Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wed. Is Any Day For All I Care #20

Cyblade #1
Hack/Slash: New Reader Halloween Treat #1
Legion of Super-Heroes #47
The Roberts #2

Cyblade #1 (Image, 2008, $2.99)
On a purely technical level, this was the worst written single comic I've read in recent memory. This thing was so cryptic-- so completely up its own ass, the only way I could follow what was going on was through a text synopsis of the "Pilot Season" zero issue and through the mass of cliche. I'm sorry, but I was under the impression a first issue was supposed to be new reader friendly, where my introduction to these characters comes from dim memory of the first few issues of Cyberforce I bought fifteen fucking years ago. Meanwhile, the art by Rick Mays isn't bad, but inker Sal Regla seems to have Mays' strong manga influence in a headlock, and he tries his best to wrestle it down to more Anglo-centric ground. This is exactly the kind of Image comic your older brother should have warned you about.

Hack/Slash: New Reader Halloween Treat #1 (Devil's Due Publishing, 2008, $3.50)
Kudos to DDP for slowly worming its way into my consciousness over the last few months, and for offering an actual entry-level story for the uninitiated. As a child of the '80s, I'm well familiar with the tropes of slasher movies, so it pleases me to see a serialized Final Girl partaking of vaguely super-heroic adventures in an accessible comic. I'm sorry the main story was spoiled by a three page origin sequence by creators Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, but it's hard to fault something so well done and concise, an increasing rarity these days. Also, the main story, with art by Emily Stone, was blessed with its own charms. The back story and m.o. for the villain, a serial killing psychiatrist, is perfectly laid out in exactly one panel. The set-up for series heroine Cassie Hack is also solid, liberated from redundancy by additional contextualization and exploration. Fun, violent, and welcoming, it's no wonder Hack/Slash continues to build an audience and garner movie interest. I'm not quite ready to rush out and buy an omnibus to catch up, but the book will remain on my radar for a while.

Legion of Super-Heroes #47 (DC, 2008, $2.99)
Jim Shooter has only three issues left to truncate the resolution of the overarching epic of his current run, which was intended to last quite a bit longer. I suppose I can forgive him for a clipped, episodic issue intended to set-up every piece he needs in play before the finale. Also, I've had a lifetime dislike of Rick Leonardi's artwork, but I have sympathy for his being saddled with an inappropriate inker in Dan Green. What, are these the only guys left from the '80s Marvel Bullpen that will still talk to Shooter? Anyway, not the best issue, but a decent read with promise of excitement to come.

The Roberts #2 (Image, 2008, $5.99)
After the glowing review I gave to the first issue, I'm sorry to say the second half left me wanting. The aged serial killers don't play believably off one another, sounding too much like a couple of Bendis characters on a tear. One page in particular features their profiles and eighteen blocks of back-and-forth rectangular dialogue balloons. Holy hell. Pages are devoted to fan affection for killers of yore, and a shift toward action highlights how stiff the artwork is in general. What was a chillingly believable character story deteriorates into another god awful "CSI" by way of "Murder, She Wrote" riff. What a tweeest! I was pissed about the soon-to-be solicited trade paperback having 40-some-odd additional pages, but of this? I don't need them.

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