February 4, 2009

It's that time again, boys and girls

Hittin' it with the bullets again...

The Escapists
  • outstanding stuff
  • based on the ideas from Kavalier and Clay
  • Brian K Vaughn meets the fictional Clay in the text introduction, suggesting that the meeting was the first connection Vaughn made to comic books
  • story tells of a modern (within the past five or so years) college grad who buys the rights to the Escapist and then makes his dream come true by making an Escapist comic book
  • things, of course, go well and then wrong and then end well in the finale
  • great, cartoonish style for the main storyline mirrored by the more dark, realistic style of the Escapist storyline
  • absolutely wonderful writing in this one
  • probably don't need to have read the Kavalier and Clay novel to understand this one
  • another review
  • From the Oregon Live review
    The Escapists is so good because it is about so damn much. It is a glowing tribute to the imaginary hero in a work of fiction, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. It is a testimonial to the city of Cleveland, the birthplace of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman; R. Crumb, Harvey Pekar and that famous escape artist, 10-year-old Brian Keller Vaughan. And it is a grand appeal for young creators -- such as Max, Case and Denny -- to forego wrestling with the usual cast of comic characters and create original legends of their own ... by Vaughan and a crew of artists, Schutz notes, who agreed to a work-for-hire gig on a character owned by Michael Chabon.
  • meh...it's a solid meh
  • it was refreshing to see George Perez's artwork again...he was the biggest artist in the DCU when I was a kid, and he's still the definitive DC artist for me, and he's the unchallenged king of the cross-over book
  • it's kind of like reading Crisis on Infinite Earth with Perez drawing a huge number of characters
  • the storyline's confusing with big bad guys from each universe - necessary in such an event - with some gigantic plot about challenging the heroes of each universe
  • neat moments with each hero fighting/teaming up with his balanced character from the other universe, each universe's heroes not understanding how the opposite's world works - mutants, meta humans
  • even the neat moments don't balance out the overall blandness of the storyline
  • reads like Crisis but without the actual impact/big events taking place
Ultimates 3: Who Killed the Scarlet Witch?
  • continuing to tighten things toward Ultimatum
  • some of the characters acted oddly - especially Hawkeye & Wolverine who go at each other stupidly for a brief second
  • Hawkeye's death wish is getting annoying
  • some echoes of Secret Invasion with heroes being replaced without people noticing
  • Ultimate Black Panther is an interesting addition but oddly mute
  • one review I read said this...
    It’s so loud and slapdash that it’s like reading a comic written by a focus group of caffeinated eight-year olds. If you’re looking for any kind of intelligently written story, or even a bad story with a knowing wink, look elsewhere. But if you want to get a solid laugh out of an unapologetically ridiculous comic that has no idea just how bad it is, you really couldn’t do any better than this dumb, manic book.
    ...and that's about right...it's a little more negative - has no idea just how bad it is - than I would go, but it's admittedly a big, dumb, action book - but a fun one
JSA: Thy Kingdom Come 2
  • love the bringing in of Kingdom Come storyline but with the changes of just who Gog is
  • Kingdom Come Superman is so understandably angry - this is his story
  • the number of people in the JSA continues to grow and grow to unwieldy numbers - and the authors are making fun of it joking about the heroes scavenging for chairs to sit in at their meeting table
  • contrasts between the old members and the young members are interesting
  • I'm hoping they undo some of the changes that Gog brings to the members
  • the military hero guy - don't remember his name - does absolutely nothing for me, though the change he undergoes at the end is interesting
  • I'm loving the return of the multiverse and that each of the fifty-two universes are numbered so we know specifically which is which via the new numbering system
  • wonder if DC has a huge board up in their offices with it all mapped out or if they just rely on Wikipedia to be right
  • overall, love this storyline - though the Power Girl diversion into her old universe - maybe - doesn't do much for me
Birds of Prey - various
  • read like seven (I think) volumes - Sensei & Student, Dead of Winter, Metropolis or Dust, Club Kids, Between Dark and Dawn, Blood and Circuits, Battle Within
