Monday, November 21, 2005

Comics Recap

JLA #122
I don't know why I'm always reviewing JLA. It comes out every other week and I kinda like that, and yet I always find myself writing it up just for the heck of it. Tom Derenick's art falls a bit off path this issue, but it's holding up for now. In this ish we have yet another appearance of OMAC's, which I just don't need anymore. They are not compelling antagonists, they reek of genericism and as a reader we already know they can't do any real harm. The OMAC book already proved that to us! The more I think about it, the more the OMAC miniseries leading up to Crisis seems completely inconsequential. OMACs killed what, a half dozen (if that) 4th tier characters? So what? If it was handled better, and the OMACs were responsible for a major death, the appearance of one may engender a little more excitement. I could imagine if that the OMAC series played out with more consequence, the subsequent appearance of one would give the reader an impending sense of "Oh, shit! an OMAC! Somebody could die!" But now? Eh.

Green Lantern #5
This book is holding up pretty well for a relaunch of a relaunch. It has a few sub-plots but is pretty much focused on Hal Jordan as Green Lantern doing Green lantern things. I have always liked the cosmic aspects of the Green Lantern mythos, but I don't think that is the focus or direction of the title (for now). Green Lantern Corps seems to have that covered, anyways. The art is nice, Van Scyver is no slouch, tho I think he's trying a little too hard sometimes, some of the rendereing is a little much. But that's subjective, at least the man can draw sharks.

Sharks play a big part of the story, or I should say a big shark plays part, and I like sharks. Sharks are fascinating, amazing creatures. Reading of and drawing sharks along with all things aquatic has been a hobby of mine for many years. There's a line in the story referencing the shark man's "ampullea of Lorenzini" which I thought was kind of funny. It's a real anatomical feature of sharks, pretty nifty electromagnetic receptors that help them navigate the ocean (and possibly detect/react to metallic objects). Green Lantern's ring mentions an alien tracker of some kind lodged in the sharks ampullea-- and that's the extent of the reference-- which is an odd place for a tracker on a shark if you ask me. The reference is an obscure one, I don't think it falls into most readers' common knowledge of sharks, so maybe Geoff Johns just threw it out there for shark aficionados like me, or maybe just to let other writers know he read a book on sharks once.

All Star Superman #1
I am smiling. It is a very wide smile.

MK Spider-Man #20
The Other, part 5
Oh god, make it stop. I'll just leave Pat Lee out of it this time. I don't know much about Reginald Hudlin's work, but whatever he's doing here is lost on me. I get the sense that he can craft a humorous adventure story (with or without Spider-Man) but lost in the mire of whatever "The Other" is supposed to be, the script seems jarringly out of place. In some other context-- and god help me I don't know which-- Mary Jane and Aunt May rumbling around in old Iron Man armor could be considered inventive if not outright funny, but again, in the context of this arc it's just bizarre. Why am I buying these books again?

Books of Doom #1
Doctor Doom has always been my favorite villain, I connect with him in ways that I don't think I'll be going into at the moment. But it's the glory days of Doom I admire so much, some of you know what I'm talking about. I don't think he is used very well these days, and in fact I wonder if that is even possible. Doom is a villain of another generation, Marvel can hold off using him "untill it counts" for as long as they want, he may never have the same impact again. Maybe he does, for new readers, but how many of those are there? Books of Doom is the supposed origin of the man he came to be, from his birth onward. It's an interesting enough story, already more interesting than Wolverine's childhood we were subjected to in another origin series... (tell me that story couldn't have been told in one issue) I find the childhood stuff falling into the realm of conjecture, if it's in its own book it's really in the hands of Ed Brubaker now. If Marvel had any balls left they would have told this in regular issues of Fantastic Four. I would like to see where Brubaker takes it into Doom's teens and beyond, tho much of that we've already seen in various aforementioned FF books. Where I think it can get cool is if there's some expansion on how Doom actually took over rulership of his country, but in a six issue series (jee-ZUS) I'm guessing that's issue four or five...

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