Thursday, September 02, 2004

Quick Reviews

Ultimate Spider-Man; Captain America and the Falcon; Uncanny X-Men; Firestorm; Swamp Thing; Majestic

Ultimate Spider-Man #65
by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley & Scott Hanna
It's the aftermath of "Carnage," as the kids get stuck in detention and sit around trying to sort out their feelings about Gwen's death. Or rather Mary Jane tries to get everyone to talk, but the others are having no part of it. It's a good denoument, but I'm still a bit bitter over the wasteful death of Gwen. Plus, we've seen the whole 'I quit being Spider-Man' too many times (seems to me there was a movie a couple of months ago...)
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Captain America and the Falcon #7
by Priest, Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
By the end of the issue I was feeling a bit better about the situation that Cap was in in the begining. But at this point I'm feeling like the whole "Disassembled" thing (or, as the cover says, "Sassembled") isn't going to equal the sum of its parts, and each part individually feels like it's only part of the story. On the plus side, Bennett's art is some of the best I've ever seen from him (making up for the earlier work by Sears), although he needs to get over the nausea-inducing camera angles.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Uncanny X-Men #448
by Chris Claremont, Olivier Coipel & Scott Hanna
Dispite what you may gather from the cover, Wolverine is hardly in this issue at all (but hey, we've given up on Marvel's covers having anything to do with the interiors long ago). It starts off strong with a hint of a mystery about what's going on with Braddock Mannor and a fun bit with the X-Men getting ready to attend a royal ball. But then it veers into a nonsensical trip to Murderworld (yawn). Coipel's art is more polished than ever, though I must admit I miss a bit the energy that his earlier, rougher Legion work had. Still, if they end up swapping art chores between Coipel & Davis, it'll be a fine-looking X-Men book.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Firestorm #5
by Dan Jolley, ChrisCross, Rob Stull & Keith Champagne
Although this is a part 2 of 2, there's enough of a story here that it'll seem self-contained. There's plenty of super-powered heroics, but I'd like to see more of Jason's home/personal life too. This book hasn't quite yet gelled for me. But it's getting there. It's right on the cusp, and I'm willing to give it a couple more months--but then there's a crossover with a title I don't read, which may be a good excuse to get out...
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Swamp Thing #7
by Will Pfeifer & Richard Corben
Richard Corben. Huh. Corben is capable of good and interesting work, although he tend sto have problems with consistancy, especially when it comes to rendering pre-existing characters. But his monsters always look fantastic, so for a book featuring a Yeti and Swamp Thing, he works out pretty good. I especially like the splash page where Swampy rises to appear befor ethe cryptozoologist. Swamp Thing is one of those characters who often works better as a secondary character to other stories, when he serves as a catalyst instead of the protagonist. When you look at successful Swamp Thing runs--namely those of Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, and Mark Millar--you see that those authors understood that. Pfeifer does too, which means that this guest stint, while it won't go down as one of the great Swamp Thing stories, should be enjoyable.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Majestic #2
by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, & Karl Kerschl
Majestros continues his exploration of the DC Earth, taking on a secret identity to better understand humans. This is the best Superman book currently being published--too bad its just a four issue mini. DC could do far worse than putting this team on one of the main Superman books. (One point of nitpicking: a school librarian most likely has a bachelor's degree of some sort, a master's degree in library science, and a teaching certificate--no way she'd be going to night school to be a nurse, working towards an entry level nursing position.)
Rating: 3 (of 5)

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