Thursday, August 26, 2004

Quick Reviews

We3; Astonishing X-Men; Superman; DC Comics Presents

We3 #1
by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
From the wordless opening sequence through the inevitable escape at the end, this is one gorgeous comic. Morrison & Quitely are experts at flow and pacing--just look in awe at how six 18-panel pages suddenly open into a breathtaking 2-page spread. We immediately gain empathy for the 3 and their situation--and remember, these are animals in battlesuits! (Also note that, as with Seaguy, we get 32 pages of story and art--10 more pages than the typical $2.95 comic.)
Rating: 4 (of 5)

Astonishing X-Men #4
by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday
Whedon's initial X-Men foray has been full of great moments, and we get more of the same in this fourth issue. Whedon has an inate sense of timing, using page transitions like a seasoned pro to surprise and compel. Cassaday is a perfect partner, with my favorite moment being near the end, where Kitty Pride stands motionless, bullets passing through her while she gapes in shock. It remains to be seen if all of these individual moments will coalesce into a meningful whole, but so far I have faith...
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Superman #208
by Brian Azzarello, Jim Lee & Scott Williams
So, we've reached the end of what will be the first collected volume of "For Tomorrow," and still there is no clear idea as to what's going on. Things just seem to happen, and everyone acts completely out of character. But golly, it sure looks pretty! (Check out how Lee drawns the Martian Manhunter, with a subtlely non-human skull.)
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

DC Comics Presents: Justice League of America #1
by Harlan Ellison, Peter David, & Joe Giella; Marv Wolfman, Dustin Nguyen & Richard Friend
Going in, I expected that I'd like the Ellison & David story a lot, and that the Marv Wolfman story would be just okay. As it turns out, the opposite is true. Ellison & David have the misfortune of being in the last of these Julius Schwartz tribute specials, and by this point the whole "Julie meets the super-heroes" shtick has grown old. On the other hand, Wolfman comes up with a very clever way to turn the cover into a story, and does so by paying appropriate tribute to the silver age JLA while still telling a story that could only be told from a modern vantage. Nguyen's art is a strong part as well, as the illustrates the classic and modern characters distinctively.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

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