Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Unthinkable" and Other Things

I just finished and set down the second Mark Waid/Mike Weiringo Fantastic Four collection, 'Unthinkable'. I'd heard so much about this storyline and it landed right around the point where I had to seriously cut back on my comic purchases and I quit buying the book on a monthly basis, so when I found it sitting at the library I couldn't resist picking it up.

Now, let it be said that I really enjoyed the first story arc that Waid and Weiringo told, 'Sentient', as well as the few issues that came afterwards. The family dynamics were always just as important as the cosmic adventures, so seeing Johnny taking a job with the FF's company was just as enjoyable as watching Reed trying to outsmart a new lifeform. As far as 'Unthinkable' goes, though, I have to say that I was awfully disappointed with what I saw.

It seemed out of character for the team, the series and the creative forces behind the book. Trying to make an FF story disturbing or scary is not an easy task and I don't think Waid was entirely up to the task. Weiringo's artwork was fantastic to look at and his storytelling ability is without peer but, again, the tone of his art is so diametrically opposed to telling this sort of story that the overall fit was awkward. Franklin trapped in Hell? The FF tortured by a sorcerous Doom? Doom wearing a new suit of armour fashined from the DEAD SKIN OF HIS EX-LOVER? Some cool ideas there, sure, but it just didn't come off for me.

When it comes to my FF or Spider-Man stories I get pretty particular and 'Unthinkable' just missed the mark.

Something I am enjoying quite a bit, however, is The Escapists by Brian K. Vaughan and various artists. Based on the Michael Chabon character this 6-issue series tells the tale of a group of kids who revitalize The Escapist comic book for a new audience and have some adventures (super and otherwise) along the way. I don't know if it's just a really well put together book or if it's because I first saw issue 1 after reading Men of Tomorrow, but this has quickly become one of my absolute favourite titles to pick up and read. I'm sorry to hear that it's only going to run the six issues because I'm enjoying it so much.

I think I may even track down Vaughan and do the ol' interview thing with him. I'd like to get some behind the scenes insight on this one.

Sloan has just released another studio album which has me very excited. 'Never Hear The End of It', their 8th studio album, is 30 songs of unadulterated pleasure for the Sloan fanatic. I'm not going to get into a big discussion of the disc right now because I haven't honestly had time to digest the whole thing yet, but I will say that it is good, and I am anxiously awaiting their arrival in town next month. It's been too long since I've seen them playing live. It'll be good for the soul.

I've also read the first 3 issues of the new Flash series by Bilson, DeMeo and Lashley. I have some things to say about that but, again, I'm going to wait for another post. I wanted to mention it here, though, so I don't forget about it.

James Robinson's seminal 'un-super-hero' series, Starman, has also made a comeback in the Jozic household. I'd only read up to the end of the 'Stars My Destination' storyline so I figured I'd try and finish the series off. I also wanted something a little bit different than what I was used to reading of late and it really fit the bill.

As a Giffen fan I had to try the first issue of 52 and I can't say that I'm all that impressed, especially since I had to read Infinite Crisis #7 before jumping ahead and doing it. IC had me so amped some months ago only to lose me shortly thereafter. I had gone through and read, like, every cross-over series and tie-in and totally immersed myself in the whole bloated event but then DC put the final issue out something like 2 months late and all the air just went out of it for me - pfffffffffft! Reading #7 now was a bit of a chore and everything they had built to - that had me excited in the first place - now felt empty and hackneyed. I'm starting to understand why the One Year Later books are not really appealing to me in any way shape or form (oops, I think you just got a little unintended commentary on The Flash there).

I'll keep reading it for a few issues but I'm not holding out too much hope for it.

On the list for things to get to are Agents of Atlas #2 (Sorry, Jeff, I still haven't gotten to it), some more Books of Magic, catching up on my B.P.R.D., 28 Days Later, A Very Long Engagement and some more Eureka. And that's the short list!

I'll try and post again soon.



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