Sunday, June 22, 2008

She-Hulk, Namor

She-Hulk v3: Time Trials - The third chapter in this collection (issue # 100) didn't quite live up to what I hoped it would be. The multitude of artists that worked on the book made it a mess. The best parts were those drawn by the (at the time) current artist Juan Bobillo. For the most part the others caused the mood to change just a little too quickly and frequently. It was more montage (of She-Hulk's history, sorry but I can't get my self to call her Shulkie) than an actual story. There was a story buried in this issue but all the guest artists took away from it, IMHO. I found myself rushing to finish it just so that I could be over and done with it, unlike the second chapter which I reread because I liked it so much. Hopefully it will be back to business-as-usual with chapter 4.

Namor - I've started re-reading my collection of John Byrne's Namor. I am missing the last four issues of his initial run on the book (#1 -25) but I'm on the look out for them. I'm undecided as to how great or lame this series was. The ideas often trump the execution. Even the artwork isn't Byrne's best, but I've only read the first two issues so maybe I should give it a few more before I begin to render judgment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She-Hulk, Phoenix

She-Hulk v3: Time Trials - I've only read the first two chapters. The artwork is growing on me; I'm learning to appreciate it. In particular I love how disheveled and geeky Jen looks while sitting at the breakfast table with John and Pug. Many of the other facial expressions are great too, especially on Jen or She-Hulk's face.

Dan Slott's writing is impressive. I love the humorous touches he puts in the story. If I had to pick one reason why I read this book I think it would be for the humor.

Phoenix v9: Strange Beings/Life - I'm not enjoying this one as much as I have some of the previous volumes. In particular, I'm not entirely comfortable with the way Tezuka uses different cultures in his stories; in this case the Incas of South America. I suppose he didn't expect that it would ever see publication outside of Japan or consider his depictions to be negative. I'm not sure that his depictions of other cultures are negative but they do rub me the wrong way; like he is taking the name (Inca, in this case) and then adding the characteristics he wants that culture to have. He seems to be creating a cultural identity for a non-Japanese culture that seems to me is more a creation of his imagination than it is based in fact. That bothers me.

Also maybe I've read a little too much Tezuka in the recent past and need to take a break, at least from Phoenix.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nextwave v1, She-Hulk v3

Nextwave v1: This Is What They Want - and it is awesome. Finished reading it last night on the metro. I loved it and I want more, despite the fact that I thought the story lagged in chapters 2 and 3. I'm not sure why it lagged but I don't feel like going back to figure out why.

So I want more Nextwave. Hopefully v2 won't disappoint me like v2 of Young Avengers did. I thought the first six chapters of YA were really good and then it turned into an after school special in v2. Still can't figure that one out.

What worked in Nextwave v1 is the humor, the character interactions, the outrageous weapons, and the artwork (pencils, inks, and colors); or at least those are the things that come to mind most readily.

She-Hulk v3: Time Trials - Only just started reading this today. The first chapter is fun. I'm not wild about the artwork but I like the writing and the artwork isn't dog-awful. I like the comic book jokes, especially the way they used the "waiting for the trade" line. So far not much else to report on. Its fun, its light, the artwork if so-so, I want to keep reading it. Hopefully the rest of the book will be just as fun, light, etc.

Friday, June 6, 2008

recent reading

Fruits Basket v1 - Finished it for the second time. This time I want more. Gonna have to buy v2.

Nextwave v1 - Read chapters 1 - 4. I bought the first issue when it came out a couple years ago. I liked it and resolved to buy the trade. Rereading chapter 1 for the second time I was similarly impressed. It showed a lot of potential (once again) and I was primed to enjoy the next five chapters. Unfortunately I was not similarly impressed by chapters 2 and 3. They did not leave a favorable impression on me. Chapter 4 was great and restored my faith in this series. After chapter 3 I was seriously thinking that I would not buy v2: the series is just two volumes, 12 issues. I can see now that chapter 3 was a set up for chapter 4. Two more chapters to go and once again I have high hopes which hopefully won't get smashed.

So what did I like about ch 4?

*** SPOILERS ***
  • Elsa Bloodstone screaming at the Captain (p. 3)
  • the Captain's origin (pp. 5-7)
  • Aaron's telescopic eye, Tabitha's comment on it, and what she does to it (pp. 13-14)
  • how first Tabitha and then Aaron react to the discovery that Mangel is a cop (p. 19-20)
  • Monica misunderstanding the intentions of the citizens who offer to "look after" of Officer Mangel (p. 21)
  • lots of humor throughout, which I felt was sorely missing in chapters 2 & 3

New Trinity

We need a new trinity or an alterna-trinity. The trinity is of course Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. They're great and fantastic but what I envision is taking those three personality types and taking away their superpowers. They would not longer fight world-threatening villains but deal with more day-to-day mundane sort of adventures, or at least things that seem more humdrum that what appears usually in the pages of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman's respective titles.

I'd like to keep their relationships platonic. Nothing screws things up like romance. Its okay for them to have romantic partners or friends-with-benefits, but no menage-a-deux ou trois involving two or more the trinity.

Yes, Batman does have superpowers even if he can't fly, isn't super strong, and does not have a golden lasso.

Maybe they could all be in mid management in the same industry but working for competing firms. I don't want the plot to involve some corporate conspiracy. I want there to be character development, dammit! Character not plot should drive the stories. Inner turmoil, I want to see inner turmoil and confusion. They shouldn't all experience exactly the same things in the same way but they should all have their ups and downs.

Is their room for other supporting cast (Lois Lane, Steve Trevor, Alfred Pennyworth, etc.)? Yes, but I don't want them to be identical or too similar to the characters they are supposed to be mirroring.

Now what would really be great is if these alterna-trinity characters could exist in the DCU and occasionally run into or spot one of the their super-powered counterparts. The super-powered trinity would know nothing of the other alterna-trinity.

I just like the idea of ordinary people being the main characters. I think that's what fueled this post.