Hello there internet people, its your good buddy, RU, here to catch you up on my quest to read all of my un read trades. I know it’s been over a month since the last time we spoke, but you’d be amazed how much time a 2 year old takes up. What I am saying is that I haven’t found the time to read that many trades recently, so I’ll toss in some new since issues as well.
The Massive; vol. 1: Black Pacific – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you get Brian Wood to write it, I’ll buy it, and that rule has yet to disappoint. The Massive, in short, takes place after civilization, as we know it has ended. The “Crash” has crippled the word’s economy, environment, and way of life. The question The Massive asks is: ‘what happens to our convictions after the end of the world?” The main focus of The Massive is an environmental activist group, and how they must reevaluate their mission in the face of a global disaster. Do they abandon their non-violent ways in a world of pirates and anarchy? Is there a place for environmentalists in the new world? When humanity is in danger, does ocean life really matter? Behind the scenes of all these questions is the overall quest to find The Ninth Wave’s missing ship, The Massive. Although this trade looks the same size as any other six issue collection, it is a long read. This is not something you can just breeze through like so many other comics. Brain Wood, so far, can do no wrong and you should treat yourself to this comic. Just give your self enough time to immerse yourself.
Scarlet Spider; vol. 1: Life After Death – I don’t know what it is, maybe its because I am getting older, maybe I am becoming dumber, or maybe I just don’t care anymore, but I find myself enjoying super-hero comics that focus on being super-hero books more than I do the ones that try and be the next Watchmen more and more. Scarlet Spider takes the notion of a villain, Kaine, looking for redemption as a hero and adds a nice new twist – spite. Kaine is there to do a job, that doesn’t mean that he has to like you or be nice to the people that he helps. Kaine has no time for niceties; he is there to beat up bad guys and, well, that’s about it. Kaine is not a “good guy” out of any sense of justice; rather he became a hero because the bad guys are mad at him. It is refreshing to read a comic about a hero who just doesn’t care. It is about him and his ego, justice is just a nice side effect. The use of Houston as a setting adds a nice detail to what could have become just another Spider-Man spin-off. Scarlet Spider isn’t great art, but its good comics.
All Star Western; vol. 1: Guns And Gotham – There is something about me that never ceases to amuse my wife, I love westerns. Little Big Man, There Once Was A Wicked Man, Unforgiven, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, The Way Of The Gun (yes, it is a western) I love them. The grittiness, the dirt, the disgusting language and sanitation, everything that is cynical and gross about American history is summed up in a good western, and All Star Western is most assuredly a good western. Take away the scarred face and Johan Hex is still the expected western protagonist, hard, doesn’t take crap from nobody, and self-assured to the point of delusion. This first volume of All Star Western firmly establishes Hex into the continuity of the New52 as he teams up with Dr. Amadeus Arkham in 19th century Gotham City to fight a secret religion of crime and their goals of domination (yes, that religion of crime.) From there we have bar fights, hookers, gun battles, and everything we have all come to know and love about westerns. I’ll say that I was not a huge fan of the back-up- stories collected at the end, but as they are there to build a larger world for Hex and Arkham to inhabit, they fulfill their roles nicely. All Star Western isn’t a must read, but you really want to read it – you just don’t know it yet.
Well, that’s it for the trades I read this month, on to some of the more memorable single issuee. Please note “more memorable” is not always a good thing…
Indestructable Hulk #6 and Thanos Rising #1 – I am grouping these two books together becausethey both have one thing in common: A good story completely ruined by horrible art. You know how you think to your self “Why do they keep letting Eric Clapton / Aerosmith / Red Hot Chilli Peppers / etc make records? They haven’t been good in decades.” That is how I feel about Walter Simonson. Indestructable Hulk has been a great book, and, story wise, #6 is no exception, but I could not help but be dragged out everytime I took a good look at a character or piece os setting, the art is just so bad. Siminson is a legend, and for good reason, but based on this and his Avengers work late last year, he has lost it. That’s hard for me to say, and I mean no disrespect, but his name is no longer a selling point for me, and if Indestructable Hulk wasn’t so good on its own, I’d skip the next few issues untill he was off the book.
Thanos Rising isn’t as tragic as Indestructable Hulk mainly because the sotry isn’t all that great. Yes, Simone Bianchi’s, whise name is a do not buy for me (I was given this black cover variant) steamroller faces and jaring backgrounds ruined Jason Aaron’s script, but making Thanos a tragic character doesn’t help. Not all super villians need a horrible childhood, in fact I was happy never having thought about Thanos as a kid before. Why can’t he just be a power hungry dick? I don’t care about his mom, his dad, childhood friends, or the emotional isolation he grew up with. Bianchi took what were supposed to be emotional, tragic, and exciting events and turned them into an ugly mess of distractions, but I am not so sure this would have been a good book with a better artist. Just like Micheal Myers, I don’t need Thanos to have an origin, I just need him to be Thanos.
Constantine #1 - Sucked balls. Read Original Sins, its the same story but good.
Until the next time, later peeps.