Monday, October 03, 2005

New comics 9/28

Cable & Deadpool #20 (Fabian Nicieza/Patrick Zircher, Marvel)
After last month's serious, talky interlude, Nicieza gets back to what he does best, which is: goofy dialogue, obscure Marvel characters and a quest for a random technobabble thingy. Which is to say, it's another great issue, with some funny quips from Deadpool and a good use of the B.A.D. Girls, who are exactly what they sound like. Nicieza also builds on the ongoing story of Cable running his weird floating island paradise, and I like that he's not dropping it and that he's retaining Irene Merryweather, who's always been one of Cable's most interesting supporting characters, as Cable's de facto conscience. The constant jokes about how no one reads this book are a little distressing, but it seems to be safe for a little while at least.

Jack Cross #2 (Warren Ellis/Gary Erskine, DC)
I'm not quite sure where Ellis is going with this. The primary story, about espionage between the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, strikes me as a warmed-over 24 plotline, but the character of Jack, with his inherent contradictions, remains interesting, and I trust that larger themes will emerge to give the book a little direction. But especially after the strong debut of Fell, this is looking like the weakest of Ellis's new ongoing series. I'm also not sure that Erskine's art, which is sort of static, is best for an action-oriented book, and the complete lack of sound effects is oddly jarring in scenes with gunplay. This makes it sound like I don't like the book, but it's still got promise, and I trust Ellis enough to overlook the shortcomings for now.

New Warriors #4 (Zeb Wells/Skottie Young, Marvel)
We get our first cliffhanger of the series, which is typically bizarre (super-villains who look like famous historical figures!), as well as the introduction of a new Warrior, which seems a little late in the mini-series to be doing. Once again, it just contributes to the vibe that this would be an ongoing series, and I remain disappointed that it's not, although I'll hold out hope that Marvel has something planned for some version of the Warriors beyond the two more issues of this series.

Revelations #2 (Paul Jenkins/Humberto Ramos, Dark Horse)
I was iffy on the first issue, but the mystery definitely grabbed me this time, and my feeling that this plays like a good mystery novel is borne out. It doesn't look like it's going to veer off into the weirdly supernatural, and I like that, as well as the lead character, who is your typical crotchety detective from a million books and movies, but Jenkins writes him well. I'm still not too keen on Ramos's art, which again makes everyone looks like children and/or people with growth disorders, but it's not going to keep me from the intriguing story.

The Sentry #1 (Paul Jenkins/John Romita Jr., Marvel)
It's weird how it's been years since I've been interested in anything Paul Jenkins has written and now this week I'm buying two comics by him. I wasn't too impressed with this one, though, despite having enjoyed the first Sentry mini-series that Jenkins and Jae Lee did a few years back. I love Lee's art, though, which made up for the shortcomings in the old series, and I'd forgotten how much I can't stand Romita's blocky, ugly art (which everyone seems to love for some reason), so that probably just highlighted the shortcomings in this series. It's okay, but it relies a lot on stuff that was going on in New Avengers, which I don't read, and seemed only to highlight how hard it is to sustain the Sentry concept in the wider Marvel universe context. It might get better, but it's not worth Romita's unappealing art and seven more issues for me to find out if it will.

Silent Dragon #3 (Andy Diggle/Leinil Yu, DC/Wildstorm)
This series is really growing on me, to the point where I thought this issue was great, and the combo of the yakuza stuff and the sci-fi stuff is really clicking. It just makes me even more disappointed that after drawing all the crazy, off-the-wall stuff in this series (and his art here is excellent, kinetic and creative and eye-catching), Yu has signed an exclusive with Marvel so he can draw...Hulk and Wolverine. Sigh. This is a whole separate issue (about which I think there is a post brewing), but it's relevant here, I think. At least there are three more issues of this to enjoy.

Young Avengers #7 (Allan Heinberg/Andrea DiVito, Marvel)
After the first arc, I was kind of hoping the team would have some adventures of their own that didn't depend on the Avengers showing up, but I guess they are trying to keep the books tied together. I don't necessarily mind, since it makes sense in light of last issue, and I'm glad to see Heinberg sticking to his continuity. He also has another solid cliffhanger at the end of this issue, which continues his tactic of peeling back layers and revealing new things about characters that appeared so one-dimensional at first. DiVito's fill-in art is okay, but it's sort of generic, and I miss Jim Cheung.

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