Saturday, October 30, 2004

Quick Comic Takes

Ocean #1 (of 6)

Sigh, this book is an example of why I read more collections and graphic novels rather than single issues these days. It isn't a bad comic, it just isn't one that left me feeling as if I'd gotten my money's worth.

The mystery of the first few pages with the discovery of coffins under the ice of Europa (a moon of Jupiter) is a good one that has me intrigued.

Unfortunately nothing in the book after those first few pages seem really necessary so far. Since it deals with the man apparently in charge of the investigation of the mystery, as he journeys to Europa.

I wanted to get on the the mystery, not watch this guy spend page upon page of "crossing the street", "throwing his coffee away", "take a seat on a ship to outer space", "talk to a guy about how bad space travel used to be" etc. It just felt like marking time, and seemed like space better suited for something else.

It struck me as if when interviewing Neil Armstrong, asking what he thought of the Red Sox winning the World Series rather than about the moon landing.

Hopefully the series will read better in collected form, as I know that is how I'll now read it if I choose to. At least I got to see the lovely Chris Sprouse art, which has come so far since his Legionnaires days.

Adam Strange #2

As a reverse to the way little seemed to happen in Ocean #1, this book was jammed pack with action. Adam's battle over the streets of Gotham City was very well paced out, and lasted just long enough to not lose its tension.

It is hard, to me anyway, to do convincing action in comics these days. The chase here had to have a sense of movement and logic, that allowed the reader to follow along and not lose their place. Which this does amazingly.

The mystery of what exactly is going on in Adam's world has me intrigued, and the cliffhangers are paced just enough to make me want to see what happens next.

Target Exclusive Marvel Age Spider-Man Team-Up

This book is a bit of a mixed bag, as Todd Dezago and a mixture of artists try to modernize comic stories from the past.

I really wish I had read the original stories, in order to have a point of comparison. Yet here goes on what these stories read like to me:

With Fantastic Four - Spidey is once again trying to find a way to get some money out of his powers. This time by proving to the Fantastic Four how great a hero he is, in hopes they'll admit him as a member of their team. Only to discover that they don't earn a salary, but live off the stipends of Reed's invention patents.

The wordy dialogue of the era is kept, though the dialect is modernized a little. It's interesting to see a lighter approach taken here, but I couldn't help but cringe at the number of coincidences or awkwardness of the villain explaining out loud his entire plan. While he was trying to quietly sneak into a secret government facility no less.

With Captain America - Gosh, no wonder Captain America has such a hard time garnering fans sometimes. Here he is a walking public service annoucement, delving off into long, never seeming to end speeches about civic duty and the like. That had Spidey in awe for some reason, but left me having the check my pulse to see if I was still alive because it was so dull.

With Kitty Pryde - This is the fun kind of story I miss from bygone days. When Kitty, a trusted X-Men who handles world ending threats on a daily basis. Gets ordered to babysit for some local parents by Xavier who wants her to experience a normal life. (What she couldn't go to a movie then or something?)

The kids and her get kidnapped by the Morlocks though, where they meet up with Spidey as well, and they all work together to find a way to get free. Which in the end turns out to be in the form of communication and understanding of differences.

Just a sweet little story, that reminds me of the joyful innocence comics had at one point.

with Thor Goodness, how on Earth did anyone stand reading Thor's painful dialogue in these old days of dialogue heavy plot dump?

Still this story works because it doesn't take itself seriously. As shown by Spidey trying to teach Thor how to trash talk, and its hilarious turnout. Or learning that Thor's favorite TV show is Spongebob SquarePants, this comic made me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen very often.

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