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  1.  (2406.21)
    POOR TOM'S A-COLD

    indiana jones and the ... et al ; god, the comic is worst than the movie. bought it just in case, may throw it away just because. (and) i like indy damn it.
    thor #9 straczynski/coipel; my one real super hero (traditional) induldgence. i will probally keep reading it, but if i was just starting to get ino comics, i would steer clear for right now. of the two thor's i get, i perfer ages of thunder much more than this regular venue.

    NICE AND SMOOTH.

    caliber sarkar/gastonny; i'm liking this. interaction is well written between all the main players.
    hercules moore/wijaya; i not only like this, i like it a lot. good pacing, good story, good conflict development, good artwork.
    number of the beast beatty/sprouse/story; this title has it the mid point and really getting legs. i like going back and reading compleated sets, this one begs to be read in it's compleated form.
    dan dare ennis/erskine; i know this is historcially an important title on your guys side of the 'pond.' it is new to me and so far,(2 books) i am liking it alot. the pacing is spot on.
  2.  (2406.22)
    That last page of Final Crisis has me stuck.
    The way the credits of the issue are on the TV, like that person is seeing that in their universe. Or rather, is that character in the DC Universe, or is he watching a show of it?
    Why's he checking out his hands? Who is he, even? It's a really freaky/dreamy page that's fucking with me.

    Really, really loved that opening Anthro/Metron interaction, though. Morrison's use of New Gods is the fucking coolest. New Age religion, like.

    I wish I could just read a trade of it all now, though. That's how I got Infinite Crisis and loved it hard - what brought me into the DCU. Nevertheless, I think this is going to get so big, so nice, and soooo smooth. Mmmm-mmm.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2008 edited
     (2406.23)
    @hyperspaceape -
    he's just been stripped of his Monitor-ness and turned human, he's completely confused.


    NICE AND SMOOTH

    Final Crisis 1 - Initially I might have put this in Poor Tom's pile, but I gave it a reread with Countdown/DotNG-didn't-really-play-out-like-they-did in mind and it worked much better for me. Superman's need to explain the New Gods still seems a bit off, but otherwise the dialogue was very good and it looked great, a nice onramp to what will likely be much crazier goings on with the rest of the title.
    Anthro/Metron was neat, but Anthro/Kamandi looks far more interesting to me. The reread also gave notice to the Black Racer lurking around the background of the Orion pages, wonder how much more prominently he'll fare as it goes


    Batman 677 - I can't find any other words for it but... That was fucking awesome!

    Northlanders 6 - That guy on the cover promised so much bloodshed here and all we get was in the first pages :( Still, a very solid issue and I can't wait for Vikings vs Vikings vs Saxons.

    X-Force 4 - Surprised to be putting this here, but it was definitely an improvement over the prior issues, bring on the holy war.

    EDIT to add: Iron Fist 15 - How did I forget this, a delicious little one shot that opened up yet another realm of possibility for Marvel to work with.

    Not ranking it, but I also picked up the first 5 issues of the X-51 12-parter, quite the messed up background for our lovable Aaron Stack.
  3.  (2406.24)
    Just read FINAL CRISIS...have All Star and Judenhass sitting here but I haven't broken into them yet...so Crisis it is:

    I have absolutely no idea what's been going on in the DCU, because none of their titles have really interested me. So I picked up FINAL CRISIS partly out of perverse curiosity (could I pick this up and read it cold?) and partly because the Green Lantern cover was really very striking, and I try to make a point of rewarding good cover design on comic books.

    Approaching it merely as a work by Morrison, I found a lot of clever bits that entertained me ("I AM NOT AVERSE TO THE TASTE OF HUMAN FLESH, SIR!") and an interesting, mysterious story set-up - a deicide causing all sorts of cosmic shenanigans while super-villains gather strength and some strange iteration of Darkseid has solved the anti-life equation. There are also clearly many Morrisonian metaphors and symbols that I'll have fun sorting through - if the God of War is D.O.A., what does that imply about the overall story, which, being a huge superhero event, must be built around some sort of epic battle? The repeating sun imagery, and the sleight of hand with the "primitive" scenes, making it appear to be in the past but then suggesting that it is the future, and the allusions to the cyclical/mutable nature of time and perception of time...stuff like that is fun, and I hope there's more of it.

    I'm familiar enough generally with DC characters to recognize a lot of them, though some of them are complete non-entities to me. The only real problem is going to be if further issues of the series assume that I completely understood who everyone was and what happened - for example, on the strange alien world where the observer is being sentenced to mortal life (I'm assuming that was him on the last page)...I have no idea what that world is, aside from the clues given in the dialogue itself. So, if I'm supposed to know what it is, and I can't access the rest of the story without knowing, that would be a problem. However, as a Morrison fan I'm also used to working a little bit harder to pull information out of his comics, and so I don't mind being a little bit lost and confused for a while. Perhaps that's unfair to all the other writers who craft stories out of the byzantine DC Universe, but until any of those other writers give me The Filth or Vimanamarama or even the Doom Patrol, I'll be fine with the disparity.

    It should be said that a lot of enjoyment rests on the art. If this were drawn by DC Penciller # 3 and inked by two different people to get the book out on time, I can't imagine it would have been a tenth as pleasurable or readable.

    I guess I'm all aboard to see where this ride goes - so the first issue did its job. NICE AND SMOOTH, then.
    • CommentAuthorMark Datik
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2008
     (2406.25)
    Mr. Ellis - Thanks for indulging my nosiness.

    Mr. Wood - Thanks for the heads up! I'll buy the last issue (I like supporting monthlies) and will keep an eye out for the trade.
    •  
      CommentAuthorpromethian
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2008 edited
     (2406.26)
    NICE AND SMOOTH
    just read Enki Bilal's "The Beast Trilogy- parts 1- The Dormant Beast and 2 - December 32". A fantastic, absorbing, bizzare work of artistic achievement. Bilal is a phenomenal artist (there is a great vid available on the internet where he is painting the panels of this book), his men look really cool in an almost humphrey bogart cool, his women are heart-achingly hauntingly beautiful, his tech is tripped-out cool, his wierd is definately wierd but not sick-gross-out wierd, the story is bizarre and complex with unique original concepts and premises, allegory, occasional jabs of humor, and great highlights of humanity, and the overall package is immediately one of my top fave comics i have ever read.
    unfortunately DC stopped their partnership with the European publisher Humanoids a couple yrs ago, and humanoids lost the Bilal license to Casterman (Belgium, who are the original publishers of Tintin), and so parts 3 and 4 ("Rendez-vous a Paris" and "Quatre ?") (note: it is now 4 parts, and renamed: The Hatzfeld Tetralogy) are only available in French which I am not very fluent in, and God-knows-when it will be ever available in N.America and/or in English. But I really loved parts 1 & 2 and have re-read sections over and over, and the artwork is pure eyecandy, I just can't stop staring at it. I am really looking forward to reading the Nikopol Trilogy by Bilal next, his Classic and best known work (the basis of the movie Immortal Ad Vitam) which fortunately is available in English. If anyone knows if parts 3 & 4 are gonna be printed in English anytime soon I would love to know.
    For anyone who has never read Bilal and loves sophisticated, adult comics, do yourself a huge favour and find either of these great achievements of graphic art and storytelling. (note: also if you ever loved the movie Blade Runner, you may like this book, Bilal has been doing Blade Runner-type stuff since the 80's since before Blade Runner, and this The Beast Trilogy parts 1 & 2 evokes that feel.)
    •  
      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2008
     (2406.27)
    Also just read the Global Frequency Vol. 1 trade, and as Mr Ellis said we could comment on anything we bought, I thought I'd just say: Props. NO IDEA why I havent read this already. Pleased me greatly, especially because of the multiple uses of the word 'weaponize'. Thought that the best fit art-wise was probably Steve Dillon for my money, but I love the way the artist changes each issue. Did Brian Wood do any interiors on this title? I'd love to see a GF that looked like Channel Zero. Similar themes in both titles, although handled entirely differently. Funniest thing? The size of the GF phones. LOL. Time moves fast, eh no. Two thumbs up, although I reckon y'all probably read this way befopre I did. I now feel ready to watch my illegally downloaded copy of the pilot for the show.

    @pi8you - Glad someone agrees with me about XForce.

    : - )
  4.  (2406.28)

    •  
      CommentAuthormonofiopia
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2008
     (2406.29)
    Noting but first issues today, it seems..

    NICE AND SMOOTH

    Final Crisis #1 - I thought this was a pretty good start, even if some of the explanations were purely for introductions sake. At the same time, it already looks worryingly clear cut (esp. for Morrison) as to how the thing will play out over the next few issues. I suspect the main surprises will probably be who will and won't come out standing at the end of it all.

    Batman:Gotham After Midnight #1 - I can't remember the last time I actually bought a Batman comic, but it had 'Steve Niles' & 'Frightening First Issue' written on the front so I kind of had to. I was glad to see the Scarecrow, even though he was a little distanced from the more usual characterisation (initially, I thought he'd just been written in badly, until Batman came to the same conclusion a couple of pages later). The close of the issue was pretty unexpected, so I'd be pretty interested to see what happens in #2.

    1985 #1 : When I heard about this, I assumed it would be an awful rehash of real world vs. Marvel's line-up from 20 years ago. Having read the first issue and actually formed an opinion not based on the internets, I'll be getting the rest of the run. Everything about it seemed to work really well and I just couldn't shake the thought that 'This would have been awesome if it had happened to me when I was that age'. I think if you read it in that context, and actually associate with Toby as a comic-loving kid, you'll get a lot more enjoyment out of it.

    POOR TOM'S A-COLD

    Friday the 13th:Abuser & the Abused #1 - Yeah... Well, the cover looked alright. It's the classically timeless story of girl meets boy, boy beats girl, girl kills family, Jason kills boy, girl kills Jason, Jason's not dead, girl kills Jason again, Jason's still not dead, girl tries to reason with Jason, Jason couldn't care less about girl problems.
    Apparently it's Texas Chainsaw Massacre next month.
    • CommentAuthorepalicki
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2008 edited
     (2406.30)
    NICE AND SMOOTH

    Final Crisis #1 - Grant's stories are always better than the sum of their parts, so I'll reserve judgment on the story itself until the series is finished; I'm sure it'll all make sense in the end. However, Grant's ability to capture perfectly the voice of any character he writes is almost uncanny. I liked it well enough. On pins and needles until issue #2.

    Big fucking Starman Hardcover, volume one - The Night and Day story is possibly the most brilliantly constructed piece of Superhero fiction of the last 20 years.

    Batman #676, #677, All-Star Superman #11 - I am in awe of Grant Morrison right now. These are the stories that prove the "it'll all make sense in the end" theory I mentioned above.
  5.  (2406.31)
    All NICE AND SMOOTH for me this week;

    Dan Dare; Being a Yank I don't have any sort of childhood nostalgia for the character, but I'm really enjoying what Garth Ennis is doing here. It brings to mind some of the WW2 books he wrote for Vertigo. His work is hit or miss with me much of the time, but in recent years he's really grown on me.
    While on the subject of Dan Dare; Anyone else read the DARE mini-series Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes did back in the 1990's? Wish someone would trade that stuff up so I don't have to dig out the single issues.

    All-Star Superman; Just plain fun. Hey DC; why can't more of your comics follow suit?

    Wolverine; After devouring Jason Aaron's recent work on Ghost Rider I decided to seek out his Get Mystique arc. Aaron's quickly becoming one of my favorite writers currently out there.

    Firebreather; Happy to see this book back on the stands. I admit to being prejudiced since he's a pal of mine, but Phil Hester is really turning out some great writing as of late,(here and on The Darkness), and artist Andy Kuhn remains the best kept secret in comics.

    Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four; Another case of "gotta buy it since my buddy wrote it", (in this case Paul Tobin), but a really fun comic all the same. Just wish more retailers would promote the MA line more. Most shops I go to tend to toss them in the "kiddie corner" along with Super-Friends and Archie, when they would be great gateway-comics to attract to new fans.
    • CommentAuthorDonburiBoy
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2008
     (2406.32)
    I only get good stuff! Or, rather, I just lucked out and all of this week's books were great:

    DRAGONBALL VIZBIG EDITION VOL 1: written & illustrated by Akira Toriyama
    Dragonball is the one that changed the way I look at comics. I had always been a fan of the fight comics, you know, Batman punching out some thugs or the Joker or whatever, but the fights in Dragonball, so carefully choreographed and full of humour and power, it was like comparing Van Damme's Bloodsport to Yuen Wo Ping's Crouching Tiger. I also like the fact that as the characters grew, the story went from happy-go-lucky childish adventures to very brutal action comics.

    THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST VOL 2: THE SEVEN CAPITAL CITIES OF HEAVEN HC: written by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction & illustrated by various artists.
    Speaking of kung fu, this comic is proof that the white men can learn. Just as The Matrix shamelessly stole the influences of Hong Kong cinema, this book is the superhero equivalent, blending eastern martial fantasy and western counter-terrorism into one delicious package of full-blown Awesome.

    NUMBER OF THE BEAST #4 of 8: written by Scott Beatty & illustrated by Chris Sprouse
    The destruction of my favourite superhero universe continues apace, as a group of forgotten heroes trapped in a government-controlled virtual reality are discovering the shape of their invisible box, and some are already starting to break out.

    THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: HAWKSMOOR #3 of 6: written by Mike Costa & illustrated by Fiona Staples
    This book continues to be a pleasant surprise. Maybe it's just because there's been no good Authority books in the last few years, with Grant Morrison's stalled relaunch and Christos Gage's abysmal Authority: Prime miniseries, but this book pays its respects to the sci-fi/superhero material that came before, while maintaining a slick, urban noir feeling as well.
    •  
      CommentAuthorzensurfer
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2008
     (2406.33)
    NICE AND SMOOTH.......KADE BOX SET-beautiful packaging with this greg horn painting on front of box. this set has the first arc of kade in tpb and the 4 issues that make up the kade-sun of perdition arc setting you up for kade-shiva's sun. i am enjoying this story of fallen angels being pursued by kade the gothic warrior born on the day of the black sun.Photobucket
    •  
      CommentAuthorzensurfer
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2008 edited
     (2406.34)
    nice and smooth.........JUDENHASS-one of the most important graphic novels of the year. this could hardly be called a comic book. DAVE SIMS should get an award for handling this subject so well. a very sobering experience. artwork is superb. .....NORTHLANDERS #6-this is my first issue of this and it was not a good place for me to jump in. i am going to wait for the tpb to come out. i think it will be an excellent story. .....INDIA AUTHENTIC:LAKSHMI- virgin comics gives you insight into the hindu gods and goddesses and shows how the stories apply to modern life. very interesting. very good artwork by SWAPNIL SINGH. this was another first time purchase. .....TAROT: WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE-another first timer, i was surprised at how well written this book was. the art was stunning. not just your average cheesecake comic. PhotobucketPhotobucket
    • CommentAuthorCraig Shaw
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited
     (2406.35)
    NICE AND SMOOTH:

    Transhuman #2 - TV documentary as comic book sounds like an odd idea, but when you actually read Transhuman you see that it makes rather good sense structurally: the panels frame the action in much the same way that a docu camera would. The brilliance of this is in the writing, because it's also a wry commentary on business, corporate shenanigans and personal ambition. A great cast, a wonderful one-panel nod to We3 and any comic with crazed, killer, Marxist monkeys is fine with me.

    All-Star Superman 11 - As fantastic as ever. The previous issues have never been slow, but the pace has been beautifully sedate, mirroring the big man's acceptance of his fate. (Although on that point I've got a sneaky feeling that the outcome of 12 will involve
    Luthor being the one curing Superman, thereby proving his ultimate brilliance, having control over Superman's ultimate fate and maintaining their perverse, symbiotic relationship)
    This one, on the other hand, kicks it into higher gear. It's frenetic, it's widescreen when it needs to be and a bit claustrophobic when it needs to be (Luthor's execution scene was beautifully horrific and wry at the same time). I loved it.

    Batman 677 - Again I think Morrison intentionally goes from second gear to sixth in the space of a single issue, a defining characteristic of his Batman run. As a Bat fan of crossovers gone by, this was hugely reminiscent to me of Knightfall, albeit filtered through the prism of a more 'out there' creative mind. Tony Daniel is producing the best work I've seen of his and while it's not mind-blowingly brilliant, it definitely makes me want the next issue.

    POOR TOM'S A COLD, BUT COULD BE SMOOTH:

    Final Crisis #1 - "haven't quite decided" pretty much sums it up for me as well. On the upside, Jones handles it all beautifully, particularly the dialogue-less scenes in the distant past and the creepy Dark Side Club elements. There are also some lovely individual moments (Turpin and The Question, the two Green Lanterns investigating the death of a certain power in the DCU).

    On the whole though I don't think it all fit together very well. The Monitor bit seemed pointless (though i'm sure it isn't), the Justice League exposition was clunky, the conclusion was baffling (Who was that in the bedroom? Had he been
    dreaming the previous scene?) and the death of
    the Martian Manhunter
    if that's what happened, was, in my opinion, poorly executed; a throwaway moment, spectactularly ruined by solicitations and not nearly given enough room to breath.

    FC 1 was lots of little scenes that needed to be done but it just didn't gel for me as a single narrative. I'm still on board for #2, but a bit more cautiously.
    •  
      CommentAuthormadmatt213
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
     (2406.36)
    For anyone who purchased the STARMAN HARDCOVER, is it printed in the original, rough newspaper style or a modern glossy paper? I'm guessing they used newspaper, because that hardcover felt mighty light to me, like the Kirby's FOURTH WORLD HCs.


    That is all.