerish urban noir type thing but has rapidly devolved into yet another blah all-star villain of the month exercise with what seems to be ill-fitting science-fiction overtones. Feh. The Mike Carey-scripted back feature, "The Barker", barely registered and the art was grotesque. Jeff Parker does much better in #806's Alfred spotlight; hell, I think I'll keep buying this just to see what he does with it. 803, 805: C. 806: C+.


Warren Ellis on cruise control. He could write this sort of thing in his sleep, may have in fact, and if it's not especially fresh at least it's imaginative (Like another Internet pundit, I think it would have been cool if WE had titled this "They Saved Hitler's Porn) and VERY well illustrated by J.H. Williams. For me, superior art covers a multitude of sins. Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes. A

As usual since the color series began, I'm much less interested in Jack's somewhat cliched WWII struggles with the Freedom Fighters than I am the whole business (which has been cooking since the black & white series) with Becky Braddock, Bramble & Son, and the Shadow Man. Still, Grist's storytelling skills haven't diminished one bit, and this is as enjoyable as ever. A

More adventures with Boy Blue/Black Knight in the Adversary's lands. No better or no worse than previous issues, and it's building to a potentially interesting finale. A-

OK finale to what is, despite all the protestations to the contrary, diminished by its true nature as a prequel to DC's big multi-issue 2005 crossover extravaganza. Andy Diggle isn't as suited for superhero adventure (or supernatural adventure either, witness his Swamp Thing and Lady Constantine) as he is the espionage action thriller milieu (Losers, uf cuss) but he kept things moving at a brisk pace and only really resorted to cliché here at the end. Also, an overall nice art job by Pascal Ferry as well. I'm not sorry I bought this, but I was hoping for more. B+ Entire series: A-

Had me until the very end, and BEWARE THE SPOILER! The mutated cop wasn't acting particularly threatening when he advanced towards the fallen policeman- and it seemed to me that the other cops jumped the gun and opened fire, killing the poor guy. It looked like he had finally calmed down and was listening to reason...then they popped him! If they were going to shoot him full of holes, I would think that they would have done it when he was pitching cars around just a page or so previous. These things happen, I guess (except they usually don't involve mutated cops), but it seemed to me that this was thrown in there just for dramatic effect- no crime either, but it just didn't ring true to me. Oh well. It also bugged me that Batman sorta just disappeared or wandered off or whatever, and left the GCPD to their own devices...I know this is supposed to be the GCPD's book, but if he's there, you'd' think he wouldn't abandon ship like that. Otherwise, this was a fine arc, full of non-forced drama and working the Keystone PD into the mix was fun and interesting. Just wish the GCPD's trigger-fingers weren't so itchy. B

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