Sunday, December 17, 2006

New comics 12/13

It was a big week for Peter David, apparently.

Ex Machina #25 (Brian K. Vaughan/Tony Harris, DC/Wildstorm)
This one-shot focusing on Bradbury is better than the similar origin-style one-offs that Vaughan did in Y the Last Man, illuminating relevant details about the character that we didn't previously know and telling a satisfying little framing story as well. I imagine some of these elements will become important later, but even if they don't, this was a very good single issue as a break between larger story arcs.

Fallen Angel #11 (Peter David/J.K. Woodward, IDW)
A new arc starts promisingly, with David even further corrupting the Angel's do-gooder son Jude. I like that he's once again setting mother and son at odds, and I like that this is another arc driven by outside forces and not by more flashbacks and introspection about the Angel's past. We know a lot now about who she is, so it's good to start seeing again what she does.

Wonder Man #1 (Peter David/Andrew Currie, Marvel)
I don't know about this one. If it weren't for David's involvement, I doubt I would have given it a look, as the cover art is atrocious and the character has never much interested me. Wonder Man is known as a rather comedic hero, but the tone here is an odd mix of gritty and whimsical, and I'm not quite sure what the opening post-apocalyptic scene was about. The premise - Wonder Man makes over a super-villain, Pygmalion-style, has potential for humor, but it's being played too straight for now to be really amusing. Currie's exaggerated art sometimes works for the tone but mostly looks rather ugly, for some reason giving all characters jutting Jay Leno-style chins. I'm not yet sure if David's involvement contains enough promise to get me to pick up the next issue.

X-Factor #14 (Peter David/Pablo Raimondi, Marvel)
This book seems reinvigorated since Raimondi came on-board, and this continues the high quality of the last issue, following up on many of the plot threads introduced in the team therapy sessions and bringing in more of David's trademark sense of humor (it's funnier than most of the alleged comedy in Wonder Man). There are also nice character moments and a good cliffhanger setting up the latest storyline. I still think the "Madrox is not really a mutant" element is a needlessly complicating retcon, but otherwise everything here is going strongly for the first time since the series first started.

Also out this week: X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong #4, but after the increasing absurdity and crappy art of the first three issues, I decided it was time to cut my losses and pass on the rest of the mini-series.

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