A Little Xmas #25: A Big Xmas

Xmas itself is almost here, reducing already lazy blogging to a near (or, indeed, absolute) standstill.

Anyway, before I go, one last run through of comics out tomorrow. I may keep doing this in 2008, or not as the mood takes me. I’ve been scattershot in keeping up with this (to say the least) but it’s been a fun exercise. Anyway:

First up, crossovers: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul concludes in Detective Comics while Messiah Complex continues in New X-Men. You know the score – both good, blah blah blah.

Big ticket, slightly dull stuff: Mighty Avengers‘ first arc concludes (at last) and I’ve not been entirely convinced. I’m enjoying it, and there’s nothing wrong with the book, but as with New Avengers I’m never entirely convinced – the stories are slow, and while the characterisation is solid neither title blows me away. Mighty is slightly less successful in my book – the characters are weaker (Ms Marvel? Wonder Man?) and the deliberately frothy tone doesn’t play either to the strengths of Bendis as a writer, or the stories (well, story [singular] so far) he’s trying to tell.

Almost definitely for the chop from my pull-list is Justice League of America – I liked most of Brad Meltzer’s run, which I found eccentric but basically entertaining and well characterised. New writer Dwayne McDuffie has decided to do the opposite of Meltzer’s much-criticised, talky approach, by going for non-stop big hero vs big villain action. The end result has, so far, felt choppy and inconsequential, a series of smackdowns and quips to no great end. The last issue just seemed to stop rather than end, a giveaway of too much incident being crammed into the book. I’m not in favour of constant decompression, but there’s such a thing as letting a story breathe.

A bit dull, but not big ticket at all: Ultimate X-Men… I keep meaning to drop this, but never quite do. I may well need a slap. Some days, I think Marvel think the same way.

Good Marvels!: A Matt Fraction two-fer, with new issues of both Immortal Iron Fist and The Order. Both good mainstream superhero books of the kind that seem increasingly rare.

Indies! Angel: After the Fall #2 is out tomorrow, continuing what is Angel: Season Six in everything but name. The first issue wasn’t quite up there with Buffy: Season Eight, lacking that full Whedon-y goodness and with art that bordered on the murky, but it’s taking the series in an interesting, off-the-wall direction and largely avoiding obvious choices.

Dark Horse have a new issue of Rex Mundi out tomorrow, but more excitingly they’re also publishing issue #4 of The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite. This first Academy series has put writer Gerard Way immediately on the map and only raised the stock of Gabriel Ba as an artist. This is a series that’s got exactly the right level of quirk and excitement, and Ba’s wonderful art brings together the various weird elements of the story into one consistent aesthetic. Nice.

And Finally… tomorrow sees the first issue of Jonathan Hickman’s new series Pax Romana hit the shelves. I really enjoyed The Nightly News, which is one of my collections of the year, so I’ll definitely be making the effort to get on board the individual issues this time. Hopefully Hickman will prove to be a growing new talent and not just a one-off. I have a good feeling.

I’ll be back in 2008, if not before. If its more words you want, then why not check out my young colleague’s reviews of the Boosh and young Twist over at Shiny Shelf.

In the mean time, a merry xmas and a happy new year to all of you at home,

Mark

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December 19, 2007. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

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