A Bunch of Comics Reviews I Forgot To Post From May Or Something

In case you care. Or are OCD and have to read anything we post (I assume that's a decent chunk of our demographic). I could just not publish them, but that feels wasteful. I'm going to be doing current day parenthetical commentary on them, in an attempt to contemporize them. I'm trying here, folks; meet me half way!

DC Universe #0- Every blogger, even part time n'er do wells like me, is obligated to talk about this one, right? I actually planned on not picking this up, since I'm trying to avoid comics that I'll probably not enjoy even if they're cheap or free.

Problem is, I'm lousy at that. (I just wrote a whole slog of a post about that!)

Speaking of lousy; well, as easy a transition as that would be, I didn't hate this. Granted, I just skimmed the damn thing before tossing it in the garbage, but hey, it didn't kill my interest in Final Crisis (although it would take a lot to do that), and made me mildly interested in the upcoming Wonder Woman tie-in, potentially making this the most positive review of the issue on the 'net, despite the fact that I did toss the thing in the garbage after finishing it. Hey, I'm trying to save space! And the Green Lantern section gave me a splitting headache, so I had to get rid of it. (Well, I do like Final Crisis so far. I was trying to contrast this with Countdown, which was a better actual story (in that it was a story) that turned me off the DCU meta-epic until Morrison and Jones got involved.)

DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore- This was published around the time Moore wanted his name off of anything he'd ever written for DC, so I'm still disappointed that they didn't replace his name with Alan Smithee, just because that amuses me (credit to Rich Johnston for that joke).

Anyway, I took advantage of a shop's FCBD sale and finally picked up this collection of Moore's non-Swamp Thing DCU work. What amazed me was that there was a story in there I hadn't heard of. Specifically, "Mortal Clay", about Clayface's domestic troubles with his wife, who happens to be a mannequin. It's not the best thing Moore ever wrote by any means, much less the best thing in the book. That said, it's the kind of clever, out of the box story that helped him stand out from the pack in his days as a rank and file hack, and it was nice to find a suprise amongst the stories I'd been hearing about for years, like "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" and the "Killing Joke". There are also some nice anecdotal pieces about the creation of some of the stories, which round out a collection that ranges wildly in quality from interesting curios from a future master to legendary stories in their own right. (This makes that fancy pants Killing Joke hardcover even more superflous, unless Bolland's colors make it look 1,000,000x better. Also, am I a bad person for not caring about how Babs got treated in that story? At all? While also liking that Kevin Maguire drawn story about her and Catwoman being half naked and chasing each other.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 #14 So, the last page revealed bothered me more than Buffy's bi-curious/lesbian fling with Satsu that got a certain fellow blogger hot, bothered, and demanding proof that this sort of thing actually happens in real life. That didn't particularly bug me, even if a scene in the preceding issue did seem to indicate that Buffy wasn't interested in switching teams; the way I read it, at least. But I've got enough frat boy in me to not question why when it comes to girl on girl action.

In fact, it's one of the few sour notes in the whole series for me so far. I don't usually freak out over character deaths, but if they actually go through with it, and it seems pretty likely they will, given how impaled said character is and all it bugs me (yeah, she died. At least they're consistently miserable). Also, the issue lacked good lines from Racist Dracula. I did enjoy the giant Dawn's rampage, especially considering it was written by the guy who brought us Cloverfield. It occurs to me that Buffy's one of those book's it's kind of pointless to review; you know by now whether you care or despise the concept with every fiber of your being, but I felt like sharing that anyway, and am too lazy to edit it out now (Joss and company, I pretty much love this comic unconditionally and all, but Centaur Dawn's kinda pushin' it, man. Fray's weird future slang, too, although at least Buffy has someone to hang out with who talks less like a real person than she does).

Those Two Iron Man Books From Last Week Cashing In On That Movie I Haven't Seen Yet- Short Version: Graeme is right.

Longer Version: I was extremely bemused by Viva Las Vegas on a number of levels, including how quick a read it was for the price on top of the dumb joke about the French, but Favreu writing Iron Man vs. Fin Fang Foom in Las Vegas does sound like one of those gifts you never knew to ask for so-- I'll wait for the trade? Pretty sure I don't want to buy this one in serialization. I did like Granov's art more than my favorite Scotsman who isn't Craig Ferguson or Grant Morrison did. Bonus points for the inclusion of Elsa Bloodstone, although she doesn't kill any vegetable cyborgs with a shovel, so it's not enought to alleviate my disappointment. (Is Viva Las Vegas gonna be the next Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine, where they more or less put out the first issue to recoup their investment? Why the delay? Is Favrue still training to be the Ultimate Fighting Champion to finish the script, even if the first issue felt like it was plotted on a napkin? Or is Granov's computer really that slow? Or was the first issue just a joke? Or did the whole thing ship when I was not paying attention?)

