This week in Comics (11-26-09)
Well if you were wondering where the books comic reviews for last week, here they are. I was swamped with big projects and Thanksgiving times, as well as hanging out with my San Diego friends who I rarely get to see anymore, however I still owe my reviews for last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comics.
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory
The best indie book around is back for a new arc. Just like the previous 5 issues, Chew is still awesome. Tony Chew is back in the service of the FDA as they track down more contraband chicken, except now he is back with a new prosthetic ear (that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t match his skin tone) after his last encounter with Agent Savoy. This book is great even if the plot is on the wacky side. The best thing you get out of it is the emotional response you get from reading it. You will laugh at the racist jokes, and you will cringe when you see TonyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surprise in the bank vault. The first 5 issues just came out in a collected edition and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only $10 so if you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t jumped on board with Chew you better start now.
Criminal: The Sinners #2
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
Tracy Lawless, professional hitman, or babysitter to spoiled mafia bossÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s daughters. Ed Brubaker is back in the game of producing all A grade material and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be happier. Tracy Is struggling with himself to find a mysterious murderer who is causing problems for his boss, but does Tracy have it in him to murder a murderer? Meanwhile goons for the US government are hot a TracyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trail for being a deserter during the war. I am liking the direction that Criminal is taking by exploring TracyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s past and having come back to haunt him, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what Brubaker does best. If Criminal had a little more action and a few more crazy twists if would be perfect, then the main character would have to change his name to Tracy Ã¢â‚¬Å“FlawlessÃ¢â‚¬Â. Hahaha, (Not a good time for bad jokes?)
Ultimate Comics Avengers #4
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Chris Pacheco
Captain America vs. Gregory StarkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Avengers, a battle 1 month in the making (seems like forever). Cap is still on the run from the law as he searching for his long lost Nazi warlord son the Red Skull. Now the Avengers have finally caught up with Cap and they have plans to bring him in. So we have action, action and more action. We see Cap fight against War Machine, and then against the greatest monster of all time NERD HULK!!! If there is one thing that I have to give Mark Millar credit for, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his creativity with violence; Nerd Hulk never saw that coming. This issue focuses mainly on hero vs. hero, but rest assured the Red Skull/A.I.M. evil plot is developing. So read this issue and have a good action book to count on.
Invincible Iron Man #20
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvatore Larroca
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s some good news and some bad news with this issue. The good news is that WorldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Most Wanted the longest and most drawn out storyline short of Dark Reign has finally ended. The bad news is that you are now paying $1 more for Invincible Iron Man. Now Tony Stark lies comatose, while his friends seek to revive him from his incapacitated state. Our story takes an interesting twist as we peer into the Ã¢â‚¬Å“disassembledÃ¢â‚¬Â mind of Tony Stark to find him digging for unknown clues in the desert alongside his deceased parents. I like this little twist of Tony Stark becoming a figurative humpty dumpty trying to put his mind and his life back together again. There is a mystery element that we find in this issue, but we certainly wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find out what it is until the later issues of this saga. The strengths and weaknesses if this issue remains the same as the earlier ones, Larroca makes Osborn look way too young, and as usual the book is solid 8 out of 10. Invincible Iron Man is dependable but it still needs that little push to be great.
New Avengers #59
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen
Secret Warriors #10
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Vitti
This is one of those issues where you need to have a little background for. Phobias is having an inauguration into godhood, and all the gods are there from Thor, to Hercules, to the Asgardians and people who really should not be in this room being civil with one another. But dear old dad Ares is at his sonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side to see if the other gods allow Phobias to ascend into godhood. The background that I was missing out on comes from Ares: God of War storyline from Mike Oeming, so if you read that saga then this issue will connect more with you than it did with me.
Son of Hulk #17
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Andres Guinaldo Isabel
This is it, the final issue of Son of Hulk. Honestly IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not to upset to see it go, the last couple issues have appeared like something out of a Michael Bay movie. Explosions left and right, people revoking their own religions in the wake of a new god. All this stuff just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t doing it for me. This issue has the outline for a good finale: Hiro vs. Galactus, however the battle between these two forces wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that good. I enjoy most of Paul JenkinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s writing, but I just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t into this series. When it went from Skaar: Son of Hulk to Son of Hulk it just didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t click with me. The whole idea of Hulk having another son who survived the atom explosion didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hit off with me. However I rode the series through to the end. One of the bigger gripes I have with this series is the Hiro Kala never was given a proper origin story, I think I would have agreed with it more it I knew exactly how he came about. But this series is done away, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to save another $2.99 a month.
Thor: Giant-Size Finale
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Marko Djurdjevic
Since the summer of 2007 critics and fans have been raving about the brilliance of J. Michael StraczynskiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Thor. This year JMSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Thor was nominated for an Eisner Award, won IGNÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best ongoing series award and usually ranks among the top ten best-selling book each month (or 3 months pending JMS). This issue is the final issue of StraczynskiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s acclaimed run on Thor, which will go down in history among some of best Marvel books of all time. However after reading this issue I was very disappointed. Yes this book was a big let down, because it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even a finale. It ends with Ã¢â‚¬Å“to be continued next weekÃ¢â‚¬Â. Now there are some good moments in here, such as the fight between the Doombots, and BillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s last hurrah, but there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough to justify the Giant Size marquee the book has. This is just a regular size issue of Thor with a backup issue of Journey Into Mystery #82 in the back. At least Marvel had the decency to reduce the price from $5 to $4 at the last second or I would have been a lot more pissed off. During JMSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tenure on Thor you could tell he had some big things planned and a lot of paths could be taken for the characters in this book. Sadly due to intervention from big crossover events (and Quesada) we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to have the conclusion that we wanted. Even if this were a true Ã¢â‚¬Å“Giant SizeÃ¢â‚¬Â issue it wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been able to wrap up everything we wanted to see. The issue was ok, but a let down because there is so much more I wanted to see concluded. I have hopes for Kieron Gillen, there is a preview for Thor 604, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look too bad, but I will miss Straczynski.
Superman: Secret Origin #3
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that a special event has occurred. An event rarely seen in the days of a proud geek such as myself, I read a perfect comic. Go look down at the bottom (waits for it), see thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a 10 out of 10. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give that very often but Superman: Secret Origin was perfect in every way. The story begins with a now grown up Clark Kent making his first venture into Metropolis for his first day of work at the Daily Planet. You may recall my earlier reviews of Superman: Secret Origin where I said that this book would be perfect if young Clark Kent had a chin in proportion to the rest of his body. The now adult Clark sports the Superchin proudly and is one of the great iconic features of our hero. Speaking of icon features, I think Gary Frank may just be my favorite artist now. The art that we see is phenomenal, everything from the architecture of the buildings to the characters themselves. But where Gary Frank shines the brightest is his ability to emphasize emotion within the characters. The anger emanating from Lois LaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face as she screams about her anti-Luthor writing style, the awkward look on ClarkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face as he encounters Lois for the first time. I must admit that I was blown away by that full-page spread where Superman meets Lois Lane for the first time. But we owe it to Geoff Johns for writing this amazing story, it seems he can still keep great writing even if he is doing 5 billion other books at the same time. Mr. Johns, and Mr. Frank you both have given me the perfect comic. Of all the characters in the comic world I never thought that the perfect comic would come in the form of Superman.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all for last week of geek, until next time.
– Matt Dunford Ã¢â‚¬Å“your comic book guyÃ¢â‚¬Â