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Posts posted by drqshadow

  1. Dark Avengers #7 - I hate crossover tie-ins. I especially hate when I don't know they're coming up, and they really rise my ire when they interrupt a book that's been rolling along as well as Dark Avengers has been. With that said, I'm usually quick to forgive in such situations and I generally like what I've seen from Matt Fraction, but this was total crap. The vast majority of this issue was spent introducing generic characters I've never heard of, half of which were then promptly knocked off or knocked out in an orgy of superpowers and randomly exploding city streets moments later. What was the point of that?! Honest to god, I thought I'd returned to the early '90s for a sort of X-Cutioner's Song Redux. The few nuggets of goodness that were scattered around this issue weren't nearly enough to compensate for its flavorless artwork and disconnected approach to the Avengers themselves. At least next month I'll know what's coming.


    The Walking Dead #63 - Even when it's treading water, this series is more entertaining than most titles experience during their greatest arcs. I'm constantly astonished at how effortlessly Kirkman can integrate deep new personalities to Walking Dead's roster. They're each multi-dimensional, inherently flawed, genuinely compelling individuals, and the writer casually slides their tales into the flow of the story as though they were nothing. This month we're learning a bit more about Gabriel, the priest who strolled into the group's life a few issues ago, and he fits that mold just as well as those who came before. I felt like the ending of the issue was somewhat telegraphed, but that doesn't make it any less harrowing or ominous for the near future of Rick and his cluster of survivors. Once again, this is great storytelling from both writer and artist, intense characterization and a sudden zombie attack or two thrown in to make sure we don't forget about the big picture. I'm glad I jumped on to enjoy the ride.


    Chew #1 - Well, that was imaginative if nothing else. This issue changed gears and directions so many times that by the last page I felt dizzy. Is it a crime drama? An open discussion about the treatment of America's poultry? A rant against prohibition? Maybe a bit of science fiction with a hint of superheroism? It's all and none of the above, like the creators couldn't decide on one specific direction and instead chose to pursue everything that came to mind. I enjoyed certain aspects of the story, like the premise that chicken was outlawed by our government after a particularly nasty bout with the bird flu, but really found myself at a loss when it came to others. I'll give John Layman, the writer, points for originality; I've never seen a power quite like Tony Chu's ability to learn everything about a creature by ingesting it. There's a lot of potential for ingenuity there, but to be frank I'm not particularly taken by the direction. It's playful, but lacking. I loved Rob Guillory's artwork, though, which matched the manic, odd flavor of that storyline beat for beat. If you like Jim Mahfood, you'll like Guillory's work too.


    The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye - Finally got my hands on the first volume, and tore through it in one sitting. I was worried I'd be distracted by Tony Moore's initial interpretation of the characters, since I got to know them in the hands of Charlie Adlard, but instead found the two artists' styles to be very compatible. I was struck by the much faster pace of this chapter, especially compared to the current arc, but looking back that's understandable. The cast hadn't really figured out what they were doing at this point, so it's only natural that they'd come under fire (so to speak) with much more regularity than they do now. I thought the friendship / rivalry of Rick and Shane made a great outline for this first arc, before being effectively cast aside at its conclusion, like a pair of training wheels. For all the growing the cast did in this arc, they've got a long ways to go before becoming the hardened, jaded faces we're following today. It's nice to have a little perspective now. Great reading.


    Also, a few contributions to IIWY? since my last post: Reborn #1, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36, Deadpool #12 and Action Comics #879

    Comics: 111, TPB: 8, Graphic Novel: 5

  2. Go to the "My Profile" link, then hit "Edit my profile," then hit "Change Photo." That'll get you squared away.

    BTW, Mike, the "View New Content" link works for shit. It just shows you any new threads you hadn't previously clicked on. Once you've read a thread and / or replied, it never reappears in the list, even if new replies have been posted since your last visit. Really obnoxious.

