Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Comic Book Store Pull List - August 15, 2007

The Brave And The Bold #6
We come to the end of the first storyline since the relaunch of this series and it left me with a very nice taste in my mouth. I've been a fan of this series since the start mainly for the amount of fun and freedom this book has with all of the characters involved. It doesn't disregard continuity but it doesn't function as a slave to it too. The entire Destiny's book/Luck Lords story comes to a close with a mad dash and battle across the planet of Rand, proof that Supergirl can be a very well rounded character when handled by the right writer, and the last addition to the cast that I didn't see coming and was very happy to see. We'll see if it can keep it up as it moves along and I'll be one of the people rooting for it to succeed.
My verdict: A

Justice League of America #12
It Brad Meltzer's swan song on this title it read to me like he went out with kind of a shrug. After the previous issue that had a really interesting and thrilling way about it, this one kind of worked like a day in the life kind of thing based around the need for team members to do monitor duty. There are a couple nods to some of the lesser characters (aka the ones without their own books) and nods to the formation of the group back in the old days. I have to admit to feeling a little blase about the whole thing but it was nice to read a little actual character development after 10 issues of mostly action. I was also kind of left in confusion about an appearance by a character that I thought wasn't possible in current continuity but it didn't really make me hate the story or anything like that.
My verdict: B

Ultimate Spider-Man #112
Welcome to the beginning of the Stuart Immonen era on the art side of the book and it looked kind of a nice place to be. While I still have to say that I prefer Bagley's line work, the art on this issue flows along the same way as the previous 111 issues. Most of the action runs with Peter at school and Norman Osbourne in jail which felt mostly like the standard "storyline opening issue" that tends to come out since the trade paperback years started. Carol Danvers pays Norman a visit and it looks like everything goes bad once she refuses his one request while Peter, Mary Jane, and Kitty have to deal with the old "fake baby" thing that they have in high schools other than the one that I went to. I'll have to see what happens as the story progresses but this read like a paint by numbers opening issue to me.
My verdict: B

Countdown #37
This issue is more up and down by the nearest elevator and this one read on the way down, though there were some interesting points. It's just that the story as a whole wound itself down in a way that leaves me not really feeling a strong attraction to most of what's going on. The Mary Marvel/Zatanna and Trickster/Pied Piper stories were good additions especially the visit to Zatanna's secret mansion. Other than that, all of the other plot lines left me feeling cold. The end of the issue left me even more surprised that they would pull it out but it kind of leaves the whole thing in a very different way of going. Again, it's not the most thrilling of comic but it's not kind of totally worthless either.
My verdict: C+

The Flash #231
It's the first issue of the return of Wally West as The Flash and it was an interesting read. There were many little tidbits and references to what the West family had been up to since they wandered off into the Speed Force though there are still a lot of things left to be answered. There is also a beginning to the explanation of the kids' powers but it left a lot of stuff to be found out. Like Ultimate Spider-Man, this functioned as a "storyline opening issue" though there was also a lot of content shown to give the audience a view of the series as a whole following all of the last couple of issues. The art by Acuna has an interesting kind of view to it but it did seem a little too overstretched for my taste. There was also the odd look of the bad guys at the end of the issue that gave me a weird flashback to the movie, THE HOST, but all in all this was nice opening issue.
My verdict: B

Booster Gold #1
It's time for the return of one of the oddest characters in comics and this time he gets to play both sides of the fence. Unlike previous comics where he was played as just being a goofball, this series sees Booster playing the goof to the world while he winds up playing the serious hero in the background. It looks like they'll be using this comic to wander through the new multiverse as Booster is sent through time and dimension to fix or correct problems that pop up. A fun read that works as a way to begin the new perspective on the character and allows the story to go in many different directions, including a couple references to future storylines viewed in the now standard Geoff Johns' last page bit. Time will definately tell how it all works out but it is a nice start.
My verdict: B-

Welcome To Tranquility #9
The town of retired heroes is beginning to have major problems with zombies and what seems like the Devil's right hand man along with the first appearance of an intriguing new addition to the cast. While the standards of this comic is kept to it's normal position, I have to admit to being a little bored with this issue. It wasn't that nothing really happened. It's just that it kind of feels like I'm still waiting for a little more character detail that hasn't been gotten to. The town is full of all kinds of different people but you don't really feel any kind of connection with any of them on anything other than a superficial level. Along with the main story, we're also provided with a short bit about the new addition that shows the man's origin in a lot of freaky detail. Trust me when I say that this is one of those guys that definately has a simple focus to his heroics.
My verdict: B-

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Comic Book Store Pull List - August 8, 2007

X-Factor #22
If I was asked to pick my current favorite comic book writer, one of the people at the top of the list would be Peter David. He has an amazing talent to write a comic like it's a prose novel and still make it work in the episodic nature of this business. That talent is seriously on show in this issue. There are multiple different plot lines running alongside each other and they all feel like they're getting the attention they deserve. It even works when you go to the story about the two kids that sing anti-mutant songs though it does seem to be kind of off to the side of the rest of the goings on. With what happened at the end of the issue, it would seem like all of those threads will begin to merge soon enough but I kind of have to wonder how the additional bit factors into it.
My verdict: A-

