I periodically do comic book reviews at my site. So why not here, too? All I have to do is figure out what subcategory to use ...
- JSA #40 (DC)
A fair-to-middlin' one-off tale, where the grandson of an old foe of the original Dr. Midnite is holding hostages, trying to get the new doc to successfully operate on grandpa's terminal illness. Some nice byplay with Capt. Marvel (who is always in the odd position of being both little kid Billy Batson and possessing the Wisdom of Solomon) and the Star-Spangled Kid. Leonard Kirk's pencils are solid but not thrilling, and the story by David Goyer and Geoff Johns seems more of a setup for the last few pages of trouble a-brewin' than any great epic unto itself.
- Sojourn #15 (CrossGen)
The only problem with making up a world of your own is that you tend to lean heavily on pastiches of Earth cultures, past and present, for your building blocks. Still, since Ron Marz has done the Epic High Fantasy Realm (quasi-Medieval Europe) well enough, doing the Epic Exotic Fantasy Realm (quasi-Ancient Egypt) should work okay, too, especially when that land is inhabited by big winged folk. Greg Land's pencils are, as always, stunning (albeit static). The plot advances by fits and starts. Pretty good stuff.
- Promethea #22 (ABC)
Mercifully, Alan Moore brings us back to some more time in the "real" world, rather in the Immateria. At least for seven pages. Then it's back to the sexy, scary, overly-symbolic world of the Kabala, complete with sex and nudity. Did I mention the sex part? J.H. Williams III's art is, as always, stunning (and sexy).
- Supergirl #74 (DC)
Peter David wraps up the Chaos Stream story just in time for some new action to start in #75. The ending, though, seems rushed, as characters pile on, make big decisions, make big speeches, wield tremendous energies, and (if they're bad guys) get seriously trounced on. It feels like it should have gone on for two or three issues (and might have), and comes off feeling way too anti-climactic. Even as a "loyal reader," I found myself scratching my head to figure out the individuals and relationships. A pity we're not likely to see a TPB collection (neither David nor artist Leonard Kirk seems to be seen as a viable reprint property); I think this whole saga could have used one or two. At the very least, I hope that the wrap-up of this story — and some of the coming Silver Age excitement hinted at the end — will breathe some new life into this struggling title.
- Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel)
Same writer (Peter David), same artist (Chris-Cross), same lead characters (Genis and Rick), but a new number and a new story line. Marv's getting his cosmic awareness in order and, surprise, it's driving him nucking futs. We heard David read half the script for this while at the San Diego Comic Con, and it's difficult not to hear the story (much of which is Rick Jones' narration) in David's voice. A good story, nonetheless, that bodes ill for Our Hero. Frankly, I hope the new direction isn't too radically different from the old direction, since I always sort of enjoyed it as it was. Still, I trust David to make the ride worthwhile.
- Elektra #14 (Marv PG+)
You don't tug on Superman's cape, and you really don't tug on the master ninja assassin's silk duds, particularly when you've been ordered to keep your gun trained on her, no matter how down-and-out she looks. Hilarity and carnage ensue, as hunters become hunted. Greg Rucka writes well, as usual, and Carlo Pagulayan has a clean, realistic look to his art. Good stuff, and it will be interesting to see how Rucka deals with the assassin reborn — I trust him enough to think that the status quo will not return.
- Incredible Hulk #45 (Marv PG)
Banner's in more trouble than usual, as dead enemies are gunning for him, and new, mysterious ones are busy setting him up for murder. Bruce Jones' run on this book has been dark, brutal and depressing, and this issue, pencilled by Stuart Imminen, is a great example of it, as betrayal, madness, and death leap out at the hapless doctor at every turn. If Jones' intent was to turn this book into a real "Fugitive"-like tale, he's succeeded.