Sunday, August 2, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue XXVIII

Comic reviews by a fan, for the fans.

**As always, mind the spoilers, fanboy.**

- OPENING REMARKS -

Lenore Vol. 2 #1
by Roman Dirge
Titan Books


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Thanks to one hell of a lax production schedule, accompanied by a rather burning grudge I hold against its baby killing, child raping former-publisher (and its blood drinking, pig fucking former-editor-in-chief), I kinda sorta forgot this book existed. Now that it's being pushed through by Titan books (on a soon-to-be semi-regular basis, supposedly), I can't believe I functioned in the everyday world without it.

Roman Dirge is a funny son of a bitch, and he's reaches his melting point of hilarity with this character every single time. There's not a damn morsel of scholarly content to be had here (reading this book most likely will kill brain cells), but not everything needs to broaden your horizons and expand you intellect, does it? Fuck no it doesn't. This is the kind of book that got you suspended for bringing it to school. It's slapstick and obscure pop culture references and oodles of violence. It's even in color now, for all you visually challenged folks who can't handle books that aren't all bright and shiny. If you can't have fun with that, you may as well hastily remove your frontal lobe and genitals. Maybe that'll be fun for you, sourpuss.

Welcome back, Lenore. Things just weren't the fucking same without ya.

Fantastic Four #569
by Mark Millar, Joe Ahearne, & Stuart Immonen
Marvel Comics


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Mark Millar had some mammoth ambitions for his Fantastic Four run. Did all his hyping live up to the final product? As this last issue of his run is scripted by another man, it's safe to say that no, it did not. Dude, that's like letting some other dude finish your wife off in the bedroom. Scandalous.

That's not to say that Millar's FF was some sacrilegious abomination. Far from it. Millar and Hitch for the most part did a top notch job on this book. We got to see some incredible occurrences here. To name a few off the top of my head; Galactus as a giant battery, Valeria's revealed super-genius, and Ben (almost) getting married. Every single storyline pushed, even redefined the limits of what the first family was capable of. Not to mention Millar has completely revamped and revitalized Doctor Doom, whose reputation had been besmirched by all the girlie crap Bendis did with him in New Avengers (not to mention Straczynski and his "google" incident in Thor).

Things fell apart a bit with this last storyline, Doom's Master. It's hard to believe Doom had a master in the first place, and even harder to believe him a worthy foe when he's only had a few issues of build up and development. I have no explanation as to why Millar wasn't able to finish this story himself, or where Hitch was towards the end. As I mentioned earlier, Millar not finishing the run himself is a little insulting if you think hard enough about it. Be that as it may, things as a whole were in the least above average, at most exemplary. Give it a few years and the majority of us will be remembering it fondly. The diehards will most likely still be grumbling and complaining, forgetting all the while that it could have been worse. MUCH worse. Civil War worse. Oh shit Millar wrote that too. Whoops. Well, it could have been that bad. So take it easy.

Northlanders #19
by Brian Wood & Danijel Zezelj
Vertigo (DC) Comics


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This title gets better with each new arc. The Shied Maidens was one of the best yet. It's a simple enough concept; three danish women with a horde of pricey riches hold up in an old castle, facing off against a small army of invading Saxons who want their proverbial and literal booty. Wood's execution of this simple situation, however, is superb. There's some wonderfully crisp lines in this issue, like when one of the women offers to sit on a monk's face and "... rip a fart and blow what's left of your hair of your fat head." If Wood could put lines like that in some form of currency he'd be a bazzilionaire.

With each new issue of this book I become more and more impressed. Northlanders is the unsung hero of the Vertigo line. I can't believe it's not more widely heralded as the genius book it is.

- PICK OF THE WEEK -
Swallowing the Earth
by Osamu Tezuka
Digital Manga Publishing


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I always skip over the Digital Manga Publishing section in Diamond Distribution's Previews, because I thought all they published was those bizarre gay guy romance books for teenage girls. If it weren't for the keen eyes on my local comic retailer, I would have completely missed this title. Who the crap knows how DMP snagged the rights to this, but thank the might manga gods they did.

Swallowing the Earth, a ripe ol' piece of history originally published in fucking 1968 (if you can believe that), is the saga of a cluster of women out to destroy the world of man with little more than their unparalleled beauty, and the drunken dimwit who inadvertently becomes charged with stopping them. From a purely historical perspective, this book is incredibly ahead of it's time. Supposedly Tezuka was experimenting with the medium, trying to cross over from pieces created purely for children to that of a mass adult audience. It's chilling how poignant and/or relevant some of the thematic elements are in this day and age, particularly those revolving around society's views of mass marketed beauty, race relations, and the importance and fragile nature of wealth. From a more casual perspective, the book is simply engrossing from start to finish. Tezuka's technique is innovative and passionate in every panel. When he's referred to as "the godfather of manga" it does him an injustice. This man was truly one of the greats, on par with Eisner or Kirby or any other name you'd care to toss into the fray. You need look no farther than this tile for proof of that.

The story itself is pockmarked with quirks present in all pre-modern comics, which isn't a fault so much as a warning for those who can't read anything that doesn't measure dialogue by "beats." Can't handle shit like that? You're better off with the latest issue of X-Men (he said with much shame).

This book is so good I wish I could go back in time and freshly read it again. Wow. That's good.

- PAN OF THE WEEK -
Superman #690
by James Robinson & Pere Perez
DC Comics


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Nobody likes a motherfucking tease. You didn't like the bully who called you "shit breath" or "booger butt" before he stole your fucking milk money on the way to school. You didn't like the chick at that party who said she wanted to sit on your dick and then left the room with her husband. If you didn't like them, what fucking makes you think you'll like that shit in comic book form?

Here's the message of this book: keep buying Superman! On top of that, go buy Superman: Secret Files 2009, Justice League of America, and Superman Annual #14. Fuck you motherfucker! How are you gonna make me buy a book with nothing but plugs for other books in it?! Don't charge me for fucking plugs! Fuck you guys! I ain't buyin' shit!

Why the fuck am I even buying a Superman comic that doesn't have fucking Superman in it in the first place?! What the fuck is wrong with me?! Fuck this shit! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

You've been warned.

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