Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!
What? This week’s reviews …
Super sleepy and a little cranky. Be warned. Also need to post the gang of blogs I have in half-assed states of development. Maybe tomorrow … let’s move on.
DELICIOUS: It’s a hard line to cross, talking about Layman and Guillory’s Chew, which is like a really good TV show that doesn’t penalize you for missing an episode or nine. This issue, however, introducing a new undercover agent and using Tony’s relationship with Amelia to drive plot points ahead without making her some kind of milksop loser. I liked the humor and the action here, and I’m interested in seeing where the Mason Savoy thing is going.
What’s crazy about this series is that it reminds me of a lot of “TV good” books (see my mobile site for definitions therein) that could get purchased if they just pushed a little harder. I especially remember Executive Assistant Iris as an example of that, which needed both brighter coloring and more compelling plotting. Chew’s problem is that sometimes it lags in its plot momentum and sometimes the character work takes a back seat to things being ridiculous. That’s not to say there can’t be great humor with character and plot development (please see Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool and the Giffen/DeMatteis classic Justice League Antarctica) but it requires a certain manic focus that sometimes kicks in on Chew but mostly doesn’t. If this were a digital-only book at $1.50 per issue or so, I’d subscribe. Just saying …
WHAT UP WITH THAT? The rest of the buys are pretty de rigeur, and I turned the photo work over to CBR’s editorial staff (which explains why no captions on images, they’re super busy), so let’s look at what didn’t make it work.
Avengers Academy was doing great as an insular potboiler … so let’s take it out, jam in some guest stars and see what happens? Thunderbolts took the smarter tactic in the crossover, leaving the guest stars in the periphery and focusing on what needed to happen (John Walker and Luke Cage, handling business, with even Songbird making a good showing for herself), but even that just kind of spun the hamster wheel in terms of plot. Two titles that need to stay to themselves, I’d think.
On the contrary, Secret Avengers needs to “go hard in the paint,” ratcheting up the spycraft (see the original Red as well as Queen & Country) while putting the unique superhero spin on it. Maybe some episodes (not issues) of Alias (from the first two seasons) would help.
I’m sorry, but CBGB could learn a lot about tone and communicating its message from Phonogram, especially The Singles Club. Just saying.
Yes, I’m still super hot about that Wakanda madness and I will not let it go. “Shadow physics,” my entire ass.
The maudlin sentimentality of “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Justice Society of America” help show how not to do spandex-clad love. Yawn city.
I need to give up on the idea of an Early Forecast before midnight on Wednesdays. Sheesh.
Short commentary track because — again — I’m sleepy and cranky and actually way busier than I need to be. Suck it up, buttercup.
Playing (Music): “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull