vendredi 30 novembre 2007

Comics 30 nov

Here we are for the best comics of the week.

Sinestro Corps War part 10, Dave Gibbons has left Green Lantern Corps to be replaced by Peter Tomasi for issue 18. This is the big fight between the evil Superman Prime and Sodam Yat the ultimate Green Lantern. I won't reveal the outcome but given the result, one really wants to find out about the next part. When this started there was no indication there would be a dozen parts to this storyline (probably a score if one includes all the specials and tie-ins). In any event one keeps coming back.

Matt Wagner returns to his greatest creation: Grendel (an evil Batman). This series is mostly unpublished in France but this is one of these long-running creator-owned series that are so good. The story starts very strong. It is in black and white and red, a format the Wagner was the first to use (before Frank Miller started to use it in Sin City). A must-read.

American Virgin is one of the new Vertigo titles without fantastic elements. It's not either any of the classic genres like crime, war or western. I guess romance is the closest it comes to. In a way it's new for American comics although manga have already had comics of all kinds.

I'm not sure Death of the New Gods 3 should be part of this must-read list but I'll mention it until I make up my mind. I'm getting used to Starlin's new style and the mystery is interesting enough to want to find out what's coming next.

In Daredevil 102 Ed Brubaker presents a super-villains fight: the Enforcers vs the Wrecker and Razorfist. Fortunately, they don't wear spandex which would really not fit in the pulp style of Daredevil. Mr. Fear is becoming a fearsome character, trained in martial arts, which is a bit an off-characterisation but I guess it is part of exhuming old characters and making them interesting. New readers will certainly want to track pre-Miller issues of Daredevil now (and not just the Bullseye ones). I wonder if Brubaker has plans for the early villains like Killgrave, the Owl, the Masker Marauder, the Jester. He has already used the Matador, the Fellowship of Fear (Mr. Fear and Enforcers), the Gladiator.

vendredi 23 novembre 2007

Amazon et Panini

J'ai commandé l'album Deluxe Eternels de Jack Kirby et le Spider-Man comic strips de Stan Lee et Romita Jr. Deux magnifiques albums mais qui me sont arrivés défectueux d'Amazon. Le Spider-Man avait une jaquette abimée et les Eternels avait une erreur d'impression, un feuillet en double qui fait que les épisodes 6 et 7 sont imprimés deux fois tandis que le 2 est tronqué et les 3,4,5 absents. Je recommande ces albums mais se méfier, une autre personne a reçu d'Amazon un album défectueux.

jeudi 22 novembre 2007

comics 22 nov

Captain America 32: it's getting too long.

Shadowpact 19: the bizarre cast makes this the closest thing to Top Ten on the market.

Brian Augustyn returns in the Gotham by Gaslight (the first Eleworld) in Countdown Presents byt Greg Tochini is no Mike Mignola though he puts a good effort. This type of crossover is doomed anyway from the start.

Shanna the She-Devil 4 is a waste of time. Pick Cho's Jungle Girl instead.

Conan 46 is the last part of the siege of Venarium, shortly before Conan leaves Cimmeria. Kurt Busiek evokes with great eloquence this defining moment.

Captain America the Chosen 4 has the problem common to alternate stories: no involvement in them.

Franklin Richards Son of a Genius, is a Marvelian take on Calvin and Hobbes without Hobbes and Wihout Watterson's commentary on society.

Invincible is not as creative as it used to be.

Metamorpho Year One 4 loses a lot from Dan Jurgens' departure as a penciler. This series had been created as a parody of 60s Marvel, reflecting on how strange Marvel Comics looked then to regular readers of DC Comics and other companies. To be successful again it would require many allusions and references to popular culture, playing more on the quirks of the supporting, a Vertigo treatment, except Vertigo doesn't invest anymore in transforming former DC characters.

In Brave and the Bold 8, Waid and Perez continue to mix modern heroes with Silver Age. The Gothic elements of the Doom Patrol were cleverly used. Perez is still an amazing penciler. Few penciler have managed to remain favourites for 30 years.

Army@love 9 delivers great satire month after month.

Countdown to Mystery marks the return of Steve Gerber to US comics. Gerber is an underappreciated genius of comics. His new Dr. Fate strip seems to be an emotional and psychological trip dressed as magic. In issue 3, he introduces a charming character, Maddy (based on Neil Gaiman's daughter?). The Eclipso feature by Matt Sturges is intriguing.

In Action Comics 859, Geoff Johns continues to present us the classic Legion of Super-Heroes (pre-Crisis). It's great as I stopped caring about them after the reboot.

The Walking Dead remains Kirkman's best work, month after month. Adlard delivers great art.

In She-Hulk 23, Peter David doesn't disappoint for his second issue. I'll keep reading that title, the shark Absorbing Man was a great visual.

Hulk 111: The title looked better when Gary Frank was doing it but he's penciling Action Comics now. It seems the Hulk has become a secondary character since the start of World War Hulk and that the Renegades is the new feature. Apparently this is a marketing strategy to get us to keep buying this title and buy the new Hulk titles as well. It's intriguing enough to keep me looking if this is going somewhere.

Heroes for Hire stop at 15. This started as a spin-off from Daughters of the Dragon, which was a fun 70s/Tarantino B-movie flick but this evolved in the wrong direction.

Wolverine Origins 19 is a great Captain America and Bucky story. Daniel Way is making good use of Brubaker's Bucky. It's about the only time that title has not disappointed.

For a rather new writer, Chris Gage brings good characterisation. Warren Ellis' Thunderbolts already has spin-offs, such as Penance and the one-shot Breaking Point that acts as a fill-in while the regular title catches up.

While I like Gulacy as an artist, I have found the Penance limited series to be uninspired.

samedi 17 novembre 2007

Comics 16 Nov (more)

Je recommande Amazing Spider-Girl, X-Men Die by the Sword, Booster Gold, Punisher

Comics 16 Nov

In Wolverine 59 we get to see many versions of Wolverine. Though Chaykin very particular style detracts from the original look he's supposed to emulate, he som, etimes manages to bring a novel look to some of them. I think of his original costume from Incredible Hulk 180-182 that Chaykin manages to make good-looking.

In Thor 4, we see the return of the Warriors Three, some of the most memorable Kirby creations that owe more to Shakespeare's Falstaff and to Errol Flynn than to Nordic mythology. JMS and Coipel do an interesting story in Africa dealing with this troubled continent. JMS should have made the human altrer ego of Fandral Australian rather than British. As for Hogun, I would have seen him more Middle Eastern than San Franciscan.

vendredi 16 novembre 2007

comics 15 nov

Suicide Squad 3. I expected an 8-issue series. It still is but the first storyline completed so I guess it's a regular series that stops at 8. Great cover by JK Snyder.
Guy Davis is very strong in BPRD but I'd like him to do something else for a change or something more personal. I guess BPRD is a good breadwinner (it deserves it too).
The Skrull invasion in New Avengers is already old before it started.
Garth Ennis keeps turning out the best Punisher stories, even though he's been at it for several years (seven? eight?). An incredible achievement. After defining him as the man who lost his family, he brings up a baby daughter.
In Booster Gold Geoff Johns and Dan Jurgens have a very entertaining series with lots of guest stars and alternate timelines. At times Jurgens' art is reminiscent fo Starlin's. A very fun comic series (and Batgirl looks fabulous).

Dan Didio (DC's editor in chief) talks of growing in the 70s and loving titles like Secret Society of Super-Villains, where two villains battle for total supremacy. Indeed this was a typical 70s book (Marvel also had series featuring villains as well as villains war in regular titles) and a great concept. Since Didio is announcing Salvation Run and describes it as that kind of book, I will check it. There's a lot of 70s influence comics these days. Actually there are influences from many different periods, a way to please several generations of readers.

I had given up the Initiative with issue 2 or 3, thinking Dan Slott was miscast. I checked issue 7 since it features Peter Parker and the Scarlet Spider. Since Slott is about to write Amazing Spider-Man, I didn't want to miss it. It's a very good story. I still don't like the penciling (which is nevertheless better than at the beginning) and the coloring.

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely dazzle in All Star Superman and the Curse of the Replacement Supermen. With Action Comics and Superman in the hands of Busiek and Johns, the Superman comics had not been so good since the glorious 1958-63 period that Moore pais homage to in Supreme.

World War Hulk concludes with an impressive battle vs the Sentry, an old tradition harking back to the fights of Hulk vs the Thing or vs Thor. It's well made for what it is. The future looks intriguing with three developments: Hercules, Red Hulk, Son of Skaar.

dimanche 11 novembre 2007

comics 11 nov

Dans Superman, Busiek conclut the Third Kryptonian. Le scénario est toujours aussi intéressant avec son amalgame de tous les âges de Superman mais le dessin de Leonardi est bâclé.
Y The Last Man approche de la fin, les différents personnages ont convergé. Il existe un bébé mâle (et un bébé femelle).
Astonioshing X-Men aussi touche à sa fin. La meilleure série X-Men nous offre encore une fois des dessins et des couleurs de toute beauté. Le scénario est bon mais toutes les séries X-Men marquent l'épuisement du concept. Trop de séries. Après vingt ans de surexploitation, il est temps de réduire le nombre de séries. Avec les films, les dessins animés, les jeux vidéo et j'en passe, il existe trop de versions de la même chose.
Immortal Iron Fist est toujours excellent.

samedi 3 novembre 2007

comics 1 nov (more)

Dans Superman Confidential, on revisite la premiere rencontrre de Superman avec les Forever People. Une mauvaise idée, quel besoin y a-t-il de refaire ce que Kirby a fait? De plus, les auteurs placent cette rencontre après le combat contre Victor Volcanum qui avait eu lieu à la fin de Jimmy Olsen, c'est-à-dire à la fin des histoires de Kirby sur le Fourth World.

Dans Batman 670, Grant Morrison nous livre une autre fantastique aventure. Les héros de DC connaissent un véritable âge d'or (certains parlent de renaissance de l'âge d'argent ou de "neo silver age"). Le prétendu âge d'or des années 40 l'étaient surtout pour les éditeurs qui s'en mettaient plein les poches mais les histoires sont extrêmement mauvaises. Ce n'est pas juste une question d'époque : les EC Comics, les meilleurs Marvel Comics des années 60, ceux de la nouvelle génération de scénaristes des années 70, etc., sont toujours aussi agréables à lire. Autant je peux comprendre que Matt Wagner réinterprète les premières histoires de Batman, autant je ne vois pas l'intérêt de réinterpréter les classiques des années 60 ou 70.

Je ne sais pas où va aller Death of the New Gods (j'aimerais bien que Starlin arrête de dessiner sur une table plate) mais ce n'est pas mauvais.

American Virgin est toujours aussi réussi. Un autre titre incontournable de Vertigo. Ce titre est bien loin des premiers titres Vertigo, il n'y a aucun élément fantastique. On peut parler d'influence européenne ou japonaise pour expliquer l'élargissement des genres aux Etats-Unis qui a lieu depuis 20 ans (depuis 37 ans si on inclut le Bronze Age mais les innovations du Bronze Age n'ont pas duré chez les grands éditeurs).

jeudi 1 novembre 2007

comics review 1 Nov (more)

Jim Starlin writes an entertaining story with Death of the New Gods but should stop working on a flat table: it distorts figures.

American Virgin continues its exploration of sex: mixed marriage, circumcision, lesbianism are subjects debated in this issue.

comics review 2

Starlin continues to entertain in Death of the New Gods but he should really stop working on a flat table.

American Virgin continues its exploration of everything sexual: mixed marriage, virginity, circumcision, foreskin expansion, lesbianism are the subjects debated.

comics review 1 Nov

La semaine dernière Peter David reprenait She-Hulk. Il décrit lui-même la difficulté à suivre dans les pas de Dan Slott. Son premier numéro est prometteur : Crusher Creel brise le cou de Jennifer Walters et on apprend que She-Hulk existe indépendamment de Walters qui n'est pas morte.

Le nouveau Foolkiller n'a rien du personnage de Gerber. C'était à prévoir puisque le scénariste, en admirateur du Punisher de Garth Ennis, ne cherchait qu'un personnage qu'il jugeait similaire. Je regarderai le deuxième numéro pour voir si le scénariste est capable de trouver quelque chose à dire.

Ultimate Spider-Man : Immonen est très doué mais je regrette Bagley. De plus Bendis est soit à court d'idées, soit a trop de séries en même temps car on se dit qu'il étend ses histoires plus que nécessaire. Le retour à des histoires complètes en un ou deux numéros serait le bienvenu. Ou alors autant arrêter de lire les magazines et attendre le trade paperback. Tant New Avengers, Mighty Avengers que Ultimate Spider-Man manquent de punch.

Après la réintroduction du monde de Bizarro (qui s'est terminée la semaine dernière), Geoff Johns reprend dans Action Comics le thème qu'il a commencé dans le crossover Justice Society/Justice League : le retour de la Légion des Super-Héros d'avant la Crise. Gary Frank a justement un style qui convient bien. Les couleurs ne sont pas trop appuyées, à la différence de Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes où le coloriste rend le dessin illisible.

Dans Justice Society, Johns et Alex Ross ramènent le Superman de Kingdom Come. La présence d'un Superman plus âgé apporte un plus à la Justice Society.

Dans Ultimate Power 8, Jeph Loeb s'amuse avec deux versions du Supreme Squadron et les Ultimates. Le dessin de Greg Land relève l'intérêt. Pour les amateurs de bataille.

Savage Dragon 133 is still a good read. The book has that singular quality that writer/artist books have. And writer/artist books are the ones Erik Larsen admires: he mentions Frank Miller's Daredevil, Simonson's Thor, Chaykin's American Flagg as well as Byrne, Mignola and Kirby. His book has indeed that raw quality look that is found on Miller/Janson, Simonson or Chaykin. It is a breath or fresh air when most modern books are overcrowded with color and finished art that obscure the pencils as if seeing a thick black line was a sin. No wonder the best-loved books have a good and clear line art: Kirby's, Asterix, Tintin, Hernandez Brothers, Charles Burns'.

The Daredevil Annual is far from being as good as the regular title.