Recent Comic Reviews 3/31/07

Big stack this time and getting behind, so we'll keep 'em short: Army @ Love #1 Oh thank god they've given Rick Veitch (w/a) a monthly book again. Veitch, along with inker Gary Erskine, explores the madness of war taking it just one step beyond where we are today. In a war that never ends, the only way to keep recruitment up is by promising sex (as well as death) on the battlefield.

Welcome to Tranquility #4 The mystery of whodunnit gets bigger, but for me, the interesting part of this book is taking a look at the aging heroes and how they come to grips with their dwidling powers and importance.

Fables #58 Bigby must save his children even as his father, the North Wind, must protect his own. Bigby is really coming together as an interesting, multi-faceted character and the real mainstay of this title. Mike Allred does a nice job with the fill in art, although for some reason it seemed really blurry. Green Arrow #72 Why is this book even called Green Arrow? It's been high-jacked once again by other characters. And now it looks like GA's tenure as mayor is coming to an end without ever exploring the idea.

Justice Society of America #4 Still too much death and destruction for my tastes, and I've never found Vandal Savage to be an interesting villain. Still, this issue provides a nice end to the current arc, showing how there will always be a JSA.

Blue Beetle #12 It's hard to believe that this book couldn't keep the creative team for even a year, but Rogers (w) and Albuquerque (a) appear ready to take the reins as BB begins to discover where his powers came from.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #2 Another sweet little all-ages tale that should be what pulls new readers in, but is instead aimed at the older crowd. Alas. Dr. Sivana as Director of Heartland Security is funny, but I don't think he's evil enough to be believable in that role.

Irredeemable Ant-Man #6 I can't tell if this is the end of the story, or if it's just never going to end. It's hard to care as Kirkman (w) has (purposely) made Ant-Man completely unlikeable.

Deadman #8 Huh. Apparently we've started a new story arc. I didn't realize that the last one ended. I enjoy this series' themes of death and out-of-body experiences, but I'm completely turned around on the story. More evidence to go TPB only.

Y #55 The final arc begins as Yorick and 355 converge on Paris. It's time for me to stop reading, wait for the end, and then read the whole she-bang.

Jack Staff #13 This was a really odd, alternate reality episode that kinda came out of left field. It was okay, but largely unnecessary.

Helmet of Fate: Detective Chimp This story was also completely unnecessary. Supposedly, it (and 3 other comics) serves as a lead-in to the upcoming Dr. Fate series, which I suspect will not last a year. Nevertheless, it's a Detective Chimp story written by Willingham and drawn by former Fate artist Shawn McManus. So yeah, it was an okay little read.

Shadowpact #11 The finale of the Demon saga is better than I'd hoped as the substitue Shadowpact storms the gates of Hell. Criminal #5 Now this is how comics should be done. One arc at a time, and only when there is a decent story to tell. Brubaker (w) and Phillips (a) wrap up Leo's downward spiral as all his efforts fall apart. And as it turns out, this book isn't even about Leo---he's just one of the many characters who will receive a showcase.

Crossing Midnight #4 Straight from his excellent Lucifer series, Mike Carey (w) begins a new epic tale that is a bit hard to describe, but it begins with fraternal Japanese twins born on opposite sides of midnight and accidently beholden to a dangerous deity. Jim Fern's graceful artwork is well-chosen, although Pennington's inks may be a bit too blotchy. This is a defitnite title to get in on the ground floor. Let's hope DC/Vertigo plays nice and keeps this one around long enough to finish, as I'm sure that sales will be slight on such an off-beat title.