Worst to first: 1/3/07

A pretty decent week, though only five books made it home. Well, seven really, as I heeded the advice of a poster named Gail and picked up the last two copies of Birds of Prey. Haven’t had a chance to read those yet. All the same, here’s what I read, ranked from worst to first, as always:

Six: Civil War #6

I didn’t buy this but did flip through. I suppose this counts as an improvement from the last couple issues (#4 was my least favorite comic of the year). But considering how important and weighty this series was promoted to be, it’s really just been a bunch of over-wrought dialogue wrapped around big superhero fights. While that’s a decent enough premise (who doesn’t love it when heroes battle?), the battles in this book have been subpar, and I expect nothing more from the final chapter. Surprisingly, a lot of this falls on Steve McNiven’s art. Even with extra time, his hyper-real style can’t find the scope to treat the subject matter with the pomp it deserves.

Five: Scalped #1

The concept of Sopranos set on an Indian reservation is extremely interesting, but reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel like it was really just a blacksploitation film set on an Indian reservation. While this could become something worthwhile, this issue only used the terrible lifestyle so common on the reservation as a backdrop for a too-typical action/noir. Also, the editor’s letter was just offensive in its forced attitude and hyperbole.

Four: Bullet Points #3

Around here, we’re all big fans of this book, as it received one of the few “thumbs up” rounds in our weekly Books of Doom. This issue was good, just not as good as before. With so much exposition, the pages really bogged down, and the Iron Man vs. Hulk fight didn’t have enough room to feel as epic as it should have been. Still, it’s a cool concept and a worthy read.

Three: Jonah Hex #15

The conclusion to the long-awaited Hex origin was good, but it didn’t elevate above the other stories from Palmiotti and Gray. Granted, they’ve been doing really strong work in revitalizing this title, but I wonder if it’s worth it to do an origin story on such a famed character unless you can really knock it out of the park.

Two: Superman Confidential #3

This story continues to hum along with classic fun. Not a lot of action here (see: any), but plenty of the expected snappy dialogue and even a few moments that for the first time made it understandable why Lex Luthor hates Superman as much as he does.

One: 52 #35

More Lex, this time at his utmost devillish. There was a fair amount of slogging to this point, but I have a feeling that we’ll all look back in years to come and remember this issue as the moment when 52 fulfilled all that potential and started a downhill sprint to the year’s end.