Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Is Numerically Ordered For All I Care #123

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Nine #1
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1
Ultimate X-Men #1 (2011)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1 (Dark Horse, 2011, $2.99)
This was kind of a cotton candy issue. It was made for people who followed all of the previous volume, but at the same time it's something of a sitcomy one-off for new readers. I'm not sure who would get the most out of it. Old fans probably wanted something more intense and involved while establishing the new status quo, as seen in Angel & Faith. Casual readers may wonder who the hell these people are, and why they should care about some chick getting sloshed at a party. I think George Jeanty is a good artist, and I'm glad they've got a guy drawing the book with some life in him. The downside is that very few of these characters are positively identified by name, and not a single one resembles the actor who played them, so eyepatches and the colorist have to save the day. This is also written for the trade, which I won't be buying, so that's that.

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #1 (Image, 2011, $2.99)
This was maybe one quarter of a good comic. It has a spiffy premise, the archetypical characters are established quickly, and the high school nerd revenge fantasy is a winner. The art is strong and meshes perfectly with both the domestic and gorehound portions of the story. It's just that like most modern comics, there's a bunch of silent panels with storyboarded action that lazy film producers should love if they come calling with an option. I'm sure it'll make for a rad flick. As a comic though, it means I'm done and left wanting more in the sense of eating three potato chips or a tiny juice box. It's not "hey, that was so swell I got's to get me more of this," but "you want two dollars for a doughnut hole on a stick?"

Ultimate X-Men #1 (Marvel, 2011, $3.99)
I'm straight, white, male, my zits are under control, I'm comfortable around women, and I can't remember having gotten beaten up since junior high. The X-Men don't really resonate with me anymore. I'm also not a parent, which was why I dug the ending to The Mist, where an encumbered acquaintance felt that it didn't make sense at the level of the mammal. I expect he'd call bullshit on this book's opening twist, as well. All this is to say I won't continue reading this series, but if this is the kind of comic you like, you may well like this comic. Nick Spencer's script is better than this deathless title deserves, and I like the art of Paco Medina okay, though I miss his days as an Humberto Ramos acolyte. It's got that disenfranchised, violently persecuted minority vibe of the best Roy Thomas and Chris Claremont material down pat. At the same time, it also has all the modern amenities, including maintaining the status quo of X-team memberships consisting of dogshit in recent years. I love Kitty Pryde as much as the next nerdy child of the '80s, but Iceman, the Human Torch and Digrassi Wolverine? That's so wretched it gives me a slight pang of sympathy at the burden of its readers, like liberal guilt during a screening of The Help.

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