Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
The comic delays, coupled with me being away on vacation, kept me from reading my comics this week until quite late (as in, well, Tuesday), so this is up late – but heck, I doubt any of you are getting THIS week’s comics this early anyways, so you can bear to read my thoughts about LAST week’s books!
Here are a bunch of cheers and jeers from me, mostly having to do with this week’s new releases!
There will most likely be some spoilers…otherwise, enjoy!
CHEERS to Grant Morrison, for taking a modern look at the Bizarro World in All Star Superman without a hint of cynicism. It is a rare gift that Morrison has to depict the silliness of Silver Age concepts in a modern story without it appearing as though he is mocking the original concept.
Very few writers can achieve such a feat.
CHEERS, too, to Morrison allowing such silly creatures as the Bizarro-people to experience touching demonstrations of sacrifice, all while remaining absolutely silly creatures.
CHEERS, finally, to the way that a writing critique was one of the focal plot points of the latest issue of All Star Superman.
JEERS to us having to wait so long for each issue of All Star Superman.
CHEERS to Stan Lee, for giving us a half-way decent comic book about a dude who won a reality superhero contest.
JEERS to the fact that the comic was only half-way decent, and was mostly lame. Still, the material Lee had to work with was pretty darn sparse.
CHEERS to Brian Stelfreeze’s great art in the latest issue of Midnighter.
JEERS to Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s fairly hackneyed fill-in story. I know it’s the luck of the draw and all, but it sure didn’t help them out to be following Christos Gage’s awesome previous fill-in issue.
This is following right up on Palmiotti’s pretty poor installment in Spirit #7, which he also should have gotten JEERS for.
CHEERS to Walt Simonson, by the by, for writing the best of the three Spirit short-stories in #7.
JEERS to Kyle Baker for basing his entire story in that Spirit issue around one lame joke. Great artwork by Baker, though!
CHEERS to Jason Pearson’s artwork in the latest issue of Welcome to Tranquility, which was ALSO broken up into three stories.
CHEERS, too, to writer Gail Simone for giving us three flashback stories that wove with each other beautifully.
JEERS, though, to Emoticon’s origin. I really, really did not like that. I mean, I liked the basic framework – but the idea of the Typist coming up with a giant Emoticon mask just reads false with the character as presented to this point.
CHEERS, and big ones at that, to
Marc SumerakFred Van Lente’s expert integration of Franklin Richards into being friends with Power Pack, and Sumerak Van Lente does a beautiful job of setting up the next issue.
JEERS, slightly, though, to the idea of the Wizard being some weird lame dad who falls asleep and lets his son break into his lab to steal weapons. That was super strange.
CHEERS to a strong conclusion to the most recent Punisher storyline. Man, Garth Ennis is writing this series like it is one gigantic graphic novel, and I am loving it (and he is still managing to make each issue strong on its own).
JEERS of gross magnitude to the terrible Thor #1. UGH. That was just so bad. It was probably the worst comic I have ever seen from JMS, and he wrote Sins Past, people!
CHEERS to Dynamo 5 #5 for being such a fun comic. Quite often, I’ll see the phrase “this is the comic fans SAY they want to read,” and it will often be some book where I will think to myself, “Really? I don’t get that.” However, as Greg mentioned, Dynamo 5 really IS the superhero comic that fans always complain they don’t see anymore. A real throwback comic.
JEERS to this whole “entirely new personality for Julie Power” thing they got going on in Loners. The lesbian thing is whatever (it smacks a bit of exploitation, but whatever, I’ll give CB Cebulski some slack there), but she just doesn’t REMOTELY resemble the character who rocked so much in Power Pack.
CHEERS to two more fun stories by Kathleen Webb in the latest issue of Betty and Veronica.
