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Dean Trippe’s The Good Stuff (9/19/08)

In the interest of helping the mainstream comics industry by both promoting their best stuff and ignoring their less successful attempts, Dean Trippe takes time out of his busy schedule to inform you about the best of the best put out by the Big Two. Here are his picks for the last couple of weeks.

All-Star Superman #12 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely with Jamie Grant. It’s no secret that this series has been the best book on stands since its debut. In its final issue, All-Star Supes pulls the complex threads laid down in the first issue into a cohesive closure that feels inevitable…and perfect. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Superman’s final labor, Lex’s great realization, or Lois’s enduring faith. I found this comic profoundly moving, and honestly, that is the best compliment that can be given to any story. I spoke briefly with Mr. Morrison at SDCC this year, and his contention that we are in a New Golden Age is hard to deny, given the great steps his and Geoff Johns’s work at DC has taken to elevate the genre. I can’t say too much about this issue, because I know many of you are waiting for the trades. I will tell you, though, I honestly feel grateful to Morrison, Quitely, and Grant, for sharing this incredible story with us, for believing in a Superman truly worthy of his status as the world’s first and best superhero. I’m left awestruck. (I struggled with what preview clip to show for this issue, because there were so many incredible moments I wanted to leave spoiler-free just for you. You’re welcome.)

Amazing Spider-Man #572 by Dan Slott (and the Spidey team) and John Romita Jr. I’ve been giving the current storyline, “New Ways to Die,” a try, since I haven’t been that into Spidey since the whole devil-wish-magic-divorce storyline. It’s pretty dang cool. The creative team is solid. No one beat JRJR on Spidey, and Klaus Janson’s inks here are beefy and strong. Dean White’s coloring is some of his best work, rounding out the art team with finished pages to rival anything else being done at the Big Two. Dan Slott’s Spidey feels classic and fun, and I’m genuinely enjoying the multi-threaded storyline. If this was a monthly, I’d be concerned about how complex and decompressed it is, but for a near-weekly series, it’s a blast. (One quibble: Is Norman Osborn’s hair changing from issue to issue?)

Green Lantern #34 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Continuing the “Secret Origin” storyline, Johns and Reis are STILL brining their heavy-hitting skills to this “include and transcend” retelling of Hal Jordan’s origin. If you don’t know anything about Hal’s story, here’s a great way in; if you know a bunch of different versions of it with lots of loose threads, let this carefully crafted story tie those threads into a cohesive fabric. It’s like Birthright for Green Lantern. Johns is pulling from disparate tales of various writers, and connecting things up with his own ideas about the Corps dynamics and the emotional color spectrum. Johns’ understanding of Sinestro is unmatched, by the way, as is evident in his recent Sinestro Corps storylines. But this look back to Sinestro as the best of the GLs is excellent, and makes his seduction by Fear all the more tragic.This will be the story arc you give friends to introduce them to the GL mythos. Great book from a great team.

Secret Invasion #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Yu. Okay, nothing in this book is as badass as the cover, though Nick Fury’s line here comes pretty close. Finally reuniting the Avengers teams and specifically the triumvirate of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor (all in their new costumes!) is exciting, though it really needed a moment somewhere in the book to truly consider the weight of their likely reconciliation. I’m interested to see where Bendis is going with the Skrull’s God-fixation, which many have noted seems like a nod to (or rip from) the Cylons in the current Battlestar Galactica series. I’m not as concerned about that, since honestly, all of these stories have been told and retold. I’m just enjoying seeing it rail across the Marvel U. Leinil’s art this issue is mostly solid, though I think I see some series fatigue setting in in some of the background characters. My only crit on the writing would be the lack of investment in the “fascist”-crying youths wishing to “embrace change.” It looks like next issue should be an all-out brawl, which wouldn’t be that exciting for me except that Yu is REALLY GOOD at those. Haha. Here’s hoping there’s more of Tony, Buck, and Thor teaming up specifically. It’s really good to see those three together.

20 Comments

The “He loves you” and invading-for-your-own-good stuff that bendis is using reminds me more of (your choice of) Crusaders or Jihadis — bring The Word to the unwashed at the point of a sword if needs be. “He loves you” seems to be more on the order of “Allahu akbar!” than what you see with the Cylons — and in BSG the monotheist elements seems to play mainly between Six and Baltar.

Steven – Of course, a technologically superior invading force claiming to offer a better way of life while tactically eliminating resistance forces and killing any civilians who get in their way…sounds a lot more like Americans right now.

“except that Yu is REALLY GOOD at those.”

No. He’s really not. He draws pages of random people fighting random people. But compare it to a similar page by Perez. If you look at the NEXT page, the fights continue. Because it’s not about drawing one page, it’s about telling a story thru art….sequential remember?

“My only crit on the writing would be the lack of investment in the “fascist”-crying youths wishing to “embrace change.”

