Posts Tagged ‘comics

24
Sep
08

X-Factor #35

Publisher: Marvel – $2.99

Written by Peter David

Art by Larry Stroman

Though it didn’t occur to me until lately, X-Factor is Peter David’s best work and although it’s lacking lately because of Marvel’s annoying need for crossovers, it’s still the best X-Men related title to be published since Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men around the turn of the century. Fallen Angel is a fantastic piece of work that’s approaching it’s 50th issue and has built a small following, but it’s probably the second strongest outing by David as a long term writer that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him complete but it’s just not as great as far as characterization and pacing as X-Factor.  Where Fallen Angel has a great story, great characters that have grown with the story and a definite vision of a future(as opposed to the unfortunately usual habit of just walking into the abyss without evidence of an ending) David consistently produces a great character book, but that’s not the miracle of X-Factor.  What he’s done that is so special is take a half dozen regular character who have existed for decades and made his own incarnations of them to the point that David, as a storyteller and monthly writer, owns the book to an extent that even the most talented writer taking over the book where he leaves it will create disappointment and disjointed movements for the characters.

This issue really isn’t proof of that greatness, but we’re coming up on three years of consecutive work on this title and if you were to sit down with all of the issues, which if you want to do so, come on over and read them, I’ll let you, you’ll see a fantastic group of characters who grow and live, who are funny and conflicted and, when Marvel isn’t fucking it up for everyone, make a fine plot move quite well.

This issue is, annoyingly and unfortunately so, a Skrull-pushing Secret Invasion tie-in, but it’s really quite readable if you’re not reading SI(and I’m certainly not) because David banks on the reader knowing the characters.  You’re given the information that Skrulls have invaded Earth, they can look like people and are impersonating important players in the Marvel universe, and we move on to the story.  Like I said, it’s not great, but it’s okay and considering this is all being done while being forced to abdicate to the big Marvel cross-over, it’s really better than okay.  This also marks a good six months or so of David not being able to do what he does because of Marvel.  First you had Messiah Complex, which was good but cost X-Factor two of it’s most dynamic characters, my favorite – Layla Miller – ended up stranded in the future in a concentration camp, and one of the most dynamic and interesting characters, Raine Sinclaire, was taken away to take part in the mediocre X-Force.  David tried as best as he could to bounce back from that and then Secret Invasion came along.  For this, I’m giving him a free pass on development until this is all over.

What I didn’t care for was the serious decrease in art quality on this issue.  Larry Stroman illustrated the majority of Peter David’s run on this very same title in the 90’s, a run that I really enjoyed and originally bought as a kid and then enjoyed once again earlier this year.  Stroman’s art wasn’t great then, but it worked to move the story along in a fashion that was slightly more interesting and creative than his contemporaries.  I don’t feel like that’s the case in this situation.  His pencils come off as sloppy and results in characters that seem almost blurry or detached from the scenes.  I hope he’s not staying on for long or, if he is, he gets his shit together.  I’d hate to see a great series get derailed by half-hearted artwork.  I want this series to last for a very long time to see what Peter David is capable of.

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21
Sep
08

shameless self-promotion

hey, I’m selling stuff on Ebay to try to pay my rent and generally be more economically powerful.

if you know some emo kids who don’t know that emo means electric guitars, I’m selling 15 Bright Eyes CDs.

Right Here

If you like Cosmic Police enforcing the universe and sometimes getting to sit back and have a beer, I’m selling 3 Green Lantern books

All three Green Lantern Corps trade paperbacks

If you like zombies, bad ass suspense writing and really good characterization, I’m selling five Walking Dead trade paperbacks

The first 30 issues collected in five trades

If you like Joss Whedon or Brian K. Vaughan, I’m selling Whedon’s entire run and some of Vaughan’s work on Runaways

Runaways Volume 2 issues 19-30

if you like the Justice League or Brad Meltzer(whose book I was pimping just last month), I’m selling a whole bunch of Justice League comics by him and Dwayne McDuffie and right now it’s dirt cheap.

JLA comics are good for you

or if you like Warren Ellis, fucked up science fiction or horror comics, I’m selling two Strange Killings books

9 issues collected in two books

Feel free to pass that info on to anyone you know who is a nerd.  The auctions end around midnight tomorrow and I’m trying to bank enough money off of ebay sellings to pay this month’s rent.

