Sometime longevity has its downside. DIVINE RIGHT #8 came out from
WildStorm Studios this past week. Jim Lee drew the entire issue sideways. This is a topic I'm rather opinionated on. I like the style and believe it could work really well if the right person would do it right. And so upon reading DR, I was all ready to come here this week and go into detail on the sideways format.
Then I realized I wrote that column already, some 45 weeks ago. Go look at PCR #40, if you doubt me.
It isn't all bad for Jim Lee. Several pages worked really well, for example. The opening title page looks very nice sideways, allowing for a more folder-file feel when done sideways. But things go wrong on the second and third pages, which are double-page height. Why? There's no reason to use two pages for these three panels. If you're going to do this, you might just as well use on page held right-side-up. Ditto for the next two pages, although the bar on the right side works rather well.
I should probably annotate the entire thing, but I'll save that for
another time. Suffice it to say, Jim Lee has a mixed bag with this issue. Some of the pages are perfect while others completely miss the point.
The story itself is heavy in exposition, and apparantly explains a lot of stuff. I'm so lost at this point, though, it's hard to tell.
SUPERBOY #60 begins the Hypertime storyline. So far, it's a success.
Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett do their best work together artistically, for starters. This is the cleanest and most inviting their work has ever looked. And the story has its fair share of nice "moments." It's the opening gambit of an ambitious 6 parter. Thankfully, everything is re-explained to you, so you don't have to worry if you didn't bother with KINGDOM #2; all is explained herein.
I wonder if I like the direction Mark Waid is bringing CAPTAIN AMERICA in. Why does everything with Cap lately have to be a universe-altering senses-shattering storyline? You're going to need Hypertime to navigate through all these plots. (Maybe Waid is forgetting what universe he's in? ;-)
I also think the new Red Skull in armor looks terribly silly. Maybe it's the comic book purist in me, but I like the sleeker, business-suited Skull with a cigarette dangling from his lips. (Yes, Marvel, it's OK to show the Skull smoking. He is a bad guy. Sheesh, I hate smoking nazis. And I'm not talking about Red Skull there. . .)
It isn't all bad. The interplay between Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers is the strongest thing this book has going, and is something Waid could write whole issues of without boring me. Picture it -- 22 pages of Carter and Rogers sitting across the table and talking.
And Andy Kubert is still doing some wonderful stuff. His storytelling is getting much better, too, along with his dramatic camera angles.
I wonder if I just don't care about GEN13 anymore. . . Without the
scripting of Peter David, Gary Frank's art begins to look incredibly
boring after awhile. And the plots and the characters in the book aren't moving anywhere. It's just that all the stuff we've known about them forever is just now finally being dealt with, long after we've ceased to care. Maybe it's a good idea to cancel the book and start it over. Get a new creative team, let them take it in a direction all its own which doesn't involve IO, Coda, or Daemonites and see what happens. Ground the kids somewhere more permanant. Give it more of an edge somehow. There's been some wonderful stuff done with these characters. Much of it has been more cutting that this. Maybe that's what the book needs.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"I don't buy everything I read; I haven't read everything I've bought."
-Barenaked Ladies, who must be comic book fans ;-)
"Pages C10, C15, and C21: Censor wants us to figure out someplace for Catwoman to land other than on her face or breasts."
-Paul Dini, BATMAN ANIMATED