Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Comic Haul

I'll probably be brief this time around, as it is late and I'm tired, but I wanted to get some of these posted.

Serenity #1-3: The story of "Better Days" is brief but enjoyable for fans of the show. The plot is simple and designed to show more about the characters than advance any grand plot or attempting to bridge the television series with the film. This is, at its most basic, a love letter to the fans and the show. I personally would have liked to see a longer story play out (even one more issue would have done the trick for me) but DHC seems to want to stick with the 3-issue arcs so I won't even bother arguing that point. According to editor Scott Allie we have one more of these minis to look forward to. As they say on the show, "Keep 'em flying".

Teen Titans Go! #54-55: The end of the show should have meant the end of this comic book a year or so ago, but for whatever reason DC kept this title running and I've always been thankful of it, even though the quality of the book has slipped somewhat since the show went off the air. In these last two issues Torres gives us a ho-hum story revolving around a Wonder Girl wannabe and a nice wrap-up in #55 with the Titans facing their greatest fears under the onslaught of Phobia. Todd Nauck also puts in some of his best art on the series with the characters looking sharp, the layouts interesting, and the storytelling dynamic.

I'm sorry to see this book go but it was probably time for it to move on.

Fantastic Four #554-557: I originally poo-pooed this storyline but after going back and re-reading the first issue (followed by the next three or four) I've really come to be sold on this book. It's still not exactly how I envisioned Millar and Hitch handling these characters, but they're doing a bang-up job of it so far. One of my early complaints was not wanting to really see the post-Civil War Marvel U since I was never a fan of the event in the first place, but I'm seeing some cool things coming out of this book and the cliffhanger ending of #558 (not technically reviewed herein) has me excited for the next few issues.

Check this one out if you aren't already. Definitely worth the $3.

The Invincible Iron Man #1: Yet another Iron Man #1, but for all intents and purposes, it's a good one. Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca present an interesting debut for Tony Stark and his armored alter-ego, not getting bogged down in a lot of backstory and moving things forward at a nice pace. Once agian Stark's technology has become a problem and Tony has to face the idea that someone has taken his Iron Man tech and accomplished what he's always feared; they improved on it. Not a bad premise and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out for this first storyline. Also, Salva's artwork, as always, is impeccable. This guy used to be 'okay' back in the day (remember those Claremont FFs?), but over the years he just keeps impressing me more and more. I have issue 2 on my 'to read' pile, so it will likely be in the next set of reviews.

Angel: After the Fall #6-8: Taking a break from their regular programming, these are the interstitial issues that deal with the first night when LA was sent into a hell dimension. What happened in that alley at the end of season 5, where did the characters go, how did they get there and what have they been doing between the series finale and the first issue of "After the Fall"? These are all questions that get answered here and, much like the first 5 issues of the series, this stuff is gold for the Angel fan. IDW is doing a remarkably good job with this series and I'm very much looking forward to the final 5 or 6 issues, even if there will be a new artist.

Secret Invasion #1-2: What can I say, I'm torn. I'm enjoying the idea of this series, I love the artwork by the always entertaining Leinil Francis Yu, but it's moving so goddamn slow I just don't know if I have the stamina for 8 issues of this. Issue 1 was solid, presents the premise promisingly (take that Stan Lee!) and leaves us with a killer of a cliffhanger (pun intended). Issue's a fight scene. Yup, the whole damn thing is one big fight scene with a couple of cuts to show you the Helicarrier crashing and something else I can't remember. Sure, there are a couple of revalations during the fight scene, and yeah, Leinil's storytelling carries the issue pretty much from beginning to end, but...

I mean, it's a fight sequence.

6 more issues to go. #3 is on the 'to read' pile so we'll see if I keep buying this one beyond that or issue #4.

The Batman Strikes #45: What would a Batman animated series be without a Gotham Girls episode? Seeing as how they never tried tackling that in the animated series, this issue takes the latest iteration of Gotham's female animated finest and teams them up for a caper involving a Batman and Robin out of town, a trapped Poison Ivy, Batgirl having to set aside her crimefighter impulses to work with Harley and Catwoman, and a not-so-surprising double cross at the end that you can see coming for a mile but is well done. This particular issue of the series was enjoyable but, to be honest, I haven't really had a lot of love for this book for a while now. With the series officially over, I don't see this title surviving for too much longer, either. A distracting read but...meh.

Detective Comics #841: I keep checking back in with Dini's Detective because I keep hoping that it'll just sparkle and shine like the other Bat books don't, especially with Dustin Nguyen on the art! I expected a little more from this issue than I got, still, the two creators do work well together and the twist with the Hatter's ploy was worthy of a good episode of the animated series, so I give it some points for that. Not enough to get me to give this series a monthly commitment, but I wouldn't stop myself from reading one or picking one up as an impulse buy if the cover or interiors grabbed me.



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