  3. Loeb may be a money grubbing prick, but at least he can write a decent story.


    I don't think anything could truly run me off comics, if just because there's no chance of a lack in competition. I was deeply involved with wrestling for years, but once the WWF purchased WCW, they sat back on their heels and haven't leaned forward since. The lack of competition allowed them a certain degree of complacency, and without the pressing danger of the enemy nipping at their heels, (or even running away from them) they lost that urge to innovate and reinvent. They got lazy, their writing turned to shit and it ultimately ran me off.

    The comic landscape is so much more spread out, though, that there's always going to be something to capture my interest, even if the big guns are putting out serious crap. The independent scene is the unheralded lifeblood of the industry. It keeps things fresh, provides a tasteful alternative and feeds the big boys like a good minor league circuit.

  4. BF 1942 is the PC shooter from 4 or 5 years ago. The new release on 360 and PS3 is Battlefield 1943. Small difference, but an important one. :D

    I was really frustrated the first few times I played it too, but after gaining some experience I've really fallen in love with it. There's a lot to absorb at first, and the skill of the other players can be a major turn off, but trust me when I say it's quite rewarding if you stick with it. For such a simple concept (nothing but multiplayer territories-style games) it's surprisingly deep - three classes to suit your style of combat, (close quarters, long range or speed) a simple, enjoyable squad system, (spawn next to your teammates instead of a desolate flag somewhere far from the action) and some fantastic vehicles (although the airplanes take a lot of time to figure out). I'm addicted, even though I still pretty much suck.

    You can tell where people are hitting you from by the direction of the red indicators on-screen. If it's at the top of your screen, they're behind you... it's subtle, so I missed it the first few rounds, too, but it's there. It's much more of a real war simulator, though, in that you have to use cover to your advantage. If you go sprinting into an enemy camp down the middle of the road on your lonesome, you're probably going to get sliced to ribbons. Take your time and keep an eye out for movement, rather than keeping your focus on the mini-map. Enemies aren't identified as red blips on the map until you've hit them.

    Give it another chance, Jack!

  5. I don't think the options for the Bisping / Hendo poll are totally correct. Watch that replay in real-time and tell me you could've said with absolute certainty that he was out before Dan's body was in midair. He might not have had another chance to finish if he'd hesitated, so rather than risk a wasted opportunity, he went straight in for the certain kill.

  6. Although I'm sure they'll get involved sooner or later, provided the story stays true to its roots, the gods really don't have much of a presence in the first issue, either directly or indirectly. I'm sure it could turn out that one of the (soon to be) warring gangs are helmed or manipulated by a higher power, but for the moment it's left ambiguous.

  7. Quick question on the premise of Greek Street - is it basically Greek Gods living in a modern day world?

    Well, not gods per se. At least, if we've met anyone who's immortal, they haven't revealed that aspect of themselves yet. Milligan does a good job of keeping it grounded in reality - the mythological inspirations are there if you're looking for them, but it works fine as a crazy, twisted modern drama too. You don't need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the source to enjoy it, but it makes the experience more enlightening.

  8. It's starting to feel lonely in IIWY. :(

    Greek Street could be worth a look once it's had time to develop, you're right, potentially good TPB material. Cry for Justice a bit less so, but that might just be my traditional anti-DC bias talking again. If it were all like the first scene, the book would've been terrific.

  9. Dark Avengers #6 - I might be able to write the same review for just about every issue of this series. For the moment, at least, more Osborn means more entertainment and this issue provides yet another playground for his personality to fool around with. Of course, the green-shaded voices that keep filling his head are cause for concern, but for now I'll give Bendis the benefit of the doubt. He hasn't gone completely over the top with Norman yet, and the scene he delivers with the fearless leader and Namor this month is good enough to momentarily erase any worries about the future. Deodato could stand to make Norman a bit less of a Tommy Lee Jones clone, but otherwise his artwork is showing continued signs of improvement. He's a bit different than what I'm used to in a high-profile Marvel book, but this is anything but your typical team of superheroes.


