Thursday, September 21, 2006

Joe Rice Media Review 9/21/06

I didn't write one of these last week. Do you know why? It is because I did not buy any comic books last week. I was too tired. This week I was mad but not too tired. Now I am not mad. I am reviewing.

Anthologies are usually a real gamble. The Goon is usually awesome. SO WHAT ABOUT DWIGHT T. ALBATROSS'S THE GOOD NOIR?!? It was pretty good. The Oswalt/Ploog story was a nice one-off with great use of Goonspeak. I liked the start of the Little Unholy Bastards strip. The Bill Morrison comic was just as funny as you would expect: not funny. And the Big Ma was a bit too predictable and didn't go far enough but the Sook art made me drool. Three or two and a half out of four ain't bad for this sort of stuff.

I tried Ultimate Fantastic Four before and it was the boringest boring to ever boring. Whereas Stan and Jack would have like a thousand cool things happen on a page, one retread thing would happen per arc. But Carey is doing an interesting Kirby play here and Pacheco draws real good. Thanks for the recommendation, ED and KO. This is fun comics.

I've been enjoying the dumb action movie blockbuster nature of Civil War. This issue intensified the action and also the dumb. I'm afraid I'm done with this. From stupid character bits to the obvious BLACK GUY DIES FIRST it was just one big "meh." And what the hell is up with Cable, of all folks quitting a battle? Oh, well, it was fun for a while. Now it's just a superhero comic book.

The Escapists isn't, though. And it isn't quite a comic about superhero comics, either. (We really don't need anymore of those). It's about people making a comic and, uh, "finding what heroism is" except much less lame than how I said it. The imitation-Bond art is nice, the storylines are interesting, and the characters are individual and believable, as one would expect from a Vaughn book. I know CBR avoids indie stuff like PAD avoids fashion magazines, but this is Dark Horse, it's Vaughn, and it's nothing to be scared of, you goddam superhero pussies. Try it.

WHAT?!? MORE VAUGHN WORK?!? Ex Machina is still good? Tony Harris is more amazing all the time? The stories are complex, fascinating, and filled with real meaning? And someone has superpowers? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Runaways (completing the two-week Vaughn tri-fecta) is also still good. The art suffered with a fill-in, but not to the point of distraction. The story cooks, and I'm curious as to whether the Whedon that takes over will be the Firefly/Serenity Whedon (yay) or the everything else Whedon (sob).

Why is Nextwave: agents of h.a.t.e. so fun? It's not the nihilism . . .in fact, I don't think it's nihilistic at all. Ellis has always seemed to be a false cynic . . .like his repeated character type, he acts cynical because he's a disappointed idealist. But Nextwave reads like the fun he always wanted to have but was embarrassed to. Of course, critiquing Ellis instead of his work is old hat, but I really do love this book. Smart as it is stupid and silly, it really works.

I got X-Men: First Class because I've enjoyed Parker's work on Agents of Atlas. This was unfortunately blander. It's a nice retelling of the X-Men early days. Well, not a re-telling, a "untold stories set in modern times but the X-Men are young). It'll make continuinerds crap their pants even more than they usually do, but it's not a very weighty comic. The character moments are nice, and the young X-Men finally have actual personalities rather than Lee generalities or Claremont stereotypes. I might try another issue. I dunno.

I've said for ages that DMZ is good. This issue was a fill-in, kinda. We get the background of Zee, the Manhattan med student punk girl, and it's pretty cool. Nice art from Kristian Donaldson. When AIT lost Brian Wood, the world gained a better writer. Check it out.

L' Auberge espagnole
is a shitty movie even though Audrey Tautou is in it. Don't let your wife convince you to stay up late to watch it. It's a self-indulgent "WOW EUROPEANS ARE THE AWESOMEST BECAUSE WE ARE SO DIVERSE" piece of stupidity that made me angry. Wow, yeah, all you well-off Eurocrackers sure are diverse. Congrats on "bucking the system."

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