Monday, May 22, 2006

New comics 5/17

Fallen Angel #5 (Peter David/J.K. Woodward, IDW)
David spends a lot of this issue on theological musings, which are sort of interesting but have never really been this book's strong point. Learning the Angel's origin wasn't necessarily a mistake, but this issue comes dangerously close to the Alan Moore Promethea style of, "Here is my philosophy, which the main character will now explain directly to you, the reader." At the same time, there are a lot of significant and satisfying plot developments in this issue, and David sets up a new status quo with plenty of potential. I hope now that we've learned a bit of background, we can return to the mysterious intrigue and nasty bloodshed.

Fell #5 (Warren Ellis/Ben Templesmith, Image)
This is another entertaining issue, although one of Ellis's more annoying tendencies does finally reveal itself for the first time in this series: The bit in which the main character is such an awesome badass that all he has to do is talk to some antagonist to get him to not only surrender completely but also to admire and respect the main character. One of the most interesting things about Richard Fell has been that he is a beaten and down-trodden man, and this issue makes him seem just a little too bold, although the ending is sort of sweet and it does afford some further insight into his character. Still, for the first time this book feels like Ellis falling back on some of his old tricks.

Shadowpact #1 (Bill Willingham, DC)
I've been steering clear of most of these post-Infinite Crisis DC launches, but I really like Willingham's writing on Fables, and this is another book about an odd assortment of magical creatures, so I was considering giving it a shot. Plus it's Willingham's first regular art assignment in years, and even though I became familiar with his work solely as a writer, I was curious to check out his art as well. DC ended up sending a press copy, so I didn't have to decide whether to buy it, and the verdict is: It's not bad. It's not incomprehensible for someone who hasn't read Day of Vengeance, the lead-up mini-series, although I imagine that would have helped. It's got a somewhat engaging but somewhat generic set-up, and Willingham's art is pleasant if not exceptional. I'll definitely buy another issue to see if it gets more exciting, but it certainly doesn't compare to how much I enjoyed Fables when it began.

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