Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quick Boom! Catch-Up Reviews

I've fallen way behind on my review copies sent by Boom!, so here's an attempt to get caught up:

Talent #3-4 bring the miniseries by Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski & Paul Azaceta about Dane--the lone survivor of a plane crash who has the abilities & memories of all the other passengers--to a satisfactory close, although it is left open enough for the story to continue should the creators & Boom! so desire. The story here is as much about the various groups that seek to control Dane as much as it is about Dane's compulsions to make things right in the lives of those he has 'absorbed.' Paul Azaceta's art--definitely in the Michael Lark-style mode--fits the story being told well, and hopefully we'll see more from him in the future. Hopefully Talent will continue as well in some form; its high concept seems perfectly suited to be a television series so maybe some enterprising Hollywood producer will give it a go (just as long as it doesn't meet the same fate as Global Frequency...)

Second Wave #6--by Michael Alan Nelson & Chee--would also seem to be the end, as AFAIK there have been no further issues announced. This series has been plagued from the beginning with a format chnge from color to black & white (which appeared to be unknown to Chee when he was doing art on earlier issues) and a title change seemingly every other issue as well. At least there are tones and backgrounds in most of the art in this issue, which I'm guessing means that Chee was finally planning on his art being reproduced in black & white, and the art is definitely improved for it. The story about a second alien invasion from Mars (following up on the initial War of the Worlds) started out strong, but along with presentation issues the story also degenerated into clich├ęs and by now I've pretty much lost interest.

I expected to lose interest in Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #1 within the first three pages, but surprisingly I didn't. I have virtually no familiarity with the tabletop miniatures game on which this comic is based; as is typical with these sorts of thins there appears to be a huge amount of world building and back story to the game with which I'm sure its adherents are intimately familiar but casual readers are not privy to. Surprisingly writers Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton provide just enough information so that I'm not totally lost (and there's a two-page text feature at the end with background info should I care to learn more). It would seem that there's a galactic war going on, with the factions combing backwater planets to recruit warriors to fight for them. It's overly violent, which is to be expected from this sort of thing, and ale illustrated by Lui Antonio. At $2.99 it's cheaper than Boom!'s typical output, so I'm assuming that they're planning on increased sales from a known licensed property to make up the revenue. Let's hope that's the case because I'd hate to see the production quality take a nose-dive like it did with Second Wave.

What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up #1 is another of those comics where they take old comic stories and re-mix them with new dialog. It's pretty much the standard stuff you'd expect, and would be completely forgettable if not for blogger Kevin Church's "Hairy Grrls," in which a frustrated narrator to the story is the real star, with laugh-out-loud bits in nearly every panel. Worth the $4 for those seven pages alone.

Talent #3-4: 3.5 (of 5)
Second Wave #6: 2 (of 5)
Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #1: 2.5 (of 5)
What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up #1: 3 (of 5)

(Review copies of the above comics were provided by the publisher.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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