Random Comic Reviews 12/13/05

Some comix I just read and had a few minutes to yap about:

The Books of Doom #1: I like Dr Doom. I like Ed Brubaker. But together, they are ponderous. I can’t tell whether this comic is supposed to read like a therapy session with Doom or a documentary about his life. In either case, Doom is more interesting when he’s trying to take over the world than when he’s on the couch. Most of the stuff in his past is interesting because it’s in his past and because we don’t know the full story. Laying it out point by point takes it from intriguing to languid. I’ll pass on the rest of this miniseries.
Ultimates 2 #9: I don’t know why I enjoy this rework of the Avengers. Maybe it’s because Mark Millar has no love of sacred cows. Cap is a fascist, Iron Man’s a drunk, and Ant Man is a wife beater, but not in the After School Special let’s-all-learn-something way that you see in the old Marvel U. Here they are just bastards, but you still want to read about them. And in this issue, their arrogance leads to the downfall of America--with lots of explosions. Rock on. Keep this one away from your Republican friends, lest they get all flustered or learn something.  
  Y the Last Man #40: In this stand-alone issue, Yorick’s sister finds his former love and the two take on the Catholic Church--what little is left of it anyway after all the men in the world have died. I’m still enjoying Y, and this issue is no exception. But we are quickly reaching the point of diminishing return. Yes, I never want Y to end, because I really like it; but if it doesn’t end, it’ll just become an increasingly stale parody of itself. Remember Twin Peaks? When the producers saw how popular that show had become, they decided not to resolve the murder (you know, the raison d’etre of the show). That gave everyone more Peaks, but less of what made Peaks cool. Vaughn needs to learn from that mistake (although he may be too young to remember the show).
Daredevil vol 12 Decalogue: I just recently got into Bendis’ run on DD thanks to the trades and Sequential Swap. And while I generally loathe the Bendis formula, I must say that I’ve really enjoyed his take on DD. But with Decalogue, he goes a little too far off radar. DD has had his life torn apart (once again) and has decided to make things right by declaring himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen. This arc gets into some of the consequences of that action. The story surrounds a support group for people affected by DD’s reign. And through their eyes we see the ramifications of the new order. A few of the stories are okay, and we do get to see the Jester once again; but for me, the whole thing is tainted by bringing in magic and elder gods. Yes, I know DD lives in the Marvel U with Galactus and Dormamu, but DD works best when the bizarre is ignored in favor of street crime. Additionally, the individual issues are (supposedly) based on the Ten Commandments, but I’m unclear how that is the case. Not only does Bendis get the Commandments wrong, but the stories are at best tangentially related (doesn't any story involve the Commandments in some way?). Overall, Decalogue is not a bad read, but it's really one of the weaker arcs, especially since I was hoping to see some real trauma as DD cleaned up Hell’s Kitchen one jerk at a time.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3: The Other saga becomes even darker as the one-eyed Spider-Man finally kicks off this mortal coil. Sorry...did I spoil that for you? Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be back. Not only is this part 5 of 12, but Marvel is not about to kill off their premiere money maker (although, as history has shown, they are willing to drag him through some god-awful stories). I’m not really sure what spurred this latest re-boot on the Spidey titles, but anything that could make you forget the Gwen and Osborn trystis probably a train wreck you don’t want to miss. Maybe if Spidey weren’t my original favorite, I could be more objective, but something about pulling out his eyes, pummeling him to death, and making him grow wolverine claws make me think I’m probably not being overly sensitive here. Did someone forget that the title of this mag is “Friendly?” This issue may be the poster child of why kids don’t read comics anymore.
Supreme Power: Nighthawk #4: I still don’t understand why this story couldn’t have been part of the main Supreme Power series. That title comes out what? twice a year? And it still can’t keep to its schedule. Just fold in all the “spin offs” (3 at current count) and we might actually have a monthly title. Marvel claims to be relaunching Supreme Power as an all-ages book in order to sell more; but if you ask me it’s selling poorly not because of sex and violence (quite the opposite, I expect), but because no one knows when it’ll come out. Oh, but this review is about Nighthawk. Lots of blood and gore, but here I don’t mind so much because it’s expected. Plus, it’s a reasonably good Batman v. the Joker story er…I mean Nighthawk v. the Clown (or whateverthehell his name is).  
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