Worst to First: 9/19/07

There are times when I just really wonder why I still buy single issues. Take this week. Five books. $18. Enjoyment? Not so much. I guess you have to have a dud every now and then.

So, who’s excited for some reviews? No one? Back of the class? Guess not.

Worst: Madman #4

Sheesh. I can’t believe I just typed that.

When I went into the shop this week I saw that Madman Gargantua had finally come out, and I thought about how great it would be to buy that sucker and enjoy me some Frank Einstein zaniness. Then I remembered a new issue came out. Sadly, the trend of this series not being very good just continues.

The chief problem here is not so much that the book takes place in Madman’s head, but that it really takes place in Allred’s head. It’s like a theoretical comic book, with no attachment or relevance to reality. It reminds me of that movie Waking Life, with pretty animation and deep discussions but no story. Quick lesson: stories make comics good.

Turn for the worse: The Programme #3

If it wasn’t bad enough that this Cold War-resumed noir thriller storyline decided to just spin its tires for an issue, couple that with a rare off performance from artist C.P. Smith and you’ve just got a shoulder-shrugger of an issue.

On the plus side, the cliffhanger of an ending has a ton of promise. Here’s hoping…

Yawn: Iron Fist #7

This issue came out a while back, but I’d missed it so I decided to pick it up. I thought it was strange, though, that I couldn’t remember missing an issue. That’s because this is a standalone, and a completely irrelevant one at that.

The much ballyhooed lady pirate story (yeah, I did some of the ballyhooing) is played less fun that it could’ve been (aside from a couple awkward humor insertions) and is just generally innocuous if mildly interesting. I wish I had my $3 back.

Big and mean: World War Hulk #4

For having only five issues, this event seems to be dragging on forever, even though I skipped the past two issues.

The fighting continues to be the draw here, with the great Doc Strange tilt and the gladiatorial fight at the end. JRJR continues to do a very good job with this book, which isn’t surprising, since it plays to his strengths.

The downside? Every scene not mentioned above, which basically means anything involving Sentry. Listen, he’s just a ridiculous contrived character that was brought back in the worst New Avengers arc and only serves as a deus ex machina for the Marvel U since he’s the most powerful being. I’m more than a little alarmed that WWH is coming down to a finale that pits Hulk against such a pointless character.

First: Captain America #30

The issue starts out with a pitch perfect fight (realistic yet powerful), pumps to a climax in Sharon’s arc, makes Tony Stark feel slightly human, digs on Alberto Gonzalez and leads Bucky into a world of pain.

Just another week’s work from Ed Brubaker and Co., reminding me of why it is that I buy comics.