Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly comic review. A typical week might see over 50 book releases, and that’s just the big two over at DC and Marvel. This column serves as a buyer’s guide to those of us holding a single Hamilton and can’t afford to read every single issue.
Each week I’ll read a glut of the good and the bad and post enough reviews to reach the budget of $X. Yes, that’s $10.00 for those of you who aren’t Roman. I’ll also post comics to steer clear from. Sadly a quality comic is few and far between these days, but using this column a diligent reader can still get their comic on.
Justice League #7 (DC Comics)
Jim Lee is off the book this month and replacing him is Gary Frank and Gene Ha. Judging by the pencil work I’d say Frank laid down the first quick layer and Ha completed them. It’s too bad comic geeks like myself can’t help ourselves and must have a monthly book on time. Sometimes a few delays make a book a lot better; just look at Mark Millar’s The Ultimates. Of course for every one of those there’s a few Battle Chasers but I digress. Justice League sans Jim Lee and it has a few splash pages as pretty as this!
Who needs Jim Lee with art like this?
Geoff Johns is really hammering how the team dynamic in this book. Like Waid and Morrison before him, the characters all have different personalities. Johns knows readers want to see the dynamics between characters, not have two or three characters take center stage. They have their own books for that.
You’d think with a name like Aquaman your teammates would know better.
The previous story arc took place a few years prior, so it’s clear the team is more familiar with each other. Case in point: Batman is trying to draw up battle plans, and not everyone listens. I thought it’d be tough to make Batman pertinent when there’s a fully functioning cyborg on the team, but it’s clear he does have a place.
Nobody listens to old bats.
This is one of the most unique comics on stands right now and because of that it requires a specific type of reader. Not everyone is going to get the humor, or value a few silly jokes, especially with a $3.99 price tag. It’s the sheer amount of inventiveness on each page coupled with the fact that there’s two short stories at the end that make this a worthy buy.
The political intrigue should make this book much more intellectually sound.
I’m really loving what Johns is doing with the political aspect of this book. Wonder Woman’s boy toy seems to be the liasson between the USA and the JLA and it’s an interesting dynamic, particularly his secret love for Wonder Woman and how he wants to mix business and pleasure.
Boys will be boys.
After the sometimes horrid first six issues, this book is really turning around. It’s clear they were going for an epic movie-type thing in those issues, and now the title is finally settling down. The book even comes with an additional Shazam! backup comic to make this a very worthwhile read.
Budget: $10.00-$3.99 = $6.01
Grimm Fairy Tales: The Jungle Book (Zenescope)
What’s sexier? The girl hunched over or the elephant about to smash her to death?
For a book that has a cover that screams “BOOBS” you’d think the comic would contain some older women. No, instead you get babies, children and talking animals. The art is a little on the sketchy side as well.
Paint by numbers!
Essentially this book’s protagonist is a woman version of Mowgli, and since she’s some kind of wild woman she communicates with animals. It’s all very poorly done, especially in comparison to Zenescope’s other book centering on Alice in Wonderland.
Budget: $6.01-$0.00 = $6.01
Deadpool #52 (Marvel)
Deadpool continues his journey to find a way to die and thank the gods, he’s finally achieving it. I wonder if Daniel Way is going to be off this book soon, since this is the main story line that has driven this book for over a year now. Be it as it may, the book has some nice one-liners and fill in artist Ale Garza does a nice job all around.
A nice appearance by Uncanny X-Force.
Ultimately this is a segue way book, especially since there’s a crazy cliffhanger at the end. Luckily Way delivers enough fun, high-energy quips to get the reader from point A to point B.
Well said, you crazy motherfucker.
It’s also interesting that Way is utilizing the X-Force more in this story. I’m curious if this will effect Deadpool’s status on X-Force. Chances are the team is being broken up for a new writer and this might be his last chance to play around with the dynamics. That’s not to say he’s really doing a lot with the characters. They’re more window dressing than anything, but it’s fun nonetheless.
You sly dog.
Luckily this book is only $2.99. It has a few moments to make you smirk, and just good enough art to be worthy the price. God knows Marvel loves to make us shell out extra bucks for just okay books these days.
Budget: $6.01-$2.99 = $3.02
Three different comics this week had a lot of potential, and might fit in a bigger budget, but ended up not making the cut. Mark Millar’s Nemesis will bloody these up in quick succession:
I don’t understand the direction Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #2 is going. The first issue introduced a character that pops up throughout this book, but for the most part all the characters are new. It’s an odd thing to see in issue #2, especially considering the first issue sets everything up. There’s also no history in this issue, which is what I loved in #1. It’ll be interesting to see if more is revealed in the Star Wars pantheon, but this issue just doesn’t cut it.
Amazing Spider-Man #682 sets up the Sinister 6 story quite well, but it’s all setup and not a lot of payoff. Dan Slott does a great job showing us how Peter thinks he’s super smart and has everything covered with his new technology, but Doc Ock’s plan shows him that’s not true. The plan is interesting to say the least considering how political it is (Doctor Octopus wants to show the world that the greenhouse effect is real) and it should be a great ride in coming weeks. Just doesn’t fit in a 10 dollar budget. We do get an introduction of Spider-Man’s new outfit, although we have no clue what the point of it is yet.
If you’ve read this column the past few months you’ll know I’m loving Jason Aaron’s final story arc on Wolverine, but Wolverine #303 has too many unbalanced pages. The art is shared between three pencilers, and it’s clear each one is given a few pages here and there. It was okay last month, but this month it gets really bad. More Billy Tan please!
Oooh, these comics sure can make a man bloody.
Batman #7 (Image)
Anyone who was feeling a tad sick to their stomach when Scott Snyder started Batman can breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, the “New 52” changed a lot of stuff, and yes the Court of Owls story seemed a tad silly, but now that things are developing I can’t get enough of this story. The book opens with Bruce committing himself to be a “bat” and it cuts to this image,
Even when we think we’re taking control of our lives we actually might be losing it. The opening pages speak to a “journey” and a “dying man” which is really what Batman has gone through in this first arc. It fits nicely, especially with Batman literally being zapped back to life in the opening pages.
Bad parenting man…
At first I thought this story was just about Batman, but it’s clear it’s more than that. Snyder is putting together something that will resonate across all Bat books and it’ll be interesting to see how this reverberates over the coming months.
There’s no crying in Batman comics! Oh…wait.
It’s clear he’s building up to something epic, especially with the few reveals this issue delivers. Essentially, Batman thought he knew Gotham, and he no longer does. It’s an ingenious concept, considering Batman has owned Gotham and knew it backwards and forwards for so long that he seemed to take it for granted. Not since No Man’s Land has Batman been so out of sorts. I love the idea of Batman discovering something new and this new story line really delivers on the concept.
Budget: $3.02-$2.99 = $.03
Not a bad week for comics. If you love art and have another six bucks to spare you might want to flip through Rebel Blood #1 as Green Wake artist Riley Rossmo brings his surrealist style to this new book and Cliff Chiang is back on Wonder Woman #7 and the art is just dandy.