Monday, July 25, 2005

Quick GN Reviews

Doctor Cyborg, vol. 1: Outpatient
by Allan Gross & Mike Oeming

Inventor Malcolm Syberg has spent the past several years in a mental health facility, suffering from traumatic amnesia. And though he hasn't fully recovered his lost memoreis, he is still deemed fit to be released. Once he returns to his old home, he begins to suspect that he is not an ordinary man; that he has nanites running around in his bloodstream which make him a cyborg! Thus begins as odyssey that takes Malcolm from stopping a hostage situation to the future to the heart of an anti-technology cult. The plot progresses at a furious pace, with one adventure rolling right into the next. Despire all the action though, Gross still finds time to work in character development. Oeming's art is reined in somewhat by the adventure strip format that this comic originally appeared in online, but he proves that he can work just as well within a restrictive grid as he can on a full comic book page. If you're looking for a fun, exciting comic that's a modern take on the adventure strips of yore and relief from today's slow-paced multi-part 'epics,' then Doctor Cyborg may be just the thing.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

X-Treme X-Men, vol. 5: God Loves, Man Kills
by Chris Claremont, Igor Kordey & Scott Hanna

Boy, that Chris Claremont never met a comic panel that he doesn't think can't be improved by adding in several dialogue balloons or narrative boxes. Never content to let a scene speak for itself, he fills each page with so much description that the book nearly suffocates under his purple prose. The plot, which sees Rev. William Stryker--the X-Men's old anti-mutant enemy from the original God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel (which is reprinted here as well)--escape from prison and discovering a secret mutant haven in the Colorado Rockies, makes little sense as it goes along and falls apart completely when you think about it too hard. Logical leaps abound and characters act according to the dictates of the plot rather than on their established personalities. Kordey was in his 'rushed' phaze during the period these comics were produced, and it definitely shows. His storytelling is solid enough (Claremont could and should have disposed of about half of his narrative captions), the quality of the character work varies around in several places and not even the skilled brush of Hanna can always save it. I'm sure that it must have been tempting to doa sequel to one of the stories that was an inspiration for the X-Men movies, but this is one project that should have been thought through more before proceeding.
Rating: 2 (of 5)

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