"When Impulse Buys Get Out Of Control" Comics Review (With Spider-Man Supplemental!)

Or, see how Brad turned a "one comic in the pull box" week in to a bunch of crap to review, including more Spider-Man comics in one week than is healthy. Or, how's he's slowly becoming Burgas with less genre indie taste.

Bomb Queen vs. Obama #1- Yeah, I know, I know. It's a Boob War comic and an Obama cash grab guest appearance comic, and I'm an awful person for buying it. That said, this is suitably shameless about mocking all his cash grab guest appearances while still being an Obama cash grab guest appearance (that's four parts long), so there's at least some self awareness (which makes sense, since this is also a superhero parody comic).

While I have nothing against Boob War (or superhero parody*) as a genre, this particular entrant in it is just not my thing. In that I kind of hate the titular character and want her to die and be replaced by Editor Girl, a character who appears in this issue and defeats villains with the power of magical copy editing. I think the exact opposite of that will happen, so I'm not stick around for next issue. I am all over an Editor Girl mini-series if you want to ever do it, former contributor Jim Robinson. Just putting that out there. I think we could both help comics with that.

JLA 80 Page Giant- So, I bought this based on the solicit, because it's structured like an old JSA/JLA team up, with the JLA splitting in to smaller groups (in this case, duos) to defeat a huge enemy, and I love that trope to death. So, I can not be even slightly objective about this, which makes any praise I give it even more suspect than usual. I can admit it has some major flaws: the art quality peaks at okay and dips well below that a couple of times (especially in the Superman/Dr. Light chapter), Steel is randomly comes and goes, and it's got a framing story with an obnoxious open ending.

But, well, I love these kinds of stories, and this was one of them. If you do too, you probably already own this. If you don't yet, well, I thought it was worth my $6, but your mileage may vary.

Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #15- Or, Homer's Ergot, as Sammy Harkham and a bevy of indie boys run wild on Matt Groening's creations. Jog did it, but I'm giving my rundown anyway, because my perspective (Simpsons fanatic not in to alternative comics scene) is the flip side of his, so it will be like reading the Bizarro version.

The highlights to me were the Tim May/Harkham Moe story, Ben Jones' "Boo-tleg", and Jeffrey Brown's "Bad Milhouse", because they all seem like actual "Treehouse of Horror" stories. That's one of my major criteria for judging licensed comics. Well, pretty much my only one.

The other stories work pretty well in their own way, and as Jog pointed out, everybody here seems to have some familiarity with the Simpsons that might be lacking in similar anthologies from Marvel and DC. Some get laughs ("C.H.U.M.", especially its resolution), some impress me with their art (have to find more of Will Sweeney's work), some are just interesting takes on the characters (Thurber and Huizenga's "Call of Vegulu").

Throw in a couch gag and only one strip that didn't work for me (C.F.'s bat shit closer, and that's a damn good strike rate for any anthology, I'd say. So, what Jog said, and I'll throw in my own recommendation for any stragglers.

Secret Warriors #8- Loved that reveal, and most of the rest of the issue. For once, the kids get the good moments and Fury's left with the scraps, but it works. Getting this one two extra times this month may be a bit of overkill, but I'm not complaining, especially with Ed McGuinness drawing a comic I want to read for once.

Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu- Don't have much to add that I (or Sims) didn't say previously. This is a nice pastiche/homage/parody of the old MOKF material, and worth your time if that's even remotely your thing.

Spider-Man Supplemental (Wherein I review four Spider-Man comics I bought this week):

Amazing Spider-Man 606-607- The dialogue occasionally grated (quoting Tommy Boy? Really? In 2009? Is that a classical allusion now?), I really enjoyed Joe Kelly and Mike McKone's two part "Return of the Black Cat" storyline, and will read more from them if they collaborate again.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #55- Wait, 55? Really? Wow, that's more longevity than I thought this line had. At any rate, this is as good an all ages Spider-Man comic as has been advertised.

I'm not really the audience for that, despite Paul Tobin's considerable skill. This is a pleasant comic (and a team up with Captain America, too, so it's in MarkAndrew's wheelhouse), and I enjoyed reading it, but I'm just not in to it enough to buy it every month, I don't think. Also, I do wonder if some of the jokes will mean anything to the youngsters this is aimed at, since a lot of teenagers I deal with have no idea what culinary means.

So, I like this but I don't love it. If you want your Spidey as a teenager and can't stand Bendis, or if all that casual sex and satanic marriage annulment in ASM is not your cup of tea, or whatever reason adults (and whatever John Seavey is) have for buying this comic written for younger audiences and raving about it, then have at it. I do hope some actual kids get a hold of it (I think the digests help in that regard; I've seen a lot of them in English classes in my travels), but hey, if you desperately need an all ages Spidey comic (or two) this is one of them, and it is good.

Spider-Man: Clone Saga #1- Look, Todd Nauck's my Facebook friend, all right? I felt obligated. And I have a little nostalgia for this era of Spider-Man, even if it helped nudge me out of comics (along with puberty). And I'm hoping it will turn out like this, but in comic form.

All those justifications aside, all I have to say about this that, the American Idol reference aside, it could very easily pass for a comic written in 1994. Which is the point and part of its strange charm for weirdies like me, but is also what makes it very uninspiring once that charm where off. There's not much else to say. I can see why Hibbs gave it the rating he did. I wouldn't compare it to fecal matter, but it is a very bizarre niche product, coming as it does after years of everyone cheerfully ignoring how this storyline almost destroyed the franchise (except DeFalco in Spider-Girl). I'm sort of bewildered that I spent $4 on in at this point, but may very well wind up reading the whole thing one day anyway (see also, X-Men: Forever**).

Sweet Tooth #1- So, yeah, the quirky Vertigo thing follows the Clone Saga. Sorry about the whiplash in content. And this is a quirky Vertigo thing, boy howdy! I love post apocalyptia, and this certainly is a new take on it, as Lemire promised in his editorial in Vertigo's Bullpen Bulletins equivalent. That said, it's pretty necessary to read that editorial after the story to have any idea where the story's meant to be going.

It's quirky enough to be interesting, and not enough to be annoying, but also not enough to make me desperately want to follow it. A lot of Vertigo stuff strikes me that way these days. In one ear, out the other. That said, I'll keep sampling their first issues as long as they keep giving them away dirt cheap, and given their trade program, I'm sure I'll be able to catch up on all this stuff someday, long after it ends prematurely. Despite the cynicism, I'm pulling for this one more than, say Air or Greek Street, due to the premise and sub genre. I'm just not invested in it enough to try and keep it from tanking.

*Well, I sort of do, especially with the way Robinson executes it here. It reads like all over Garth Ennis's work in the sub genre done by a guy who isn't Ennis and hasn't earned the same benefit of the doubt I give him, and who also doesn't draw as well as any of Ennis's good collaborators. But maybe it just hits to close to home. I'd still buy an Editor Girl comic, though!

**I am wondering if those two series are part of a trend, and we'll eventually see what, I dunno, Kurt Busiek meant to do with Night Thrasher had it not been canceled, or if they were just published as a practical joke that got out of hand. Well, at least the Clone Saga one. It seems like Chris Claremont can basically write whatever he wants in his own corner of the X-Men franchise and get it printed up.

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