Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Comic Book Wednesdays: "Anti-Life Equation" is a good description of Grad School.

Before we get to the main event:
  • My yet-unseen office mate left me a news clipping stating that Michael Cera will play Scott Pilgrim in the Scott Pilgrim movie. I approve of this, and not just because I have a man-crush on Michael Cera. All right, mostly because of that.
  • I've had kind of a rough week, and worse, it's been pretty much my own fault. But today I got to drink a big pot of Bengal Spice Tea, so now it's all good.
Right. Rather than do the usual one short review, one long, this week, we're trying three short. Comment on the change if you feel the need to do so.
Secret Invasion 7. The penultimate chapter in Marvel's latest massive blockbuster. It's still not firing on all cylinders, though. I think my problem with the series is twofold: First, by the time the invasion started, the "secret" part was largely over, which meant that it's basically one big fight scene. And, second and more important, it's a fight where I'm really only invested in one side of the equation; the skrulls are little more than faceless monsters at this point, and that's not particularly compelling for me--not for six straight months, anyway. Speaking more to this issue, I appreciate their attempts to label various figures, but honestly, if you need an explanatory label to tell who Wolverine is, you probably aren't going to be picking this up anyway. If you've enjoyed the ride so far, you'll probably enjoy this; if not, hold off till the pay-off next issue.
Final Crisis 4. Over on the other side of the pond, DC's big blockbuster seems to be heading on track. Issue 4 of 7 is a little late in the show to let the reader in on what the hell's happening, but better late than never, I guess. Most of humanity has come under the influence of the anti-life equation, and if you don't know what that means, you're standing in the wrong line. In essence, the remaining heroes gather for a final stand, and a totally-expected villain takes the stage. Morrison's script is popping, and Jones, Pacheco, and Merino present a twisted and intriguing view of the ravaged Earth. Tattooed Man fans (both of you) have something to cheer for, and there's a kick-ass scene with Green Arrow that shows why Oliver plays with the big boys. A must-buy for DC fans, even if it doesn't excuse the previous issues.
X-Factor 36. It may not be blockbuster, but it's good story. Well, it used to be. For those not in the know, X-Factor is a team of mutant private investigators, lead by Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, whose mutant power is to create duplicates, each of which manifests a different aspect of his personality. And the book has sort of lost its way since Layla Miller, the team's twelve year old clairvoyant, got lost in the future. (This happens in comics a lot.) In this issue, the team gears up to rescue new member, Darwin, whose mutant power is to adapt a power to any given situation. Writer Peter David has done interesting things with Darwin ( ex) he's revealed Darwin was noncaucasan, but turned white growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood as a defensive mechanism), but it's turned the focus away from the rest of the team, which is the book's real draw. And the art... I just can't get used to Larry Stroman. It's amusing how he manages to work a truly impressive number of obese Americans into each and every issue, but his disproportioned characters are often very oftputting, and don't jive well with a comic that used to define itself through a noir-shaded realism. I'll recommend the early issues to anyone who can get their hands on them as a fascinating investigation of a shattered identity, but this... not so much.

That last one kind of turned into a long review anyway, huh? Ah well.

Later Days.


Anonymous said...

Yay Micheal Cera! Yay Bengal Spice!


Kate said...

Dude, are you reading Freakangels?, natch. Warren Ellis's weekly free webcomic, soon to be released in TP. Totally awesome.

You have the best word verification. Today's selection: "audgess."

Person of Consequence said...

Recent events have soured my Cera love: Basically, he sees no point in an Arrested Development movie. Remember you made you, Cera! Remember!
...or just go on with your blockbuster career.

I'll have to give the Ellis webcomic a try. What do you think on Alan Moore? I know everyone and their uncle in the comic book world is obligated to love Watchmen, but I personally prefer the first vol. of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And right now I'm reading through his Miracle Man run, which has definite similarities to the Watchmen stuff.