10
Sep
08

Supergirl 32 & 33

You know, I’d never thought of buying Supergirl until Previews solicited issue #34 a few months ago, announcing that Supergirl was going to be directly tied into the massive Superman event that begins unfolding in October, tying Action, Superman, Supergirl and a whole bunch of specials along with JSA together.  Then, after knowing that I was going to be reading the book soon, I decided to pick up issue #32, which was a good sort of space adventure, then I picked up #33 which was slightly better and the art was quite respectable on both issues.  Kelly Pucket did a good job of introducing the character to me, who I didn’t really know anything about.  That first issue lead me to picking up the incredibly cheaply priced Superman/Batman – Supergirl trade paperback, which reintroduces her to the DCU and sets up her origin.  It was written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by the now dead Michael Turner.  It was fantastic.  A paranoid Batman, a way too trustworthy and Kryptonian Pride Superman, a lost girl scared on a planet she didn’t understand with memories of the home Clark never knew.  Plus, Darkseid breaks shit.

I’m in.

10
Sep
08

Ebay Flux Capacitor Adventures in Variated Timelines

Today some stuff showed up from the internet.  I usually buy some impulse comics in addition to looking for deals on various things that would fill in the enormous collection/library that I one day hope to share with many friends that I might someday attain.  This means that, barring a miracle that the USPS takes a break from their intense douche-baggery, I get old stuff every week.  This is kind of like show and tell.

I didn’t read DC or any independents in the 1990s when I was a teenager.  In fact, I didn’t really read anything that wasn’t x-men related.  I have a short year or so of Spider-man comics from around 1992, when they did the Clone Saga thing, but that threw me off of Spider-Man and I have yet to come back aboard 16 years later.  I was entirely unaware that independent comics were happening, that Dark Horse was doing all these great licensed property comics and developing their own universe, or that Image and Wildstorm were essentially creating massive story lines with great art.  I’ve yet to be able to determine why, but after the X-Men cartoon came out, I was never aware of anything but X-Men from 1992-1998 when I stopped reading comics due to an expensive obsession with music and CD collecting.  When I came back to comics in 2004, mostly due to Joss Whedon’s X-Men relaunch, it took me about six months to discover guys like Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and a huge group of English writers had been doing tons of work that I had missed out on.  This was, of course, in addition to the horrifying revelation that DC had done a ton of great content in the nineties that I had missed out on.  Some of this work was the Tangent line, an attempt to create an entire new universe using classic character names but infusing them with new abilities, personalities and settings.  This was all done through the use of one-shots, each featuring a different character.  A few of these showed up today.

the Green Lantern issue was why I really bought this lot of four issues, which also included Secret Six, The Superman and the Joker.  It was interesting and not at all related to the cosmic ideas that the Lantern comics in mainline DC continuity that has drawn me in, but it was more of a mystical revenge story written by James Robinson of Starman fame.  Along with the other issues, the art was better than the writing of this particular issue, in this case being done by J.H. Williams III, but this isn’t to say Robinson’s outing into the unknown was bad, it was just really out there without anything to fall back on.  I found it refreshing and unappealing at the same time, though I ultimately liked it.  I intend to buy the three trades that have all of these one-shots bound together, hoping that reading them in that format will tell a story that assumes some semblance of continuity and sense, not just vignettes of the unknown.

I also managed to win Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust softcover for about five dollars, which is a deal considering it’s a $20 book.  I’ve been trying to go around and buy up Gaiman’s relatively small amount of DC work from the 80’s to the 90’s and this trade will make four Vertigo books of his that I now have for my graphic novel library if you don’t count the three massive Absolute Sandman books I’ve been buying as they come out. There are so many versions of this book – the trade, the mass market novelization, the big $40 hardcover illustrated, there’s even a damned movie and at some point they put it out in single issue format, but this is the only version I really need, though a few years ago I got the MMTPB for X-mas and have yet to take a peek at it.  I’m excited to dig into it.

And finally, as a continuation of my absence from DC Comics in the 1990’s, I managed to find Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, the entire mini-series that acted as both a sequel to and bridge between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis.  The books essentially try to tie up loose ends and establish a solid time line and continuity throughout the whole of the DC Universe.  Jerry Ordway and Dan Jurgens do an excellent job plotting this out and the art is classic 90’s superhero art.  Great Stuff.

10
Sep
08

Obama comics!

Fuck yes.  He’s going to lose and then it’s going to be illegal not to pray while spitting at muslims, women and gay people, but until them I’m going to be buying up all of the Obama comics I can get my hands on and it looks like IDW is doing it first.  With J. Scott Campbell of Gen13 fame doing the cover on this one.  The doom of November may be slightly cooled down with one of these in my collection.

Oddly enough a retardedly aggressive person reviewed this book two months before it came out and essentially called Campbell’s depiction of Obama as racist because he looks “aggressive”, but I’ve never seen someone be aggressive while standing still.  The world is full of failures.