Comic Fodder

Drunken Dave Reviews: Week Of 07/12 to 07/18

Hey kids! I hope everyone had a good week. Personally, mine's been fun, but packed and crazy. Still had some time to get over to Midtown Comics though and pick up some funny books. Thus, with no further ado, comics reviews.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #31 (Marvel; written by Mark Millar, art by Greg Land and Mitch Breitweiser):

Let me start off my saying that this title has been one that I've enjoyed very consistently since its inception. The title has only picked up since the mad Scotsman; Mark Millar took sole control from the virtuoso Warren Ellis (after a
couple of very able fill-ins by Mike Carey). I've also enjoyed the entire FF zombie saga (especially, of course, the Marvel Zombies limited series). Since the beginning of Millar's first solo story arc "Crossover" the zombie FF has been one of the few truly frightening set of villains I've ever read in comics. I liked this issue, but it lacked a certain zestful, mad energy that Millar's stories usually contain. I can't put my finger on it. I'll say this, Land's art is a little too photo referenced and flat for my tastes (as opposed to Bryan Hitch, who's art, while photo referenced, always is vibrant and alive). Land's skills and design sense though is so strong that I over look the flatness of his work. I guess he ran out of time on this issue (as evidenced by the odd two pages of fill-in art by the capable Mitch Breitweiser) because it seemed a little rushed, and that brought out the worst in his style. Good job to Millar who did a seamless job of reconciling the earlier, lamer incarnation of Doom into the cooler, more sinister schemer we see in this issue. Overall, not the best ish of Millar's run, but an issue that will no doubt work better as a middle chapter in a trade. Good ending though. I will now type Mitch Breitweiser again.

Mitch Breitweiser.

Why? Because I like to.

Wolverine Origins #4 (Marvel; written by Daniel Way, art by Steve Dillon):

This is a title that hasn't been to everyone's tastes, and I admit I've had some issues with it. I do keep buying it though, so it has to be doing something good. The obvious thing it has going for it, is the art by Steve Dillon, the best storyteller in the industry. Great job on behalf of him, and Way on the great fight between Captain America, and Wolverine. The fight was executed great, but it seemed to get really dirty and savage really quickly. Too quickly for the characterization of Cap, who acted a lot like his Ultimate counter part (he calls Wolvie "punk"). Overall I'm intrigued with the tapestry that Way is weaving, and for now have faith he'll pull it together satisfactorily. We'll see if I buy it next month…

Civil War Frontline #3 (Marvel; written by Paul Jenkins, art by Ramon Bachs):

Let's hear it for the return of Paul Jenkins! The man, who's responsible for the Inhumans limited series, the first Sentry series, and of my favorite Spider-man issues ever, seems to be back. This is not to say the other books he's written were bad, they just don't capitalize on the Jenkins's potential. The issue of Spider-man, sorry don't know the issue number, or which of the Jenkins penned series it was from (that would be Peter Parker: Spiderman issue 33 with art by Mark Buckingham and Wayne Faucher—Editor), centered around Spidey recounting his and Uncle
Ben's devotion and love affair with a certain Queens based National League Baseball team (Let's go Mets!) that I felt displayed such a deft characterization and new dimension to the oft written about Peter/ Uncle Ben relationship that just blew me away. I had the pleasure of actually meeting and having a drunken conversation with Jenkins and the first thing I told him was how much I loved that issue. What's all this have to do with Frontline issue #3? Glad you asked. The highlight of this ish was the pitch perfect conversation between Phil Urich and Mr. Fantastic comparing Reed's crime projection statistics with to stats analysis that has come into vogue with Baseball fans. To me you can learn a lot about a person by how they talk about baseball (if they're baseball fans), and just like that issue of Spider-man, Jenkins nails what's in each of Reed and Urich's personalities with their views on this issue. The diehard classic New Warriors fan in me is loving what how Jenkins is handling Speedball too (and just so Marvel knows, we're all not bitter about the Warriors). The Watchmen cribbing with telling classic war stories interspersed
with Marvel characters commenting on the Civil War doesn't work though. The first issue's use of a Japanese internment victim told juxtaposed with images of Spider-man, Prodigy and Speedball or whoever, seemed a little silly. The art is serviceable by Bachs, but not spectacular.

