Recent Comic Reviews 2/20/07

Deadman #6 jumps into a new story arc, although I'm not clear that the last one really ended. Maybe that was a function of a convoluted story and the intervening months. In any case, where the last arc seemed to focus on quantum chaos and parallel worlds, this one looks to be about remote viewing. On the plus side, the story seems a lot more straightforward as Brandon's family gets involved in launching their psyches across the ether. Unfortunately, while this title has lots of interesting elements, it still hasn't come together for me. And the art by Watkiss, while beautiful, has several panels per issue that are impossible to figure out. Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #1 Jeff Smith (of Bone fame) re-envisions the origin of Captain Marvel in a sweet little (almost) all-ages book. While there's nothing earth shattering about this fairly simple story, it does show that comics can be good and still be appropriate for kids. Unfortunately, at $6 a pop and available only in comic shops, this book is ironically aimed at fortysomethings who remember when comics were good clean fun.

Spider-Man: Reign #3 Absolute Crap. Andrews (w/a) wants this title to be Spider-Man: The Dark Knight Returns, but it's just so awful that it's hard to look away.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #16 David (w) turns in a decent story despite being shoe-horned into a Sandman-&-black-costume-sorta-movie-tie-in. The best thing about this series is Peter's supporting cast, which is probably the one aspect of the book that the Marvel editors don't dictate what has to happen, because they've never cared about it (as has been obvious for at least 10 years).

All New Atom #8 I was about ready to drop this book until I read an interview with writer Gail Simone which made me decide to give it another chance. Like FNSM, this book's strength is its cast. This ish sorta wraps up a two-parter that was completely different from my expectations as the Atom manages to save time and space while potentially gaining some more allies. If they could just nail down Norton as the regular artist, this book could find its way back into my heart.

Jack of Fables #7 For completely unexplained reasons, this issue (which should have been part 2) is part 1 of a new story. While irritating, I guess at least DC got a book out on schedule. As a plus, I think I like this story better than the aborted one. Jack hooks up with an American heiress, and it's a race to see how quickly he can charm the trust fund out of her. Jack being a cad is the only reason to read this book; although making all the narration in the past tense does tend to lessen the mystery as to whether Jack will succeed.