Friday, June 3, 2011

One-paragraph reviews: Flashpoint, Flashpoint tie-in, Superboy and Sweet Tooth

(Reviews are spoilery.)

Flashpoint #2
Written by Geoff Johns; art by Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope; DC

Four things happen in this issue: 1. Deathstroke sails into Atlantean territory and meets a very pissed off Aquaman. 2. A very pissed off Batman beats up Barry Allen until Barry manages to convince him that he's telling the truth. 3. Steve Trevor, who's a member of the resistance, gets ambushed by a group of Amazons led by a very pissed off Wonder Woman. And 4. Barry Allen tries to recreate the accident that initially gave him his powers and apparently gets fried in the process. None of this is very exciting or interesting or pleasant to read, though some of the art's nice. I'm getting really sick of seeing characters with clenched teeth, though. I kind of wish all these people would just lighten the fuck up. The variant cover for this issue shows Wonder Woman holding the decapitated head of Mera. Since this doesn't happen in this issue and, in fact, Mera does not even appear in it, I can only assume that the cover was produced for the specific purpose of pissing people off. Basically, that's the theme here. All the characters are angry and clenching their teeth, and DC seems to expect fans to do the same. Pissed off fans vent on the internet and apparently that gets people to buy more comics. I don't understand how any of this works.



Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1
Written by Brian Azzarello; art by Eduardo Risso; DC

There's Batman with his clenched teeth on the cover. But otherwise, I have to say this was a lot better than the main series. Maybe these mini-series are where all the good stuff is going to happen in this crossover event after all. Still, this feels a bit empty. Solid script and nice art, but I'm not sure yet where it's going.



Superboy #8
Written by Jeff Lemire; art by Pier Gallo; DC

It really pains me to admit this, but I don't think Jeff Lemire writes very good super-hero comics. I've been very lenient on this title since it started, because I like Lemire's work so much that I managed to convince myself that this would get good. But I think I have to finally accept that it's not good and it's probably not going to get any better before it ends in a couple of months. Every story beat feels artificial and calculated. The exposition is incredibly clumsy and all of the dialogue sounds awkward. I don't get it. There's no sign of the grace and seemingly effortless storytelling and quiet, reflective beauty found in Lemire's work outside of the super-hero genre. There are two possibilities: either he's not feeling comfortable in this format or he's phoning it in. There are only two issues left, and I'm not even sure I'm going to bother picking them up.



Sweet Tooth #22
Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire; Vertigo

See? This is what I'm talking about.



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