Monday, October 23, 2006

New comics 10/18

Cable & Deadpool #33 (Fabian Nicieza/Reilly Brown, Marvel)
After the Civil War crossover, the book gets back to its regular business, dealing with Cable's increasingly large empire (including Providence and Rumekistan) and putting its two main characters squarely at odds with each other. We also get the return of Domino and G.W. Bridge, and it's nice to have so many old Cable supporting characters around. Deadpool remains amusing as ever, and the philosophizing isn't as oppressive as it got in the last few issues. Brown, who I believe is the new regular artist, does decent but unexceptional work, with only the occasional lapse into the overly cartoony that undermines the intensity of the action.

Desolation Jones #7 (Warren Ellis/Danijel Zezelj, DC/Wildstorm)
I'm just pleased that this issue came out at all, since after issue six it looked like the series was dead, given the months-long delays, the departure of original artist J.H. Williams III, and Ellis' commitments to various other projects. But it's here, and it looks like the promising start to a new arc that has connections to Jones' past. Of course, it's another six-parter, so it could get as hopelessly convoluted as the last one, but for now it's relatively straightforward and interesting. Zezelj's artwork is a definite departure from Williams', more loose and sketchy and less design-oriented, but it works, and Jose Villarrubia is still on colors, using lots of monochrome color schemes with occasional shocks of red to give the visuals a surreal, trippy feel that goes with the main character's mental state. Overall, a welcome return.

The Exterminators #10 (Simon Oliver/Tony Moore, DC/Vertigo)
Sometimes I wonder, like I've done with American Virgin, if this book is actually going anywhere. Ten issues in, I'm still not sure if it's meant to be a grown-up drama about an ex-con exterminator and his friends and family, a sci-fi book about genetically modified cockroaches, or a weird horror story about a reincarnated bug god. My guess is all three, but sometimes trying to do so many things at once seems to be a little trying for Oliver. Case in point: this issue, which is the conclusion to the "Insurgency" arc but really resolves nothing and just makes everything that's going on a little more vague. I really like the interpersonal drama in this book (the issue focused on Henry's two girlfriends was excellent), but all the extraneous stuff is a little too cryptic and distracting.

Noble Causes #24 (Jay Faerber/Jon Bosco, Image)
We finally get a nice twist that actually feels surprising and satisfying; it's been too long since this book's had one of those, and it used to be full of them. It also ends with a cool little cliffhanger, and is one of the more satisfying recent issues, although I still worry that Faerber has so many subplots going that he can't possibly address them all satisfactorily in even a year's worth of issues. Also, I still can't stand Bosco's art, which remains amateurish and ugly, with every character having a weird, flat-looking face.

Runaways #21 (Brian K. Vaughan/Mike Norton, Marvel)
The defeat of the giant monster is a little anticlimactic, although it does bring the characters together nicely. What's more interesting is Chase's continued flirtation with the dark side, and the potential for real nastiness that Vaughan sets up at the end. This arc has been sort of underwhelming, so I hope that Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona will go out with a bang in their next and final storyline.

Savage Dragon #129 (Erik Larsen, Image)
In the post-Mr. Glum world, we get some big fight scenes and the sort of boring threat of the Galactus-ripoff villain Universo, but what's interesting is the way that Larsen is exploring the consequences of Dragon harboring the seemingly harmless (and often amusing) Mr. Glum. It's impressive the way he turned that character from throwaway comic relief into a credible threat, and I'm glad that even though he's been defeated, his presence is still felt.

X-Factor #12 (Peter David/Renato Arlem & Roy Allen Martinez, Marvel)
Things with Singularity sort of wrap up, but as always David leaves plenty unanswered. I'm glad he's putting it all on the backburner for a while, though, because I've honestly found the whole Singularity thing less than compelling, and the retcon of Madrox's origin a little cumbersome. I do continue to like that David is dealing with the consequences of House of M, though, and I hope he'll continue to do so while bringing us some more interesting antagonists.

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