Friday, January 25, 2008

This week in Comics

Fine, fine. The e-mail and comments on the last post show there are at least six people who check this blog out once a month or so. Plus, my brain needs a break from the dissertation. Since today is my birthday (and I have some free time since I just finished two articles that will be published in a book sometime over the summer - more on that later), I'm going to make a return to blogging. And what's a more appropriate way to do that then review my comics haul for the week?

Ultimate Iron Man II #2 (Marvel): Well, Orson Scott Card's first Ultimate Iron Man series was a fun, if typical, well told Card tale (child genius with amazing powers and all that). This series is turning out a whole lot better, though. Card shows that he's learned from the first series and has now gotten a better handle on the form of comics (the last series had several clunky transitions and scenes that a veteran comics writer would have avoided, though none of those missteps were even close to fatal).

Card also manages to use the "War on Terror" in way that takes no sides and allows for humanity among all those caught up in it's terrible web. Rather than preach (which Card can be wont to do in his online essays), here he uses it as a backdrop and allows the story to go forward without any preaching. Given Card's strong views and the current spate of movies and comics that can't seem but to take time off from the story in order to preach to the audience about the evils of Bush, etc. this is quite an achievement on Card's part.

Plus, the story has guys in robotic armor duking it out. So it's cool.

Damage Control #1 (Marvel): So, the Hulk has returned from outer space and smashed New York (don't ask). Luckily, Marvel comics has an in-house explanation for why New York can get demolished several times and still remain intact - the high tech construction company, Damage Control. Previous versions of Damage Control have treated the company rather light-heartedly, with lots of slapstick and goofy gags. This version has its tongue somewhere in the vicinity of its cheek and silly situations abound. Yet the bizarre and out of place commentary on the War on Terror mixed with the rather depressing and all too serious Marvel comics has taken after their recent Civil War (please don't ask), this comic feel tonally off, as though it's playing a violin concerto in B flat Locrian while the rest of the orchestra is playing Indonesian Gamelan music with a slendro tuning.

Battlestar Galactica Season Zero #5 (Dynamite): This series is okay, though there's no suspense since you know which characters can't die or be seriously injured, and the other characters clearly aren't important since they don't show up on the show. Plus, the whole plot about quelling a potential revolt seems rather anti-climactic when you realize that this all takes place a few months before the entire planet gets nuked.

No DC or IDW comics this week.


Kent said...

Glad you are posting again!

Friar Tuck said...

Good to see ya posting again.