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Comic Book Cheers and Jeers for 12/15

by  in Comic News Comment

Damn, that was quite a long time between installments of this bit! The last one I did was in January! ANYhow, here are some cheers and jeers, mostly for comics that came out last week.

There will most likely be some spoilers…otherwise, enjoy!

Two books I already complimented, but just for completion’s sake…

CHEERS to Final Crisis #5 for being a fun action-packed comic with a ton of awesome little moments, as well as strong developments towards the “Fifth World” and CHEERS to Phonogram: Singles Club #1 for being a delightful read, including a great amount of value for the buck, with a strong lead story (that is fresh to new readers) and two nice back-ups, including a brilliant short story about the plight of women in emo music.

CHEERS to Reactron being “The man with the Gold Kryptonite heart.” Very clever.

JEERS to this whole “Joker killing people while in police custody” routine in Batman Confidential. I think I’d be happier with it if the deaths were actually clever, but come on, talking a lady into killing herself (off panel, of course) in a minute or so? That’s not cool. And getting a lawyer to slip on a banana peel in such a way that she falls and cracks her head, killing her? The Joker’s not Bruce Banner, calculating the odds in his Hulk fights – he’s just some crazy maniac!

JEERS to the idea of Bruce Banner calculating the odds in his fights as the Hulk so as to not kill anyone.

CHEERS to Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #2. This quick mini-series was an intriguing look at the villains of Warren Ellis’ run, particularly this issue, which is set in an alternate universe where things went differently at the beginning of the X-Men’s encounter with the other-dimensional mutants in recent issues of Astonishing X-Men. By showing the readers what would have happened if things had not gone exactly how they did, Ellis allows us deep insight into the motivations and machinations of the villains. It is a very clever way for Ellis to deliver a whole pile of info to the readers. Also, great artwork by Kaare Andrews on the second story!

JEERS, though, to the not very good artwork of Clayton Crain on the first story.

JEERS to Ed Benes’ artwork in the introduction of the Milestone heroes. Especially his take on Iota and Donner (“Can’t…draw….women…who do not…look like…swimsuit models”).

CHEERS to the Milestone heroes returning period, and having Dwayne McDuffie being the one handling it – very cool.

JEERS, though, to the idea of the Milestone heroes just “always being in the DC Universe – just no one talks about them.” What is the point of having a multiverse if you do not use the perfect opportunity for it like here – the Milestone heroes belong in their own universe. It is fine if they cross over, Earth 1/Earth 2 style – totally cool, but the idea that Dakota is part of the DC Universe? That really doesn’t work.

Even MORE JEERS for the issue, for the return of the “Doctor Light is a bitch!” characterization. I get the idea of bringing back earlier characterizations if the earlier characterization was, like, important or integral to the character, but Dr. Light was shown as a bitch for about, what, three issues? Three issues almost TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago! But somehow, all her character development since then is to be thrown out the window to make her main characteristic being that she is a bitch? Lame!

The final JEER for the issue – the wholly inappropriate sex dream Hawkgirl had with Hawkman. Don’t get me wrong, I think the scene could be done well if it was not handled by Ed Benes, but, well, when you’re writing a book where Ed Benes is the artist – don’t work in sex scenes! They are not going to be handled well – they’re going to look cheap and jarring.

CHEERS to the first issue of Garth Ennis’ Punisher mini-series for being an amusing sequel to Ennis’ “Welcome Back Frank” story.

JEERS, though, that Marvel chose to return to “Welcome Back, Frank” and not the much superior Punisher MAX series. If you’re gonna get Ennis to come back to do a mini-series featuring the Punisher, I’d much rather it be with the Punisher MAX style than the Marvel Knights one.

CHEERS to artwork by Guillem March in the first part of Denny O’Neil’s Batman story in Detective Comics. Strong work by an artist that I am unfamiliar with.

JEERS to the artistic inconsistencies in Final Crisis #5. I get that they’re rushed, but there were a lot of silly little mistakes in the book that I’d really prefer to see fixed.

CHEERS to Marco Rudy, who filled in at the last moment in Final Crisis #5. If Pacheco was rushed enough that he was making little mistakes all over the place, can you imagine how rushed RUDY must have been? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was “get these done over the weekend please,” and yet Rudy produced some extremely strong pages, including the scene of Darkseid’s ascension.

CHEERS to Terry Moore’s artwork and character development in his new series, Echo. Both are top rate. I am also pleased that he seems to have a much firmer grasp at the direction of this series as opposed to Stranger in Paradise (then again, that’s kind of hard not to do, right? As SiP was about as direction-less as comics get – until the end, of course, when Moore came up with his ending, and the last 25 or so issues were quite tightly written).

JEERS to the notion that comics are still dealing with the effects of the Black Panther’s mis-use of the Ebony Blade. As I’ve said in the past, I subscribe to Michael Bolton’s position in matters like these…

CHEERS to the fun (if a bit “by the book”) storyline in Superman/Batman, where Superman and Batman switch powers. Great artwork by Rags Morales.

JEERS to Namor’s characterization (visual and otherwise) for most of Secret Invasion: Dark Reign (although he ended up fairly well).

CHEERS, though, to the general concept behind Dark Reign. It’s basically like when Lex Luthor became President of the United States, except it appears to be actually coordinated with the rest of the Marvel Universe, so it will have ramifications – Luthor as President really didn’t have much in the way of ramifications.

In fact, let’s just give out JEERS to the wasting of the idea that Luthor was President.

A double JEER for his choice of Pete Ross as his running mate (“Remember that guy who was appointed as Senator as part of a government conspiracy and resigned after he almost assassinated a U.S. General? We want THAT guy as our veep!”)

MAJOR CHEERS to Skottie Young’s artwork on the Marvel adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, but CHEERS to Eric Shanower, as well, for a strong story.

JEERS that Terry Moore’s delightful run on Mary Jane was just a mini-series.

CHEERS to Judd Winick’s clever “the fight is going on inside Dick’s mind” plot in Titans.

JEERS, though, to the idea Winick introduced in the same issue (in an otherwise clever plot point where the Titans have certain “security questions” that no one else knows to test their identities in case of impostors infiltrating the group) that Wally kissed another woman while with Linda.

CHEERS to the “1.076 seconds” plot device Andrew Kreisberg used to introduce his run on Green Arrow/Black Canary. Very clever, and certainly did make him stand out.

JEERS, of a sort, to the unclear ending (so they just left him in the alley? the guy, what, burst through the man’s window? huh?) as well as the unclear explanation for how Dinah got into her predicament.

CHEERS that the lady in Nightwing is alive. It’s quite hokey, but hey, I’m happy!

Okay, that’s it for this go around, folks! I may have a new one next – I may not. We shall see what we shall see!