Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gods, Mutants, and Freaks: Funnybooksinreviewarego!!!

So I wanna review some funnybooks, but my day job's still kicking my ass. What's the solution? Why, Quickies, of course!

Supergod #5 (of 5)
by Warren Ellis and Garrie Gastonny

A somewhat disappointing ending to what I've been considering Warren Ellis' best work of the year. [SPOILER] Normally, I'd be okay with Krishna fighting a weird-ass manifestation of Cthulhu on Judgement Day, but Cthulhu just doesn't make sense here. And the way that the ending hinged on what was essentially a rote Ellis one-liner was just annoying. [/SPOILER] I dunno. In spite of some imaginative work in the fight sequence, it felt like he ran out of steam with this issue. That's happened with a lot of his more interesting comics of late: they start out as genuinely fascinating genre explorations, then fall apart in the final act (or, in the case of Black Summer, the second issue) with the central premise only partially paid off. Supergod fares better than most on that front; its examination of man-made gods and the super hero as the divine was fully-explored before the blow-off. It's just that the blow-off wasn't very satisfying.

This cover, though, might raise the grade by half a letter, all by itself:

click to embiggen
It would have been even better if Jerry Kraven was drinking a Coke...

Grade: B+

by Jeff Smith

I really like this book. I like its weird sciento-mystical obsessions, meandering plot structure, moral ambiguities, Fortean conspiracies, Lynchian drama, and just-slightly-not-quite-right artwork. It's such a strange and difficult follow-up to Bone, too, which makes me like it even more. It's not perfect, but its flaws are such a part of the overall tapestry of what makes it work that I even like them. I think, if it came out just a little more frequently, I might love it. As it is, though... I just really, really, like it a lot.

Grade: A-

The Boys #49
by Garth Ennis and Russ Braun

This book has been on a genuine roll of late. There's lots of good character work going on, some long-term plotting is starting to reveal itself, and there's an overall sensation that things are on the verge of blowing up completely. We're finally learning what happened in the Boys' first encounter with the Seven, which also means that Ennis finally revealed Mallory this issue! It's been a long time coming, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Even if he was, you know... Just this guy...

Grade: A

Sweet Tooth #16
by Jeff Lemire

It's all-out action in part three of Animal Armies! I'm just slightly amazed at Lemire's ability to take a character like Jepperd precisely where you'd expect him to go, and still make it feel fresh. I'm also impressed with his ability to produce "all-out action." His is not an art style that I'd expect to convey that sort of thing well, but it works. He's good a big set-pieces, as it turns out, and his style is so... still... that I forget how good he is at conveying motion. It also doesn't hurt that he pulls out all the stops on his creative layouts. He's no JH Williams from that perspective, but he's working in that general direction. One page, with all the panels fanning out from a central image of Jepperd beating ass, is particularly effective. This was an effective issue all the way around, though, and I can't wait for more.

Grade: A-  

Strange Science Fantasy #6
by Scott Morse

This final issue ties everything together in... The Temple of the Manga-Ka! Delving back into the realms of cosmic myth that were the series' most successful subjects, all the previous stories are revealed as long-lost legends, kept in a sacred temple, to be discovered only by the final mythic hero of the series. It's all good fun and gorgeous scratchy visuals, with an ending so true to its source material I should have seen it coming, but didn't. Not every issue of this mini was a complete success, but taken as a whole, I have to call it one of the better comics of the year.

Grade: A

iZombie #8
by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred

I remain on the fence about this series. So many cool ideas! Such wonderful Allred artwork! But the writing skirts so close to "cute" that sometimes I just wanna punch it in the teeth! Sigh. This issue was less punch-worthy than some, though, and I have to admit that introducing the Bride of Frankenstein as a villain has guaranteed I'll stick around a little while longer, just to watch her go.

Grade: B+

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