Monday, March 16, 2009

The Comic Haul - 03/11/09

And here we are with another installment of the increasingly irregular, The Comic Haul, where I, your intrepid blogging host, review some of the weeks comics for your perusal:

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28 #1 is my pick for the week. A lot of folks have tried to do a book like this in recent years. They create a Superman analogue or other Golden or Silver Age hero, take him throughout history and show the effects his presence would have politically and on us as a society. I was a little concerned when I heard about this series because of the fact that this idea keeps getting rehashed in one way or another and I wondered why DeMatteis (someone I consider one of the best writers in the field) wanted to explore that idea. After reading Savior 28, I'm glad he did. This is really great stuff. The characters were interesting, the pondering of an alternate comic book history was kept to a minimum, and the pacing of the issue was razor sharp. Good dialogue, good art, great story, what else is there to ask for? I am really looking forward to what DeMatteis gives us next issue.

ANGEL: BLOOD & TRENCHES #1 wasn't perfect and certainly had its problems, but if Dark Horse had been trying stuff like this when they had the license, I think they would still have the Angel license. John Byrne comes in from out of nowhere and gives us a WWI Angel tale that is a fun take on the character and different enough from what is currently going on with the regular series to really stand out. Byrne's art is all pencil work here and he proves that, while he may not be the brightest light in comics any longer, he still has the art chops to knock one out of the park. Everything from the lush background details to the spot-on likeness of David Boreanaz go a long way to making this one of the best looking Angel stories I have ever seen. Story-wise, Byrne doesn't give us anything miraculous but it is a solid effort and he throws in enough detail to show that he was either a fan of the show or he did his research before taking this on. It's definitely worth checking out.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #34 has some very dramatic moments and is clearly building towards something, but my lack of interest in the Lantern universe is working against me, here. The owner of my LCS told me that Green Lantern stuff was just rocking these days and I should try it, so I did. Not so much with the rockin' and I feel pretty firm in my belief that I won't miss much if I skip the upcoming "Blackest Night".

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #23 is a pretty decent read. I haven't had my hands on an Iron Fist comic since somewhere in the first 6 issues by Fraction,Brubaker and Aja, so I had no idea what to expect, but assumed, foolishly, that there was no way it could be as good as those early issues. Swierczynski does a nice job of creating atmosphere, communicating who these characters are with very little spoken information (also a credit to his art team of Travel Foreman and Co.) and coming in on the second part of a story and knowing exactly where I am and what's going on without 6 pages of exposition is a nice change. I'm seeing this more and more in Marvel books and it's making them so much more accessible than so much of DC's output. After reading this issue, I may consider catching up and continuing on with the book.

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1 was better than I expected it to be, but I'm not sure I'm in for all three issues at this point. I do give it credit for being only three issues. I mean, considering all the crossovers and events in just about every corner of the DCU, and the multi-part R.I.P. storyline that seemed to go on forever, I tip me hat to them for showing some restraint and not milking this one. I should also give Tony Daniel some props for a not-bad job of writing, the first I've seen him do to date. It should be noted that the writing and art in Battle for the Cowl were both clearer and more engaging than any single issue of R.I.P. so maybe I should reconsider sticking around for the next two issues. Worth checking out if you've been a part of all this Batman tomfoolery over the last year, otherwise it might not have much resonance.

ACTION COMICS #875 was a really, really quick read. Still, I've been enjoying the happenings in the Superman corner of the DCU for a while now and this was no disappointment. The first of the all-new, all-Superman-free issues starring the Kryptonian heroes, Flamebird and Nightwing planted the seeds for what looks to be a decent story (or part of one) that will play out over the next 12 months. Kryptonian sleeper agents have been planted on Earth and they work for Zod who has not yet given up on his desire to crush Kal-El and his adopted homeworld. DC is certainly doing something right leaving their mightiest mascot in the hands of Greg Rucka, James Robinson and Geoff Johns.

That was kind of a DC heavy Comic Haul but I honestly didn't go crazy on the Marvels this week. I didn't review the new Captain Britain or Iron Man even though they were on the pile mostly because of time, but if I get a chance I'll run a couple of quickies off.

Until next week, take care.


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