I read a couple title this week that I don't normally, if only so I could review them. This edition of Mini-Reviews is going to be fairly substantial.
Ultimatum 1 of 5
Who keeps letting Jeph Loeb write these things? This is absolutely terrible. A natural disaster happens, but not before Loeb can hit all the basic character moments that even a fan-fic writer can do. Some people die, and Professor X lets everybody know that it's Magneto's fault and his plan is to kill everybody while he sits in his floating city. Not a lot of plot, not a lot of story, but a lot of poses and yelling. I decree this to be FAIL.
This is part something of the endless Old Man Logan storyline by white-hot writer Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven and it's terrible. Hawkeye and Logan make their way across the war-torn post-apocalyptic USA and there's lots of cool references to things that we won't ever see, like why is the Baxter Building sitting on top of the giant skeleton of Loki. That's what I want to see, and I know Millar is simply teasing us. Not only does it not add to the story, which is Unforgiven starring Wolverine, but it's like Millar is elbowing me in the ribs so hard that I have bruises. Of course, the art is tremendous, but the dialogue and story is preposterously bad.
Amazing Spider-Man 577
This issue has some amazing pencilwork by Paolo Rivera, whom I've never heard of, and does fantastic facial expressions. The Punisher and Spider-Man team up and stuff happens and Frank is a badass, like usual. This Frank is fairly close to the Ennis MAX version, but with a better sense of humour. The last time I read this title, I was close to vomit, and this time, I'm pleased as punch. You're still hit and miss, Amazing Spider-Man, but you're getting slowly better.
JSA Kingdom Come Special Superman One-Shot
Oy that's a title and a half. If you haven't read Kingdom Come (which I have) or are reading JSA (which I'm not), this isn't going to make a lick of sense. A painted summary of the events in Kingdom Come and in JSA, all to the tune of $3.99 - I think not, DC Comics. I think not. Also, here's a tip for Alex Ross... don't write dialogue, you just aren't any good at it. Also, the symbolism of Kingdom Come was fairly obvious in its original form, Ross didn't need to bang us over the head with it. It's almost like Ross wrote, between the panels, "do you SEE?!?!?! do you SEE, sheeple?" Oh, Alex Ross, when will you learn?
Batman: Cacophony 1
The only other Kevin Smith comic I read was his terrible arc on Daredevil with Joe Quesada on pencils. I've heard all the late jokes, though, so let's get into the review. Deadshot is hired to kill the Joker because of a new drug based on his laughing gas. Onomatopoeia, a Kevin Smith-designed villain is also there, and then a gang war happens because of the Joker's escape. Or something like that. This is the wordiest, most verbally dense comic I've ever read and I was bored to tears. The only parts of the comic I liked are the ones that featured Deadshot (ie one of the best parts of Ostrander's Suicide Squad) and what I hated most was Batman's hamfisted, over-the-top and painfully obvious narration. It's like Kevin Smith has never read a Batman comic before; he doesn't talk like that. This is one comic to avoid.
Detective Comics 850
Terrific. The finale to the Hush storyline is perfect in almost every way. Comics are always going to cycical; they will always return to the status quo. It's not the destination, but the journey, after all, and that may be a cliche, but it's very true in this case. Hush attacks Batman via his heart, literally and figuratively, and things go back to normal at the end of this issue. It's the fight, the emotional one and the physical one, that make this a perfect issue. I was extremely entertained by this, and I want to read more of Dini and Nguyen. Best Batman comic out there, currently.
That concludes this fairly hefty Mini-Reviews for you. Join us again for more....