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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Haul. 

And what I thought, because mine is the Only Opinion That Matters:

Rich Johnston's Holed Up #1 -- In order to have successful satire, you must have a recognizable target shown, bit by bit, to be totally and completely insane. Rich Johnston skips all that tough setup stuff, took some notes from The Unfunnies while completely missing the point, and slapped on a half-assed sitcom look and feel (stolen from Natural Born Killers, I'd wager) to bring us what is supposed to be a caustic look at some of the nuttier aspects of American life. Instead, all we get is a comic book of caricatures that's just pretty lame and aimless, and leaves me asking that deadliest of questions: "What's the point?"

Rating: Won't make that mistake again.

The Walking Dead #6 -- Grim, grim, grim. We've reached that inevitable point in the Zombie Apocalypse Survivors story where the chain of survivors distintegrates link by link. This could be overwrought, but Kirkman has a knack for taking old conventions and finding something new to do with them. In the process, he gleans new truths out of old stories. The ending's a bit heavy-handed, but I'll grant Kirkman that after all the fine, fine work he's turned out on this series so far. And I will sorely miss Tony Moore when he is gone.

(Though what I've seen of Charlie Adlard's work is trés impressive, and far moodier than Moore's work.)

Rating: Zombie-rific.

Lone #6 -- Thus ends one of the quirkiest, oddest, and most interesting mini-series on the market. It's a fairly standard action ending to an action title, with some fairly standard conventions on who dies and who doesn't, but these characters are sharply drawn and its villain so easily hateable that you have no choice but to be sucked in. The whole series is highly recommended, and I'm eager to see if it'll be collected into a TPB.

Rating: Sad to see it go. We shall miss you, Lone.

Batman: Gotham Knights #52 -- Thank god for this series. Now that Azzarello's off the main title, to be replaced by Judd "Bleh" Winick, I was starting to wonder where I'd get my Dark Knight fix. Hush, in his much-lauded debut series, was nothing but a blank slate upon which an evil motive was placed; here, Lieberman fleshes him out as the smart, ambitious, and ruthless villain only hinted at previously. The Joker's rant about who the real power in Gotham is ("ME!") is a classic scene, and I like seeing how ol' Jokey operates, behind the one-liners and homicidal mania. This storyline, if it keeps its current course, is going to be one hell of a rumble in Gotham.

Rating: The bitch is BACK!

Robin #125 -- The much-vaunted issue where Tim Drake throws down the mantle of Robin, a sabbatical I predict will last approximately six issues (just enough to get a "NEW ROBIN!" TPB out of it) before things get back to normal. That being said, Bill Willingham can write him some dialogue, though his readily apparent skill at storytelling is hampered by De La Fuente's complete disregard of anatomy, angles, perspective, and consistent character design. An interesting diversion overall.

Rating: Just stick to the dialogue balloons.

Fraction #1 -- Another strong title out of the DC Focus stable. The superheroic conceit featured in this title is that classic mainstay, the powersuit. Except: not just one average joe stumbles across it, but four of them, old buddies and part-time losers all. There's a clever (if overt) usage of color to indicate how each of these four friends regard this new wildcard in their life, and I can only hope the morality at work doesn't stay so cut and dry.

Rating: Definite, definite potential. Pick it up and give it a try.

Reviews for Daredevil #59, Runaways #14, and Ultimate Spider-man #57 later on. Probably tomorrow.

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