JEERS, though, and fairly strong ones, to the storytelling in one of the stories. In it, Veronica and Betty are drawing rave reviews from the other teens by virture of wearing bathing suits that match each other (with Veronica wearing the top of one and the bottom of the other, and Betty wearing the reverse). Veronica wants the attention to hereself, so she mustard all over one of Betty’s outfit. Later in the story, Jughead makes them match by spilling mustard on Betty. We are then led to believe that Jughead did it on purpose because he saw what Veronica did. Fair enough – however, we never see Jughead actually SEE it happen. It would have made the story so much stronger if Jughead was actually depicted in the scene where Veronica spills the mustard. That way, there is a direct line to the ending. Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense.
A mixture of CHEERS and JEERS to George Gladir who, later in the same issue of Betty and Veronica, attempts to give Nancy, Chuck’s girlfriend, a personality trait. She is interested in chemistry.
Cheers for actually trying to make Nancy anything except simply Chuck’s girlfriend/Betty and Veronica’s token black friend. However, Jeers for the sheer randomness of it all. They’re sitting around, talking about what they want to study in college, and Nancy is all, “Yeah, I’m big into chemistry.”
How random is THAT?
THAT’s her thing? She’s “into chemistry”? So silly, especially as we’ve never seen any predilection from Nancy before towards that interest.
So while I admire the effort from Gladir, the execution was off.
CHEERS to Marvel reprinting Stern and Byrne’s Captain America. That was some damn fine comic books, right there.
JEERS to this Battlin’ Jack Murdock comic book. It’s so weird getting four issues re-telling stuff we all basically know by heart by now if we followed Daredevil.
I mean, it’s a GOOD re-telling and all, but it just seems so unnecessary.
CHEERS to John Cassaday’s art on the last Final Son issue.
JEERS to Jeph Loeb’s story. Weak sauce.
CHEERS, ever so slightly, to the latest issue of Countdown, which featured the funeral for Bart Allen, for only being PRETTY bad, and not awful like previous issues. The tape of Kid Flash they play at the funeral was awesome. The rest was okay (except for the Forerunner and Monarch stuff and the Jason Todd/Donna Troy stuff – lame).
JEERS to DC’s weird “answering” of what the old teaser image for Countdown represented, and, like, half of the images really WEREN’T answered.
“As you can see, Bart Allen has one foot in the grave” or something like that. How is that a TEASER for ANYthing?!!? What silly nonsense.
CHEERS to the latest issue of Supergirl, for spending the entire issue basically going, “Yeah, Kara has been super lame this entire series. She’ll be better now, though! Promise!”
JEERS to how dorky the latest Countdown teaser poster looks.
CHEERS to Mateo Casali for actually writing a comic featuring the Millenium Giants that was actually GOOD (the issue was Justice League Unlimited #35, by the by).
JEERS to the whole Darick Robertson situation at DC Comics. He’s only one of the best artists DC has, and what do they do with him? Fill-ins. It is quite annoying. He did a great job on the latest issue of Exterminators, though.
CHEERS to Adam Kubert’s artwork on the latest issue of Action Comics.
JEERS to New Avengers/Transformers. That was weirdly lame.
CHEERS to Exterminators, for ending the issue with a huge bug pissing in some dude’s mouth and making it actually work for the story.
JEERS to Greg Land’s Scarlet Witch in the latest Ultimate Power.
CHEERS to Greg Land’s Nick Fury in the latest Ultimate Power.
JEERS to Nightwing getting his ass kicked AGAIN. T has turned me on to you, Mr. Wolfman! I know read each issue of your Nightwing expecting Nightwing to get beat up, and it happens each issue!!
CHEERS a lot to the latest issue of Scalped. Damn, Jason Aaron is turning on the afterburners on this baby!! An excellent look at the head of the casino. A fascinating examination of the justifications an evil man can make for his actions.
A late CHEERS to Don MacPherson, for this interesting look at superheroes and war that he wrote for the Fourth of July.
Well, that’s it for last week! Maybe I’ll have a new one up for y’all as soon as TOMORROW! Wouldn’t that be amazing?
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