X-Men #188 (Marvel; written by Mike Carey, art by Chris Bachalo):

Another new X-Men creative team, another good issue. Carey's super hero work is quickly winning me over. I never really followed his Vertigo work (except for his Sandman OGN, The Furies, which was pretty good, but suffered in comparison, to me, by reading it right after finishing Gaiman's entire series). His Ultimate Fantastic Four fill-in work was clever if not spectacular, but then again a couple of fill-in issues don't leave him that much wiggle room. His upcoming UFF work looks very exciting to me though, with his inclusion of Thanos and other cosmic factors. As for X-Men, it's an understatement to say that this series has been struggling to find it's identity since Grant Morrison left. Carey is filling a clever niche in the X-world with his team of outcasts and misfits. His team
roster reads like an all-star team of 90's bad boys (no Puff Daddy or Biggie though) and bad girls: Sabretooth, ex X-Forcers Cable (!) and Cannonball, Rouge, a semi reformed Mystique, and stalwart Iceman. Alpha Flight-er Aurora is also on the cover, but in as a teammate or villain remains to be seen. The prospect of seeing this disparate group written by a Vertigo mainstay is very appealing to me. I'm especially glad to see Cable back in X- universe action. I came of age as a reader in the 90's, so I got love for Cable. So does Robert Kirkman, so I'm in good company.
This issue was a good starting point utilizing the series' history (there was a Bastion reference for cryin’ out loud) and connecting it with current storylines (some Uncanny and Dark Genesis fall out, along with Decimation's status quo). The only complaint I have is a minor nit pick about American characters talking like Brits (calling a train station a "railway concourse"?) but that's a very minor complaint that I only bring up because of the way Brits always complain when an American writes an English character ("'Ello guv'na!"). That, and the fanboy in me questions the logistics of Rouge's use of Cyclops's eye beam through White Queen's diamond form (it's a force blast, wouldn't it blast of a diamond's surface instead of refracting through it? God, I hope my girlfriend never reads me writing this). Bachalo's art is always a welcome sight to me, since I've followed his career from the first Death limited series.
His costume redesigns are enjoyable and he draws an imposing Victor Creed. This series isn't automatically vaulted to "must read" status yet, unlike the Bru-Tan Clan's Uncanny, but I think Carey and Bachalo (Care-Bach?) could very well get there.

52: Week 10 (DC; written by Who Wasn't it Written By?, art by Chris Batista):

It's been ten weeks since Infinite Crisis wrapped up? Wow, time flies. It seems like yesterday Shawn and I were on the phone speculating what was gonna happen in that series (I can say we did NOT predict Superboy punching reality was going to factor into the series). This ish shows improvement over last week's art flubs. Still has room for improvement, but I'm still going to buy all remaining 42 weeks of it. I loved Clark Kent's taking a page out of Lois Lane's playbook to land an exclusive interview.

Ultimate Spiderman #97 (Marvel; Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Drawn by Mark Bagley):

Great fun issue. If you're a long time reader (I've got every issue) you'll defiantly enjoy this. If you're not a long time reader, what's wrong with you? Besides…Ultimate Clone Saga…how can you not!?

Green Lantern #12 (DC; Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Ivan Reis):

First of all, Ivan Reis: wow! What a talent. His Neal Adams comparisons are stylistically very apt, but they don't tell the whole story. I haven't seen such a pure, innovative super hero artist in years. Simply put, this is how DC characters should look. I was never a Hal Jordan/GL corps fan in my youth. However I was good friends with the biggest GL nut that's ever bought a power ring toy and worn it to school. That said, I've learned a lot about the character through osmosis. I like continuity, but am not a slave to it, so it was good to see the Cyborg Superman return along with some returning GL's that I won't spoil. Geoff Johns has grown into my favorite non Grant Morrison DC writer so I can defiantly recommend this ish.

That's it for this week, boys and girls. Check in again next week, same Dave Time, same Dave Channel.

Oh, by the way if Midtown Comics doesn't get the second Scott Pilgrim trade in next week, I'm going to start punching people.




Drunken Dave of Myspace

-- Posted by: Drunken Dave at July 18, 2006 2:53 PM

Wow. Sorry about your google fame other drunken dave. I'm sure there is room enough for all Drunken Dave's in this world. I hope you enjoy our site and decide to stick around and post more often. TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE!

-- Posted by: Far To Sober Shawn at July 18, 2006 4:42 PM

Ha! That's hilarious! From one Drunken Dave to another: I'll be sure to give your Myspace page as many hits as possible for the sake of Drunken Dave parity and unity.
Drink on my brotha.

-- Posted by: Drunken Dave of Comics Reveiwing at July 18, 2006 4:43 PM




-- Posted by: Drunken Dave at July 18, 2006 6:50 PM