Sunday, May 15, 2005

New comics 5/11

Astonishing X-Men #10 (Joss Whedon/John Cassaday, Marvel)
The ending of the last issue worried me, since the whole "Danger Room comes alive and attacks the X-Men" plot seemed a little cliched and uninteresting, and unfortunately in this issue Whedon doesn't do much to convince me otherwise. At least he brings back the S.W.O.R.D. subplot with the aliens from the Breakworld, and hints at an overarching storyline for the whole first year's worth of issues. The bulk of this issue, though, is the X-Men fighting the Danger Room, which, while Cassaday makes it look pretty, is mostly just your standard fight scene, peppered with some of Whedon's sharp dialogue. Not the series' best issue.

Captain America and the Falcon #14 (Christopher Priest/Dan Jurgens, Marvel)
The series sort of putters to its conclusion, and I'm pretty much past caring. Priest finally manages to make me the political nuances of Captain America somewhat interesting, but it's too little too late. I feel like this was a series that never really found its footing, changing artists constantly and lacking direction in the plotting. I do like Priest's take on the Falcon, though, and I hope this issue's ambiguous ending will lead into his much-rumored Falcon series, and that Marvel will finally give him the chance to really develop a series that he hasn't had since Black Panther ended.

Desolation Jones #1 (Warren Ellis/J.H. Williams III, DC/Wildstorm)
Ellis finally launches a new ongoing series, and it seems like this will be the true heir to Transmetropolitan. His recent Marvel superhero work has left me cold, so I was greatly looking forward to this. It doesn't disappoint, although it's full of stock Ellis-isms, and the main character is your standard Ellis appalling bastard protagonist. Still, the concept is intriguing, Williams' art is, as always, breathtaking, and I hope that the ongoing format and creator-owned status will allow Ellis to cut loose like he hasn't in quite some time.

Fables #37 (Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham, DC/Vertigo)
The Boy Blue story continues to offer an interesting glimpse into the Homelands, and allows Buckingham to cut loose with some absolutely wonderful fantasy artwork. Willingham seems to be leading up to some big revelations about the Adversary and I'm sure he'll deliver.

Mnemovore #2 (Hans Rodionoff & Ray Fawkes/Mike Huddleston, DC/Vertigo)
More creepy atmosphere with not much in the way of explanation. I have a feeling this will read better in a collected edition, but two issues in I might as well stick it out. The concept remains intriguing, and Huddleston's art is evocatively creepy; I just hope Rodionoff and Fawkes can back up the strange set-up with an equally interesting follow-through.

The Rann/Thanagar War #1 (Dave Gibbons/Ivan Reis, DC)
The last of the Infinite Crisis tie-ins to launch, and honestly the one I found most accessible. Gibbons effectively conveys the epic scale of the galactic war, explains fairly clearly who the players are, and sets the stakes. Reis' art is also good at illustrating the scale of the battles, and the book looks very nice overall. It's still not enough to get me reading further issues, since I don't care enough about the overarching event, but it's the first of the tie-ins that hasn't made me feel hopelessly lost.

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