Fallen Angel; Captain America; The Punisher; Green Arrow; Gotham Central
Fallen Angel #15
by Peter David, David Lopez & Fernando Blanco
This issue starts off rather slow, as we get a ton of exposition from the bad guys (or are they really--it can be wonderfully vague in this comic), but the two page title-spread of an arial shot of the city is breathtaking. Things start to pick up in the final six pages as the foucs shifts to the title character and ends on an explosive cliffhanger. David Lopez is quite a find--I can't imagine hardly anybody else doing the art on this title (although if a fill-artist is ever needed, I'd love to see José Luís Garcia-López give it a shot).
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Captain America #31
by Robert Kirkman, Scot Eaton & Drew Geraci
This issue left a bad taste in my mouth, and it wasn't just the ending (or my chewing on the pages...) In these post-Identity Crisis days, having villains spout lines like "...you can look forward to a strict regimen of torture and abuse... we're going to have a lot of fun with you" to tied up female captives takes on very negative connotations. It's not that there aren't any good moments (the bit with Modok was very funny), in fact most of the comic was decent, but those few bits are overwhelming in their ickiness.
Rating: 2 (of 5)
The Punisher #11
by Garth Ennis & Leandro Fernandez
Ennis must get paid by the f-word on this book. The opening third of this book is non-stop shooting and cussing, followed by page after page of exposition (and cussing) from character who I've lost track of over the course of this drwn-out story. The three page conversation between the whats-his-name British Agent and his whats-his-name IRA captive (this book really could have used a 'previously' page...) elevates this somewhat. But all-in-all this is not the best of Ennis's Punisher stories.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Green Arrow #42
by Judd Winick, Phil Hester & Ande Parks
Mia steps in and saves Ollie. Ollie tells her to quit trying to be his partner, that she's too young and she'll get hurt, and... Stop me if you're heard this all before. You have? This is one of the most clichéd stories in super-herodom, and just because Winick & Hester do a decent job of telling it doesn't make it any less clichéd. Plus: it wouldn't be a non-code DC comic these days without a rape in a character's past, would it?
Rating: 2 (of 5)
Gotham Central #23
by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano
Rucka starts off a new arc, "Corrigan," with the return of two of my favorite detectives: Allen & Montoya. They stumble across a nasty bit of gang activity and get involved in a shooting. In most comics that would be the end of it, but with Gotham Central you know it's just the beginning. I'm very curious as to what's up with Corrigan and how he might be related to The Spectre's old alter ego. Oh yes, the gang war appears to be related somehow to the umpty-million part crossover in the Bat-titles, but guess what? It doesn't matter--you can actually enjoy this and not have a clue as to the whole "War Games" thing.
Rating: 4 (of 5)