Friday, February 3, 2012

Week in Review 2/3/12

Action Comics #6
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Andy Kubert
Company: DC Comics
While I always think Morrison books are packed with fun ideas and have a great sense of energy to them, his Action Comics lately has been a tad on the disappointing side. It hasn't been bad, just disjointed and muddled and nowhere near as exciting as those first two issues were. This issue, which sees a battle waged in the confines of a partitioned section of Clark Kent's brain and copious amounts of time travel, fares a bit better. The action is livelier and the dialogue clearer. It's Morrison's brand of Superman, nothing less. Kubert's artwork is solid enough, his take on the different version of the Legion of Superheroes being a highlight, though it isn't as dynamic as Rags Morales work. Overall, I have a sneaky suspicion that this will read best in trade form, like many of Morrison's stories. The backup, written by Scholly Fisch and drawn by ChrisCross packed an emotional punch that was surprising.

Animal Man #6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artists: John Paul Leon & Travel Foreman
Company: DC Comics
Every once in awhile, an issue hits that really makes your eyebrows twitch quizzically. This is one of those issues. Animal Man, one of the best of the New 52, has been chugging away at such a intense speed that I was wondering if it would ever let up. Apparently, it does, but not really in a great way. What we get out of this issue is a look at the indie movie that Buddy Baker made and was referenced to in the first issue. It's strange because, unless I'm missing something, it doesn't really move the story forward any. It feels out of place and while Leon's art is masterful and effective and the story interesting, the choice here to show this instead of forwarding the story with The Rot is puzzling.

Fatale #2
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Company: Image Comics
Mixing equal parts horror, Lovecraft, and noir, Brubaker and Phillips continue to tell one hell of a compelling story. Set completely in the past this time and though there is a lot to keep track of, the pieces of this puzzle are slowly coming into focus. The motivations behind the various cast members actions aren't completely revealed, but we're learning more and more about them, which is important. The pace is crucial, and Brubaker obviously knows what he's doing. The small moments between the characters as they manipulate and flounder in the ever darkening world that is blossoming around them are spot on. Phillips is, as always, doing great work that exceeds expectations. The grime and sex appeal, the horror and the violence...It's all on display and handled beautifully.

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #5
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Tradd Moore
Company: Image Comics
Dark. Dark. Dark. Darker than dark. That's the word that I would have to use to describe this penultimate issue of what has been one of the best minis that has come out in a considerable amount of time. The way that writer Justin Jordan has planted all of the seeds throughout, seeds that involve the spiral of blood that Luther's life quickly has become, and that he is now delivering on them with such an impact is the sign or a truly talented creator. Moore is in that same category. He paints blood with a mop, no doubt about it, but that's a definite plus and much needed for what happens here. The cartoon-y nature of his style, a style that feels in the same vein as Rob Guillory's work on Chew, allows a considerable amount of humanity and absurdity and visceral emotion to be packed into the panels as we see Luther fight to keep his family and friends safe from the Librarian. I'm unsure if we'll get a happy ending with the next issue, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be satisfying based on the excellence that has already been accomplished.

Uncanny X-Force #21
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Company: Marvel Comics
While not as thrilling as the previous Dark Angel Saga storyline, this Captain Britain Land tale does have a few things going for it. Remender continues the insanity that he started twenty issues ago. He has an ability to tackle things from X-Men history that you never would consider anyone else toying with, and tackle them like an NFL linebacker, no holds barred. While I personally never read Alan Moore's work on Captain Britain and the Corps, it seems like if you had, you'd get a lot more out of the story. Still, even if you haven't, there are copious amounts of great moments focusing on the antics of Deadpool, a great action scene that shows the limits and drive of our new "hero", Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler, and the furthering of the odd relationship between Fantomex and Psylocke. Tocchini's artwork evokes a very Alan Davis-like feel to the proceedings, which works in more ways than one, but it can at times feel a bit unwieldy. There's a lot going on in the panels and its easy to miss things. Overall though, Uncanny X-Force continues to be the number two book Marvel puts out.


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