The Fraction book wasn't as slam bang as I expected to be (although none of Fraction's Marvel work has been, really, which is why I've been underwhelmed by his Punisher and found it easy to drift away from the Order despite liking it). He did do a lot to make Tony sympathetic (although the fact that I avoided Civil War means that's not as big a hurdle as it is for others; I can still see Tony as a morally conflicted man of action instead of a facist dictator). I actually liked Larocca's work more here than I do his old style. This ultra slick, near airbrused aesthetic isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it didn't bug me (maybe I'm just getting soft; I liked the Greg Land drawn Free Comic Day X-Men story a lot).

I will probably keep up with this in singles, at least until I wander off like I did with the Order. (Yeah, I'm already drifting away on IIM. Solid book, but when push came to shove last week and I was low on cash, I left it on the stands. We'll see if I come back or buy the whole thing in back issues after it's cancelled like the Order. Ideally, it sticks around and the other Iron Man book goes away or two Iron Man books can survive once the afterglow of the movie fades, but I doubt both ideas.)

Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? and Young Avengers Hardcovers- This is Alan Heinberg's entire body of work in comics, right? I read the former in tandem with the Diana Prince, Wonder Woman trade, (which Greg covered beautifully here) because that sort of thing amuses me. I read the latter because YA is one of those series I've always meant to read but never got around to, and big fat hardcover plus FBCD sale equals rectifying that.

Wonder Woman was one of those "greatest hits" superhero comics; throw the entire Rogues Gallery at the hero(ine), toss in as many guest stars are you can cram in, and fit as many references to famous tropes of the character as possible. It works on that level, although it winds up being six issues of sound and fury that signifies a lot of set up for the series' status quo. Perfectly good entry level stuff for people like me, who like the character well enough conceptually but have never followed her, but I can see how it would turn of die hard fans. That doesn't even get in to how long it took them to finish the damn thing.

Dodson, being a cheesecake practitioner, will draw a lot of ire from folks, but come on; he was born to draw something like Wonder Woman. She's a busty goddess in a skimpy two piece! And his art didn't seem that skeevy to me, but I like this sort of thing and am in the undersexed demopgraphic he's aiming for anyway, so feel free to tell me how much of a pig I am. Does his wife being his inker mitigate the sexual objectification, by the way? (Seriously, how does that work?)

YA, being a Marvel book, is more my speed. I've never been much of an Avengers fan, but this book playing off of their legacy really appealed to me. Heinberg gives good teen team book banter, and Cheung brings the slick art. A big part of my liking any superhero comic (or any comic, really) is whether I find the characters likable. I liked these kids, and want to see more of their adventures. I was also impressed that he wrote such a convincing, well rounded relationship between Wiccan and Hulkling without either turning it in to a giggling "har har, Hulk and Thor are screwing" Mark Millar on Authority-esque joke or using the "g" word, which I'm sure Marvel bans because it would warp kids minds or something. (Not that that bothers me; look, gay folks, I care about your rights and everything, but only until it gets in the way of my escapist fiction. I did vote against the proposition to ban gay marriage in Texas! Or for the one to not ban it. I forget. I mean, it failed, but I tried to help! So let me enjoy my homophobic, homoerotic fiction in peace!)

Too bad Heinberg's real job keeps him from giving me more of that. Hopefully someone else will be able to do something with them sometime soon. (I wonder how much that second arc ties in to Secret Invasion, since they've been planning it since Bendis was 15 or whatever. I guess I'll have to buy the second bi-annual YA/Runaways team up book to find out. Or just read people eviscerating it online. I'm on a budget.)

Hellboy: Darkness Falls- I like Hellboy better in short stories. This is why; I can remember next to nothing about this damn book, and I read it around a month ago. Fegredo does a great job following a singular talent; I've been a fan of his since he was Milligan's regular Vertigo collaborator, so it's cool to see him get some mainstream attention.

Unfortunately, a lot of the appeal of Hellboy to me is Mignola's art; as a writer, he leaves me cold a whole lot, especially in long form stuff. We'll see how long I follow the serial. I begrudge Mignola nothing, mind you, I just like Hellboy and the BPRD more as a vehical for his work as a writer and an artist than as a franchise in and of itself. (Although I am jazzed about that second flick. Whoopie f'n Goldberg plugged it on the View! That's mainstream success! Not that I watch that or anything. Much. And the video game was okay. So shit, I am on the franchise train with big red. I guess this is exactly how long it takes me to contradict myself.)

Review: Immortal Hulk #19 Reaches a Bloody Climax From a New Perspective

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