What, like they’re attacked by the fire skrull and then 2 pages later, they’re bitching at Fury?

That’s not “lack of investment” that’s bad writing.

The big meeting between the reborn Thor, dick Tony, and the new Cap….and it gets a panel?

Bet you dug the Galactus Skrull, too! Thought it was all cool! I just thought it was stupid and over powering…a friend pointed out something i forgot:

“Wow, not tacky at all. Skrulls making a Galactus warrior would be like Jews coming up with a Captain Hitler supersoldier….”

Quick note: I went a bit personal in my post above. I apologize for that. It was uncalled for. After reading reviews and reviews praising what I find to be badly written and drawn tripe (even when the reviews agree with the weaknesses, but still giving praise), I got a bit heated.

I apologize to Dean for being a jerk in my reply to his review.

I liked Secret Invasion. It was what it needed to be . . .a fairly clever blockbuster. Not the smartest thing in the world, but it hit good points.

And CHRIST thank God Perez didn’t pencil it. Any joy or fluidity would have been sapped out in his over-rendered spaghetti style.

Nice reviews, but what I absolutely LOVE is the Headline Image!! Bookmarked.

Scavenger – No worries, man. Thanks for the additional comment. I wrote this review before heading over to my local shop (Rick’s Comic City in Nashville!) for our weekly Wednesday Roundtable where we go over all the previous week’s books. I definitely am enjoying Secret Invasion, because I’m someone who forgives insane decompression in favor of pretty pretty drawings, but after talking it over with my local nerd pals, I definitely see a few more valid crits.

I missed the Galactus Skrull on my first read (which doesn’t make sense technologically or storywise, and I’m sure was just something Yu threw in for fun), but my main problem (as noted above) was the lack of a MOMENT for the reunion of that Avengers-founding trinity. Still, a fun read for me personally. Hoping for it to swing more towards awesome as we near the end of the story.

I don’t see why Nick Fury’s line is badass. A hammer isn’t that great a thing to have, anyway. Here’s an idea, show Thor using his hammer in a cool and original way, that’s a better way to embrace the awesome ridiculousness of the genre than making a corny joke about it.

i’m a HUGE marvel zombie and, although i have a soft spot for dc when it is, as i perceive it, ‘at it’s best’ i tend to avoid most of their titles as i don’t enjoy the universe as a whole.

that said, i loved the johns/donner acion comics arc, ignored all the other stuff and have jumped on for this brainiac arc which seems pretty cool (mainly because i can hum the john williams score to it). i always liked the IDEA of green lantern but never actually read a green lantern comic and, after reading the masterpiece that is the new frontier , don’t want to read any green lantern that isn’t hal jordan.

knowing what i know of johns’ work and seeing it in a list with three other comics that i thoroughly enjoy makes me wanna give this green lantern thing a go whilst the origin story is being retold. just gotta find out what issue to start from. hope i’m not dissapointed…

p.s. all-star superman is, surely, the first superman comic to surpass the magnificence first donner movie since it’s release? if not i want to be pointed towards the great comics i’ve been missing!

Scavenger, most scripts are panel-by-panel breakdowns. If a fight scene is written a certain way it’s not the fault of the artist. Perez is better, but Yu is very close. Comparing their splash pages is a better way to evaluate their comparative skill.

fanboy d – I’d recommend the Superman & the Legion of Superheroes arc from Action as well (which just hit stores as a hardcover), along with Waid and Yu’s Superman: Birthright, which is out in trade paperback. And yeah, jump on GL, dude. It’s really great.

Am I the only one who was disappointed that this was Dean Trippe talking about comics instead of Dean Trippe making comics?

Butterfly > Secret Invasion.

@Fanboy_D:
I stopped reading it ‘I’m a Marvel zombie and i hate the DCU” , it screamed fucking brainless fanboy to me.

@Joe Rice:
You’re weird, and not in a good way.

Eric – See the header banner? It’s called multi-tasking. :P

#1 on this week’s s(p)it list—Joe Rice.

Reason—speaking ill of George Perez.

i already bought ‘superman birthright’, picked it up in singles as it was coming out actually. it was pretty damn good (another art masterclass from yu, and his lois lane falling of a building cover is, like, the best lois lane falling off a building cover), but i did prefer ‘for all seasons’ for my superman origin fix

i checked out butterfly cos of this, never heard of it before..awesome stuff :D

That header image is how I always imagine you, Dean; ceaselessly working for the good of comics in every avenue!

fanboy d – let’s be best friends. :)

ming doyle – awww :)

Joe’s on your spit list this week for smack talking Perez? Because 1) He does that all the time, so you’re kind of late to the party and 2) Does that mean you’re gonna spit at him? Because that’s pretty unpleasent, even if it is Joe.

I would like to buy the comic but it is not ok in my country. so can u give me the comic book to my e mail

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