Saturday, October 20, 2007

OML for September, Part 2

Category A (cont.)

Y, the Last Man #58
Is it wrong of me to be happy that this comic finally coming to the end of its story? I'd have to go look at the back issues to tell when it happened, but about two-and-a-half years ago the story started feeling padded to me. Not that there haven't been some nice moments and interesting reveals during that time, but I just kind of feel it could have gotten to the end sooner. Beyond that, those last few pages were a hell of a kick in the head and, for me, kind of disappointing. Especially in contrast with the book's cover.

Marvel Comics Presents #1
I'm not sure yet. The point of an anthology, I would think, is that there should be one feature that brings a person back to buy the book. For me, it would be the Hellcat story, and if it doesn't run past issue #3 I'll stick with it, but nothing else really excited me. Maybe I've so distanced myself from the Marvel Universe, ignoring huge chunks of characters and books for years, that the characters featured can't excite me. However, when you have a Spider-Man story, where he meets all the other Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?) from all the other dimensions and alternate realities, and it doesn't generate as much interest in me as any random issue of Marvel Team-Up from the 1980s, something is wrong somewhere.

Wonder Woman Annual #1
When all is said and done, Alan Heinberg's story was a lot about nothing, and that was emphasized by having the chronically late story finish not in the monthly title where is began, but in an annual because the monthly title had to move past waiting for whoever was late, Heinberg, the Dodsons, or both. The best part of the story was the conversation between Wonder Woman and Batman, but then, long before it became part of the character development on Justice League Unlimited, I've always thought the two should get together. I guess I might be more forgiving if, in the end, the story just wasn't so outdated by events currently happening in the DCU titles. However, I did like the back-up story, a Secret Files-like story that presented backstories for Diana Prince, Nemesis, and Sarge Steel, and it was written by Heinberg, too, with art by Gary Frank. The best part of this story, though, was the inclusion of Thunderbolt with the other Action Heroes for a panel. Harbinger that the character is part of the DCU again or mistake? I'd like it to be the former, but I'm pretty sure it is the latter.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #6
In some small way, I almost wish that Joss Whedon had provided us a bible for the show's eighth season and let fans daydream about would might have been rather then seeing them produced in comic book form. Not that this is a bad series, but it is a comic book series and not a television series, so no matter what, it is always going to feel like a comic-book derived from a television series. I think what I'm trying to say is that if Buffy had started as a comic book, this would be a fantastic continuation, but as a continuation of a television show, it suffers for being a comic book.

Countdown to Mystery #1When the Eclipso back-up story is more interesting than the main story, something is wrong. Why I understand that Steve Gerber needed to include background on where Dr. Fate's helmet had been until showing up here, even without that material, I found the story a little confusing and kind of boring. Like I said, Eclipso fares better, though the background of the character is veering away from how I remember it and while the inclusion of Plastic Man is slightly interesting, would that the character was more like Jack Cole's version and not the "funny" version thrust upon us by Grant Morrison.

The Irredeemable Ant-Man #12
I know I'm supposed to be heartbroken that this canceled, but I'm kind of glad because it is a comic I don't have to buy anymore. It looks like Eric O'Grady could be maturing at story's end. We'll see if that continues into Avengers: The Initiative.

Supergirl #21
Liberty Comics #1

Sergio Aragone's Groo: 25th Anniversary Special
Maybe the best thing about Groo is that the Sergio and Mark Evanier don't feel a need to update the character for a decreasing, aging fan base. I've read Groo sporadically over the last twenty-five years, but I've always liked it, and, even though I didn't know who some of the characters were outside of Groo and his dog, I neither felt I had to go back and buy read all the back issues nor did I feel cheated because a what-has-happened previously page wasn't at the front. Yes, most of the supporting cast was re-introduced in "The Groo Alphabet" and Groo's early years were shown in "Groo for Sale," but those were back-up stories, properly read after the lead story.

Jungle Girl #1
I'm still enjoying the story, even with what feels like Frank Cho's greater participation. Thankfully, because of the inclusion of more unapologetic shots of Jungle Girl's chest and backside, Cho appears to be influencing the art more than the dialogue.

Batman and the Outsiders #50
I did not read an issue of this when Judd Winick was writing the title and I only picked up this issue because I needed to see if this was were the darkening of Batman (something I don't want) was going to start. Thankfully, Batman wasn't the jerk I've disliked prior to Morrison and Dini writing the character, and I didn't mind the comic so much, though the fingernail dropping passing as Metamorpho needs to get rid of Queequeg's facial tattoos.