I'm gonna make this quicker and dirtier than the fastest and filthiest reviewers on the planet! If Buzz Bissinger cared about comics blogs at all, he'd really hate me!
Amazing Spider-Man #559- I kinda hate this cutesy interent practice of summing things up with equations (mainly 'cause I hate math in general), but I think the only way to review this one accurately is using one. Slott+Martin+Parkour-inspired villain=Awesome. Or, what Cronin said.
Batman #676- I drifted away from Morrison's Batman when it descended in to crossover land, but save for the JH Williams drawn "Club of Heroes", I've been pretty lukewarm on what I've read of it as a whole. I was going to continue to not read it, heavily hyped storyline be damned, until I found out that this was a continuation of the aforementioned arc I adored.
This issue lacked Williams, but other than that considerable handicap, it's a solid bit of setup; the reveal of the Club of Heroes' opposite number is interesting, so I'll see where Morrison's going with this, even if all the stuff with Jezebel Jett and the Black Glove is going to have a severely diminshed impact at best, since I haven't followed the book to be in to either subplot. That said, it should converge interestingly (Morrison at his worst is usuaally good enough for that). Too bad that JH couldn't come to the party, though.
BPRD: 1946- Yeah, what Sims says. Great finale to the first BPRD series I've picked up in ages. I'd gladly read more stories about Hellboy's foster dad's adventures as long as Mignola wants to co-write them, and if he isn't drawing them, I'll be happy to gaze at Paul Azaceta's shadow drenched work on anything Mignola and co-conspirator Joshua Dysart care to dream up for him.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #14- Yeah, so, that last page reveal was the first real sour note of this serious I've been enraptured by since day one. No, Buffy's sudden bi-curiousity (which continues this issue) didn't bother me. Of course, I've got enough frat boy in me to not mind a little unexplained girl on girl, especially when it leads to a pretty hilarious gag. That said, between that pretty bemusing last page reveal and the lack of the comedy stylings of Racist Dracula, this was the first issue of the Buffy revival I wasn't really thrilled by. I did really enjoy the guy who gave us Cloverfield writing Giant Dawn's Tokyo Rampage, though. That was pretty rad, and will make whatever Michelle Trachtenburg does on the season finale of Gossip Girl seem tame by comparison.
Shit, I shouldn't admit I watch Gossip Girl to a comics blog audience, should I? In my defense, Veronica Mars/amoral electric girl from Heroes narates it! And it's produced by the O.C.'s creator! That has some nerd cred, right? Maybe I should get back to the comics. It's not like Apodaca will look down his nose at me any less if I try to defend myself for liking teen soap operas.
Casanova #14- Well, I certainly didn't see that coming, but it makes perfect sense. Well played, Fraction. Hopefully this one doesn't go on a long hiatus while Fraction gets paid for his Marvel work, but it's a hell of a note to go out on for now. Bonus points to Fraction for tying the series together in a way that makes me want to go back and read the whole thing in one go, even if my lack of organization makes that a daunting task; for something that reads so well solely as punk rock comics (two minutes of sound and fury and all), it's impressive that Fraction's layered it so well.
DC Universe #0- I actually was going to avoid this, but I have a severe weakness for cheap/free comics, as the giant stack of back issues and trades I got at various FBCD sales attests to. Also, I didn't hate this. Sure, I threw it away, but that was more out of a desire to make some attempt at saving space than out of anger at its incoherence (althought that double page spread hyping the Green Lantern storyline did give me a headache). It didn't kill my interest in Final Crisis, although I'm buying that solely in hope that Morrison and Jones alone will be able to overcome my disinterest in this meta story DC's been telling for four years now, and piqued my interest in the Wonder Woman story spinning out of it. That's more than Coutdown to Infinite Crisis did, although that did have the advantage of being an actual story. So, yeah, we're at a point where the story where Blue Beetle got his brains blown out actually has a stronger narrative than something. God, that's depressing.
Immortal Iron Fist #14- The sell by date on a review of this is pretty well past due, but still; this was a great functional finale to the enormously entertaining run by Brubaction (I'll admit; it's better than Frubaker), Aja, and friends. I will forever commend them for performing the herculean task of elevating Iron Fist from the status of that guy in the dorky collar who hung out with Luke Cage to an interesting character in his own right (well, to me, at least), so much so that I'll give the team following them a chance, even if they have some pretty huge shoes (or slippers, depending on your IF costume preferences) to fill.
Serenity: Better Days #3- After two of these minis, I'm still pretty underwhelemed by Serenity as a comic, but I'll still probably pick up the next mini if it's Reverend Book's secret origin. It would probably also improve my enjoyment of this series to read it in order, on something approaching a good night's sleep, since vast chunks of the finale went over my head, and I doubt it's due to how complex it was, but more down to my sleep deprived, video game addled mind (a GTA IV and Wii cocktail is a hell of a drug) barely being able to comprehend anything when I read it. Still; disappointing!
Those Two Iron Man Books From Last Week- Short version-Graeme is right.Less Short Version- Fraction's cash in, I'll probably stick around for. Favreu's, probably not. The former served as good set up, giving us a sympathetic Tony Stark (although making him symapthetic to a guy who ignored the vast majority of Civil War is not so hard) and an interesting antagonist. Larocca's art is good for the ultra slick, near airburshed aesthetic that spawned it; it's not my favorite style, but it told the story well. Of course, I like Greg Land's work on that Free Comic Day X-Men book, so maybe I'm just getting soft on this stuff in my dotage.
Favreu's was $4 for a story that took two minutes to read and had a lame gag about the French being cowards (I object less for the politics and more because it was not funny, myself). Bonus points for using Elsa Bloodstone, but it's tempered by the fact that she did not decapitate any broccoli cyborgs with a shovel. I do like Granov's art more than Graeme, though, and the premise of the series (Iron Man vs. Fin Fang Foom in Vegas by the guy who did Swingers!) sounds like the kind of gift you never even knew to ask for, so I may get the trade. I should probably watch the movie they're cashing in on before reading any more Iron Man comics, though.
Bonus review of comics related merchandise! Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy Heroclick- I just wanted to mention I bought this, because it gives me a chance to say how happy I am to be alive at a time when a character like Devil Dinosaur can have a deluxe hardcover collecting his whole series and a Heroclick figure. To quote Jasper after he was cryogenically frozen in Apu's freezer, "What a time to be alive!"
Brief Free Comic Day Comments- I haven't even read all of this year's FBCD giveaways; I only just now burrowed my way out of the pile of comics I picked up that day to write this. From what I have read, though, I really dug the Atomic Robo and X-Men issues, was slightly underwhelemed with the Hellboy one based on the comics, and am just happy to have an EC Comics sampler that I didn't have to pay for, as well as the Fanta and D&Q ones to meet my mandatory art/alternative comics alottment for the year. Everything else I read from that corner of the medium between idulging my love of Simsian facekickings is now gravy.