Friday, April 07, 2006

Saturday night's all right for the second installment of

In which I make regrettably brief comments about floppy pamphlets I have purchased and perused from the period that encompasses 20 March through 1 April. No fool-ing.

S: Peter Milligan; A: Nick Dragotta, Mike Allred
Y'know, this is one seriously weird story. It's also a pretty good litmus test to measure your sense of humor and open-mindedness about Marvel's superhero characters, since even jaded ol' me is a bit tweaked by seeing Doc Strange's noble mentor, the Ancient One, portrayed as a scheming badguy. But Milligan's just having fun, and as long as it's this entertaining that's just fine with me- lotsa chuckles (the Piano Player? Geez...) and oddness, plus he sees fit to bring back a character I liked a lot back in the day s when I actually enjoyed his X-Statix. Dragotta and Allred's collaboration on art brings out the best in both- the latter's layout style is livelier, but the former brings a touch of character to the proceedings. A-

THE ATHEIST 3 (Image/Desperado)
S: Phil Hester; A: John McCrea
The Best Comic That Warren Ellis Never Wrote belatedly continues, and it has been so long since I had read #2 that I was somewhat adrift for a little while there. Still, the lead character is interesting and there's a nice little battle of words between Our Mister Sharpe (the title character) and a surprising someone who's possessed by the ringleader of the "Dead folks possess the living and live in Winnipeg" scheme.I don't recall McCrea's art being this sketchy in his Hitman salad days- guess stylistic experimentation is all the vogue these days. B+

TESTAMENT 4 (DC/Vertigo)
S: Douglas Rushkoff; A: Liam Sharp
Four issues in, and once more the bible stories- complete with an ass-kicking Abraham and big stone guys whith glowing mouths who eat people- are more compelling than the earnestly derivative Orwellian stuff that is presumably the meat and potatoes of whatever Rushkoff is trying to do here...and I'm sure that's not what he wants. Perhaps if an artist whose style is less stiff and dull drew it, I might like it better, but one doesn't, and I don't. C+

S: Rick Remender; A: Harper Jaten
A Christmas story, of all things- either overdue or way early but kinda enjoyable in its way. New artist Jaten's work is a lot more reined-in than his predecessor's, not as frenetic but he(?) does give us some nice fantasy-type illustrations. Next issue, we get someone else, whose splash page on the inside back cover looks pretty swell. And so it goes. B+

S: Denise Mina; A: Leo Manco
Still under his self-imposed empathy curse, John encounters an old acquaintance who helps him get some information to move the story along to its next destination. Not as rote as I make it sound- Mina writes good dialogue, and the identity of the medium was a surprise. Manco slops ink all over everything, and tells the story adequately. B+

DAREDEVIL 83 (Marvel)
S: Ed Brubaker; A: Michael Lark, Steven Gaudiano
Thought I was reading Gotham Central for a second there! Anyway, solid all around as DD deals with the aftermath of Foggy Nelson's death, mostly by kicking the shit out of the Owl and pissing off other inmates. While I really wish that someone would do something, anything different with this character, this is still involving and I am curious about how this will get resolved.A-

S: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti; A: Khari Evans
Wow- not only do we get some vindication for Paste-Pot Pete, I mean the Trapster, but we also get a Doctor Bong (from Howard the Duck, remember?) appearance- and that's not all! The blah first issue is but a distant memory, as subsequent issues have been significantly better all around, featuring actual wit instead of smirkiness. I was hoping this would be this good. Now I'm hoping it doesn't let me down. That's life, I guess. A-

LUCIFER 72 (DC/Vertigo)
S: Mike Carey; A: Peter Gross, Aaron Alexovich
Lucifer's farewell tour continues, as we get three nicely done scenes with some of the women in his life: Queen Izanami, Elaine Belloc and, of course, Mazikeen. Wish I could think of more to say, but I can't, except all of this will have (I'm sure) impact on the next three issues ('cause that's all there is left) and if you've been a regular reader of the singles or trades you'll like it just as much as you have the others. A-

No comments: