Friday, September 01, 2006

In Passing...Supes to Local

Oh, boy did I get frustrated with my local comic shop this week. Half of my floppies weren't available half an hour after the store opened (let alone had a slot in the wall in the first place....including a favorite of mine: Athena Voltaire), so I rebelled and didn't buy a thing. I ordered my list of comics on-line, so most of this week's comic reviews will come a little late... But I did get a few things read. Patrick bought All-Star Superman, I had The Portent from the previous week, and I got some review copies from Oni Press, a few of which I'll talk about here...

The Portent #4 (of 4)
Peter Bergting

This was an enjoyable mini-series from Image Comics. The Mike Mignola-influenced art was often quite striking when paired with beautiful coloring of sunsets and strange landscapes. The second issue really established it as more than a generic fantasy tale, and it turned into something fairly epic from there. By the final issue, I was ready for the story to be over however, and following an extremely anti-climactic fight with the big baddie, I was maybe a little disappointed in wake of the promise the series seemed to hint at early on. It's still definitely worth checking out though, and I'm looking forward to what Bergting has to offer in the future. B-

All-Star Superman #5
Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

There was a lot of talking in this issue. Not that I'm opposed to dialogue-heavy comics, because I do enjoy them quite immensely when done well. This one...done pretty well (not surprising given the creative team). This issue wasn't as strong as previous issues of the series, but I tend to be a little hot-and-cold with each of these floppies, since they tend to be very different from one another, with different focuses and featured characters, and pretty self-contained at that. Lex Luther going on about his philosophies was fairly interesting (particularly amid the chaos going on around him), but ultimately, it didn't hold much of a candle to, let's say, the second issue featuring Lois Lane in the Fortress of Solitude, or even the Jimmy Olsen issue. B+

Local #6
Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly

I hadn't read previous issues of this series, but I can tell you that I have definitely been missing out. This series is basically a string of self-contained issues that follow Megan as she lives in different cities across America, trying her hand at each area in turn. This particular issue sees her in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where she rooms with a hospital employee while bartending to pay the bills. She develops a strange relationship with her roommate Gloria that builds to a wonderful climax. There's a lot of emotional punch in this comic, and has the reader feeling every inch of heartache and regret the protagonist does, as the story unfolds amid Kelly's amazing pencils. A

Northwest Passage (Volume 3)
Scott Chantler

Now this is a title I hadn't even heard of before I picked it up and started reading. I'm usually pretty skeptical coming into something a few volumes in, but I wasn't too lost with this book. Northwest Passage is basically historical fiction that explores the world of warring frontiersmen and fur traders in The New World. Scott Chantler is really a great cartoonist, worthy of wider recognition. If anything, you have to give credit to the art provided in this series, but the story's pretty decent too. It's not exactly the type of thing I'd get excited about generally, but it was a fun, breezy read full of action and heroism, with a load of gruff characters you don't mind getting to know. I was entertained while reading the book, but really, I think Scott Chantler's talents could be channeled into more satisfying stories that aren't quite as forgettable as this. C

4 comments:

Bergting said...

Hey man! Thanks for the review. In response to the anti climactic battle however, I would like to point out that that was the point. Milo was striving to become a hero from issue 1 and realized that the only way for him to become one was to basically put down his sword and let Lin step forward as the real hero =).

Cheers

Peter

~ Dave said...

Yeah - it was Lin's battle that was anti-climactic. Everything leading up to that was great, but suddenly, in this random panel in the middle of the page, she jumps up to confront him and he'd down after one hit. This is the big battle that's been brewing? Anyways...I was really excited about Lin being put into the role of hero, so I've got to give you props on that.

~ Dave said...

Oh! And I have to add that Milo DID become a hero in the end. He accomplished his goal in his self-sacrifice and allowing Lin to take her rightful role. Anyways, thanks for the great story!

Bergting said...

Thanks! Yeah, I did think a lot about how to resolve that whole bit since many readers would be expecting a big fight. But I really wanted to stray from that and deliver something else. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. This was my first attempt at writing and drawing a comic so I'm eager to get started on my next book with everything I learned from this one =).

Cheers

Peter