Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Friday, December 16, 2005

Uncencored's Purchases for the week of December 14, 2005:

As an early Christmas gift my aunt cleared out my box for me (except for leaving Ghost Rider in there, which I’ll get next week). This should really prove just how slow this month has been.

All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder: Special Edition #1
Written by Frank Miller
Penciled by Jim Lee
Cover by Frank Miller
Published by DC
Despite the fact that this series has been a big disappointment (in both story and shipping schedule), I’m buying all I can from it (I’ve already told the comic shop to put the 1 in 10 Frank Miller drawn cover of issue 3 in my box, even though it’ll cost me about $15), because there’s something about this series that keep making me fork out cash. Anyway, this features the first issue completely un-inked and un-coloured, just Jim Lee’s bare penciled pages (though the speech is still there, so you can read the comic as normal). It’s actually pretty interesting to see just how many mistakes even a fan-favourite pro makes on his drawings. At the end of the book is Frank Miller’s script for the first issue, which really appeals to me because I’ve wanted to see the formatting of a comic book script for a while. This is a great buy simply to see the creative process behind a comic book. The issue would’ve been even better if there was some commentary or introductions or even bio’s of Miller & Lee. Still, a worthy effort on DC’s part to make up for the ridiculously late schedule this title has.
Rating: **** out of *****

Ultimate Iron Man #5 (of 5)
Written by Orson Scott Card
Penciled by Andy Kubert & Mark Bagley
Published by Marvel
One of the comics I bought on that fateful day last March that cited my return to comics was Ultimate Iron Man #1. I knew nothing of the Ultimate universe, I just knew I liked Iron Man. Then I find out the book is bimonthly, meh. Then I find out that it can’t even keep that relaxed of a schedule and is frequently late, like many books these days. But it’s finally here, now that I don’t give a rats’ ass anymore. First off, we have a cover that show Tony Stark and James Rhodes in some sort of conflict, which doesn’t happen anywhere in the book. In fact, the two of them are friends. Then as we progress through the issue I began noticing characters looking noticeably different from previous issues, hell, even pages. It seems a good chunk of this issue was penciled by Mark Bagley (who seems almost inhuman in his ability to hammer out material), probably due to the Kubert bros. jumping ship to DC last summer. While Bagley tries his hardest to look like Andy’s style, it just doesn’t work, and the pages look very inconsistent. The mini has had its good and bad issues, and unfortunately this was one of the lesser. One problem with the mini is it seem that Card is trying to hurry to a certain point. What I mean is, while each issue has focused on a certain period of Tony’s life, character development in this time doesn’t flow naturally, it just sort of happens, it feels rushed, like they ended up at that point merely because they’re predisposed to, and not because they’ve grown to be that way. Tony’s father, who has been portrayed as a good individual throughout the series, suddenly becomes bad, untrusting, and condescending of Tony. Tony, in the period of one 22 page issue, goes from never tasting alcohol in his life, to an alcoholic by the end of the issue. The series also ends on a cliffhanger, which never pleases me. Nothing is resolved, though the nature of the series, there’s not much to resolve anyway. The last page of the issue is an ad for Ultimate Iron Man 2 which is supposedly coming out sometime next year. I’ll read it, but merely to see where Tony goes from here. Not because I’m particularly fond of this mini.
Rating: **1/2 out of *****

The Punisher #28
Written by Garth Ennis
Penciled by Leandro Fernandez
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Published by Marvel (MAX imprint)
I started with this series on issue 19 and haven’t read a bad issue yet. This is how Frank Castle’s stories should be told. The Slavers arc continues on part four, and we have Frank going to a house where these sex slaves are being held. There’s also a sub plot of the arc about an N.Y.P.D. task force set to take down the Punisher, and two cops who were unwillingly made the poster children of it. What I like most about Ennis’ MAX Punisher is the interactions between the characters have a very real feel to them, and though most of them seem to come and go on an arc to arc basis (which is the best way to tell the stories of a character like this), they feel very important, at least for the moment. The issue ends with an awesome scene that I won’t spoil, but it had me laughing, especially with Castle’s dialogue accompanying it.
Rating: **** out of *****

Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #4 (of 6)
Written by Kevin Smith
Penciled by Terry Dodson
Published by Marvel
I first read about this series early this year, after falling in love with Terry Dodson’s drawings of the Black Cat in the pages of Marvel Knights Spider-Man. I picked up the Must Haves edition of the first three issues last month, and now I get to see where it goes from there. Since I haven’t been waiting for this issue for three years and being the big Kevin Smith fan that I am, I haven’t set myself up for huge disappointment. The issue begins with the same eight pages that were at the end of the Must Haves edition last month, Felicia (Black Cat) in jail, for murdering Klum (a rich mutant who had the power to teleport things, and was using said power to teleport heroin into peoples’ bodies and causing them to OD). Her lawyer shows up to see her, and that lawyer happens to be… Guess… Give up? Matt Murdock, because we all know he’s the only lawyer in the Marvel universe. There was strong evidence that Felicia has been raped, so Murdock plans to make that her defense. But Felicia insists she wasn’t raped, and so begins the big problem. Peter (Parker) and Matt meet, and Peter convinces Matt to help him bust Felicia out of jail. No massive expectations, I enjoyed the issue. There were some major questions raised in the issue, which makes me anticipate the remaining two of this mini. One of the better Spider-Man stories I’ve read this year.
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Wildcats: Nemesis #4 (of 9)
Written by Robbie Morrison
Penciled by Talent Caldwell & Horacio Domingues
Published by DC (Wildstorm imprint)
I’ve always loved Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s, it’s an interesting X-Men-like team, and I had been sorely missing these characters ever since my return to comics. Unfortunately, I’m still missing them. This series really has very little to do with the Wildcats themselves, it instead focuses on a new character (Charis) who has been retconned into Wildcats mythos by the writer of this series. In fact, most of the Cats aren’t even in this series (Zealot, Grifter and Majestic being the only oldschool members if I’m not mistaken). More of the uninteresting plot of this series is revealed, the Cats finally find out at the end that Charis isn’t evil afterall, and is merely misunderstood. There was no betrayal, it was a frame-up. I’m not liking this book at all save for the hot Charis that Talent Cadwell draws. Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s relaunch is slated to begin a couple months after this limited series concludes, and I find myself wondering if DC chose to publish this merely to get fans longing for a return of old.
Rating ** out of *****

Well that’s it, next week’s mini reviews shall include: Ghost Rider #4 (of 6), Spider-Woman: Origin #1 (of 5), Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #1 and Infinite Crisis #3 (of 7).


16 December, 2005 22:36, Blogger zilla said...

nice early xmas gift uncensored. no joke. can't wait for ultimate wolvering vs. hulk next week. ghost rider #4 was good...

put some paragraphs in your reviews (just a bit easier on the eyes) - great stuff tho.

ps check out my image (down below) of that "last scene" in punisher 28 :)


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel