Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #59

R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 (2010)
Super Friends #24 (2010)
The Weird World of Jack Staff #1
Zero Killer #1 & 2 (2007)

In case you're wondering, I'm aware I suck for moving ...nurgh... to 999 Backburner Court. I'm working on a ton of stuff, but things will get better with time.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
Everything is coming together for the wrap-up of this Starro the Barbarian bullshit. The Omega Men side project bears fruit. Despero's role expands, with a nice nod to earlier stories and most especially that the poor son of a bitch for sure can get an erection after this resurrection. I always wondered if the fucker was always so pissed off for lack of cock, and there's still some question of quantity, but at least it f'sure exists. Maybe it's only me and Kevin Smith concerned about that sort of thing. I appreciate how relevant old school JLofA villains are to this story.

Looks like Bedard is setting up Lyrl Dox/Brainiac-3 as a running antagonist, and he's alright, but just not as interesting without the (literally infantile) satire of the old days. Instead, he's just helping Vril get older, a reminder neither of us need. St. Aubin & Hanna continue to make the book look well above its sales class.

Super Friends #24 (DC, 2010, $2.50)
I thought J. Bone was doing the interiors, and of course I wish all the obscurities at the mad scientist convention had more face time. Regardless, this was fun, with surprising in-jokes and just enough Professor Arnold Hugo moments to satisfy. Nice work from Fisch and Brizuela.

The Weird World of Jack Staff #1 (Image, 2010, $3.50)
I've tried to enjoy Paul Grist since following the early issues of Kane in the '90s, but it's never taken. Grist's simple art style lends itself to dense storytelling along the lines of Keith Giffen and Matt Wagner, as it should allow him to pack in the panels per page without weighing on the eye. Here, he sticks to six panels or less with lots of partial splashes, like Tim Sale without the oomph. When you're telling interconnecting three page serialized stories with a variety of protagonists, you either need to drop a serious info dump or be stylin' like a motherfucker, but Grist pulls off neither. Instead, we get what would be cryptic snippets, except since you figure it's all working toward another "lone hero staves off Armageddon with a mystical sword" battle, who gives a shit about the fine details?

Zero Killer #1-2 (Dark Horse, 2007, $2.99)
I used to do reviews of older books here, and I think I'll be getting back to that. If I'm going to cover books weeks to months late, why not years? I pulled these books out of a quarter bin shortly before hearing a trade paperback collection was finally rolling out 2 1/2 years from the mini-series' end date, and since I'd been interested, the timing was perfect. Shame the book wasn't.

Zero is your typical mysterious frontier hero: kicks ass, doesn't talk much, morally superior but distant. He picks up the slightly annoying girl sidekick exposition helper early on, who gets Zero entangled in the type of fucked-up post-apocalyptic bullshit that hasn't been big since the '80s. This variation has the Commies in control of the world after a nuclear exchange that submerges much of New York City, leaving gangs to congregate in politely/ridiculously tagged skyscraper headquarters in between boat-enabled rumbles. Arvid Nelson's script is competent, but intentionally obtuse, with each episode drowning in cliché. If you get hard for Mad Max/Warriors/Escape From New York kinda deals, this is your comfortingly familiar fanboy handjob. If you're not, the only points of recommendation are Dave Stewart's lovely colors and the gorgeous art of Matt Camp. Looking like early Mike McKone by way of John Cassaday with a bit of Gary Erskine, Camp is going to be huge one day. He likely needs to pick up the pace though, and lay off the super obvious Greg Land photo referencing. Playing "spot the character actor/model/R&B icon" drop kicks a fella right out of the story.

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