Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New comics 6/7/06

The best part of 52 #5 (written by Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, breakdowns by Keith Giffen, pencils by Chris Batista, inks by Jimmy Palmiotti) was the end, seeing that (SPOILER!) Animal Man, Starfire, and Adam Strange had survived the big cosmic burp which Mixmastered everybody else. The rest of it was more ... I don't know, creepy. Certainly not suspenseful, since we know Hawkgirl gets back to normal size, Firestorm gets separated from Cyborg, and Alan Scott doesn't get the eye back. Chris Batista's on board for four issues, I presume, and by and large his stuff here isn't as good as his JLA issues of last summer, but it's still decent. Maybe I had just gotten used to Joe Bennett. Anyway, check out the Montoya/Sawyer pages -- doesn't it look like Giffen went ahead and finished his pencils? Weird.

I was looking forward to some ramped-up action in the penultimate chapter of "Face The Face" (in Detective Comics #820; written by James Robinson, pencilled by Leonard Kirk, inked by Andy Clarke), and I got it, even if solving the book's central mystery seemed almost like an afterthought. I guess this storyline is more about re-establishing the OYL status quo than being a standalone Batman & Robin adventure, and that's fine (certainly the Superboy-Prime cameo suggests it's meant for those who just finished Infinite Crisis). I really can't complain about the issue, either -- the Scarecrow fight was a hoot, we get to see Batman doing some detecting, and he's nice to his colleagues -- so for once, it looks like my Bat-attitude needs adjusting....

The Superman Returns Prequel #1 credits pretty much explain the book itself. The comic proper was written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and drawn by Ariel Olivetti, and it looks good and reads well. However, for some reason, the Superman Returns writers (Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris) get their names above the title, and get credit for "adapting" the story. That leads us back to David Newman & Leslie Newman, Robert Benton, and Tom Mankiewicz, who wrote Superman (1978), where about 60% of this material originally appeared. Jor-El looks like Brando, the rocketship is the Christmas ornament, etc. Even the Action Comics #1 is the one from the movie, with the rocketship cover. If you wanted more Brando out of your Donner movie, this is the book for you.

I talked about Wonder Woman #1 (written by Allan Heinberg, drawn by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson) in last week's Grumpy Old Fan, so here I will just say I liked how it faked me out, I'll probably be sorry to see Heinberg go after these first five issues, and it all looks very intriguing. Oh, and nice costumes on Ultimate Cheetah and Ultimate Giganta.

Fantastic Four: First Family #4 (written by Joe Casey, pencilled by Chris Weston, inked by Gary Erskine) is starting to feel a little wooly. Weston and Erskine do a fine, almost ridiculously meticulous job, and Casey is starting to put everyone in their familiar places, especially developing Sue's maternal instincts and Reed's guilt. The scene where Sue basically tells Reed it's either her or the lab is very effective. Johnny also has fun showing off to the local teenyboppers. However, I hate to put it this way, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of action otherwise. Reed still hasn't figured out how to replicate the unstable molecules of their flight suits (which have to be ungodly hot --!) and the Evil Thought-Invading Scientist Dude is still just lurking out there. It's 2/3 of the way home, folks; time to wrap things up.

Finally, I bought Star Wars Legacy #0 for a quarter, and looking at it am not sure I would have paid much more. It looks pretty much like a bookend to Knights of the Old Republic or some other disconnected-from-the-Skywalkers saga. I know, the main guy is Luke's descendant by way of Han's attitude, but nothing about this made me want to get the ongoing series.

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