Thursday, January 19, 2006

In passing...Deadgirl to Runaways

There were quite a few good titles that came out this week aside from All Star Superman. It's becoming rare that I have a week with seven comics to read. Not to complain or anything. It is a good thing. But it does make me wonder if I need to be a little more patient with my purchasing. Most of these titles are within the first few issues of their runs and if I waited a few months, I'd be able to just enjoy the collected editions, which I find to be the ideal way to read most comics since the stories usually lend themselves to that format better (and how often would I dig through a clumsy longbox to reread something as opposed to pulling it off of a bookshelf where it can properly be displayed?) But then there are comics like Manhunter, who has only recently had a first trade come out (and who knows if more will follow?). If I waited for all of my books to be collected, I could miss out on them altogether. And then there are the titles I don't want to wait on, like Astonishing X-Men. Ugh. It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes...

Manhunter #18 - Things come to a head in the current Manhunter arc, as Kate Spencer tracks down the kidnappers of her family and battles her nemesis Phobia. I was unaware of anything of importance to the DC universe at large during this story, but The Pulse covered a little issue that comes up with a DC character becoming part of the book and being outed at the same time. It wasn't distracting at all during the story. I didn't realize that this character was anyone important but a character that would presumably be recurring. But it was only a little scene anyway that didn't interrupt the flow of the story or anything. Overall, a very suspenseful issue. 9.1/10

Testament #2 - The biblical story that this issue aligns with is "Sodom and Gomorrah." A protest is taking place defying a draft that represents Gomorrah when Jake is trying to save his ex-girlfriend Dinah from the oncoming trouble that's about to go down, but the NATs represent Gomorrah at another point when they're "disciplining" a strange man. The parellels work in both cases, but it seemed more of a struggle to get the stories to line up as neatly as they did in the first issue. Still, this was a really good issue. It just seemed the NATs were thrown in a little too conveniently to align with the theme and didn't contribute much beyond that. 7.7/10

Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #3 (of 4) - Well, an issue of the mini-series that I actually liked! Revelations galore as this issue comes to a stunning conclusion. The ending is really extremely brutal and well, disturbing, just when you think things couldn't have gotten any worse. I really liked how the offenders were so casual about what they were doing, talking about parties and such as they performed their duty. It seems that the solution that is referred to at the end of the issue, the last great escape for this escape artist, is pretty obvious, but not everything needs to be shrouded in mystery, I suppose. 9.2/10

X-Statix Presents: Deadgirl #1 (of 5) - X-Statix returns with a favorite character of mine - Deadgirl! Although I was a little disappointed that the hero in question didn't make an appearance until the very last panel of the book, it was still an entertaining issue overall. The story follows Doctor Strange as he discovers a disturbance in Hell. But...the doctor has troubles of his own. He's depressed. He has hemorrhoids. He's well, strange, and yearns for a normal life that he can't have. It certainly is an interesting take on a character that is overlooked too often. And it makes for quite a bit of fun in the face of the danger the world faces here (what with the dead returning and all). 9/10

Runaways #12 - The "East Coast/West Coast" story concludes as Cloak's imposter is confronted by the juvenilles. The New Avengers have some rather embarrassing moments in this issue as the runaways are able to accomplish what the professionals are not. I really enjoyed the art of the issue more than usual, particularly at the beginning when the kids are riding a flying carpet amid a gaggle of pigeons. And the way the enemy was defeated was pretty clever, in my opinion. 8.9/10

Spider-woman: Origin #2 (of 5) - Jessica Drew's story unfolds as she's deep within the hydra snake nest, making friends, learning how to use her powers and fight, and being generally brainwashed into the folds of evil. This is a pretty good origin story, as origins go. I really enjoyed watching Jessica's progress with the Taskmaster and her memory alike. This is just a great, fun superhero comic. 9.3/10

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