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These Reviews started out a lot more concise, really.

by  in Comic News Comment
These Reviews started out a lot more concise, really.

Are you tired of me and my shameless plugs of my wrestling blog yet? If you’re not, than here are some snappier judgements than Snap Judgements, some criticisms that are more Savage than a gaggle of critics (But not the Macho Man), some– aw hell, I’ll just shut up and review the damn things.

The Last Fantastic Four Story- Had some glaring flaws, but hit the right notes in the end. Or, what Graeme said.

Batman #668- It’s sad that it took JH Williams to make me really excited about Morrison’s Batman run, but hey, I’ll take that over Andy Kubert drawing #666 was meant to be. Hopefully the last couple issues coming out in quick succesion doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait months for the last part of this fun little murder mystery.

The Order #1-2- Matt Fraction is my favorite comics writer working today. Barry Kitson is a very good old school penciller. They take a premise from Civil War and make a fun, compelling, X-Statix meets Strikeforce Morituri and becomes the new West Coast Avengers team book out of it. It’s not as joyously balls to the wall awesome as my beloved Casanova, but it was the only Fraction penned comic not featuring a bizzarely pumped up Frank Castle at my LCS this week, so I finally picked it up. Really, all you need to know is that it features a Brittney Spears-esque pop queen (well, before she became a supposedly fat train wreck) fighting an evil Communist Bear, but hey, even when I’m trying to be brief, I like to elaborate. I’m on board for this book, despite my lack of interest in the crossover that spawned it, or the crossover culture in general that doesn’t involve space gladiator Hulk flattening Reed Richards and suplexing helicopters.

Shazam! by Jeff Smith- Maybe it’s what Abhay said, but I was really underwhelmed by the last issue of this, after enjoying the first three a lot. Maybe it was the long delay, I don’t know. I also found the political commentary really oddly placed in what was an all ages romp. Not that I objected to it or anything, it just stuck out like a sore thumb. Still, better than trying to play the book like Miracleman or having Cap hang out with Superman, or pretty much anything else DC has ever done with the Big Red Cheese, I gather (I haven’t read many Captain Marvel stories, but I have read enough of Joe Rice’s banging on about how great the concept is and how much DC has screwed it up that I just accept it and move on).

Mouse Guard Hardcover- Sort of like Smith’s Shazam!, I’m not sure if it was the book or me, but again I was underwhelemed. Perfectly good comic; it’s very pretty, and it has a satisfying conclusion while still setting up for future stories. I just don’t particularly care. Really, it’s probably the fantasy aesthetic. While I geeked out over the sheer spectacle of the Lord of the Rings Movies, but pretty much everything else in the genre, from the Legend of Zelda and Elder Scrolls video games to comics like this and Bone, leave me cold, despite the obvious skill involved. Now, sword sorcery barabarian comics, I like. Speaking of which–

Essential Conan- This was like a holy grail in my collection; I love me some Essentials format books, and this seemed like the best way to read the Thomas/BWS run, especially giving all of the bitching people have done about the coloring on the Dark Horse reprints. That said, I read two issues when I first got it and decided I wasn’t in the mood for Conan and didn’t read it for a year. Picked it up again recently and really enjoyed it, especially “Rogues in the House”. Really, I’m just covering Chris Sims when I say “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing Conan chuck a his naked, traitorous ex-girlfriend off the roof into a cesspit. Cracks me up every time.” Words as true today as they were when they were written (in June).
Essential Ant Man- I bought this on a whim, read two stories, and decided I didn’t need to read anymore Ant Man stories for the rest of my life, and unlike Conan, I haven’t wavered on that. So it’s just kind of sitting there on my book shelf. I did get it new, so at least it looks better than most of my other Essentials. Even has that new book smell and nice white pages. But damned if I want to read the thing.

Odin Sphere- Not a comic, but instead a Playstation 2 game. So Burgas hates it, but who cares, because he’s old and enjoys the company of goats. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is not that it has any real comic book overlap that I can think of, but instead to tell you that if you really enjoy beautiful animation and hand drawn art, you should really find a way to check this out. Here’s a link to some videos, but if you aren’t a luddite, at least rent the game. From what I’ve played, the story’s even strong, but it’s the visuals that really knocked my socks off; it’s a cross between Norse Mythology and the coolest anime/manga you’ve never seen. It plays like a side scrolling 2D beat ’em up crossed with a Japanese RPG, without a lot of the flaws in most of those games, although your deaths can get frustrating at times. That’s the main problems with games as a storytelling media; no matter how good a story you might have, the audience still has to be able to get through the gameplay to advance it, and that can be problematic. That said, it sure is a looker, and will make my games that should be comics list if I ever make it.

Even I’m tired of my writing now. I’m out.

 

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