Random Thoughts from 8/29/07

Last week wasn’t a very good week for comics. I only bought three from Marvel, three from DC (one of which was actually from the week before), two from Image and one from IDW. Countdown didn’t get shipped to my local comic book shop, and said LCS didn’t order any of this week’s Book of Doom, Mice Templar #1. There wasn’t a real stinker out of what I did pick up, but there wasn’t really anything extraordinary either. Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures in this post…flickr appears to be experiencing technical difficulties.

I wasn’t too sure if I was going to pick up Brit #1 or not, but the lack of lots of other stuff this week drove me to pick it up. I really like the superhero universe Robert Kirkman has created, but that’s really only because Robert Kirkman is the only one who’s ever written his characters. Brit is being written by some guy I’ve never heard of, so I was skeptical at first. But with the extremely underrated Cliff Rathburn on art, I figured it was worth a try. It turned out to be a fun issue, with Brit fighting dinosaurs and midgets with the help of his mostly-robot partner. And it looks as though brit’s lone superpower, invulnerability, may not be quite as super as everyone thought. I’m glad I tried the book out, and I’ll definitely come back for the next issue.

The Walking Dead #41 came out this week, the second issue in as many weeks, which was a nice treat. Nothing much happened in either this one or the last, but putting out two books one right after the other made them seem better than they probably would have otherwise. This issue had the surprise ending I was expecting last issue, so it’s almost as if this was one double-sized issue that shipped over the course of two weeks. The Walking Dead has always had a strange shipping schedule, but for once it worked out in the book’s favor. Robert Kirkman swears that TWD #48 will ship before the end of the year, so it looks like it could be a very good four months for what’s always been a very good book.

How long has it been since the last issue of Ex Machina came out? Did that scuba-suit-wearing bad guy story line finish? That one was kind of weird. Anyway, the Ex Machina Masquerade Special, the second such “special,” featured the very nice art of John Paul Leon, who kind of fell off of my radar after he drew Earth X a long time ago. I guess these Specials are just a way to continue putting out stories without breaking the Brian K. Vaughan/Tony Harris run on the main title. Considering this story (and the previous two-issue “Special”) is firmly set at a specific time in continuity (with dates, even!), it seems kind of ridiculous to consider it separate from the series. A Special would probably even sell fewer copies than an issue of the regular series would, since there’re bound to be some readers that just don’t even realize it’s out there or wouldn’t feel the need to track it down if they missed it. Anyway, great issue, probably the best of the week. And definitely the best use of a bare-breasted female devil bat thing of the week.

The Last Fantastic Four Story wasn’t very good. Stan Lee is an absolute legend in comics, but like Frank Miller, he hasn’t produced much of anything worth a damn in a long, long time. Fantastic Four: The End Version 2.0 just wasn’t as epic as Stan wanted it to be. The situation was dire, I guess, but no more dire than anything else the Fantastic Four have ever been involved in. And in the end, it wasn’t even the Fantastic Four who saved the day; it was Silver Surfer, Galactus and some alien race I’ve never heard of. Also, Stan depicted Sue Storm the same way he did back in the day, as the dim-witted damsel in distress, instead of the powerful, confident woman she is today. John Romita Jr.’s art was very cool, though. His designs for Galactus and a not-so-big-headed Watcher were very interesting takes on long-established characters.

There’s nothing like torture and attempted murder to bring a family back together, apparently. That’s all it took to get Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny to patch things up in Fantastic Four #549. Hopefully this means Black Panther and Storm will be leaving the book shortly.

Teen Titans #50 and it’s creative team flashbacks made me miss the time when the title used to be good. I have no hope that this round of Titans Tomorrow will be anywhere near as good as the Geoff Johns/Mike McKone story was. I hope Blue Beetle becomes a regular on the team, and Supergirl eaves. With Supergirl on the team, Wonder Girl won’t be as special, and She-Supes is already starring in two other books.

Fallen Angel continues to be good, but this Shi crossover seems like it has lasted longer than it needed to. It could be because I don’t care about Shi at all, and this seemed to be more of a Shi story than a Fallen Angel story.

Avengers: The Initiative has lost some of its appeal. It might be just because it’s currently mired in the World War Hulk crossover, but the series just doesn’t feel as special or unique as Runaways or Young Avengers did. It’s still very good, but it doesn’t seem to be living up to its potential.

The Sinestro Corps War has really lost quite a bit of steam since they kicked it off with that double-sized one-shot. Green Lantern Corps #15 was just more of the same: Lanterns vs. Sinestros. When are we going to see some Anti-Monitor, Superman Prime (as it appears they’re calling him), and Cyborg Superman action?