A Week's Worth of Single Issue Reviews

No mentions of Magneto or the Wildstorm Universe in these so, you know, react accordingly. A fair amount of Secret Invasion and Batman, though. I couldn't really help the SI stuff, since they let loose a veritable deluge of it this week. I was lucky to escape the shop without more of it, really.

Seriously, what's with all the Secret Invasion tie-ins this week? I am not the kind of masochist that has to read all of them, and even I was taxed by the selection; I would have probably bought the X-Men and Young Avengers/Runaways ones out of curiousity had they not all been dumped on the market like that. Although I'll probably buy them anyway if the shop doesn't sell out, and either way Marvel wins. At any rate, this is the kind of stuff that makes Paul O'Brien cranky. You wouldn't like him when he's cranky. He's... well, he's just a Scottish lawyer. But a cranky Scottish lawyer does not sound pleasent, does it?

Amazing Spider-Man #567- Kraven's First Hunt ends. It was okay. Not my favorite story post Satanic divorce or anything, but solid work. Sure, it's one of those stories based on another story people apparently hate in comics, but it was a hell of a story they based this on, so I have less of a problem with it than I imagine I'm supposed to. I thought Spidey's attempt to cover for the mistaken identity was pretty dumb, even as boneheaded as he can be sometimes. Also, Vin seemed to get out of that bolo that was choking him to death pretty quickly between panels. But that's all I've got to pick on, really.

Next week, Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. are the creative team, so I've got that to look forward to. I am very excited. Look, this content generating stuff takes a lot out of me, okay? This more than I usually do in a month. It can't all be ramblebolic hyperbole; I simply don't have the stamina. How do people like Cronin and Sims do this daily content stuff? Well, beyond Cronin's android wiring.

Batman #679- I have only a vague idea of what is going on! It's all fairly exciting, and verges on really interesting every once in awhile, but still; I only have a tenuous idea what all's going on here. It gets better when I actually put some thought in to it, mind you, but I resent having to think about Batman comics on any level beyond "how the hell did Frank Miller fit all of that crazy in to 9 issues?" Also, the art is not great. Have to mention that in every review of this run not drawn by J.H. Williams. Seriously. You don't want to see what Cronin will do if we don't.

Batman Confidential #20- This storyline, now in its fourth part, may very well have been an elaborate excuse to see how many facial expressions Kevin Maguire can draw. Perhaps he lost a bet and that's why he's putting out more work in Batman Confidential than he has in like five years. Or maybe this has been sitting in a drawer for years and Didio found it during a bout of nervous cleaning when the sales figures for Countdown and its spinoffs came in.

Who the hell knows? All I do know is that I'm sure enjoying this story, no matter what its genesis, even with all of the shamelessness of it. Well, because of it, really. I have a hard time not enjoying a story where Kevin Maguire gets to draw a disturbingly erotic Puss in Boots reference and the Riddler, and Fabian Nicieza gets to make "one punch" references. Batman also shows up, so there's that, too.

Hack/Slash #14- Not from this week, but I bought it with the rest of this stuff, and it serves as a nice mid point between the Batman and Secret Invasion stuff. I generally find that hot goth girls are nice palette cleansers between anything involving Batman and Little Green Men. They're the sorbet of my adolescent power fantasy comics reading four course meal.

Ahem. My new guilty pleasure (which I am not that guilty over, really, so people who aren't Tim Seeley can stop being offended for him; Tim can feel however he wants with my blessing) gives us a glimpse of what would happen if Eli Roth directed the Wizard of Oz. So, if that fries your burger, it's a good jumping on point.

Although that doesn't even get that much space, as the book is filled with subplots, giving us interludes that range from Lovecraftian to the Re-Animator. No, seriously, the Re-Animator shows up. They're having a crossover next issue, the first ever licensed by Brian Yuzna according to the house ads. All of that makes me realize I'm a bad trash cinema fan for having never seen that stupid movie.

Anyway, between the road trip elements, the done-in-one-with-subplots-a-brewin' story structure, and even some of the actual story content, this comic reminds me less of the slasher film/Buffy-esque superheroic hybrid I fell for with some shame and more of the TV show Supernatural, especially due to the derth of T & A (although there was some; wouldn't be a slasher story without it). Not sure if that's a good or bad thing, mind you. I still like this book, especially now that I have my public flagellation over it out of the way.

An aside: Why is it that this comic (and all four of the Hack/Slash stories I've read so far) can have a fair amount of cursing and ultraviolence, but no nudity? I mean, shameless nudity is as much a part of slasher movies as the violence! Not that I need cartoon naked breasts in my comics. But I wouldn't turn them down, either. And now I'm giving Seeley and Devil's Due hell for that. Also, how have DDP not been sued by Diamond Dallas Page over using his ring initials, when he sued Jay-Z over a damned hand sign? Other than Jay-Z having roughly 10,000,000xs more money than anyone in comics at all, I mean.

Secret Invasion #5- The tide turns! Daring rescues! Secrets revealed! Nicky Fury yells at punk kids! A double page spread of as many celebrity likenesses as Lenil Yu can manage to draw (I knew Obama was a secret Muslim Skrull), including Pierce Brosnan as Namor, I think! Reed Richards chokes a bitch, but the one you neccessarily think, and sounds like he watches UFC in the process! Some predictable things happen, too, but at least they tried to swerve us. But at the end, Clint Barton freaks right out, so it's all intense again!

So, yeah, this one pretty much has everything you can expect to get your blood pumping in one of these things, even if it brings us that much closer to the frightening future everyone's favorite SI reviewer posited here, somewhere. Probably outdated prediction: Fury's a Skrull sleeper agent! You read it here first if you read less blogs and message boards than I do!

Secret Invasion: Thor #1 Based on a very small sample size, Matt Fraction on Thor has yet to lead me wrong. That holds true, although this being act one and all, not a whole lot happens. I did get to find out that Loki's a woman now for the first time, so that was something. Did they just smush he and Enchantress together? At any rate, what we've got going here is everyone's favorite space horseman, Beta Ray Bill, and the rest of the Asgardian Pantheon vs. the Skrulls, so that sounds like fun. Even if I still think Bill might be a Skrull. Maybe Tranny Loki was right!

That added a lot to the tension of what was a mostly set up issue, although I'm not quite as dismissve of the Don Blake: Action OBGYN stuff as I was of mundane jobs in other superhero comics I've talked about today. STUPID WILDCATS 3.0 HATE YOU SO MUCH! Ahem. Good first issue. Roll on the Skrulls vs. Gods punch up, even if it will have to work hard to live up to the standards set by the other Skrulls v. Mythic Gods storyline going on in Incredible Hercules. Also, I still hate that digital inking hoo-hah on art.

That's all the comics I read today. If I read any more between now and then, y'all will be the first ones to know. Whoever it is that still reads me after I had the temerity (trademark JBL) to say disparaging things about the Wildstorm Universe, Magneto, Hack/Slash, and K-Box over the course of a week, that is.

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