Sunday, December 19, 2004

New comics 12/15

Cable & Deadpool #10 (Fabian Nicieza/Patrick Zircher, Marvel)
The ending to the latest storyline is a little convoluted, but overall I think Nicieza did a good job of balancing the philosophical ideas and the superhero action. And the ending leaves open some interesting possibilities for the next story. I'd kind of like to see this book get back to straight, old-school superheroics, but even when tackling larger issues, Nicieza always has fun with continuity and some neglected corners of the Marvel universe. Still a fun book to read, if a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril #1 (Joshua Dysart/Sal Velluto, Penny Farthing Press)
Picked up sort of on a whim after reading about it online, because I've heard good stuff about Dysart's writing, I liked Velluto's work on Black Panther (with inker Bob Almond, who's also on board here), and the premise sounded fun. Apparently it's a sequel to a mini-series that Penny Farthing published a few years ago, which I had never heard of, but it's not hard to pick the story up here. Velluto and Almond's work is just as good as I remember if not better, and they do a great job of capturing the Golden Age and old Hollywood feels of the story. It's a little less light-hearted than I anticipated from the previews, taking the concept a little too much at face value, but it's an entertaining read nonetheless, and I'll stick around for another issue. I'm also impressed with Penny Farthing's production values, from a company I'd barely even heard of, with full color, lettering from Comicraft, glossy paper and a cover price no higher than the average Marvel or DC comic. I'm not sure how they do it, but it's great if they can keep it up.

Ex Machina #7 (Brian K. Vaughan/Tony Harris, DC/Wildstorm)
There's a lot going on in this issue, and Vaughan keeps all the balls in the air admirably, touching on the gay marriage issue, the flashback plot and the mysterious symbol, moving each one forward. There's one really gruesome and well-executed scene in here, with a woman possessed by something and stabbing herself in the eye, that's just really well-paced and depicted, which speaks to Harris's storytelling skills as well as his illustration skills. It's the first time I've gotten a real sense of dread from this book, and I'm excited to see where it goes next. As has been noted elsewhere, between this, Y The Last Man and Runaways, Vaughan is the modern master of the cliffhanger in comics.

Ocean #3 (Warren Ellis/Chris Sprouse, DC/Wildstorm)
This issue finally gets into some plot developments, and honestly I'm less impressed than when it was all about creepy atmosphere. There's your standard Ellis evil corporation, and the (literally) mindless corporate drones are kind of a nice touch, but not all that intriguing. Instead of drawing the impressively bizarre splash pages of the first couple of issues, Sprouse just gets talking heads and one really confusing fight sequence. There's three more issues to go, so I hope Ellis can bring the plot in line with all the cool concepts he introduced at the beginning.

Trigger #1 (Jason Hall/John Watkiss, DC/Vertigo)
Blah blah dystopian future blah blah. That's about how exciting this was. Vertigo has been launching some pretty derivative new titles lately, what with their standard old-school Vertigo goth/mystical nonsense (The Witching, Books of Magic: Life During Wartime) and now this, which is like Transmetropolitan only without the humor. An evil corporation controls the country in the future, strange shit is going down, and only one man can stop it. The noir-ish art is cool, but doesn't seem to fit this kind of story. The ending sets up a bit of a twist that could be interesting, but I'm not sure if I care enough to pick up the next issue and find out.

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