Saturday, January 15, 2005

New comics 1/12

Captain America & The Falcon #11 (Christopher Priest/Joe Bennett, Marvel)
It's definitely a bad sign when half of the events on the "Previously" page are completely new to me. Priest's writing is always complex, but I think this book has recently gone over the edge into needlessly convoluted. That said, once I read the previouslies and had a better understanding of what had gone on in recent issues, this one was relatively easy to follow. At this point, though, I'll be happy to see this storyline wrapped up and something new starting without so much baggage.

Fables #33 (Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham, DC/Vertigo)
First off, this issue has an especially beautiful James Jean cover; the covers are always great, but this one just has this really haunting, ethereal quality that I love. What's inside is pretty good, too; Willingham wraps up the mysterious killer subplot in an unexpected (for me, at least) and effective way without resorting to anything too over-the-top. This is kind of a quiet issue, even though we find out about the killer, and it looks like the calm before the storm of another big story brewing come next issue. I'm excited to see what's next.

The Pulse #7 (Brian Michael Bendis/Brent Anderson, Marvel)
At least this was better than the last issue, but that's not saying much. We get to some new material, but it basically just amounts to Jessica wandering around and whining about not knowing what's going on. It feels a little out of character for her to be so helpless, and again very little actually happens in this issue to move things forward. It's also annoying that Bendis isn't really bothering to tell a new story here, instead just moving around the periphery of the Secret War series (which, for the record, I do like, even if it hasn't gotten great reviews and ships horribly late). Anderson's art also looks a little too sketchy and rushed; I believe this is his last issue, so maybe he was in a hurry to leave. Overall Bendis' Marvel stuff has been quite unimpressive lately.

Two Bits #1 (Various, Image)
I'll pick up almost anything for 25 cents, so I was willing to give this a shot. It's preview stories for two new series from Mike S. Miller's Alias Enterprises, both fantasy-type stories aimed at an all-ages audience. While each had strong points, I probably won't be picking up the regular issues. Miller's own creation, The Imaginaries, seemed like it had more promise, with the concept of a land populated by imaginary friends that children no longer believe in. Greg Titus' art, with a kind of urban/grafitti look, would seem like an odd fit, but it works well for the strange creatures that Miller has created. The other series, Lullaby, is less interesting in concept, as it appears to just be a sort of tweaking of the Alice in Wonderland story, but the art by Hector Sevilla is stunning and amazingly detailed. It'd almost be worth picking up the series for his work alone, as he creates a lush and fully-realized fantasy world for the main character. The art in this preview is just uninked pencils; I think both series will probably look better in color, and might be worth a look for fans of fantasy or all-ages books. For me there just wasn't enough to get me to plunk down standard cover price for the regular series.

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