Alphabetical Weekend Reviews – 02/27/08

Hello, and welcome to the first ever alphabetical weekend review session with yours truly, Doom DeLuise. The idea is, I’m going to review all of my comics I bought last Wednesday in alphabetical order. I’ve also come up with a nifty grading system; in the spirit of alphabetizing, I’m going to give exceptional books a grade of the highest letter, A. And, as the books decrease in quality, I’ll lower the grade down through the alphabet. The lowest score will be, oh, what the heck, how about an F? And, just for the hell of it, and since I don’t particularly care for the letter, there will be no use of the letter E.

Matter of fact, from here on out, I’m not going to use the letter E again, throughout the rest of this blog. Starting now.

action 862First up, w’v got Action Comics #862. Wait, why am I typing numbrs in a blog about non-numbrs? I don’t know! Anyway, how is this? Glad you thought to ask. In this ish, the Legion realizes its fight against the Justice League is too big for the core group alone, thus bringing in the Subs in a cool little twist. They also figure out how the sun has been turned red (Earth-Man’s been using Sun Boy to nefarious ends). The names of these characters are all really unoriginal.

Most of all, this issue is just a whole bunch of fighting, leading up to the ultimate confrontation between Superman and Earth-Man. Next issue is the conclusion, so who wants to put down money that they’re gonna fix the sun and Supes is gonna win big? Maybe after that, he can go back to his normal time period and beat Zod and settle that whole mess.

Letter Grade: B. Solid issue, but nothing to call home about.

Next up, let’s talk about The Godamn Batman and Robin #9. Greatest series running today? Perhaps. What Frank Miller has accomplished here is really remarkable. He’s put The Goddamn Batman and Robin into the real world, essentially. If The Goddamn Batman were real, do you think he’d be anything but an egotistical maniac asshole? He’d have to be to put on a cape and cowl and hop around rooftops.

And, finally, at long last, in this issue we see the introduction of Robin, who gets into a pretty heated brawl with Green Lantern, before breaking GL’s windpipe. Again, if a little circus runt were given a couple weeks of combat training and been recruited in a “war” by a psychotic man in a bat suit, do you think he’d understand his actions or know his limits? Doubt it.

Letter Grade: A. Great comic, through and through. It took me about three issues to stop griping about this series, and I hope that all the other gripers out there who gave up on it will give it another shot.

Unfortunately, the non-Goddamn Batman #674 isn’t nearly as good as The Goddamn Batman. Grant Morrison has confused the shit out of me the last few issues with his time-garbled nonsense. This issue is slightly more coherent, but I have the feeling it would read better if I read all these issues in one sitting (kind of like how Brad Meltzer’s run on Justice League apparently does). I doubt it, though.

The thing is, there are just a ton of obscure characters thrown about, and I really don’t think it’s fair to ask me to remember the backstory of a character that appeared in one issue six months ago for three panels. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast (a side effect of being a raging alcoholic), so you see my dilemma.

Letter Grade: D+. Yeah, when I don’t remember something, I get angry. This issue made me really angry. At least it looks like it’s almost over, though.

Let’s move on to some Marvel comics! First up is Captain America #35. I don’t think it’s anything groundbreaking to say that Ed Brubaker has done a great job with the Cap series since the title character’s death ten issues ago.

This issue is basically just tons of fighting and fun. It’s all about Bucky becoming the new Captain America, and however it’s being sold, I’m buying it. Every time Captain Bucky gets into a brawl and comes out on top, I start buying it more and more, solidifying his status as the proper successor to the shield.

Letter Grade: A-. It’s good. What more can I say? That’s why I buy it.

Ugh. I’m glad I don’t have to review this twice. Countdown to Final Crisis #9 is worse than bad.

Letter Grade: F- (for scamming). That’s an old Saved by the Bell joke. I hope you didn’t get it.

Let’s wash that bad taste out of our collective mouths. Returning with a new first issue, Criminal #1 again proves why I tout this comic as the best one on the market (forget what I said about The Goddamn Batman). This issue is about Jake Gnarly’s days as a boxer trying to get away from the criminal lifestyle of his father and, perhaps more importantly, his childhood friend Sebastian (who I’m thinking we’ll be seeing more of).

What strikes me about this series the most is the lineage of these characters. These are characters who grew up alongside one another, whose parents knew each other, whose lives are all connected and fit together in a way that you just don’t see in other comic books. I mean, the main character in this stand-alone issue is the friggin’ bartender of the Undertow (the bar where the criminals all hang out in the other issues).

It’s just this rich, masterfully woven tapestry of awesomeness. This is Ed Brubaker’s greatest work, and Sean Phillips is the perfect fit to be drawing it.

Letter Grade: A+. I want to read the next issue, please.

Let’s talk about something else. How about another title that Brubaker’s writing? Daredevil #105 is the big grand conclusion to the Mr. Fear story-arc, which seems to have been going on forever. There’s a big fight, obviously, and Daredevil wins, but Sinestro, er, Mr. Fear wins because he showed the Man Without Fear how to be afraid.

This is, straight-up, the ending to the Sinestro Corps War. I mean, it’s still good, and it works, but I dunno. Color me unimpressed.

Letter Grade: C+. Like I said, kinda has a been-there done-that feel to it, regardless of how well it’s written.

Next up, we have The Justice Society of Every Super Hero in the World #13. God damn are there a lot of characters in the Justice Society. At least they’re aware of their ever growing numbers and make self-referential jokes about it. Hooray. Hopefully, they’re just adding all these characters so that they can eventually kill them all off. I have a suggestion:

Start with Starman.

This issue’s all about the coming of Gog, with Kingdom Come Superman acting as the main character. That’s refreshing. Seems the last few issues, they’ve had fifty main characters each. I just want to say, I’m unimpressed with Kingdom Come, always have been, and I don’t care about where this is headed. But I’ll stick around for the ride.

Letter Grade: C+. Not nearly as good as the other stuff Geoff Johns is working on.

kickass 1Moving on, we have what the cover says is, “The Greatest Superhero Book of All Time,” with Kick-Ass #1. I mean, look at that cover. You can’t possibly not want to read this.

Unfortunately, though, you can’t be too critical of a series like this. It clearly isn’t taking itself seriously, and it gives you exactly what it advertises. Still, though, I have complaints. Thanks to the fact that it’s in Marvel’s mature Icon line, we get a whole bunch of swearing and learn that teenagers like to beat off a whole bunch. Awesome!

Plus, it’s drawn by the insufferable John Romita Jr. I can’t stand that guy. I don’t know much about art, necessarily, but I know what I hate. And I hate this.

Still, though, it’s fun, over-the-top, and pretty hilarious at points. I’ll keep buying it, in the hopes that it delivers on the cover’s promise.

Letter Grade: C. Pretty much completely average.

Lastly, we have yet another comic drawn by JrJr (partially), with X-Men Legacy #208. The big reveal this issue is that Magneto is back. Mostly, though, the issue is about Professor X’s shattered mind and his attempts to regain control of it and blah blah blah.

Well, I think that sinks it. I’ve lost interest in every single X-book post-Messiah Complex. I don’t know if I’ll continue to buy any of them, or if I’ve lost so much interest that I won’t even buy the new Cable series, but I guess you’ll just have to stick around to find out.

Letter Grade: F. Bored the shit out of me. Literally. I was taking a crap when I read this.