Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Things I've Been Reading

I've had the opportunity to do a little bit of comic book readint in the last week and I thought I would post some thoughts here.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: It was awaited with much anticipation, it was greeted with much adulation, what soon followed was a brief capitulation which ended with some grand celebration. That pretty much sums up my experience with the first four issues of the series. I was thrilled with the first issue, found the middle two a bit lagging and loved the conclusion. For a while there, I honestly thought I might not be keeping up with this revitalized version of the comic book franchise, but I'm happy to say Joss pulled it off in the end and I happily await Brian K. Vaughan's 4-issue Faith storyline. If they manage to keep the quality up and the other TV writers revive the magic, this could earn it's way up to 'top-o-the-pile' reading like its predecessor.

John Constantine Hellblazer: I had been absent from this series for a very long time (I bought 6 issues during Mike Carey's run and quit somewhere during Azzarello's) but the coming of Andy Diggle caught my attention. I liked some of his work in the past and I really wanted to see where fresh blood would take the character since the previous writer left a bad taste in many poeple's mouths and I was sure that there was very little left to do with the guy after years and years of the same-old same-old.

His first issue was simple, predictable John but a nice read overall. It featured a guy who wants to do nasty things to our John that suffers an enjoyable Tales From the Crypty sort of bad end. The second starts off seeming redundant, continuing the story from the first which you thought was completed, but ends with a nice hint as to where Diggle will be taking the series for the immediate future. The third has some big things happening but I think on first reading it lacks the satisfying build that the first two had.

Overall, I'm enjoying where this book is going more than the stories themselves so I'll stick with it for a while.

Ultimate Fantastic Four: My favourite new book, really. I've been catching up on back issues and picked up the latest, #42, because I liked the art and wondered how they'd introduce the Surfer into the Ultimate Marvel U. I find this book endlessly entertaining and Mike Carey does a great job of continuing what Mark Millar, Warren Ellis and others have set up before him. The ideas are big, the science is wild, the threats are interesting and the characters are, arguably, better and truer to their roots than their adult counterparts. I think I'll be picking this one up monthly from now on.

Loners: Cebulski and Moline continue making me happy with their retired super-hero support group tale. Cebulski's writing is very real and the dialogue comes off as effortless and individual to each character. I honestly wouldn't care if these guys had no previous connection to the Marvel U, I find their story interesting and truly hope that they get a monthly book out of this mini. It seems to be selling well so who knows.

That's it for today, probably more to come.


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