Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday Is Timely For All I Care #40

Batgirl #1 (2009)
IDW Coming Attractions #1
The Marvels Project #1
USA Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1

I put this review column on hiatus to focus on Super Powers coverage, then bought a few brand new comics at an actual brick and mortar store to make up for lost time. Then I sat on them for weeks. Plus some of the other books are now months old. I made you no promises, you know.

Batgirl #1 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
The new Batgirl foils some fast and furious bullshit, is revealed to be a controversial past figure, then continues to bore the shit out of everyone. Can we get a cease and desist out to writers who subject us to the "teen keeping secret identity from parents" conflict? Actually, I could do without teen heroes entirely-- at least if they're going to go through the exact same motions as every other one of these fuckers. Also, can I not get a nude profile of an underage girl in the shower, regardless of whether we have canonical proof she spreads? They put people on lists for that shit. Oh, hey, Barbara Gordon as mentor again? Was this entire comic, lame art and all, produced by a computer program? Garbage in, garbage out...

IDW Coming Attractions #1 (IDW, 2009, $1.00)
So right off the bat, I hate paying anything to the left of a decimal point for an advertisement. Also, these books may have already come at this point. Anyway, the eight mostly silent pages from Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter made me rethink passing on the book (was it available up front in softcover?) A few pages each of twenty year old Dave Stevens Rocketeer and Mike Kaluta Starstruck reprints didn't do anything for me. The page of Oxido reminded me Pablo Raimondi exists, but didn't convince me he could write as well as draw. The page of The Last Resort had a decent sight gag drawn competently. The page of From The Ashes reminded me of Minimum Wage-quality dialogue, but didn't convince me to give Bob Fingerman another chance after several consecutive misfires. Neither the constant bifurcated ads, nor the double page spreads for Vitriol and Locke & Key, offered anything my Diamond Previews catalog had missed. Aside from Cook's take on Richard Stark's Parker, this was a waste of even a buck.

The Marvels Project #1 (Marvel, 2009, $3.99)
Because the Marvel Universe wasn't already insanely interconnected and Bendis didn't just do the same exact thing with the Ultimate line (never mind Busiek and Ross last decade,) here's more anal-retentive fan service for the Roy Thomas contingent. For what it is, Ed Brubaker turns in a splendidly serviceable script, and hey, he made the Golden Age Angel seem like a character with something like value after all. The art by Steve Epting is among the very best of his career, aided by fine coloring from Dave Stewart.

USA Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 (Marvel, 2009, $3.99)
Ever since I became aware of the existence of a hero called the Destroyer, I've thought hey, that guy should be pretty bad ass. Why wasn't a guy with such a bitchin' moniker ever regenerated in Marvel's Silver or Bronze Ages? Did he even get much to do in the old Invaders comics? I just never could understand it. So when John Arcudi, a writer I've dug more than not in recent years, became attached to this special, I figured fuckin' A. However, the story here, and that choppy art style the hipsters spank to today before throwing under the bus tomorrow, ain't where it's at. It reads like a Marvel Comics Presents serial with a totally obvious "twist" ending.

No, the entertainment allocated for my dollars was derived from the reprint story in the back. This is Grade-A ape shit beauty here! The Destroyer, who looks like Simon and Kirby Manhunter's fruity cousin, reads like Fletcher Hanks' somewhat more literate cool uncle. I mean, the first page has the D fighting a dragon on two legs with FDR's face and a salacious tongue whipping through the air. The D deals with this menace like all others-- by brutally killing the motherfucking shit out of it, while grinning madly in a facial cream mask. My favorite of many outstanding panels of bugfuckery is when he drives a transport truck past two Nazi guards, only to deliver a drive-by punch from his window. Ooo-oo, or the Nazi who just happens to carry a bullwhip on his nightly patrol through the city. No wait-- argh-- so hard to choose! The D even has a beard named Flo who can leap barbed wire fences in a single bound while wearing comfortable shoes. Eat her clit, Lois Lane! Oh man, I gotta get me more of these! Slickly drawn, psychotic nonsense of yore!

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