  • overall impression is that it's a fun series with good but not great writing
  • dig the new concept of Dark Side (last seen in Mister Miracle from the Seven Soldiers maxiseries and curious to see where that leads in Final Crisis
  • the series really changed when Black Canary left, and not for the better...while she was around, this was her story with Oracle as her boss but equal...since she left, it because Oracle's series with everybody else being her employees/subserviants - much less enjoyable
  • wish Spysmasher would've gotten more time than being dismissed after one story arc
  • I don't like the Misfit character...seems a stupid addition
  • the series is a weird amalgamation of female and male themes - lots of action, lots of cleavage being the male-guided themes and the emotional openness and vulnerability of the main characters being the more stereotypically female...it's no wonder that it hasn't found a huge audience with that concept of including everything for everybody
  • liked Sensei & Student really didn't like Blood & Circuits
Batman: Rules of Engagement
  • it's got to be tough for a new artist to tell old stories, origin-ish stories because it's tough to write a "the first time Batman met" anybody story at this point because so many of them have been written
  • here we get the first time Batman met Lex Luthor, or at least the first time they went up against each other in any open way
  • Luthor's openness of dryting to take of the US via military coup seems a little too brazen for the bald baddie
  • the artwork is interesting in a few scenes - particularly with the mechanized soldiers, but it's generally sloppy and messy
  • the scientist's brain taking over the machine seemed very odd for a Batman comic - he being generally the non-spiritual one
  • I don't like the change in the comics of Lucius Fox being the black tech guy from the movies...works for me in the movies, but we've got an established history of who Lucius Fox is in the comics - he is second in command of Wayne Enterprises, oblivious to Bruce's nocturnal activities - to put him down in the tech research lab sees odd even if it does explain how Batman gets so many of his cool toys
  • in total, didn't like it
  • speaking of "didn't like", here's another one that was awful
  • where Rules of Engagement at least had some interesting moments, this is a mess from tip to tale
  • artowrk is bad - a few secondary characters are very hard to tell apart
  • story is bad - Joker gets set free, proceeds to kill his way up the mob guys to get back his proper place at the tp of the food chain
  • the use of a "normal" narrator character who happens to tag along with The Joker is an interesting one but one that doesn't really reveal much about the story
  • Joker's feud with Two-Face is equally weird, and the storyline's eventual dismissal makes no sense at all
  • awful storyline
  • pick up Lovers & Madmen instead for a good, modern Joker story - it's far better
  • here's another review I read in preparing the review
Secret Invasion
  • dig the crossover
  • enjoyable read throughout with decent artwork
  • not necessarily thrilled with the Marvel writers' opportunity to wipe out a bunch of storylines that they wanted to reboot - Hank Pym being a jerk, for example - but that's sort of the fate of a comic fan
  • the fight scenes are very well done, though, even with hundreds of characters involved
Slumdog Millionaire
  • From EW's review:
    Slumdog Millionaire is nothing if not an enjoyably far-fetched piece of rags-to-riches wish fulfillment.
    And that's perfect. It's absolutely far-fetched and requires a massive suspension of disbelief, but who cares because it's gorgeous and fun and heart-warming (sorry, but it is) and it works.
  • been a long time since I enjoyed a movie this much
  • wonderful feeling in the theater - at 1:00 on a Saturday afternoon surrounded by people thirty years our senior
  • the two complaints that I've seen leveled at the film - it's far-fetched and it's not an honest exploration of India's poverty - are both valid are correct, but that's like saying that The Godfather didn't show the true experience of most Italian-American immigrants...who cares? it's a great film
  • the acting is convincing and excellent - especially the kids who play the young versions of the main characters
  • the adult Salim, in particular, does an outstanding job in spite of his resemblance to a mid-80's Jackson 5 - the glasses probably don't help
  • first one of this year's best pic nominees that I've seen, and I would have no problems with this one winning
That's it for today, ladies and germs...next time, Netherland

No comments: