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Review Group Week 208 - 4th ANNIVERSARY FREE4ALL

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.

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Postby 3MJ » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:35 pm

What does she do? I've added this to my order. I miss Jubes!

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:48 pm

Doctor Who #8

What the heck?! Even the title of this two parter confuses me--I guess "tessaract" may be an alternate spelling of "tesseract", but it looks so so wrong. I'm sure if I'd read part one I'd be a little better informed, but it seems the Doctor and a couple friends are trapped in the fifth dimension and the fifth dimension is fucked up temporally and spacially big time. At least three races of aliens are involved, one of which is represented by a purple space bitch who plays mind games with one of the Doctor's companions. The Doctor himself is stumbling around the Tardis, looking for a place to stick his crank or something. References are made to Adric and Turlough, which is interesting as they were companions of the fourth and fifth incarnations.

The orange colored aliens send Emily, the Doctor's other current pal, back in time and space so that she can insert the little crank at the proper time. It's an anticlimactic ending to a confusing mess of a story. But wait! It turns out the PSB (purple space bitch) has...a little glowing thing! That is the best thing ever apparently, whatever it is. Followed by a phone call from Martha on Earth, telling The Doctor that U.N.I.T. needs him on Earth. Sounds like a better story already, but I've no reason to return for more.

The dialogue is wooden, the plot is generic at best, and the art could be best described as passable. Many of the panels are unclear, and a lot of the backgrounds look like a freshman in Design & Perspective 101 did them for homework. Even as one of the less interesting TV episodes this would fall flat. The Paul Grist cover was the only saving grace here.

3

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:08 pm

House of Mystery #22

Wow. I've avoided picking this book up because well, I just didn't think I needed a new House of Mystery. There are a lot of similar books these days. Don't get me wrong, I love the old books by the same name, and that's probably part of why I haven't tried the new version.

This book reminds me of the early Sandman issues, or some of Vertigo's other less well known offerings from roughly the same time period. "Fig and Strawberry's Adventure in the Cloud Kingdom" was creepy, not quite as creepy as Neil Gaiman's "The Doll's House" arc early in his Sandman run, but close. The final couple pages were pretty disturbing.

The cover by Esao Andrews is eye-catching, it reminds me of Mark Ryden--if you don't know who Mark Ryden is you simply must google it now. It's worth it.

Luca Rossi's pencil are fine, but Farel Dalrymple's Cloud Kingdom pages are the highlight of this issue, no doubt about it. It's the perfect mixture of cute and sinister, as Strawberry's true nature is revealed bit by skeevy bit. I'm intrigued by the character of Algernon Wells, psychic detective. I think I'll stick around for a couple issues and see where this all goes. Matt Sturges managed to cover quite a bit of ground here in just over 20 pages, although I'm not sure how the Gay Goblin at the beginning fit into it. Maybe he's a regular supporting cast member.

If anyone's read the first trade, let me know what you thought of it.

7.5

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Postby 48THRiLLS » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:09 pm

The Invincible Iron Man #23
After reading this twice I have come to the conclusion that this did not need to be a 5 issue arc, this could have been told much better in 4. I have a feeling that you could go into number 24 without reading this one and not miss a beat. Nothing really happens here except Tony singing Black Sabbath. Don't get me wrong, there were a few things that were fun... like Pepper and Maria finding out they sloppy seconded each other (damn, Tony is pimp) and the awkwardness between the 2 afterward, and uh... that is it. I think that reading about Tony lost in his subconscious has gone on too long now, yeah he will be back next ish to go save the day in Siege but this here issue was a throwaway which was probably necessary for Marvel's trade sales. I am not saying that it was a terrible read, it was fine but I am not sure a whole issue needed to be designated for what was read here. I will admit that I am quite excited to see the conclusion of this arc and this would probably be one of my favorite books on the shelf if there was a different artist on it. I will not say that Larroca sucks because he obviously does not if he is on this high profile of a book and many people seem to like him but I personally don't like his stuff, I think he draws inconsistent ugly faces and for whatever reason that alone turns me off towards his stuff... but I will give him credit for always being on time and his actual in armor Iron Man is pretty fantastic.

STORY - 6

ART - 4

OVERALL - 5

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:35 pm

48THRiLLS wrote: I think that reading about Tony lost in his subconscious has gone on too long now, yeah he will be back next ish to go save the day in Siege but this here issue was a throwaway which was probably necessary for Marvel's trade sales.


Yeah, I wanted to review that book but after Byrning it a little I couldn't bring myself to buy it. It did seem like filler.

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Postby GLX » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:28 pm

Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #6

Great art with badass writing. An excellent finish to an excellent run.

8.3* out of 10*
Image

john lewis wrote:Everyone but GLX has no taste.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:14 pm

Doom Patrol #7

It's been proven over and over again, if you can't sell the Doom Patrol to Doom Patrol fans, you're fucked--or your book is at least. So I know Keith Giffen really wants me to read this book. And he's making good on his promise to unify the Patrol's complex history of reboots over the years--sort of.

The idea is clear--try to get as many fans of the various incarnations of the DP on board to bolster flagging sales before it's too late again (again). The book itself is going to be retooled without the Metal Men back-up. My guess is that DC felt the two stories were not synergistic--fans of one did not necessarily enjoy reading the other, and vice versa. That definitely seemed to be the case with a number of Outhousers, most of whom preferred the Metal Men offering ironically, as it seems MM is the one to get the axe after the conclusion of the storyline in this issue.

Last issue, Giffen pulled a few rabbits out of some fairly ill-fitting hats to unify the history of Larry Trainor and Negative Man over the years. I'm not completely sure, but I think it implied some of the Patrol's history was all in Larry's head, and that he had been somehow cloned or reconfigured using coma victims a few times. I can't say it was a very satisfying issue from the perspective of a life-long fan of the character, but then there is really no good way to reconcile the different Doom Patrols anyway. At least someone is finally trying to.

Issue #7 perhaps tries too hard. This is a book you won't understand if you don't have at least a bachelor's degree in Doom Patrology. Even fans of certain runs may not recognize Thayer Jost (financier of the Arcudi DP team), even with the interesting text at the bottom of page two alluding to his corporate launch of the DP years ago.

Most DC fans will recognize Oberon, of New Gods and JLI fame--here, it reminds of the loss of Barda and Scott Free in Final Crisis, as Oberon has a moving company for metahumans now. The infamous Painting That Ate Paris is mentioned, from Grant Morrison's time as writer of the DP. Likewise, the costume of The Quiz is shown, and Dorothy Skinner is mentioned. It's not out of the question Dorothy might appear in Giffen's Patrol, but here only her portrait is shown as Oberon and crew prepare to move Steve Dayton's house.

Again, references to Morrison as a mysterious portal seems to show a devastated Danny the Street (World?) about to be replaced by a corporate "pan dimensional realty" corporation. For those of you not in the know, Danny was a sentient transvestite street, who later grew into a world. (I always thought one of the worlds in the new DCU multiverse should have been Danny.)

Then the big one. Crazy Jane has appeared out of nowhere on Oolong Island. Huh? She was another Morrison creation based on the real life Trudi Chase--CJ was really a woman named Kay Challis who had developed Multiple Personality Disorder resulting from horrific childhood abuse, and later gained a different meta ability for each personality after the gene bomb went off in the DCU and created a big batch of new metas. She and Cliff were very close, and that will be an interesting reunion assuming it happens next issue.

An old foe not seen in years is revealed--the Animal Vegetable Mineral Man. (He was too outrageous even for Morrison!), and Jost is also revealed to be more than he appears. And, FINALLY, on the last page the DP themselves, Cliff, Rita, and Larry, are shown. (And Cliff has lost an arm, but still has the regrettable surfer shorts. sigh.)

As far as the Metal Men back-up storyline goes, it ends with a bang at least.

All right, Keith Giffen--I am intrigued. I am not sold on this completely, but I appreciate the respect for the various DP scribes, especially the immortal Arnold Drake and the inimitable Grant Morrison. (Also, kudos for flushing Byrne's take on the Patrol down the toilet.) Of course, the only incarnation of the book not really represented here is Rachel Pollack's aborted run that followed Morrison's and resulted in cancellation. That's probably for the best as it was not memorable, and for this reader at least, in Review Group terms, was like going from a 10 to a 1.

You know I'm coming back for Crazy Jane and AVM Man, and to learn the fate of poor, dear old Danny.

7
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Postby ****** » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:16 pm

42 reviews so far! 8)

Amazing Spider-Man #208 - 5.00 reviewed by Old Man
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #208 - 7.00 reviewed by Old Man
Boys #39 - 7.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #32 - 7.50 reviewed by thefourthman
Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love #4 - 9.00 reviewed by thefourthman
Criminal: The Sinners #4 - 9.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Dingo #3 - 5.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Doctor Who #8 - 3.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Doom Patrol #7 - 7.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Fantastic Four #208 - 7.00 reviewed by Old Man
G.I. Joe Origins #12 - 9.00 reviewed by amlah6
Ghost Riders: Heavens on Fire #6 - 8.30 reviewed by GLX
House of Mystery #22 - 7.50 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Invincible Iron Man #208 - 6.00 reviewed by Old Man
Invincible Iron Man #23 - 5.00 reviewed by 48THRiLLS
Invincible Iron Man #23 - 7.00 reviewed by thefourthman
Justice League of America #208 - 8.00 reviewed by Old Man
Marvel Heartbreakers - 8.00 reviewed by amlah6
Marvel Heartbreakers - 4.00 reviewed by thefourthman
Nova #34 - 5.00 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Red Sonja: Wrath of the Gods #1 - 5.50 reviewed by thefourthman
Siege #2 - 9.23 reviewed by 48THRiLLS
Siege #2 - 8.25 reviewed by amlah6
Siege #2 - 10.00 reviewed by Chubbles
Siege #2 - 9.50 reviewed by fieldy snuts
Siege #2 - 9.00 reviewed by Kerny
Siege #2 - 6.50 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Siege #2 - 8.50 reviewed by thefourthman
Strange Adventures #208 - 8.00 reviewed by Old Man
Superman #208 - 6.00 reviewed by Old Man
Sweet Tooth #6 - 8.00 reviewed by Kerny
Sweet Tooth #6 - 8.50 reviewed by Rooster Illusion
Sweet Tooth #6 - 10.00 reviewed by thefourthman
The Question #37 - 7.00 reviewed by thefourthman
Ultimate Comics X #1 - 7.00 reviewed by amlah6
Uncanny X-Men #208 - 6.00 reviewed by Old Man
Unknown Soldier #208 - 5.00 reviewed by Old Man
Wolverine: Savage - NS reviewed by thefourthman
Wolverine: Weapon X #10 - 7.25 reviewed by Kerny
Wolverine: Weapon X #10 - 8.50 reviewed by thefourthman
World's Finest #208 - 6.00 reviewed by Old Man
Zorro: Mantazas - 8.00 reviewed by thefourthman

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:28 pm

You'd have 43 if I could think of the words to write regarding Ultimate X #1, but 208 "Meh"s would be cheating.

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Postby ****** » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:33 pm

Rooster Illusion wrote:You'd have 43 if I could think of the words to write regarding Ultimate X #1, but 208 "Meh"s would be cheating.


Eh, I was pretty blatantly rambly in all of mine so far.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:54 pm

Demo #1

The book that helped further the careers of Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, Demo, returns for a second volume with "The Waking Life of Angels", this time at Vertigo. Demo tells little tales of people at seminal moments in their lives, often times where a person turns a corner, as it were, sometimes a revelation, sometimes a transformation occurs. It's always an interesting read, with the detailed B&W ink work from Becky Cloonan here selling the story.

In issue #1 of the new volume it's definitely the artwork that makes the book. The story here, of an insomniac fulfilling her own prophecy, is a tad bit cliche or just easy to anticipate (except perhaps the very ending, which isn't as strong as some of the resolutions in volume 1). Additionally, it's a fast read even at 24 pages so lingering over the panels is more rewarding than the narrative to me. The tease for next issue looks interesting.

I didn't actually know Demo was returning until I saw it there on the racks. In the back-matter, writer Brian Wood expresses a brief worry that he might be "too consistent" with the stories in the book, in other words that they might be too easy to anticipate. After reading this issue it's my worry too, but I look forward to being proven wrong before volume 2 is complete. Once again, a tip of the hat to Vertigo for putting books like this out.

8

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Postby john lewis hawk » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:10 pm

Rooster Illusion wrote:You'd have 43 if I could think of the words to write regarding Ultimate X #1, but 208 "Meh"s would be cheating.
208 variations of "shit".

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:11 pm

john lewis hawk wrote:208 variations of "shit".


If it's a slow morning in the shop tomorrow I just might attempt that very thing.

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Postby thefourthman » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:18 pm

I didn't really think that BRian meant easy to anticipate. I think he meant that he would not be able to give the different voices to the characters.

I don't know, I am not always trying to figure out what is going on anymore and just enjoy the ride, so I didn't really foresee the twist here or the obvious end of Sweet Tooth #5

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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:24 pm

thefourthman wrote:I didn't really think that BRian meant easy to anticipate. I think he meant that he would not be able to give the different voices to the characters.

I don't know, I am not always trying to figure out what is going on anymore and just enjoy the ride, so I didn't really foresee the twist here or the obvious end of Sweet Tooth #5


That was actually Becky Cloonan's quote anyway, they switch back and forth. Brian's quotes "..the thought of revisiting it worried me. What if we blew it? What if whatever magic...has disappeared? Could we fake it? Would we want to? Would a bunch of mediocre new Demos tarnish the original?" sum up a panoply of concerns, clearly.

Someday you'll figure something out! :roll:

EDIT: Wait, are you saying you didn't think Jeppard was stringing Gus along after luring him with chocolate bars and the rest of the foreshadowing in Sweet Tooth?! Hey, Rube!

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