Sunday, July 01, 2007

Quick Take Reviews for July 1: The Females in Charge Edition

Wonder Woman 10
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
This week it is my distinct pleasure to present a group of quick take revews that are devoted to comics starring a female character. I tried to be as forthright as possible, and unfortunately, that has led to some not-very-flattering reviews along with some thumbs-up reviews. I wanted to be fair, so as I reviewed each book I tried to find both the negative and positive. I start out with my favorite character and end with a new star.

Let's get started, shall we?

Wonder Woman #10: I haven’t commented much on Jodi Picoult’s run on Wonder Woman because I wanted to wait until it was all in the can to make a decision. As a fan of Picoult’s books, I sit here today sorely disappointed with her work here. I can hardly stand it! Picoult is an amazing writer of depth and knowledge. To see her resort to buzzwords and contrived dialogue here kills me. Maybe part of the problem is the “Amazons Attack” aspect of things. If left to her plot devices, and not made to throw Diana into battle, maybe things would have been different. As it stands now, the book just didn’t work for me. As much as I had been anticipating Diana’s big moment with her mother, I just can’t get the over the bitter taste left in my mouth. The reason this book isn’t getting an “F” is because of the decent art. Grade: D.

Amazons Attack #3 (of 6): I am not too thrilled with Amazons Attack either. As the main book involved, it feels more cohesive, and I appreciate Will Pfeifer and Pete Wood’s synergy, but the story itself is so damn contrived. There’s that word again. Why is this event happening now and what is the big payoff? That is the question I am waiting to have answered. In for a penny, in for a pound, I will pick up the next issue and see where it takes me. Grade: C.

Teen Titans #48: Wonder Girl and Supergirl are pissed off super teen chicks with an axe to grind. Oh God, I can’t stand it! Cassie wants to get her mom out of a prison camp and Supergirl is along for the ride. Fighting fiercely against the Titans and the army, things get really out of hand. This leads to an ill fated meeting with Hyppolyta that doesn’t bode well for mankind. I am sure things are going to get much worse before they get better, and I am going to take this trip to see where it goes. I am still up in the air about writer Adam Beechen, but liked artist Al Barronuevo and inker Bit’s work. Grade: C.

Witchblade #107: After trying to absorb the entire Amazons Attack story, Witchblade felt like cool lemonade on a hot day. Part two of a two part story finds new bearer Dani taking the gauntlet in a more hostile, more precise direction. She is more aggressive and less thoughtful then Sara Pezzini, and that gives a fascinating twist to the weapon she wields. Also, a question that has been plaguing me is answered, setting things up nicely for the First Born saga. I appreciated Ron Marz’ story and artist Stjepan Sejic’s work very much. Grade: B.

She-Hulk Vol. 2 #19: Jen is back for some interaction with her law office, and it is about time. Making for a nice interlude in the World War Hulk saga, Jen finds herself running up against Mallory and having a sweet reunion with a friend. The fact that the Leader is in the mix just adds to the hijinks. I really enjoyed this issue, and am going to miss Dan Slott on the book. The only reason I am not inconsolable is because Peter David is taking over. Grade: B+.

Legion of Monsters: Satana #1: after putting the cover up in the “Is this gratuitous” section of my blog, I felt it only fair to check out the book underneath. As is typical of a cover like this, the art inside was completely different. Satana was still evil but she didn’t look like a Pam Anderson clone anymore, so I was appreciative of that. I quite enjoyed the story, which had a clever, evil twist. It was a nice surprise after not being too thrilled with her lack of ribcage on the cover. Grade: C+.

Fallen Angel #17: This was a book I usually love, but the flip book aspect of it turned me off. I am a fan of both Shi and Fallen Angel so I figured it would be awesome. Instead it was a bit confusing. I am really hoping that after all the set up here that next issue will be full of action and ass kicking. I trust ya, Peter. Grade: B-.

Snakewoman: Tales of the Snake Charmer #1: I am not quite sure why Snakewoman has been retitled and started over at number one, but at this point I am not going to question it. Snakewoman remains my favorite Virgin title, and I am mesmerized by the turn of events here. Jessica Peterson is in hiding, and as she races away from destiny, it catches up with her again. Also, a compelling new storyline and character are introduced, and I am eager to see where it takes her. I am really enjoying this book. Grade: A.

That's it for today. Do you agree? Any suggestions?


Vaklam said...

Sorry to hear about the disappointments. Especially Picoult’s run. I think you're onto something with the Amazons Attack storyline straightjacketing her to some extent. Another thing I've noticed is that some novelists and screenwriters come off as thinking that comics are easy to write. Or maybe they think that being good at one medium makes them good at others.


It's possible that Picoult just isn't good at comics yet. The "outsiders" who get comics such as Heinberg and Whedon make it look easy when it definitely isn't. Even Kevin Smith had to learn to write for a different type of visual medium.

Thanks for the tip on Snakewoman. I'll have to check it out. And "yay" for Peter David on She Hulk. I'll miss Slott, too.

Eaglewing said...

None of these are titles I read, so I don't know much about them. However, I did manage to read a copy of Wonder Woman 10 just to see what it was about. I really don't know what's going on with the Amazons Attack storyline, so I didn't get a lot of it. Batman and the "Hi Mom!" line made me laugh, but overall it just seemed stilted. The art was good though. Still it was nothing that would make me want to read more or buy the title, which is a shame on what is one of the Big DC Three.

RedheadFangirl said...

The only one of the females in charge list I read is She:Hulk, and am glad she is going back to the law firm to be Jen Walters, lawyer along with She-Hulk.

I tried Snakewoman, and just didn't love it like you do. I think it was the 2 or 4 issue take, along with Devi. The Virgin comics are outside my comfort zone, I guess.

I am looking forward to the Black Canary series.

ShellyS said...

I haven't reviewed them yet, but I pretty much agree about WW and Amazons Attack. Maybe Picoult thinks this is how comics are supposed to be written or she thinks giving Diana this offbeat personality will give her an identity, but all it does for me is make me look forward to her being off the book.

Don't read / don't know the rest.

Heidi Meeley said...

Vaklam, you make a good point. Sometimes great novelists don't always translate into comic book excellence. It is a unique genre, and in this case, it just didn't translate like it was hoped. I do blame the crossover for part of it, because it was like Picoult was behind the eight ball from step one. I just couldn't get past her "alien Diana" personality in the end.

Snakewoman is pretty cool. It is kind of a more horror oriented book, and very much for grown ups.

Yay to Peter David on She Hulk indeed!

Heidi Meeley said...

Eaglewing, I am hoping that Gail Simone's upcoming run on Wonder Woman will improve things. I am really crossing my fingers. Since Gail understands the industry and has so much experience, I think she will step into the book with grace and ease. I am really rooting for her.

You will have to let me know what you think when she gets on board.

Heidi Meeley said...

Redlib- She Hulk was excellent- I love her interaction with her law firm! Snakewoman is a 180 degree from that to be sure. The character has villainous tendencies, and there is a horror edge. It is cool not to vibe on it.

I am EAGERLY awaiting the Black Canary mini-series as well!

Heidi Meeley said...

Shelly, I am really looking forward to seeing your reviews on Wonder Woman and Amazons Attack. I was wondering what you thought. It is so disappointing for me, that I am a bit in shock. I am normally such a diehard Wonder Woman fan that I am happy just to have the book out, but this run was awful.