Thursday, August 19, 2004

Quick Reviews

Adventures of Superman #631
by Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark, Renato Guedes, & Andy Lanning
Two parallel stories in this issue: Lois Lane under sniper fire in Not-Iraq, and Superman battling Xlim and Ruin, who I know were introduced in a previous issue but of whom I remember next-to-nothing. It's not like this is Brainiac or Lex Luthor--we need a little more recap from the writer to remember who the bad guys are. Pencil duties are split between Clark & Guedes; it would appear that one is doing the Lois parts while the other is handling Superman. I'm not familiar enough with the styles to know who is doing which, but the art on the Superman parts suffers a bit from inconsistancy, especially in faces. But the colors from Tanya & Richard Horie are gorgeous: bright and shiny in the super-heor parts, muted in the war parts. This is a case where the coloring really helps to shift the reader mentally among the storylines. There's just as much action in here as in last week's Action Comics, but in this case I actually care about the outcome.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Fade from Grace #1
by Gabriel Benson & Jeff Amano
It's a super-hero origin story, told in the form of a romance. Quite effective, in that it really gets us to care about the hero and his wife. At only 99 cents for the first issue (I really like Beckett's pricing!) it's worth a look.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Heaven Sent #4
by Ben Dunn with Robby Bevard & Doug Dlin
Hmmm. Apparently this series is set in the same universe as the Warrior Nun Areala series, something I don't recall being mentioned in previous issues. I've been a fan of Dunn's since the early Ninja High School days, so I'm quite glad to be getting two different bi-monthly fixes of Dunn. Heaven Sent is the better of the two, with more detail in the art (but too much zip-a-tone!) and a more complex story.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Plastic Man #8-9
by Kyle Baker
Now this is more like it! The first issues of Baker's Plastic Man were good, but this is great. Non-stop funny, with the first two pages of #8 leaving me giddy. Plus: The return of Letitia Lerner!
Rating: 4 (of 5)

Manhunter #1
by Marc Andreyko, Jesus Saiz & Jimmy Palmiotti
This was a good debut issue, as by the end we know what the new Manhunter is all about and what her motivations are. I'll stick around for a few issues to see where Andreyko takes the story. I really liked Saiz & Palmiotti's work on 21 Down, but for a reason I can't put my finger on it doesn't quite seem to fit here. I can't help but think that cover artist Jae Lee would be a great choice for the interiors--maybe he can do a fill-in?
Rating: 3 (of 5)

X-Men #160
by Chuck Austen, Salvador Larroca & Danny Miki
Austen's pod-people X-Men conclude "Day of the Atom." Doesn't make much sense at all, but the art sure looks pretty. The one good part of Austen's X-Men has been the relationship between Cain Marko & Sammy, at that continues to be the good part here, but only in the last page-and-a-half.
Rating: 2 (of 5)

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