Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quick Take Reviews for March 11

Dynamo 5 #1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Dynamo 5 #1: (Cover Pictured) This new series by Jay Faerber and Mahmud A. Asrar was well done. The art is gorgeous, and Faerber's scripting has never been better. I am pleased to find such a cohesive collaboration for Faerber, as it has been a bit of a missing element in his past work. The concept of Dynamo 5 is quite good. Imagine finding out you were the illegitimate child of a super hero. Now imagine that you aren't the only one and that the guy's widow wants you to team up. I really enjoyed this book. Grade: A.

Captain America #25- The infamous "death" of Cap. I love Steve Epting's art and it has been a great deal of what has kept me picking up this title. It also doesn't hurt that Ed Brubaker is a dream as a scripter, and I have enjoyed his take on Captain America. It is a shame that the powers that be decided to kill Cap and to do it in a bit of a rush. This book was gorgeous, but it felt like it came in with a whimper rather then a bang, no pun intended. Maybe I am still a bit pissed that the book was spoiled for me so I didn't get the full effect. Grade: C+.

Mighty Avengers #1: For months this book has been hyped like the second coming so I was prepared to be blown away. Well, unfortunately it was just alright when it comes right down to it. Brian Michael Bendis is a longtime favorite writer of mine and Frank Cho is a favorite artist of mine from the Liberty Meadows days, but they just don't mesh that well. To top it off, the all new team isn't that diverse or interesting, other then Ares, who seems to be a longshot for best new Avenger ever. Mighty Avengers has pretty packaging but I don't foresee greatness in the long haul unless there is a bit of a collaborative change or an early team roster shake up. Grade: C.

Justice League of America #6: Is it done yet? This has had to be the longest drug out piece of mediocrity I have read in a long time. I am so disapointed that I just can't hide it. I was expecting greatness from Brad Meltzer after enjoying his ride in Identity Crisis and his run on Green Arrow. I am also a fan of his novels, which makes my dissatisfaction that more sour. This storyline never connected for me and the art never gelled. I couldn't tell Kathy from Black Canary half the time unless I looked at their outfits. When a title is rebooted to cater to a new creative team it needs to have something special. This just didn't catch on for me. I am crossing my fingers for a much stronger second tale, otherwise I am done collecting JLA after a 30 plus year run. Grade: D.

Fantastic Four #543: Yep, I picked it back up. Post Civil War, I had heard that Sue and Reed were going to try to work their problems out, so I decided to try and forgive. I was also thrilled there was a new writer on board. I am going to come clean and say that I think Dwayne McDuffie and Mike McKone are an incredible creative team. With gorgeous inks by Any Lanning and Cam Smith, the first feature story looked so beautiful that my eyes felt like it was Christmas. McDuffie really impressed me with his scripting and I am happy to have him on the title.

There were two back up stories that were also quite excellent. Stan Lee, Nick Dragotta, and Mike Allred collaborated on a funny, quirky tale featuring, well, Stan Lee. The third story by Paul Pope was perfection. I loved it, and would like to see Pope do more work like this in the future.

After hating Fantastic Four for the better part of a year, I am most humbly coming out to say that I am back for the duration. It will all balance on how the "new" team works out, and I am cautiously optimistic. Grade: A.

That is it for this week. I was a bit harsh, but I just can't help it. It is the way I feel.

Have a wonderful evening and don't forget that we have officially "sprang ahead".


John Holland said...

I agree with you about Mighty Avengers. I am a big fan of Bendis, but the writing on this book was so bad. If I had read it without looking at the credits I would never had guessed, the dialouge was so weak and to me that is ususally one area Bendis always is great at. All in all, not a very good start for the book.

I didn't get Cap because my comic shop was sold out because of everyone wanting an issue. When they reprint it I'll probably pick up an issue just to see how it played out.

I haven't picked up an issue of FF in a long time, I might have to give it a try now.

Anonymous said...

Captain America: So, you actually got a copy? I thought only investors and mafia dons (or both) were able to get copies. Congratulations! As for the spoilers, I guess it can only be expected when the "Perfect Storm" conditions of the "Death of Superman" press release were repeated with the Cap announcement. All it takes is a slow news day...which is pretty unusual these days. I have a copy on reserve at my shop, so I'm looking forward to reading it. I don't know if Ed Brubaker and I are a complete "Love Connection" when it comes to the comics he writes, but I've recently enjoyed his first arc on Daredevil, so I'm definitely open to his Cap story.

Mighty Avengers: I actually liked it more than I thought I would. Though I get tired of Cho's juvenile fixation on T & A (what a way to fritter away his talent), I generally like his clean, expressive I did here in Mighty Avengers. Bendis' bag of tricks seems to be running pretty low these days, but I thought he brought some new energy to this issue...almost as if he were aware of his image as a "talking head" writer and was determined to amp the action up farther than he normally would. Still, a fair amount of talkity-talk...but the new element of the revamped "thought balloon" made those exchanges quite interesting. It's interesting to see thought balloons monitoring the "subliminal level" of conversation, instead of the expositionary role it's traditionally inhabited. Like you, I really enjoyed Ares. He' sort of the "Anti-Thor". Same league of power, different attitude. I'll stick around for a few more issues.

Justice League: After an amazing start (issues #0 and #1 were pretty spiffy), Meltzer truly seems to be lost here...making thing much worse by introducing a smart Solomon Grundy as the Big Baddy. I'm sorry, but Grundy just doesn't work in that context (the only exception being James Robinson's amazing Starman story featuring the devious "soul" of Grundy). The slow-as-molasses convergence of the League members has also been artificially stretched beyond the point of believability, and I no longer care who's coming to join. In this case, I think Meltzer being accustomed to the pacing of his novels is really hindering his comic book pacing. This is a case where a good editor could really help the situations, but as we all know, modern editors seem to be little more than traffic managers (shuffling artwork, maintaining deadlines, etc), with very little sense that they have a guiding creative prinicipal steering their titles.

Unknown said...

I LOVE Dynamo fact, I need to write about this one of these times. I absolutely adore Faerber's Noble Causes and so I was excited to read this to start off with. And, I'm happy that, with all my anticipation, I still loved this.

I actually have been enjoying Justice League, but I can understand people's frustrations. Part of this, though, for me is that Red Tornado is one of those characters I really don't have a connection with. So, to spend all this time with him has seemed a little weird to me, but I thought this issue had some good moments.

Carl said...

Welp, I got to read a copy of Cap #25 at the shop, thanks to Chaiser, good friend and weekend guy at RMC (Read More Comics). Okay, the writing was good since as far as I can tell, there are no bad Ed Brubaker stories. Buttttt, this was like reading a good coverage of 9/11 or the story's plot, an assassination. Loads of people younger then me, told me, it made Civil War's ending completely reliavent and fit and Cap's death was tasked by it. Bullsh*t. The fact that is comes after his ignoble surrender and the staining of his character makes it like he died in vain (except for saving the marshal's life). Captain America is Steve Rogers and no one else and even if I hadn't dropped Marvel, I would never buy another issue.

Hmmmm, crap by another name is still... crap. Thus BMB's "Mighty Avengers" continues the crapfest he started 2 or 3 years ago.

Justice League. Welp, I just bought the latest issue. Since I went as Grundy to several cons, I was glad to see him back. Butttttttt, not smart. People were emailing me was my Grundy going to be upgraded to 'smart suit-wearing' Grundy? God no! And Red Tornado is one of my fave characters but the reboot definitely has taken way too long. Sheesh, what if another crisis had happened?

Oh yeah, I also got out to see 300. Best comic adaptation since Sin City. Frank Miller is slowly but surely erasing that bad Batman & Robin All-Stars from my mind...

Lisa said...

We sold out of Dynamo and I didn't get a chance to read it. I'll have to check it out.

Ditto on Mighty Avengers.

Havn't read JLA yet, but now I'm disapointed. I've been trying to keep people from jumping off of the comic because I have read some great Meltzer stuff and keep thinking people just need to hang in there. But maybe not, maybe they should just read the new JSA, which I think has been very good.

Might have to check out F4. Just to see if it really IS as good as you say. I hope it is, because I've got a bunch of copies left and can recommend the heck out of it.

Heidi Meeley said...

John, Mighty Avengers just was kinda blah to me. I am still a bit depressed about it after such a big build up. Hopefully it will improve??!!

Cap was sold out EVERYWHERE. The biggest reason I got my copy was because it was on my file so it got pulled for me. I got the McGuiness variant, which my hubby says is very cool.

FF really stood up for me compared to the mess of the last run. I am hoping it will hold up.

Heidi Meeley said...

Mark, the Cap issue is one of Brubaker's mildly good ones compared to some of the really excellent ones he has in the bag. I appreciate Brubaker as a "more local" talent and am always happy to support his stuff. My hubby and I are in love with his Daredevil run to the point that Jim went up to Brubaker at a con and called him a "magnificent bastard". We really wanted to drop Daredevil after Bendis left but Brubaker has done such an excellent job that neither one of us has been able to bring ourselves to drop the book.

As for Mighty Avengers, well, you know my score on that. I am glad to see that I am not the only one, and that you liked Ares as well.

JLA really did disapoint me. I can't help it. It was so disconnected, like Meltzer got busy half way through and changed gears. I certainly didn't love it.

Thank you for your insightful takes on the books. I always enjoy hearing your opinion on them!

Heidi Meeley said...

Loren, you and I are kindred spirits about Dynamo and Noble Causes. I love both books and really appreciate Faerber's work on them. I am always happy when his new stuff comes out because I know it is going to be a good ride.

JLA... well, it just didn't work for me. I haven't given up hope; I am just waiting for next issue to see what happens. I am glad you liked the book, and that it gave you new insight into a character you weren't that familiar with. That makes me happy. :-)

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, I am jealous that you got to see 300. I had Friday off, but by the time Jim and I got done doing taxes and running errands, the lines were so long we couldn't stand it. Our local theater only put the movie on one screen. It was madness. We are hoping to see it next weekend or the weekend after, depending. I am a bit claustrophobic so lately I wait until the rush is over.

As for Cap, it just didn't have the same resonance for me that it might have had for a new reader. I agree that the scripting was okey dokey but it just didn't hit my heart. I can't decide if it is because it was spoiled or because it just didn't work for me. Dang Marvel and their spoiling!!

Mighty Avengers is wait and see as is JLA. I was wondering what you thought of JLA since you had gone as Grundy several times. Give me pissed off Grundy everytime.

Take care, Carl!

Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa, if you get another run of Dynamo in, give it a try. It is really good. That is great that it sold out! Mighty Avengers as well! Sales are good :-)

JLA is a scary one to be sure. I am staying on board for the next arc mostly because I have over 30, probably closer to 40 years of a run on the book in all it's incarnations. I don't know if other fans will be as persistant as I am. I am hoping for a better less disjointed arc coming up.

Fantastic Four was the pleasant surprise of the week for me. I read it twice in one sitting and again the next day because I liked it so much. I hope you do as well, and that your readers enjoy it also.

You are a good retailer, Lisa. I loved your Cap shrine, and I appreciate you. I wish I lived closer so I could buy from you!