Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quick reviews: Amazing Spider-Man, American Vampire, Project Superman

Amazing Spider-Man #663-664
Written by Dan Slott; pencils by Giuseppe Camuncoli; inks by Klaus Janson; colours by Matt Hollingsworth; Marvel.

After a thankfully brief but very mediocre Avengers Academy crossover, Amazing Spider-Man is back on track. I enjoy Dan Slott's pacing in this series. He finds a good balance between advancing the various subplots in small increments to tell an overarching story, while keeping things interesting with the more immediate action with the villain of the month (in this case, Negative Man). The art by Camuncoli and Janson is very functional, not overly flashy or spectacular, but getting the job done quite well. All of which adds to a pretty solid and reliable comic.



American Vampire #16
Written by Scott Snyder; art by Rafael Albuquerque; colours by Dave McCaig; Vertigo.

I'm loving this, though I don't really have much to add. Every issue in this arc has been very good, so this is just more of the same, though I mean that as a compliment. Albuquerque's art is a bit difficult to follow in one of the scenes here, and I'm not entirely sure if it was intentional or not, but in any case it's not a big enough deal for me to take points away from this issue. Between this and the Survival of the Fittest mini-series with Sean Murphy, American Vampire has turned out to be a surprising hit for me, considering I don't really have any interest in vampires otherwise.



Flashpoint: Project Superman #1
Plot by Scott Snyder and Lowell Francis; script by Lowell Francis; art by Gene Ha; colour by Art Lyon; DC.

This wasn't really what I expected. I thought it was going to be about Superman being held captive by the military and experimented upon, but he doesn't even show up in this book until the very last page. It takes place 30 years before the events of Flashpoint and is about Neil Sinclair, a man who's getting turned into a super-soldier for a secret military project, presumably using Kryptonian DNA? As he gets more and more powerful, he also becomes more disconnected and inhuman. I was reminded a bit of A God Somewhere, a graphic novel about a dude who acquires God-like powers and flips out, although Neil doesn't become as violent and amoral as the character in that story did. There's some speculation that this character is going to turn out to be Apollo (the Wildstorm character) in DC's relaunch of Stormwatch in September. This comic left me pretty cold. Neil Sinclair doesn't have much depth as a character, because don't know much about his life before he enters this project and he doesn't seem to have a personality. The supporting cast is even more flat. The story is by-the-numbers. The art is okay.



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