Planetary Brigade #1
by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Joe Abraham, Cynthia Martin, Eduardo Barreto, Mark Badger, & Chase Conley.
When I first heard that Giffen & DeMatteis were doing their own super-hero team book, it was cause for excitement. With their recent Not the Justice League stories showing that they still knew how to bring the funny, bringing their brand of humor to a super-team of their own creation seemed like the logical next step. Alas, Planetary Brigade largely disappoints, as this first issue never gels together. Part of the problem is that, unlike in their Justice League work, these heroes are unknown to us. They can't rely on short-hard with the characters' personalities, and there's no humor by playing against type because we don't know what their normal characteriation is supposed to be. The artists involved are all fine in their own right, but smooshing them all together in this comic really doesn't work (especially Mark badger, who I generally like but here seems out of place). I won't give up on this comic just yet due to the track records of the creators, but this comic is on a short leash.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Zombie Tales: Death Valley #2
by Andrew Cosby, Johanna Stokes, & Rhoald Marcellus
I never read the first issue of this two-issue series, but it hardly matters as the comic rapidly brings us up-to-speed with its standard issue zombie plot: all of Los Angeles has been transformed into Zombies, except for a plunky band of misfit teenagers who need to fight to survive and escape. The comic largely survives on the quick characterization work from Stokes and the slightly cartoony artwork from Marcellus. It's mostly well-paced and well-drawn--in other words, a perfectly competent zombie comic. But there are a lot of those around for choosing these days, but if you need even more zombie bashing this prestige-format comic should do the trick.
Rating: 3 (of 5)
(review copies of these comics were provided by the publisher)