Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Reviews & News!

Coming off the excitement of The New Comic Experiment I picked up 3 new comics last week, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Which ones, you ask?

The Last Fantastic Four Story
by Stan Lee with Art by John Romita Jr.

Stan Lee and John Romita Jr.? You can’t go wrong! Well, unless you’re a disgruntled fanboy. Being probably too involved with comic book message boards, I’m always fascinated with the things people say. Be it a recent thread about great Science Fiction movies where it was stated that Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Oddesy and Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner and Alien are “vastly overrated” while Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity are new genre classics.

But, I digress.

Getting back to Stan Lee, who instead of being thought of as the reason Marvel Comics exists today, is thought of as a washed up hack who doesn’t “get it”. Strangely this goes back to the Decompression Argument. If you don’t write like Bendis or Ellis you suck. But, I digress…again.

The Last Fantastic Four story wasn’t the greatest FF story ever told, but it was an extremely fun ride that I enjoyed the hell out of. Give Stan’s story outline to one of today’s writers and you’ve got a 12-issue storyline that I would’ve dropped 1 and maybe 2 issues in. Lee gets to the point. Introduce the threat, action and resolution. That’s what I want out of a mainstream book about a bunch of guys jumping around in tights. Simplistic, yes… but not every story arc needs to be the “event that changes the character forever”. As usual, JRJR’s art was fantastic. I don’t recall ever seeing his version of the Silver Surfer and that coupled with Stan’s dialogue on one of his favorite creations was great to see.

One major downfall of this book was the cover price. $4.99! 5 bucks for a comic book? Seriously? All right, there were extra pages…32 maybe? I didn’t count, but at some point these prices have to stop. 5 bucks is way too much. And hold the cardstock cover. Who cares? Anyhow, pick this one up if you can or if you don’t want to drop the Lincoln, pick it up in a dollar bin. Well worth it.

written by Geoff Johns & Richard Donner with Art by Eric Powell

Anyone semi-regular on this blog knows that I’m a whore for Eric Powell’s The Goon. The book is one of my favorite comic books of all-time and Powell is one of the best artists in the biz. So getting Powell to draw an arc of Superman featuring Bizzarro is a no-brainer.

As you might imagine, Powell draws a perfect Bizzarro and his Superman has a very nice classic feel to it. The book got right down to business and with plenty of story AND action. Johns and Donner also mixed a really nice 2-page flashback about Supes younger days that was pretty touching.

After I finished this one I realized that I’m now reading 2 Superman books simultaneously. I’ve always been a Marvel Zombie, but there’s something about a good Superman book that brings out the fanboy in me. I haven’t gotten that feeling from a Marvel book in a while and it’s a shame.

Mice Templar #1
Story by Bryan J.L. Glass & Michael Avon Oeming
written by Bryan J.L. Glass with art by Michael Avon Oeming

I’m a huge fan of Oeming’s art and he surely didn’t disappoint here. The work is detailed and filling every single panel. You can tell he really feels strongly about the book just by the amount of work he’s putting into it. So that alone makes this one worth checking out. The story, on the other hand, was tougher for me to get into. It’s well thought out and you can tell there’ll be much more added as Glass & Oeming move along, but for some reason it felt rushed to me. Maybe there were too many characters introduced all at once or maybe I wasn’t sure which mouse was who, but I found myself getting a bit lost now and then. Nothing that would make me drop the book, but I’m hoping it’ll be made clearer later on in the story. Nevertheless, I’ll pick up issue 2. If you’re looking for something new to try, Mice Templar might be it.

So there ya go. Three reviews of new comic books…that’s a rarity around here. I’ve been busy reviewing old stuff so much lately I forgot they actually release new ones.

In LazyComix news I recently recorded an interview with the guys over at Comic Geek Speak along with Pixelstrips head honcho Kevil Volo. Check it out next week. I believe it will be released on Monday. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading,

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