Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New comics 6/7

Batman: Secrets #4 (Sam Kieth, DC)
I'm kind of up and down on how much I like the story here - the second issue really clicked for me but since then it's only been fitfully interesting. But Kieth is doing his best art in years on this book, helped immensely by Alex Sinclair's vibrant colors. He makes Terry Ammons beautiful and vulnerable in this issue, reminding me a little of the way he used to draw Julie in The Maxx. His visual storytelling has also been really inventive in this series, which makes up for the occasional simplistic symbolism. I'm supposed to be getting his new Oni series, My Inner Bimbo, although my local store hasn't gotten a copy yet, and I'm definitely looking forward to that one as well.

The Exterminators #6 (Simon Oliver/Tony Moore, DC/Vertigo)
I guess this is the start of a new arc, although all of the plot elements from previous issues keep developing, including the mutant cockroaches. I'm really more interested in the way that Oliver is finally developing Henry a little bit, and introducing a much more appealing and viable love interest in this issue to replace Henry's shrill, one-note girlfriend. I finally added this to my pull list, since every month I pick it up and wonder if I like it enough to keep reading, and after six issues, I must like it because I keep picking it up, so I guess I'm officially on board.

Manifest Eternity #1 (Scott Lobdell/Dustin Nguyen, DC/Wildstorm)
I'm glad DC sent me a copy of this and I didn't end up paying for it, because at least I didn't waste my money. I like the idea of a sweeping sci-fi epic about a war between a space-faring empire and a world of magic, but Lobdell's writing is stilted and cliche-filled, and Nguyen's art is muddy and abstract, completely wrong for this genre. He pencils, inks and colors himself, which allows him room to experiment, but the often indistinct figures do a poor job of telling the story, and the tendency to bathe each panel in a single color makes it sometimes hard to discern individual characters. Not that the writing does much to distinguish them anyway. I would have loved for this to be effective, since an ongoing sci-fi epic is something I'm definitely interested in reading, but it's completely uninspired and uninteresting.

Noble Causes #20 (Jay Faerber/Jon Bosco, Image)
Rusty discovers that Rae is a robot and beats her senseless in a sequence that disturbingly echoes domestic violence. I don't know if that's what Faerber was going for, but he makes Rusty look like an unhinged maniac who was just looking for an excuse to beat his girlfriend. Lots of other subplots hum along in the background, including the development of Slate Blackthorne as a conflicted would-be hero, which is an interesting wrinkle. I'm curious to see where the whole Rae storyline is going, since it has the potential to be emotionally devastating for Rusty.

Wonder Woman #1 (Allan Heinberg/Terry Dodson, DC)
This is one I probably wouldn't have picked up if I hadn't gotten a promo copy, since I like Heinberg's work on Young Avengers but have never really cared about Wonder Woman. This is an okay superhero book, with nice art from Dodson (as always, of course, heavy on the cheesecake). It plays off a lot of established Wonder Woman supporting characters that I don't care about, and, unlike Young Avengers, doesn't do much to pull me into the unfamiliar world. The cliffhanger at the end is mildly intriguing, and if I liked Wonder Woman I'd probably stick around. As it is, I don't think I will.

Y the Last Man #46 (Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra & Goran Sudzuka, DC/Vertigo)
We are slowly getting some answers about the plague, as this issue Vaughan teases the idea that it was caused by a specific person. A satisfying conclusion to the strongest arc in a while, with another enticing cliffhanger ending. It's disappointing that Guerra has been unable to complete two arcs in a row now, but at least Sudzuka follows her style closely enough that his pages don't look too out of place.

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