Wednesday, July 06, 2005


God, the year is already more than half over! I've decided to implement a grading system, I'm gonna steal a page from good ol Johnny B and use letters.

Vimanarama #3

Very lack-luster ending to what started out a an excellent story. There was some kind of delay in the shipping of the book and I'd actually forgotten all about it. It could be that Morrison is so preoccupied with his new meg-series (Seven Soldiers) and his new creative duties at DC (heh, I said dooty) that he just didn't devote as much as he could have to see this book end more spectaculalry. Or it could be that it just wasn't meant to end spectacularly. Bond's artwork is fabulous though. B+

I, Joker

A DC Elseworlds tale by Bob Hall sounds like a good thing, but it turns out to be slightly above so-so. Thise sees the Batman/Joker dynamic played out as some sort of bizarre Running Man-like event, where the Joker must flee from Bats if he wants to live. It looks okay, but the plot just seems too unfocused. There' no real explination of the events going on, which makes it pretty confusing. I picked this up intending to include it in my Batman column at CBG, but I had enough Batman/Joker stuff to discuss, and it just wasn't good enough to make me drop any of the others. C-

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

I don't like it when they explain away mysteries. One of the best things about the Joker is the mystery behind him. But, if you're going to try and give him a definite back story, calling in Ed Brubaker to write it is a smart move, add in Dough Mahnke on art and it's almost an instant classic. This is another that was picked up with the intent to use in the column, but I just had too much Joker already. It's good, really good, especially Mahnke's art, his Joker is straight-up evil, but it just gives too much away I think. For better Brubaker Bat-work, I recommend Gotham Noir, an Elseworld's tale I'll be reviewing in my next column. A

Shaun of the Dead #1

A bought this last week not knowing it was and adaptation instead of a continuation. I was severely disappointed, but not because of the quality of the work. Ryall does a good job adapting the script and Zach Howard's art is beautiful, but none of the jokes are as funny on paper, part of the charm of the movie is it's Brtish-ness and the timing of the actors, that's just not something that translates well to paper. If you haven't seen the movie you might enjoy this, but if you have, skip it and go buy the DVD. B/C (Two grades, the first for the work, the second because it just wan't enjoyable simply because I've seen the film a dozen times, which is hardly their fault.)

Superman and Batman: World's Funnest

Where do I start...well, for one, this is fucking brilliant. Evan Dorkin's script is hilarious, and the fact that he was able to get the talent (Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Mike Allred, Shelly Moldoff, Stuart Immonen and Joe Giella. Frank Cho, Jaime Hernandez, Scott Shaw, Stephen DeStefano, Jim Woodring, David Mazzucchelli, Jay Stephens, Glen Murikami and Bruce Timm, Frank Miller, Doug Mahnke and Norm Rapmund, Phil Jimenez, Ty Templeton and Alex Ross) to come and do this is just amazing. This is a book probably best avoided by anyone not familiar with DC’s extensive history...and occasionally it’s future. Through two of comic’s most beloved/despised characters, Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk, Evan Dorkin explores, pokes fun at and deconstructs DC’s most well known alternate universes. The artistic talent is certainly huge, but fortunately each artist is perfectly suited to their specific storyline (example: Frank Miller draws the mischievous imps in the pages that mock his classic The Dark Knight Returns; Alex Ross- Kingdom Come; Phil Jiminez-Crisis on Infinite Earths, etc.). It’s and interesting look into the worlds of DC Comics, downright hilarious, and just plain old fun, especially the Julius Scwartz tribute. A

After the Sunset

This is a movie. Specifically a Brett Ratner movie. I watched in hoping I'd find whatever Fox sees in him. I didn't find it. This is a movie we've all seen a dozen times, the best of which was To Catch a Thief. Retired jewel thief comes out of retirement one last time, and things aren't what they seem. Why Fox thinks this guy will make an excellent director for the X-franchise is beyond me, he has not made a movie that didn't ape someone else's style. However, if the intention was to get him to ape Bryan Singer's style, then well, maybe it could work. But, given everything he's said about the film, I don't see that. Plus, it seems he's now taking credit for the Joe Casey created Stacy X, lets hope he can at least give credit where credit is due. As for After the Sunset, it's at best a decent time waster. C+


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