Monday, July 7, 2008

What I Read This Week

House of Mystery #3 -- Fig discovers that there is a reason why all of these strange folks are hanging out in the House of Mystery, while gangster Joey Spats tells us a story about how there is always a way out of any situation.  Sturges and Willingham are building to a resolution of the first mystery very nicely, while exploring the dissimilar cast of characters in a very appealing manner.  There's some really obvious photo-referencing of King Kong Bundy in the short, but that's okay: it's King Kong Bundy, after all.  Overall this series reminds me of the "old days" of Vertigo when I was a younger man, and that's a good thing.

Storming Paradise #1 -- Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice take a look at a world which was only one misplaced decimal point away, as the Manhattan Project blows up in the US's face (literally), the Allies are forced to undertake the unthinkable invasion of Japan.  A straight-forward historical story, there is a sense of dread looming over the entire proceedings as we know that bad stuff looms on the horizon for pretty much all involved.  Dixon's flexibility shines in this "fictional non-fiction," and Guice's pencils look right at home.  Fans of War comics, or WWII in general should definitely check this series out.

Tor #3 -- Tor finds himself with a band of similar outcasts, and finds companionship for the first time that he can remember.  But a trip into a dark, dank cave finds something much more evil.  Kubert's work has a sort of washed out look to it which suits the prehistoric landscape perfectly.  (In a classy move, DC back-loaded all the ads, so the narrative is not interrupted at all.)  It's simple tale of survival and loyalty, but it's so elegantly handled (and has such a kicking cliffhanger) that you wind up drawn into it; Kubert's world is pretty darn-well realized, and populated with visually interesting flora and fauna.  It is odd, though, that this comic contains a topless woman for almost the entire length, but carries no warnings or anything.  It's not dirty, but still surprising.  If you are looking for something off the beaten path, then check this one out.

The War That Time Forgot #3 -- As the Volcano tribe sets out to rescue the Colonel, they pick up a new ally, but also face new and deadly peril.  Meanwhile, back at the home camp, someone is not showing all their true motivations to the others.  This issue just rocks it from beginning to end, with an exciting mix of humans fighting each other, humans fighting dinosaurs, and intriguing new developments behind the scenes.  This series, like Tor, seems to have nothing to do with anything, and is substantially stronger for that; it's a one-off tale filled with a mishmash of characters from different periods, all working together in a fun and interesting way.  Very fun comic.

The Phantom #24 -- With Bangalla tearing itself apart due to the introduction of the drug Manic into the air and water, the Ghost-Who-Walks tracks down the drug's creator, Ortega, to shut him down.  The biggest Phantom story Moonstone has ever told continues to get bigger here, as the Phantom confronts the first member of the conspiracy which has been destroying his life.  How exactly all of this is going to wrap up in the next issue is anybody's guess, but the adventure has been top-notch so far.

The Pick Of The Pile is The War That Time Forgot, which mixed history and dinosaurs and action and even a little intrigue.  But as a whole this was another great week, with every purchase being very enjoyable to read!  

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