Sunday, November 29, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue XXXXIII

Comic reviews by a fan, for the fans!

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

- OPENING REMARKS -

Blackest Night #5
by Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis
DC Comics


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It seemed like things were wearing down in this event. All the various lanterns had finally figured out how to neutralize the power of their zombie nemesis by combining their light rays (which sounds a little homo-erotic), and there was a general feeling of crashing towards conclusion. It felt like, y'know, a Marvel event which was almost (mercifully) over (except, y'know, there are, like, three issues to go, but that never stopped Marvel before, right?).

But holy fuck does shit take off in this issue. Holy fuck. Holy fuck. I'll give you a hint: take a look at the cover of the issue, and think of what that mombo line of distressed heroes has in common. Oh fuck. Fucking genius. Geoff Johns is a clever motherfucker.

DC totally had their shit together on this one. They're doing things slowly, correctly, and effectively, and it's off the motherfucking hook. Off the hook, yo! Oh fuck me sideways I can't wait for the next issue.

To all you Marvel diehards who didn't get on this series because "it's DC," and are meekly looking at the upcoming Siege event and all the shitty spin-off books en tow you'll have to buy: the real shit's right here in Blackest Night, and you done missed it, and it fucking sucks to be you, doesn't it? Ha! Damn right it's DC! Losers!

Powers Vol. 3 #1
By Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Avon Oeming
Icon (Marvel) Comics


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Well, well, well, look who it is. Look who's taking time out of their busy schedule of penning crappy ass super-hero books to slum in the dingy hollows of comics past their prime. If it isn't Brian. Michael. Bendis.

I'm sure that somewhere within his being, obstructed by mountains upon mountains of what must be a near endless store of cash generating scheme story lines, the part of Bendis that longs to create and tell genuinely good stories still stirs. I have faith it'll see the light of day again, someday. Whether or not that day has come with the newest incarnation of Powers, one of his breakthrough titles, only time can tell for certain. Hopes can't be too high, as the prior volume of the title was unfortunately unfocused and rambling, even for Bendis. Who can say if things are poised to regain former glories, or if it'll continue the unfortunate downward spiral into the dingy depths of retardation, until finally becoming completely unreadable? We live in an amazing world. Anything's possible.

I'm here, hoping against hope, for a glimpse of days long past, because this is the one title where one of the biggest names in comics is limited solely by his own imagination. There's no board of directors up his ass about a bottom line, or editor-in-chief looking for the next headline grabbing event. Just the artists and unlimited potential to either thrive or fail. Of course, I'm also here because of Mike Oeming, whose artistry seems to get better and better with each passing moment. The man's a modern day Jack Kirby, for fuck's sake. Nearly every single accolade this title's ever earned is due to Oeming and his dark vision of the world of Powers. Without him, this title would have been a stillbirth at best.

This is one of the few Marvel books I'm willing to spend an unjustified extra dollar for. I'm here for the unpredictable plots, the popping dialogue, the unadulterated violence, the profanity, the gratuitous nudity, the grit and grime. I'm here to hope that Brian Bendis will shine again.

As for how this first issue reads? It's a start in the right direction. Here's to hoping a certain someone doesn't fucking fuck it up.

The Goon #33
by Eric Powell
Dark Horse Comics


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It's a wee bit challenging to wrap one's head around what an extraordinary artist Eric Powell actually is. When one sees the cover of a comic with the phrase "Poop Potato!" scrawled across it like it crossed the path of a delinquent five year old with an orange crayon, it's difficult to take its contents too seriously.

This stand alone issue, which is more or less absent of dialogue, is the most visually brilliant work by this artist to date. I'm in awe of Powell's use of gray tones, as well as his representations of the human form in motion. His style, a hybrid of slap stick cartoonism and noir-drenched realism, is one of the most overlooked and unappreciated in the business.

This issue will only take you a few minutes to read, but I myself have poured over its pages six or seven times today, and will probably do so a few more times before I file it away. It's fucked up, but it's beautiful.

-PICK OF THE WEEK-
Chew Vol. 1: Taster's Choice
by John Layman & Rob Guillory
Image Comics


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How I let this title slip under my radar is beyond unfortunate. Image puts out a lot of crappy books, y'know? Sometimes it's hard to differentiate the potential gems from the never ending river of shit that flows not only through this publisher, but through the industry in general. So I fucked up. I missed the boat with Chew, and had to wait for a collected edition. Believe me, now that I've read Taster's Choice, I want to kick myself in my own stupid balls for not getting in on the ground floor. Right in the balls, says I.

In a world where possession of a chicken dinner can land you in jail, Tony Chu is haunted by his ability to know the entire history of a piece of food merely by taking a bite of it. This unique talent lands him in an action-packed position with the FDA, where he fights in the never-ending war that is food crime. See? On paper it doesn't seem like a lot, does it? But in action, John Layman & Rob Guillory have created the ideal environment for this unique concept to run hog-fuck-wild to its fullest potential. Filled with wit, dripping with drama, packed to overflowing with clever storytelling devices and some very unique and enjoyable characters, this just may be the best new series I've encountered all year.

This initial volume is an absolute goddamn bargain for $10.00 (talk about an extra-value meal). But be wary; it's addictive as crap. Once you're in you'll be hooked, like a fat chick addicted to deep-fried taters, or a fat guy who's ... also addicted to deep-fried taters. Addiction's never been so rewarding. So fuckin' eat up already.

-PAN OF THE WEEK-
Gotham City Sirens #6
by Paul Dini & Guillem March
DC Comics


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Paul Dini is the undisputed king of awesomeness when it comes to the animated DCU. But when it comes to the actual DCU, his stories tend to become dwarfed in comparison to his peers. The analogy of an adolescent boy comes to mind; one who's on his tip-toes, attempting to urinate in one of those troths that some public bathrooms have, while surrounded by grown men who're all like "Who's this kid and why is he waving his pecker around while unchaperoned? If he pisses on my shoes I'm gonna be ... pissed."

Gotham City Sirens is a titty book written for 10 year olds with raging hormones and perpetual virgins. The plots, while technically sound (as we'd expect nothing less from the author), are still fundamentally simplistic (as well as riddled shortcuts, like exposition for example). His characters are ... animated, without depth, like they've sprung from an episode of Gossip Girl rather than a Batman book. They're essential tits with cookie cutter personalities, like Hooters waitresses.

Paul Dini is in a world of adults and still writing for children (or young nerdy teenagers too shy to secure proper masturbation aids). That may be acceptable for some readers. I'm not one of them. Tits are fine and all, but I expect my super-villain books to fucking walk, not crawl.

There may be a day when this title is capable of pissing like a motherfucking man, but I'm not willing to hold its hand until it can. Fuck that. Fucking piss by yourself already. I should have dropped this analogy three paragraphs ago. Should have dropped it like I'm dropping this book. That's the point. I'm dropping Gotham City Sirens quicker than the hand of a 10 year old who can't piss in a troth. Dammit.

You've been warned.

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