Monday, December 13, 2004

New comics 12/8

District X #8 (David Hine/Lan Medina, Marvel)
Okay, I give up on this. It's not necessarily bad, but I've been totally bored with the last three or four issues, and there's no reason to keep paying money for it month after month. We're two issues into the new storyline that I said I'd give a chance, and I still don't care. It's a boring variation on the Morlocks, with abrupt character changes and really bland art. I don't know if David Yardin is coming back, but Medina's art is completely generic, and the whole thing has lost my interest, which is too bad since it started out well.

Fables #32 (Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham, DC/Vertigo)
Another typically stellar issue, with some good mysteries introduced. Willingham is doing a good job of keeping me interested in background characters like Beast that have been pushed to the forefront recently, and I almost didn't miss Bigby's presence in this issue. Not much else to add that I haven't said about the last few issues, but I do want to note one thing: In his recent review of the March of the Wooden Soldiers collection (scroll down), Steven Grant dismisses the art as "fine" and focuses solely on Willingham's writing, and I think a lot of fans of this book do that as well. It's too bad; Buckingham's art, as I've noted on here and in Las Vegas Weekly, is a key contribution to the book. His characters are expressive and unique, his layouts are creative and his backgrounds are full of subtle details that add to the overall experience. Willingham is, of course, an excellent writer, and the book still succeeds when Buckingham isn't around. But to discount Buckingham's contributions so casually I think does the book a disservice.

Noble Causes #5 (Jay Faerber/Fran Bueno, Image)
Wow, two issues in two weeks. Everything I said last week still stands; Faerber has gotten me back on board just as I was about to drop this book. There is a big resolution to one of the ongoing plots this issue, so not as many cliffhangers to keep you on the edge of your seat, but there are still several subplots simmering, and another bombshell dropped at the end. I hope Faerber can keep up the twists and turns, and the overall quality of recent issues.

Powers #7 (Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Avon Oeming, Marvel/Icon)
Bendis has really found a way to take this book in a new direction, with Deena's mysterious powers and Walker's relationship with the new Retro Girl. At the same time I'm glad he's brought back the basic structure, with Walker and Deena investigating powers-based crimes, after the epic that ended the last volume and the first storyline of this volume. A good example of evolving smartly while keeping what made the book work in the first place intact.

X-Men: The End #6 (Chris Claremont/Sean Chen, Marvel)
I give up on this, too, in a big way. The end of the first mini-series seems to be an appropriate place to bow out, and all my interest has left, to be replaced by irritation. This is just a mess of a story, with no discernible point. My one-time amusement at seeing every obscure X-character ever trotted out has been blunted by the fact that half of them have turned into impostors anyway. I still like Chen's art, and I wish they'd give him a book I might actually want to read (he could probably spruce up District X). But Claremont has wasted any goodwill he'd built up at the beginning of the series. It'll be good to cut back on my X-books reading, which was at the highest point it had been in years, and spend my money on something more interesting and original.

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