Friday, October 30, 2009

My Week in Comics: October 30, 2009

Hey, you're still reading! Good! Come on, you gotta see what I got myself into this week!

Holy shit, a comic book about Jennifer Love Hewitt's Music Box comes out this week?! Man, that is SO bought! Wait, what? It's literally about a haunted music box that makes people do crazy shit whenever they listen to it? Talk about misleading titles, man!

Kidding. Though I could sit here all day making lame jokes about Love Hewitt and her music box (which I just went and did...damn), you'd be surprised to know that the comic itself isn't as bad as people might expect of Hollywood actor-penned comic books, though this is not so much Hewitt's written work as it is her brainchild, since veteran comic book writer Scott Lobdell wrote this particular story. Here, the Music Box in question is a bloodstained, haunted MacGuffin, whose power to make people's dreams come true at the cost of their sanity is addictive and, ultimately, deadly.

As expected of IDW, the atmosphere is thick here, as if there's a long bass note all throughout the story as the poor soul caught in the Music Box's grip slowly loses his grip with reality. Helping bring the point home is Michael Gaydos' distinctively gritty art, which makes for an unsettling experience of a comic. I guess what I mean to say is Jennifer Love Hewitt's Music Box #1 is surprisingly good, and I enjoyed it more than I expected. This one is an easy 4 out of 5.

If there's anything Hannibal Tabu and I agree with, it's that Nova has been skirting the 'good enough' territory for months now, but Nova #30 changes all that with so much awesome stuffed in one comic that paying just P165 for this ish should be illegal. Solid action, characterization and art from Nova newcomer Kevin Sharpe, makes this one of the best Nova issues so far. his book's a 4 out of 5.

And then we come to Queen Sonja #1. In case you didn't know, I dropped Red Sonja months ago since I wasn't feeling the storylines and the revolving creative teams didn't help in keeping my attention. But now with Queen Sonja, Dynamite plans to "return to Red Sonja's roots" with a new a creative team that not only boasts of the definitive Red Sonja artist Mel Rubi, but also a promise of staying on board for more than 1 issue!

One thing's for sure: Queen Sonja is damn good. I haven't smiled while reading Red Sonja in a long long while that I'm afraid my face has forgotten how to, and each page of Queen Sonja consistently rocked my face clean off instead. It's like all this time I was reading fake Sonja comics, and this was the real freaking deal. The action is fierce and fun to look at, and Sonja reads like a warrior who absolutely loves her job, and looks damn good doing it. Mel Rubi, you are a delight.

To top off this awesomecake of blood, blades and bikinis, Queen Sonja includes a reprint of Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword #1, featuring old-school Sonja as told by legends like Roy Thomas, Esteban Maroto and Neal Adams. It's a great reprint of one of Sonja's first solo stories, and I can't believe I was born 30 years too late to read it. Every panel was a work of art...totally inspiring.

An awesome main story plus an awesome reprint, all at the price point of a 22-page comic? The math speaks for itself. Go get this comic right the hell now. This gets a worthy 5 out of 5.

Wow, it's been a while since I've had an awesome Week in Comics! Anyway, think Red Sonja isn't so hot? Think Jennifer Love Hewitt is? Leave a comment and let's discuss. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Week in Comics: October 24, 2009

Okay, I admit, when I saw that there was a comic called Cowboy Ninja Viking coming out this week, the motor functions governing my hand automatically went and sent it to my pull list. There’s just something about awesome mashups that make my eyes roll into the back of my head. So does C.N.V. #1 deliver?

For the most part, yes. In the book, people called Triplets exist, highly-trained killers with multiple personality disorders. It’s all well and good until you find out that the personalities they have are coincidentally some of the most badass archetypes in history. A triplet might be a Pilot Surgeon Knight, for instance, and you’ll never know until he’s operating on your guts with a two-handed sword at 11,000 feet. The main character is a Triplet named Duncan, the titular Cowboy Ninja Viking, and all he wants is to be left alone. But a shady organization wants to use his skills to hunt down rogue Triplets, and he soon finds himself rushing headlong into a confrontation with one of the most dangerous of them all.

I think I’ve been spoiled by too many mash ups, because though C.N.V. provided an entertaining premise to start with, it suffers from not taking advantage of the possibilities of having someone with cowboys, ninjas and vikings in their heads. That, along with confusing layouts, dialogue and art that makes it hard to know who the hell is talking to who, makes C.N.V. an incomprehensible, confusing read.…though the thought of Duncan facing off with someone as kooky as a Pirate Gladiator Oceanographer next issue is making me geek out, even just a bit. This one gets 2.5 out of 5.

And now we come to Invincible Iron Man #19, one of the last issues to Matt Fraction’s Dark Reign magnum opus, World’s Most Wanted. Fraction’s been hitting his stride the whole storyline through which, if memory serves me right, happens only once in an indigo moon. In the ish, Pepper Potts, Black Widow and Maria Hill is about to punk H.A.M.M.E.R. so hard, and Norman Osborn finally catches up with Tony Stark!

Forget about whatever book you’re picking up for your Osborn fix, Fraction’s crazy homicidal asshole potrayal of Norman Osborn is total cash. I’m tired of seeing his smug face pretending to be a hero everywhere else…in Invincible Iron Man, Normy is megalomania personified, and it makes the fact that he’s about to get what’s coming to him that much sweeter. Also, Larocca and D’Armata are matching Fraction’s game, with amazing art and effects that bring the "action movie look" home.

I often get too spoilery in my reviews, but not here. I’m actually telling you to just pick up Invincible Iron Man #19 right now and see for yourself. Trust me, the last few pages are worth more than the 3.99 cover price. Shit, you should even reserve #20 while you’re at it, because by the last panel you’ve just got to know what’s gonna go down next. This is a solid 5 out of 5.

That’s it for my late Week in Comics. Agree? Disagree? Think Norman Osborn’s the sexy shiznay and got nobody to tell it to? The comment box below is your best friend. Leave me a note and let’s talk about it. Thanks for reading!

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