Monday, January 5, 2009

What I Read This Week

I'm still a week behind thanks to being out of town for New Comic Book Day last week, but I am getting caught up.  Sorry!

The Flash #247 -- This was your life, Wally West... hope you enjoyed it.  The series bows here as Wally West -- family man, friend, teammate, and Fastest Man Alive -- does everything in his power to save the person who means the most to him.  As far as a series blowoff goes, this is pretty lowkey (not as lowkey as, oh I don't know, not having the titular star appear in it like Marvel did with Iron Man!), but considering that Wally is not going anywhere any time soon I think that it is wholly appropriate.  Burnett offers a satisfactory roundup for Wally's adventures as the Flash, while the art by Carlo Barberi and Drew Geraci is uneven but otherwise nice.

Unknown Solider #3 -- The rebels attack the school looking for "wives," and the Soldier is taken hostage with them.  But after a forced march and witnessing the "enlightened" methods of justice of the Lord's Resistance Army, the strange voice in the Soldier's head returns, and all hell starts to break loose.  This title has really solidified itself as a different animal from just about any other title on the shelves today.  It is harsh and unblinking, and just a bit unsettling.  I'm not sure if I am going to continue with this title, because while I can see the quality staring back at me from its pages, I don't really enjoy reading it, at least not in this format.  The whole thing's a little too real I think for a monthly.  

Vigilante #1 -- There;s a new Vigilante in town, and he is using his own brutal brand of investigation to figure out what the mob families gain by attacking political candidates.  Wolfman's setup is decidedly old school, with a sort of 80s approach to the pacing and the storytelling as the new Vig ends up going undercover to learn more about mob he is fighting.  But as a whole the story falls apart, a situation not helped by Leonardi 's art, which doesn't always convey the story well.  I like the new Vigilante as a character but for now I am going to pass on this series.

Nova #20 -- There's a new Nova Corps in town, but Richard Rider is spending some time with his old crew -- the New Warriors.  That is, what is left of them.  Meanwhile, the newest Centurian, Richard's younger brother Robbie is finding himself well suited for his new line of work.  Kind of a quiet issue, although I like that a "quiet issue" of Nova still involves a group of centurians dealing with a rampaging Dragon Man.  Great fun and a worthwhile read for old New Warriors fans as well.

Captain America Theater of War: America First -- After World War II, a new spectre is rising to menace America, and it's name is Communism.  Luckily, Captain America still defends the Red, White, and Blue from all threats, and is on the case when saboteurs and enemy agents try to destroy the American way of life.  But who is this Captain America?  And can he be trusted when he is named as a traitor by a crusading Senator hell bent on rooting out all Red influence in America?  I'd never a single story with the Captain America of the 50s, but this over-sized actioner by Howard Chaykin really delivers on the promising of Commie Smashing.  But it also addresses what Captain America means to his country, the true threat of Communism in this era, and the motivations of men like McCarthy (here represented by a stand in) and how that relates to normal men and women.  Really fun one shot, just like the earlier Theater of War issue.  Also includes a couple of short reprints from Atlas' failed attempt at reviving Cap in the 50s from which this character is based.  These are not all that good, to be honest, but I have never seen any of the 50s Cap stuff before so it is welcome as a cultural oddity if nothing else.

The Pick Of The Pile was Theater of War.  I like Chaykin, I like historical stories, I like reprints of comics which I have never had a chance to see, and I like Commies getting smashed.  All in all a solid outing well worth reading.

So what did YOU read this week?

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