Daredevil #99
It's sad for me to have to say this but this was the first issue of Ed Brubaker's writing run that I really couldn't get into. Unlike all of the previous issues, the action in this one just kind of happens and not due to the plot developments. It's almost like a condensed version of a full issues content. After what happened in the previous issue, Matt is seriously on the hunt for who is causing all of the hell in his life and he goes all out, including smacking many people around. While all that is going on, his wife is going off the rails which leads to part of the big climax. And that leads to a big problem for me. Both of the big finale moments really rang false to me. The big villan reveal fell very flat for me and I'm someone who has read DD on and off (avoiding some of the sucky parts) for nearly 15 years. Honestly, I had no clue who the person was. Toss in a really random moment in a subway and it all just didn't work itself together for me.
My verdict: B-

Fables #64
This issue gives a minor break from the current storyline to show a view of what is going on with the Snow White/Bigby Wolf family and it does read kind of nicely. The action includes the preparation for the kids' birthday party and some views of the world moving towards war. While it is a nice story all the way around, it left me kind of wondering why they needed to pause the main story to put this one in. The fill-in art had a very interesting look with a lot of big eyed work though it did take me a moment or two to recognize who it was. I might be the only person asking for this but I really think that this comic needs one of those "Previously In..." pages at the start because I had no clue who the kids that appeared in the opening were and I still don't. Enjoying helps when you know who you're reading about.
My verdict: B

Countdown #38
After two pretty strong weeks, this series goes right back to the questionable level. All of the plot lines motor along with the Jimmy Olsen and Mary Marvel plots being in the forfront. The MM kind of works okay but I just can't wrap my brain around the JO one. I guess it feels a little too silly when compared to the things going on with the other characters. The whole Oracle/Calculator battle was intriguing but it kind of was a bit too cerebral for a comic book. Two people battling it out over an internet connection just doesn't tend to illicit the drama like a more physical fight would. All in all, it feels like this series is sliding back to the iffy area it lived in back at the start of the whole thing.
My verdict: C+

Green Lantern #22
It might just prove that I have the need to not know what is going on, but I decided to pick up this issue due to all of the publicity The Sinestro Corps storyline is getting. While I was left a little confused by the hows and whys of some of the stuff going on, the issue read very nicely and felt really thrilling to even a new reader. With Hal fighting to save Kyle Rayner from the thrall and power of the creature known as Parallax, there are many different players on the board that are trying to move the pieces into a manner that will benefit themselves when all of the fighting is over. I think I'm intrigued enough to stick around for a little while and see how it all shakes out but all I can really review comes from the words and pictures on the pages and those were very likeable indeed.
My verdict: B

Friday, August 03, 2007

My Comic Book Store Pull List - August 1, 2007

Justice Society of America #8
Following up on the two big opening stories and the intoduction of the latest version of the "Steel" character, it was nice to have this single issue story to give a little more character work. With a cast as large as this comic has, it can be hard to give all of the different people their moment of attention so you take the chance when you get the time. This issue reads like a nod to Liberty Belle but it also dovetails in a little time for Damage too. The reading goes very smoothly and it does work very nicely but I did kind of dislike what the Society did with the police. It seemed really out of character to act that way after the worry and panic that showed up earlier in the story. Either way, it works nicely and gives us a hello from people that might wind up blending into the background from time to time. And that must be hard when they run around in blue, yellow, and red spandex.
My verdict: A-

Countdown #39
It's another week of jam packed action for the reverse counting series though I have to admit a little bit of confusion. It might just show that my memory is going away but I had no clue about who was travelling with Karate Kid until he said her code name. Either way, it's nice to have a couple issues in a row that moved the plots along. My current favorite has to be the Trickster/Pied Pipper plot, mainly due to the fact that it feels like there really is something going on. When you have one plot that usually involves a group of people seemingly randomly travelling around the subuniverse, a slightly silly plot with Jimmy Olsen, and a couple other to choose from. One thing that I found really interesting was the backup story and it's explanation for the Source Wall. Unlike all of the previous reasons to have a big wall at the end of the universe, the one included here really read like something that works both logically and storywise too.
My verdict: B

Metal Men #1
This one turned into more of a store purchase then a preplanned thing because I wasn't quite sure about what I had heard about it in the press. It just didn't scream out to me so I didn't have it pulled. While I was surprised at how well it did read, I have to say that there were some problems with what was going on. The issue bounced around a bunch which made me get slightly confused on the general plot of the comic. It's the first issue which leaves them a lot of room to fully explain what is going on but I really hope they write a little closer to the bone of the plot. There was also a little confusion on my part during a scientific presentation but that might just be due to being a liberal arts major.
My verdict: B-