Friday, December 24, 2010

Quick Reviews: Secret Avengers, Neonomicon, Traveler, Superior, Superman/Batman, Batman Inc

Secret Avengers #8 

I never seem to have anything to say about this title, but it's pretty solid, in terms of both story and art.

Neonomicon #3

I really wish this book wasn't published by Avatar. Rick Johnston's infantile attempts at hyping it up on Bleeding Cool annoy the hell out of me. It's disgusting that he's using rape as a selling point for this title, while simultaneously denouncing the popularity of rape as a plot device in contemporary super-hero comics. Regardless of what Alan Moore's intentions are with this title, there something really disingenuous about this sensationalistic promotion that relies on shock value while at the same time claiming that there's more going on than just sensationalism.

I realize that none of this actually has anything to do with the quality of the comic book itself, but it does have an effect on my enjoyment of it, because I'm not reading this in a vacuum. As for what it all means and whether or not it's any good, I'm going to continue to reserve judgement until I've seen the conclusion, in the next issue.

The Traveler #2

This second issue is a lot less confusing than the first one was. Plot and characters are starting to fall into place, hinting at a larger mystery that's probably going to to be gradually revealed as the series continues. I like the fast pacing of it and the story, but some of the dialogue really grates me. Especially when the protagonist is speaking out loud about what is happening during the fight scene. "And now I will punch him while slowing down time. Oh, I see that didn't work. In that case, I will try this different approach - speeding up time while kicking him in the face! Yes, that seems to work better." I'm paraphrasing, of course, but it's almost that hackneyed. Is it because the art is so bad that the fights wouldn't make any sense without this kind of exposition? Or is it some kind of self-conscious meta-commentary on comic book conventions and the type of dialogue Stan Lee used to write? I'm not sure.

Superior #3

This is good. I want to write more about it later, but for now I'll just say that I'm really enjoying it and, after the twist on the last page, really looking forward to the next issue.

Superman/Batman #79

I was disappointed that Robot Robin from the future only makes a brief appearance in this, despite being prominently displayed on the cover. But otherwise this was really good. And I love the old-fashioned thought bubbles! I wonder if these are coming back in style. Anyway, conclusion in next month's issue.

Batman, Incorporated #2

Still not convinced. Not that this is a bad issue. Nice art and nothing blatantly wrong with the writing. I'm just not sold on the Batman going international premise at all. Something about it stinks. The American hero going to other countries to show local heroes how it's really done. "My people have to be better than that." What does this all lead to? Some kind of global homogenization of super-heroes? Batman is not just hiring heroes to join his team. Mr. Unknown ceases to exist and is replaced with Batman Japan. It all makes me kind of uncomfortable. I'm giving this a couple more issues, but I think I might drop this one. I think Detective Comics is the only Batman book I'm really interested in at the moment.


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