Saturday, February 12, 2005

...Yeah, it's been that kind of week, but I suddenly remembered this morning that I do indeed have a blog. Here are some Quick Comic Reviews!

Concrete: The Human Dilemma #2 (of 6)
Wow. This is one of the best comics I've read in months. As a follower of Paul Chadwick's saga since it started in 1987, I've grown to really enjoy the characters of Concrete, philosopher-trapped-in-a-stone-body, and his friends as he ambles through a strange life. But this issue blew me away in its surprising change to the status quo, and genuine changes to the character's relationships. By equal turns sad, sexy and thoughtful, it's a remarkable turning point for Concrete. Chadwick's writing is eloquent without being pretentious, and his art continues to be dreamlike and crisp. Several "Concrete" tales are already in my top 25 list of comics of all time -- and this one, if it continues the quality of this issue, might be the best one yet. Grade: A+

New Avengers #3
I feel guilty liking this so much because the general feeling in the blogosphere is that I shouldn't. But so far, Brian Bendis' reimagining of the Avengers is holding my attention, and I'm eager to see what's next. It's straightforward superhero comics, but given a (so far) nice little twist. This issue is mostly character moments, with some excellent dialogue for Luke Cage, Spider-Man and Captain America as the new team of Avengers is officially formed. And while the idea of adding Wolverine to the Avengers horrifies many, at this point I'm genuinely interested in seeing how Bendis manages that next issue. Bendis' biggest flaw as a writer IMHO is his inability to pull off endings as strong as his beginnings, so I'll be interested in seeing what comes next. Grade: B+

JLA Classified #3
Batman kicks Gorilla Grodd in the gonads. What more do you need to know? Hyperdrive superheroics galore as Grant Morrison wraps up his three-part return to the Justice League. Pure fun, and an adrenalized joy to read. Nobody else should be allowed to write the JLA. Grade: A-

Wanted #6
In which Mark Millar ends his so-called "supervillain Watchmen" epic with a splutter, and a giant upraised middle finger to the very audience he's trying to reach. Cynicism and lazy storytelling masquerading as "edgy," and a very disappointing conclusion to a somewhat intriguing miniseries. Telling your audience they're lazy stupid cows as you break the fourth wall is the kind of ending a 17-year-old Goth kid would pull off, so this is just rotten sloppiness. Millar can be a good writer (See: "Ultimates"), but too often lately he strikes me as the kid who jams a safety pin in his ears and proclaims that he's punk rock. It's all trying too hard. And after this, can we officially place a ban on anyone trying to compare their work to "Watchmen", please? Grade: C

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