    Daredevil #119 - Feels like the calm before the storm - there's a lot of talk, double-crossing and maneuvering this month, without a lot of action. Every issue of Brubaker's run has seemed like it's moving to a completely different tempo, which may make for good reading in the trades but it's a bit disorienting when you're following month-to-month. If anything, he knows how to keep me guessing - I haven't known where this arc has been going from word one, and I'm pleased to report that hasn't changed this month. Bru keeps surprising me with the duality of his characters, which means there are very few truly good or evil men and women in this series. Matt's made some serious mistakes recently, and rather than confront them he's chosen to sink back into his work as Daredevil and neglect his personal life. The Kingpin has been through the wringer since his disappearance, and while he's clearly not the same man who took charge of the city years ago, that isn't stopping him from giving the old business another serious shot. Eventually something's got to give, but we've all spent so much time getting to know these individuals that it's going to make quite a thud when one of them falls. It gets pretty dry in parts, but otherwise this is some really complex, fascinating work.


    The Dark Knight Strikes Again #2 - Even worse than the first issue. How long did Miller spend on this? One long weekend sounds about right... there's so little effort involved with these illustrations that they almost transcend their own genre and become great comedy. Maybe more disappointing than Frank Miller's own failures in this series are those of his wife and collaborator, Lynn Varley. Throughout the first Dark Knight, she was an easily-overlooked but essential part of the team. Her colors brought just as much to the scene as Miller's pencils, inks and storytelling, and in an era before computerized colors, she really helped the series to stand out. None of its competitors looked anything like it. Now, a decade and a half later, she's trying her hand at the magic computer box with embarrassing results. Easily fascinated by gradients, Varley pays more attention to blur filters and awkward, pixelated special effects than she does to coloring inside the lines or adding anything to the visuals. Her failures just throw one more shovelful of dirt on the unmarked grave of this awful mini-series. No matter where I look, there's something to furrow my brow and frown about.


    The Dark Knight Strikes Again #3 - I'm a little confused about why this is even classified as a Batman book, since the caped crusader quite clearly plays second fiddle to Superman in ever single issue. Even the lead villains, Luthor and Brainiac, are shamelessly pillaged from Clark's Rogues Gallery. Despite being little more than an afterthought in issues 1 and 2, the imposter Joker finally shows his hand with about ten pages left in the third chapter, climaxing in Bruce's one true moment to himself and a surprise revelation that should probably carry more weight than it does. Miller's artwork remains crazily inconsistent in this issue, with some pages showing actual promise and others displaying the same callous lack of interest that damned his first two showings. His writing does show a slight improvement, but Lynn Varley's colors don't enjoy the same fate. This sequel is a disappointment from start to finish, uncomfortable at its best and insulting at its worst. Did I really drop close to thirty bucks on this when it first came out? What a shame...


    Batman and Robin #2 - I wasn't so sure about the direction proposed by the first issue, but should've known better. Morrison and Quitely hit the ground running this month and never look over their shoulders. This issue moves quickly, asks more questions than it answers and shows off the inherent difficulties in Dick and Damian's relationship. It's an uncertain time in both characters' lives, and they each seem to feel that the other is holding them back from realizing their own true potential. I didn't really care for the freakshow villainy squad last month, but they're beginning to grow on me, particularly as more of their odd eccentricities are revealed. I love the tiny, campy little nods to the old TV series that Quitely has been working into his artwork so far. The string of S's left behind in the smokey trail of that departing rocket, the "smash" spelt out by the cracks in the wall after a scuffle, they're subtle enough to blend in, but not so much that they go unnoticed. This is starting to be just as much fun as All-Star Superman.


    Comics: 104, TPB: 7, Graphic Novel: 5

  10. Agreed, Alfred's character has been rock steady throughout the aftermath to BFTC and that was indeed a great moment. It seems like he's dealing with his grief by pouring himself into the "family business" and trying to restrain Damian's wilder impulses.