The Red Wing - Jonathan Hickman

Hickman tends to come up with something really cool and then make me think he forgot to develop it. This story is about humanity fighting a war across time itself against an unknown adversary. Pretty cool, huh? So how come the story is little more than a clever idea devoid of the details and development that would lead it to actually being more than just a clever idea? Then again, maybe it is me, as I never feel time travel is written in any way that I can accept as potentially believable.

Focus

Nicky and Jess are two con artists who meet again after three years apart (due to Nicky fearing that being in a relationship with Jess will make him soft). So now the question is will Jess disrupt Nicky's con or--oh, whatever, it's a movie that thrives on twists and not knowing who is telling the truth. It's fine if you have nothing else to do and I wanted to see who was going to play Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie (it's Margot Robbie AKA Jess and she is amazing looking (I guess she can act too)).

La Perdida - Jessica Abel

Unfortunately, I didn't care for this impressively long book about a young woman, Carla, who moves to Mexico to establish some connection to a largely non-existent part of her heritage. The problem was that with one briefly appearing exception of Carla's little brother, Rod, every single character in this story is a completely immature, moronic, loser. It's really hard to keep reading about a story filled with these idiot wannabe Marxists, writers, DJs, whatever. And it takes 150 of the 250+ pages before a plot really begins and by that time I really don't care what happens next despite how exciting and intense it should be. I also felt that Abel's early use of subtitles for the spanish didn't really work for me, just have it in english and let me know what parts are suppose to be spanish. Sorry, but if I knew anyone like any of these characters I would just ignore them, so don't make me read about them. 

Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

I saw this movie years ago, but didn't really remember it, and certainly didn't post about it. It is from the old Batman animated series, so the art style is awesome and distinct although everything looks like it's from the 50s which may turn some people off. Mass murderer and brilliant scientist, Mr. Freeze, needs to revive his ailing wife, and if that means he has to kill innocence to do so, so what? It's up to Batman and Robin to stop him. This is an enjoyable enough Batman adventure, but I do get the feeling you're supposed to forget, at least at times, that Mr. Freeze is a mass murder.

Here - Richard McGuire

It seems like a very interesting and artistic idea. The comic focuses on one point in space and jumps around through time, from the distant past to the not so distant future. The problem is that the execution is boring as hell. I'm not even going to put a picture of this book on this review because the cover is boring also. It probably took forever to create this book and you can read it in five minutes.

Thunderbolt Jaxon - Dave Gibbons

In an attempt to update some old British comic characters, Gibbons tried to breath life into a tale about how a magical belt turns a boy into Thor, and how he uses that power for good. Sadly, while this seems to me to be awesome (a cross between the first Thor comic and Captain Marvel but originating earlier than either), Gibbons makes what should be a kids book far too dark, and has a horrible time with the pacing, plotting, and dialogue. There are a lot of good ideas and fun touches here (gods reenacting their wars as hoodlums, the MacBeth witches, a trio of kids), and none of it hold together well. Perhaps if it unfolded over a longer time than the handful of five issues. 

The Voyeurs - Gabrielle Bell

This is why this comic sucks: It's filled with name dropping that means nothing unless you waste your time memorizing the first names of alternative comic artists so you can attempt to figure out who is who; there is no actual plot, just random diary entries; there are no characters, unless you count the parade of superficial hipsters that whine that they have it so good yet seem to do nothing, or Bell herself who is frighteningly unstable (and if she is so unstable how does she actual produce anything?); and there is little information here, mainly recollections of events that are tangential to other--perhaps interesting--events. Ug.

Exquisite Corpse - Penelope Bagieu

I was sadly disappointed in this comic. The art is wonderful and it seem like a decent set up: an attractive, but uninspired girl meets a shut-in, older, author with writers block and a bizarre secret. Together, they inspire each other. Seems simple enough, but it takes about half the book before the story really starts and it's all leaning to what are supposed to be shocking twists, but none of the characters are good enough to make me really care about them, or bad enough to make me want anything negative to happen to them. Some of the events come out of nowhere (sorry, it is not a twist when there's no basis for an event to take place), and the whole book reads like a pitch idea for what might be a clever movie if any of the characters were actually developed. exquisite corpse

FBP (Federal Bureau of Physics) (vol 1-2): The Paradigm Shift & Wish You Were Here - Simon Oliver

This world is a lot like ours, except the laws of physics are more like unenforceable suggestions. The FBP is the government agency designed to investigate and attempt to rectify problems such as quantum tornadoes, random wormholes, time shifts, and the occasional loss of gravity. Agent Adam Hardy is a real ladies man (although I'm uncertain why or how) and is looking for his long lost father; unfortunately for him, so is a criminal multinational corporation. There's more to this story, of course, it took the entire first trade just to set up the world and the main character and introduce the sassy, sexy, sociopathic, female sidekick, but I'm unfortunately not really into it. Maybe in part because of the art by Robbi Rodriguez, whose work is just too elongated and faces too indistinct for me, or maybe, as I said, the fact that it took forever to set up our main story line. FBP

Stumptown: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini) - Greg Rucka

I liked this comic better when it was an episode of The Killing or done by Ed Brubaker;  okay, that's not fair, but it does seem very much like a desperate attempt to create a TV pilot done in the style of Brubaker. I'm sure a ton of people will love this comic, but I am not one of them and here's why: this story is about a woman named Dex, who by her own account is a complete and utter loser; she drinks too much, gambles foolishly, can't get into a relationship (doesn't even know her sexual orientation (but that's really just Rucka trying to be sexy)), flirts shamelessly with anyone she wants something from, and does not seem to be particularly good at her job, which is being a private investigator. We are supposed to like her though because of two things: she takes cares of her mentally disabled little brother (although not particularly well as throughout the story there's ample opportunity for the bad guys to use him as a bargaining chip (why they don't is simply beyond me)), and because she is sassy (although I don't think it's sassy so much as absolute stupidity when you mouth off to people who just attempted to murder you and obviously would have no problem trying again or at the very least raping and/or maiming you). The plot itself is that Dex (who lives in the world of The Killing) has to find a missing girl--the subtitle gives some basic information on that, but makes it seem like a joke, which is another problem I have with the comic as it wants to be dark and serious but obviously thinks everything is a joke. You want to write a crime comic? Fine, and I'm happy for it, but have it make sense. stumptown