Comic Fodder

Drunken Dave Reviews: 7/19- 7/25

OK this is a week I've most definitely been looking forward to. Lots of great books, lots of great writers, and artists, very little power in my neighborhood though. Yes, I am now entering day 3 of the great Astoria Power outage. Actually…it's not that great, but the power is out and I have no idea why. It rained the other night, but it was nothing special. I grew up in South Florida and have been through hurricanes that destroyed entire towns and our power was restored three times faster then what's going on up here. Oh well.

I ended up finding a bar I wouldn't have gone to, watched some of the Mets game (before the rain delay), had some delicious fish and chips and even more delicious beer, and then hung out with my neighbors on my front stoop for a few hours; All in all, a very nice summer night. Except reading in the darkness was a challenge (not unlike reading The Darkness, which is an all together different type of challenge, zing!).

That said, with the aid of my laptop screen (and when it's battery ran out) a good old-fashioned candle (is this how they read comics back in the day, like the uh, 60’s?) I was able to get through some of my books.

To the reviews!

Civil War #3 (Marvel; written by Mark Millar, drawn by Steve McNiven):

After having Spidey's unmasking spoiled for me by my morning newspaper, I took care to only read the sports section yesterday on my way to the office. Also I avoided all message boards, except for the usually spoiler free excellent BKV Cabal. This issue didn’t fail to entertain, to say the least.

The battle lines are drawn and the Pro-Registrations (they need a cooler name), and Cap's Secret Avengers (like that!) throw down for the first time. One small complaint I have is that Spidey acted a little out of character, I understand his reasons for fighting along side Stark; I just don’t think he should take to attacking Cap with such relish. I can reconcile this with the fact that Spider-man (not Peter Parker) can be a dick. Don’t believe me? Check out every early interaction Spidey has with other Marvel heroes. In the same way that Spidey starts crackin jokes when he puts on the mask, I believe he's setting aside whatever doubts Peter Parker has expressed to Mary Jane and Aunt May about fighting Cap, and taking the fight as Spider-man with gusto. The ending kicked the tuchie (Yiddish for butt). Wow, didn't see that coming, and it sets up some interesting questions for next issue. Millar's epic shows no signs of slowing down.

Justice League of America #0 (DC; written by Brad Meltzer, drawn by a lot of guys who are good at drawing):

I actually was chompin’ at the bit to read this before I read Civil War #3, which says a lot. After reading Meltzer's Q&A session on Newsarama I was really looking forward to it. Meltzer's promise of dead on characterization is realized with stunning success. This comic was just a nice, fun romp through Justice League history, highlighting both the good (various weddings and achievements of sidekicks) and the bad (members snapping people necks and other awkwardness), and weaving it all together into one coherent, and satisfying story arc. The art was top notch, with Atomic County's own Eric Wight giving the classic scenes a Mike Allred-who-grew-up-on-DC-instead-of-Marvel look. Other clean-up hitters batting in this murderer's row of a line-up (last baseball reference, I promise) include: Adam Kubert, Jim Lee, Michael Turner, Howard Porter, and countless others. Each artist drew a scene that perfectly went with their styles, a storytelling trick employed with excellence by Brian Michael Bendis on Daredevil and the Avengers Finale. While some readers have confessed not being able to follow the time traveling nature of the story, I found it quite easy to understand simply by paying attention to detail and reading carefully (a novel approach, these days). This lifelong Marvel Zombie (brains!) had no trouble following this complex joy ride through DC history, and look forward to seeing who is voted into the roster.

Runaways #18 (Marvel; written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Adrian Alphona):

Wow BKV, thanks for ruining my night. I don’t want to get into too much detail here and spoil anything for anyone because I honestly did not see this character dying. I've been reading comics a long long time and have been to many super funerals; none with such resonance. Vaughan has always written his characters with such strong personalities that it's impossible not to feel as if you know them, and this made this death hit so much harder. An amazing, poignant story, everyone should read this comic, and tell your friends that you love them.

Uncanny X-Men #476 (Marvel; written and drawn by the Bru-Tan Clan [see my review of #475]):

Bru-Tan strikes again, another awesome issue! Charlie and his space faring group of X-ass-kickers continue their search for shizz to punch, and Shi'ar to smack around. This team is starting to have its chemistry clashes (which is great for us) with Havok trying to lead a team that features Warpath, who is on the, uh warpath. Great character moments with Scott and Alex acting like actual brothers, and Xavier reminding Warpath that "X-Men don't kill." along with Warpath's very reasonable response. Last review I pointed out Bru's attention to little details, and along these lines I point out Xavier's bomber jacket. This was just a cool little touch, bringing an adventurous quality to the Professor that is fresh, and yet makes perfect sense (Charlie was in the armed forces, back in the day). Also a really cool "Guidebook" style blueprint for a Shi'ar craft added to the fun, which even references S.W.O.R.D, drawing together tighter X-Men continuity.

Great books this week and I haven't even gotten to 52, Ultimate X-men and Eternals yet!