Thursday, December 27, 2007

What I Read This Week?

Batman And The Outsiders #3 -- My thoughts on the method DC used to handle the creative shake-ups on this team is well documented, so I will not go into them here. What I will say, however, is that Chuck Dixon can write some solid superheroics. This particular issue is indicitive of that -- a complete tale with a beginning, middle, and end, but also containing ties to previous and future issues as well. There's some muddled continuity -- just what the heck happned between the end of the last issue and this one in regards to Batgirl is the most glaring -- but the talky bits (with Batman arguing with Hawkgirl as well as a psuedo-reunion of most of the original Outsiders) and the fighty bits (with the combined teams tackling the advanced OMAC) are handled strongly, with Lopez's pencils tighly addressing both. The continuity thing bugs me, but otherwise this is a good comic.

Superman #671 -- Enter: The Insect Queen. With the two "big" stories Busiek was telling finished up, you might think that things will get easier for Supes; unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Then again, problems for our star means good things for his readers. These are the kind of Superman stories I like, with a lot of action and use of the big guy's power. Busiek looks to be having fun fleshing out his baddie and her army, in addition to tying it back to developments with Lana and Chris. New penciller Peter Vale handles strength and grace with nicely fluid motions and fits right in with the story. I guess if you want really ground breaking stuff than this is not for you. Me, personally? I enjoyed it quite a bit and am intrigued just where the heck this story is going.

Captain America: The Chosen #5 -- Morrell and Breitweiser continue to spin their tale about modern day bravery and courage in the face of war as the spectral Captain inspires and pushes Corpsman Newman to overcome his fears despite the harrowing circumstances. This series was hyped on Morrell's background, but so far the truly standout aspect has been Mitch Breitweiser's stunning pencils. There is a half-double page spread (that is, it's a two page spread, but it only covers the top half of those two pages) depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor which is equal parts dynamic and horrifying; I'd love to see him render a Sgt. Fury or Enemy Ace comic. Not that Morrell is not up to snuff; his story comes in bits and pieces, and is allegorical more than narrative, but it's an interesting read that betrays a lot of his personal views. I'm really curious as to how this one will wrap up, and a bit bummed that it means no more of the artwork after that.

Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin #4 -- When we last left, Tony Stark was shot in the chest by none other than the Mandarin's son, Temugin! But as Iron Fans know, Tony often wears a certain protective article on his chest! More action of the Siler Age-y variety, with the showdown between Iron Man and the Mandarin brewing and about to boil over once more. There's a very weird bit in the recap page, where Anton Vanko is referred to as Vanko Savage -- a pun on Vandal Savage, maybe? In any event, Casey and Canete continue to crank out high quality work here, with a nice mix of art deco and cartoony extremity. The subplot with Temugin is a nice nod to long term Iron Fans, and oddly enough does fit in pretty well with the continuity, if you care about such things (as I apparently do). Very cool series which is a refreshing breather from the heavier Iron Man outings in the mainline Marvel U.

Terror, Inc. #4 -- Poor Mr. Terror... things are just not going his way lately. And things are only getting worse, what with his undead girlfriend stealing her metal-encased arm back from him in order to rise up a Void of nothingness over the whole of creation and all that. There's plenty of typical MAX stuff this time out, with quite a bit of blood being shed and more than a few naked boobies on display. I think if you like the character of Terror then you are probably already reading and enjoying this series -- and nothing here will convince you if you don't fall into that category anyway.

The Pick Of The Pile is Superman, which mixes adventure, nice character bits, and a neat villain to produce a very attractive package. Not everyone may agree with me, but Busiek has been somewhat-quietly producing some very intriguing Superman stories.

So what did YOU read this week?

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