20 October 2005

CBC Quickees: Home Sick Edition

Can't title these by the previous Wednesday anymore since my posting schedule and To Read pile are wildly out of sync. Been home sick most of this week, though, and have been able to cut the pile almost in half. Rocketo #1 and XIII #1 are still buried at the bottom, and I'm thinking I've given up on following either of them.

Infinite Crisis #1 and House of M #7: Seemingly every comics blogger and their mother has offered some sort of commentary on these two blockbusters, so I'm going to split my two cents between them. IC was overly dependent on continuity, not just from Countdown and the four lead-in mini-series, but from 20 years of stories going all the way back to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. (Which, BTW, I now want to re-read, so I guess that's not a total failure.) The final page reveal didn't have any significant impact for me until I read that Newsarama article which broke it all down rather nicely. Nevertheless, reading a comic book shouldn't be the equivalent of writing a research paper, so while I'm onboard, I'm not quite thrilled. HoM, on the other hand, finally kicks into high gear with its impressively emotional penultimate chapter. I'm still not convinced it all really matters, that it's not simply one big retcon wrapped in What If...? clothing, but on its own merits, #7 was a great read.

Daredevil #77: Knowing almost nothing about current DD continuity, I thought that was a nice little twist at the end here, though I'm starting to wonder what Brubaker and Lark are going to have to work with when Bendis wraps things up. Especially if the New Avengers' Ronin does, in fact, turn out to be Daredevil.

The New Avengers #11: I wanted to drop this after the ridiculous Sentry arc, but I flipped through it in the store the Wednesday it came out and got caught up in Bendis' cat-and-mouse game over the identity of Ronin. On one hand, it's so obvious that it's Daredevil in a different costume. On the other hand, I've read some interesting theories about him being anyone from Shang-Chi to Night Thrasher to, highly unlikely, Elektra. While I'm sure Marvel is thrilled about the amount of speculation over the character's identity, they're setting themselves up for some serious backlash if it's anyone other than Daredevil. People can deal with predictability, but random bait-and-switches rarely go over well.

Super-Crazy TNT Blast! #1: Weird that the odd title that got me to buy it in the first place, was the same thing that kept it from reaching the top of my To Read pile for a few weeks. A fun, kinetic setup issue that posits a world where all of the super-powered heroes have been killed off and only the gimmicky ones remain as mankind's last defense against the "Magnate," an Annihlus/Baron Karza-type extra-dimensional bad guy. Fun stuff, with appealing art from Tim Kane, I'll give the second issue a looksee.

Snake Eyes: Declassified #2-3: Snake Eyes' origin story picks up steam in the 3rd issue, with odd shades of Batman Begins. As with Dark Horses' Conan, I'm officially a G.I. Joe fanatic! Am I hurting comics?

Finder #38: One of the biggest complaints about mainstream comics these days is their relative impenetrability thanks to decades of convoluted continuity. Finder suffers from a similar problem, a reasonably entertaining read who's lack of context diminishes its impact a bit. Not something I'd likely seek out again, unfortunately. I am hurting comics, aren't I?

The Bakers #1: As much as I loved Nat Turner, which was printed on the same cheap paper and sported the same $3 cover price, this series of mildly entertaining snapshots of Kyle Baker's family life felt like a self-indulgent ripoff. Nevertheless, better this than Ant or The Gift, no? So as not to hurt comics, of course.

Amelia Rules! #15: If Jimmy Gownley is able to squeeze one more issue out before the end of the year, something will be getting bumped from my Top 10 list. (NYC Mech, most likely, which is there largely on the strength of its stunning 2nd issue.) As it is, they're all going to get a closer look after this wonderful issue's heart-stopping cliffhanger left me anxiously awaiting the next. Amelia does, in fact, rule. And proves that I am not hurting comics, I'm just selective! ;-)

Franklin Richards: Son of Genius #1: Collecting the shorts that originally appeared as backups in the Power Pack mini-series, along with a newer story - two words: Jell-O clones - that's also in the Halloween Ashcan that my son claimed for himself, only the most heartless and soulless of comic book fans could possibly not love this. Heartless. Soulless. And, BTW, hurting comics.

The Goon 25¢ Issue: Kinda fun, and well-timed considering my heightened interest in "monster comics" these days, it did what many other promotionally priced issues haven't recently: caught my attention and left me curious.

Batman: Gotham County Line #1: Oooh, Batman + zombies = cool. The Bat-Jetpack was kind of silly, though. And $5.99/issue is kinda steep. Might wait for the trade on this one.

Batman Year One: Scarecrow #2: Finally dug out from the bottom of the To Read pile - trades and prestige formats always go to the bottom for optimal stacking! - Bruce Jones does what the writers currently steering the primary Batman ongoing titles have been unable to do in my 2+ years of regularly reading comics again: told a good Batman story. Some detecting, some wise-cracking, some parallels to the nicely defined villain, some wonderful art from Sean Murphy, all adds up to one of best Batman stories in a long while.