Friday, August 27, 2004

Some comics don't suck!

We3 is my new mistress. It's a new comic out, published by DC's Vertigo imprint, it's by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, and it's bloody good. I think the words 'Grant Morrison' should've been good enough for you, but if they weren't, the words 'Frank Quitely' should have made it a definite buy. But if you're one of those that just have to know what the premise is, well, it's this: a dog, a cat, and a rabbit are turned into cyborg killing machines by the government, but they escape, and make a desperate dash for "Home." It's a great pop comic, a visually dense animal epic that'll prove to be heartbreaking in the comic months. The first of three issues came out Wednesday. The second one'll be out in October. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. It utilizes some interesting new techniques that I've never seen done in comics before... As Grant has said, it's an attempt at "Western Manga." There isn't a lot of dialogue for a good chunk of the issue, yet it still takes time to read and sift through, because of how dense it is. The art, of course, is brilliant. Whether it's the nigh 3-D splash pages or the six-page sequence of eighteen panels each, well, it just looks damn purty. Run out and get it. I'll give this one 9/10.

Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men continues, with #4, yet it's not quite what it used to be, or what it could be. The first issue was kinda bad, the second and third issues were amazing, and this issue is middle ground. Something major happens, and yes, it's all over the internet, spoiled for everyone. It's technically good, with some great moments, both funny and terrifying, and some pretty art and sharp dialogue, but the major event depresses me, as I'd hoped Joss wouldn't stoop to this level. The issue almost felt like Joss copying Joss, a parody of himself. I hope the next issue's better, because this one kinda soured me. I didn't "feel" it like I had the previous two. I want to like it, I really do, but it just kinda bums me out. Gorgeous cover, though. It gets a tentative 6/10. This could bump up a point or so upon a rereading.

X-Statix (by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred) has ended, with #26. I won't spoil it for anyone, but, as the cover says it's a "Downbeat yet strangle moving final issue!" I felt like someone had punched me in the gut the entire time I was reading it, it affected me that much. Okay, so the book has been travelling on a downward spiral since #12, but this last issue invokes the greatness that it used to be. It gets 7/10 for finally returning to form, albeit a bit too late. Very emotionally involving for me, a long-time reader of the run.

And now for the rest of what I've read this month...
Fantastic Four #517: Waid and Wieringo are back, so it's much better than the previous arc, but it didn't grab me. Lots of wasted space in this one, on huge yet pointless splash pages. A few nice character bits, but nothing much happened. And the price has now gone up to three bucks an issue, and I'm really debating whether I should keep buying the singles, switch to trades, or just drop the series. It seems like it's lost the magic. No more than 5/10, or maybe a point below, if I'm feeling really mean.

Gotham Central #22: That has got to be *the* biggest anticlimax I've ever seen. After the arc was ramping up to terrific levels, it ends with a dud. Good character bits, though. I feel sorry for Bullock, the poor lug. It'd be nice to see him show up again in the series, but I don't want him turning into another Slam Bradley or Joe Potato... we've got enough of those lawmen-on-the-outside-of-the-law guys. Perhaps the story will read better all in one sitting. But for now, this gets a 6/10.

Human Target #13: This series is good. The sales are piss poor, having slipped under ten thousand, but it's good, dammit! It's Milligan and Pulido this time around, and it's a very nice story, although not as good as the previous issue. The little arc wraps up here in a semi-satisfying fashion. Once again, it's all about identity, and trying to find a place in the world where you fit in. Everyone in this story is technically "damaged goods." Sometimes it's their fault, and other times not. Milligan's doing his best work on this title, and no one's paying attention. 7/10.

Oh... and I'm back, by the way. Yes, I know, I never showed up with that Seaguy thesis, but dammit, I'm a lazy bum.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004