Here are some more reviews you don’t need but may want. Up to you. They do push the concept of the paragraph as far as it will go, if you’re in to that sort of thing.
Captain America: The Man With No Face– Doesn’t hit the highs that the previous volumes did, but it’s still a damn good espionage flavored adventure/superhero comic (it’s really more of the former than the latter, even with the Sub Mariner tagging along). Didn’t care for Luke Ross’s art, so that dragged it down a bit, too. But it does have a mad scientist, and that’s really all I really ask for in my pulp.
Obligatory Aside: Shouldn’t they rename this Captain America and the Black Widow? Or maybe James and Natalya’s Pulp Spy Adventures?
Captain Britain and MI 13: Hell Comes To Birmingham– If I’d bought these in single issues… this series probably still would have been canceled. So I don’t feel too bad about that. This was quite a superhero story, though. Really, it’s much better than whatever you’re reading, you Avengers loving douche!* Blade and Spitfire’s courtship alone is awesome (and perversely humorous, given that it’s got one of the most violent “meet cutes” on this list, right next to the one in the next trade).
Obligatory Aside: Captain Midlands… is that a preexisting character I’ve never heard of, or an elaborate practical joke, or what?
Dark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts– Deadpool’s quest to get paid by Norman Osborn amused me a lot more than it should have. It’s gleefully stupid, but hey, at least it’s gleeful. The Deadpool half shows that this may be the comic Daniel Way was born to write, while the Thunderbolts half has nice, Phil Noto-ish art from Bong Dazo and friends, and Andy Diggle’s usual great action writing. Also, there’s the courtship of Deadpool and Black Widow II (who seems to be borrowing Sam Fischer’s head gear). This probably does not reflect well on me, but I thought that was endearing.
Obligatory Aside: This is the first Deadpool I’ve read since Gail Simone’s run, so the use of Taskmaster was appreciated.
Flash: The Human Race– Stories about adults encountering imaginary friends always get to me, so the titular first half worked for me a lot. Well, that and it’s basically the Flash vs. Sonic the Hedgehog with the ending from co-writer Grant Morrison’s JLA run tacked on, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mark Millar, who co-wrote the first story with Morrison, goes solo for the second half of the trade, as Wally West takes on the speedster’s grim reaper, the Black Flash. It’s less impressive, because Mark Millar. It’s got all of his trademark annoying tics (including the worst superhero funeral since, well, Morrison’s one for Metamorpho in JLA) without a great artist to bail him out.
Obligatory Aside: It is always interesting to read his pre-Authority work, though, just to see what he was like before he became the ball of hype he is now. Some of it’s even good!
Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah– Well, this was a very Mike Mignola story; it’s got all of the trappings except for certain big red guy. Like a lot of his work as a writer, it lacks the charm of his best Hellboy work as a writer/artist; really, this is probably my least favorite Mignola comic ever. It’s just kind of there. Your mileage will very if you love Lovecraft and Victoriana, I’m guessing. The art, from Troy Nixey and Farel Dalrymple, is as grotesque and grimy as the story calls for, but it leaves me cold too.
Obligatory Aside: I would have loved this story had Hellboy punched any of the characters in the face at any time at all. Throw me a bone, Mignola!
Madam Xanadu: Disenchanted– Haven’t read this yet, actually; saving it for a trip. I bought it with Deadpool/T Bolts, because the disparity between their page count despite having the same price is pretty hilarious. I mean, if I scanned things, that would be quite the image, these two books side by side. You’ll just have to take my word for it. But really, Xanadu being 10 single issues for $12.99 is pretty much just a Vertigo thing, isn’t it? Part of their “for the love of god, read our comics!” push, along with the $1 first issues?
Obligatory Aside: I’ll probably be very disappointed if Xanadu doesn’t make out with any women in this. Reading the second arc first probably ruined this comic for me.
Pixu: The Mark of Evil– Yeah, this didn’t do a lot for me. Hell of a collection of talent (Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Becky Cloonan, and Vasilis Lolos) and some genuinely creepy moments, but the book as a whole didn’t really work for me at all. I wish I could speak better of it, especially when I liked the Deadpool crossover thing, but them’s the breaks.
Obligatory Aside: This seems like one of those books where you probably need to read it twice to get the full picture. But I have no time for that in my busy schedule of doing just enough things to make comments about on Facebook. That shit can be demanding. So, sorry, extremely talented creators, your graphic novella will go unappreciated by me.
*Unless you were reading it, and the other Marvel comics I like, like Agents of Atlas and Secret Warriors. I just wanted to act like Burgas for a second there and shoot some fish in a barrel. Eat shit and die, fish!
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