Advertisement

Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

Hey you! Reader! Want to be a part of the GREATEST COMIC BOOK AND GEEK COMMUNITY on the web?! Logged in users see WAY LESS ADS, so why not register? It's fast and it's easy, like your mom! Sign up today! Membership spots are limited!*

*Membership spots not really limited!

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34504
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 95 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: This guy, right?


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Punchy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:56 am

Amoebas wrote:"Best"? Maybe it's semantics but I have different definitions between "Best"' and "Favorite".

Do I have to do another review now? :smt017


How can the best comic you've ever read not be a favourite?

Advertisement

Amoebas
User avatar
Son of Stein
 
Posts: 21473
Likes: 250 posts
Liked in: 559 posts
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:27 pm
Location: Auburn, MA
Title: Amorphous Anomoly


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Amoebas » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:59 am

john lewis hawk wrote:Image

Saga of the Swamp Thing #21
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Steve Bissette and John Totleben

Man.... I hope I'm using the right cover...

Anyways, a great story hits you hard and delivers a knockout blow that kicks you on your back grasping for relief. That's what Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 does. "The Anatomy Lesson," as the issue's called, is told from the perspective of the Floronic Man, a joke of a super-villain. He gets released from Arkham Asylum and hired by a wealthy yet abusive Army general who recruits the villian to study Alec Holland's, a.k.a. the Swamp Thing, "corpse." The story slowly creeps to it's conclusion with the Swamp Thing discovering that he's never been Holland. And, boy, is he pissed... Which is what the Floronic Man wanted the whole time.

Bissette and Totleben's art perfectly captures Moore's story resulting in the best single issue I've ever read.

12/10



I remember reading it the day it came out. I had just finished an issue of JB's FF thinking, it doesn't get better than this" and then grunting when I saw Swamp Thing was the next book in the stack. And then it began...

"It is raining in Washington."

And then it ended...

"It is raining in Washington..."

And there I sat, wondering, what the hell just happened!? I reread it a couple of times and although I knew there was something different about this book I didn't know quite what it was that I was experiencing.

Years and decades later, it's easy to see the book for what it is - how it re-invented comic story-telling, but at the time, it was all shell-shock at seeing something completely 'new'.

Great pick!

chap22
User avatar
YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
 
Posts: 21444
Likes: 32 posts
Liked in: 175 posts
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:08 pm
Location: Missi-by God-ssippi, a.k.a. Chapveria
Title: Pretentious curmudgeon


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby chap22 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:04 am

Punchy wrote:
How can the best comic you've ever read not be a favourite?

Pretty easy. Best is objective to at least some degree, while favorite is usually almost entirely subjective. Marvel Team-Up 127 has been my favorite comic for going on 30 years now, but I would never dream of saying it's the "best" comic I've ever read. I love it warts and all.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34504
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 95 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: This guy, right?


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Punchy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:09 am

chap22 wrote:Pretty easy. Best is objective to at least some degree, while favorite is usually almost entirely subjective. Marvel Team-Up 127 has been my favorite comic for going on 30 years now, but I would never dream of saying it's the "best" comic I've ever read. I love it warts and all.


Best is just as subjective as favourite I think, there is no objective best comic ever.

BlueStreak
User avatar
The Red Stands for Irony
 
Posts: 12264
Likes: 4 posts
Liked in: 32 posts
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:06 pm
Title: Bat-Min Inc.
Formerly: BlueStreak


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby BlueStreak » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:22 am

I'm sorely disappointed by the lack of Amlah and Squid this week. :cry:
Image

chap22
User avatar
YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
 
Posts: 21444
Likes: 32 posts
Liked in: 175 posts
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:08 pm
Location: Missi-by God-ssippi, a.k.a. Chapveria
Title: Pretentious curmudgeon


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby chap22 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:26 am

Punchy wrote:
Best is just as subjective as favourite I think, there is no objective best comic ever.

But even so they don't have to be the same thing; under your description it's still just a subjective opinion.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34504
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 95 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: This guy, right?


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Punchy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:26 am

BlueStreak wrote:I'm sorely disappointed by the lack of Amlah and Squid this week. :cry:


They're too pretentious to have favourite comics.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34504
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 95 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: This guy, right?


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Punchy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:27 am

chap22 wrote:But even so they don't have to be the same thing; under your description it's still just a subjective opinion.


But if you read a comic and think it's the best ever, how is it then not subsequently a favourite? Unless you are deliberately trying to have bad taste.

BlueStreak
User avatar
The Red Stands for Irony
 
Posts: 12264
Likes: 4 posts
Liked in: 32 posts
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:06 pm
Title: Bat-Min Inc.
Formerly: BlueStreak


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby BlueStreak » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:34 am

Punchy wrote:
They're too pretentious to have favourite comics.


Well, I hoped that this would be a decent enough anniversary week idea. :|

Originally, I was going to bring back the "Creators Pick" week, but the interest just wasn't there on the creator side. It left me kind of scrambling, but I figured this would be a good enough way to get people interested, but no one has even piled on Mammon's pick yet besides you and me. I was expecting evisceration by now.
Image

chap22
User avatar
YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
 
Posts: 21444
Likes: 32 posts
Liked in: 175 posts
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:08 pm
Location: Missi-by God-ssippi, a.k.a. Chapveria
Title: Pretentious curmudgeon


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby chap22 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:40 am

Punchy wrote:
But if you read a comic and think it's the best ever, how is it then not subsequently a favourite? Unless you are deliberately trying to have bad taste.

We've had this discussion before vis-a-vis Watchmen. It depends on your definition of "best", whether you're looking at it from a technical standpoint, an emotional resonance standpoint, or what have you. For example, while I think Watchmen is technically one of the best comics ever written, I don't particularly like it, much less consider it a personal favorite. It doesn't speak to me, it doesn't make me like any of the characters, etc. So while I respect it for it's craft, it's place in history, and the obvious impact in had on comic storytelling going forward, it's not a favorite book.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34504
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 95 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: This guy, right?


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Punchy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:44 am

BlueStreak wrote:
Well, I hoped that this would be a decent enough anniversary week idea. :|

Originally, I was going to bring back the "Creators Pick" week, but the interest just wasn't there on the creator side. It left me kind of scrambling, but I figured this would be a good enough way to get people interested, but no one has even piled on Mammon's pick yet besides you and me. I was expecting evisceration by now.


It is a good idea!

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10933
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 66 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Eli Katz » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:44 am

BlueStreak wrote:I'm sorely disappointed by the lack of Amlah and Squid this week. :cry:

Where are they?

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10933
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 66 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby Eli Katz » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:46 am

BlueStreak wrote:Mammon's score on the best comic he's ever read: 8.625.

:-D

:lol:

SilverPhoenix
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 1650
Likes: 1 post
Liked in: 0 post
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:28 pm
Title: Harbinger of the Ponypocalyse
Formerly: Lord Solaris, Discord


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby SilverPhoenix » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:18 pm

If the review group will allow me to do, I'm not going to review a comic that's necessarily my favorite, but one that I was going to review for the site, but fell to the wayside. Jonah Hex #61



Jonah Hex #61

What does Jonah Hex + Beautiful Feisty Woman X The Power Girl writers give you? A Comic that might’ve proved to be last year’s big surprise!

No matter what we do, there are just some stories and characters that are not for us as individuals. No matter how good they are, or how much we try to enjoy them, our preconceived preferences and biases do not allow us to appreciate what others will enjoy with various levels of enthusiasm. In some ways, it’s a tragic universal flaw inherit in all of us, in others it’s just a part of life. Not everyone will enjoy everything the same way, and to expect otherwise would not just rob one of the potential foundations of creativity, but one of the things that makes us beautifully flawed creatures. As for the reviewer in question, there are a few things that fall into this category, including the star of the book I am about to review in Jonah Hex.

When it comes to the titular character in question I have never hated, disliked, or had outright disinterest for the character. For me, Jonah Hex’s stories and character have never appealed to me in any fashion, whether they are objectively good or bad. Whenever I’ve read his stories, it seems like they all follow the same formula of Bounty Hunter chasing bad guys, bad guys screw up and meet their end by any matter of means, scenario is resolved, The End. This in itself doesn’t mean that there haven’t been good Jonah Hex stories, just that I haven’t found one I’ve cared about. As far as his character goes, I have never found him to be completely devoid of traits, but I have never found his character truly compelling in any of the stories I’ve read, and that’s probably because the stories I’ve seen him weren’t made to be character driven. It also probably didn’t help that the character wore a Confederate Uniform, which helped immensely to close my mind to his potential appeal. Something I’m not bragging about, but something that I feel I need to be honest about.

If you’re still reading this review, I bet you’re asking me the question I would be asking if I wasn’t in my shoes: “If Jonah Hex doesn’t appeal to you why are you even reviewing this book?” To which I answer, would you believe that I was drawn to it by the pretty Chinese lady on the cover? Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I have weakness for beautiful women, and it helps that this one lays a Poster Worthy kick on a wannabe Cowboy Gangster. Proving once and for all, that an excellent cover can draw people to a comic they weren’t going to read. What happened when I opened the book and read it for myself? Lets just say that the result was not the expected one, I fact it was quite the opposite.

The story itself begins at a time in Jonah’s life that is not specified chronologically (future research puts this time during the year 1875), but at a point in his life where he’s married, something that’s spoiled right on the cover. From the minute that we see Jonah Hex and Mei Ling on the second page, two things are very obvious. The first thing is the racial makeup of the marriage and the second is the story potential that this pairing has. At its core, we have here is a story that could easily fall into the trap of becoming a ham-fisted commentary about race and sexism in the 1800’s, despite the intentions and effort not to do so. This isn’t to say that those issues aren’t confronted (because they are), but it is done in such a way that the issues being presented are enhanced due to the unwavering dignity of the character those prejudices are being thrown towards. A perfect example of how characterization can make a pedestrian (or outright silly in some other cases) storyline come to life, and become quite the compelling tale. Make no mistake, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti understand on a masters level how characterization can carry a Comic Book, something that made their year of Power Girl stand out amongst the myriad of comics released on a weekly basis. That same magic is bought to Jonah Hex, as Mei Ling shows us another side to this Bounty Hunter, a side where his own preconceived notions about himself are challenged, and bought to a point where he has to work to change those notions to keep the best thing that has happened in his life. By the end of the story we learn that he truly does want to make the effort to keep Mei Ling as shown by how uses his skills to solve the conflict. A shining example of how good writers can make a story that doesn’t have much there become something special.

As far as the art goes, I am of two minds. In places, the art shines really well despite the lack of wow factor that we’re used to seeing with a Gray/Palmiotti with the supremely talented Amanda Conner who is able to make Art that not only looks good with a poster, but helps to tell the story that is written. It is unfortunate that Jordi Bernet is not able to compare to Conner, and because of that, some people might not be able to appreciate the artwork presented here. However, when one sits down the work in question, they’ll begin to see the positives that this work holds. Each character has a distinct personality, and the art helps us to define those characteristics. Mei Ling looks especially beautiful in the action sequences, or when she’s communicating to Jonah about how the world influences him in a bad way. While some may find it unfortunate that a more visually engaging artist was on this book, there are still plenty of things to like about Bernet’s job on this book.

When everything is said and done, Johan Hex #61 is destined to become an unsung classic that’s going to be lost to almost everyone but hardcore fans of the character, the medium itself. It’s unfortunate that such an issue that embodies what this reviewer feels makes for excellent comics doesn’t reach a greater audience. It has a great story, great characterization, excellent dialogue, central conflict and resolution where the main character becomes a wiser better person than when he or she went into it. These are the type of comics that kept me a fan of the medium while I was in college, and these are types of comics that keep me going to the LCS, every week. Jonah Hex #61 provides an excellent lesson to this reviewer in not dismissing comics’ sight unseen. There’s no telling what you can experience when you keep an open mind.


The Verdict

Story: 10

Art: 7

Accessibility: 9.5

Final Judgment: 9

john lewis hawk
User avatar
YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
 
Posts: 30300
Likes: 16 posts
Liked in: 502 posts
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: Southern California
Title: not here


Re: Review Group #260: Five Year Anniversary!!!!

Postby john lewis hawk » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:41 pm

Amoebas wrote:

I remember reading it the day it came out. I had just finished an issue of JB's FF thinking, it doesn't get better than this" and then grunting when I saw Swamp Thing was the next book in the stack. And then it began...

"It is raining in Washington."

And then it ended...

"It is raining in Washington..."

And there I sat, wondering, what the hell just happened!? I reread it a couple of times and although I knew there was something different about this book I didn't know quite what it was that I was experiencing.

Years and decades later, it's easy to see the book for what it is - how it re-invented comic story-telling, but at the time, it was all shell-shock at seeing something completely 'new'.

Great pick!

It's very poetic. I was knocked on my ass too because of it. At that time, I didn't think anything old was worth my time so it was a shock to my thinking.

I have a few other favorites in front so I need to decide between my oldest, my second favorite, the one with the most creators, or "That one."

leave a comment with facebook

PreviousNext

Return to The News Stand



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FaceBook [Linkcheck], Google [Bot] and 66 guests

Advertisement