Foilball’s Review Roundup #36 – OMG IT’S COMIC-CON WEEK!!!

–which means, Billy is gonna be too busy enjoying the convention in San Diego to bother posting a new “Origin Stories” or “Planetary Series Review” this week, in fact, he’s almost too busy to write this Roundup! Not really, although UPS sure was cutting it close this time (stupid UPS always rescheduling my deliveries). Anyway, I got this, and then a Spoiler Review planned for tomorrow and then… I’ll see you again on Monday!

Action Comics #867 (*****)





Final Crisis: Requiem #1 (**)

The art is amazing, the story, not so much. First, let me explain that I’m not even looking at this as an FC tie-in, despite the cover treatment and what Dan Didio would have us believe. I think the only fair way to review this book is to judge it on its own merits since if we take into account the events of Final Crisis, this book is almost completely contradicted. Like I said, the art was phenomenal. LOVED IT. The story, on the other hand, was wordy and then boring as all hell. This book is really split into two chapters. The first chapter is corny/cheesy and borders on self-indulgent fan-fiction. The series of panels detailing the Martian Manhunter’s heroic efforts to thwart his death by manipulating the minds of the super-villains was silly and reeked of desperation on the writer’s part. “Oh man! How can I make Manhunter as cool as possible and satisfy the whiners?” Overwritten, overstated, overdone… my steak is burnt! If you can get past all that, and oh boy does the art help, you move into “Chapter 2” wherein the entire history of the Manhunter is read aloud by his closest friends. Um, is this what I paid for? An illustrated Wikipedia entry? No thanks. The only part of the book I liked came right at the end, what a surprise, when Batman places the choco on the Manhunter’s casket. It was an authentic moment in a book filled with posturing and simulated displays of grief. It made me smile. The rest of the book made me cringe.

The Walking Dead #50 (*****)

Five stars for Walking Dead? I must be losing my mind! Okay, allow me to ramble… so, this did not read like an issue 50, but I really, really liked it. Here’s why: Rick’s son Carl is finally, finally, finally a REAL boy! He’s got character! He’s interesting! All of a sudden! Out of the blue! But wait, not really. Kirkman’s been driving toward this all year. All that prison stuff, the carnage, death and destruction? It’s all been leading to this moment, the moment where Carl just loses his shit. Despite his gross lack of “character” talent, Kirkman manages to write a solid character piece. I know. You disagree. You think Kirkman’s strength has always been his character stuff. Well… you are wrong. His character writing has always been the weakest part of his writing. See Ultimate X-Men and previous issues of Walking Dead for ample examples. It’s in plot and storytelling that he truly excels. See final arc of Ultimate X-Men and previous issues of Walking Dead for ample examples. So, to me, this issue shows great promise for the rest of this series, or at least the next couple of issues. Kirkman has Carl react to the recent slaughter of his family in a very real/visceral/believable/relatable way. All the things that Carl expresses in this issue feels like what a kid in the real world would express if put in the exact same position. I love that Carl finally voices his doubts about his father. He doesn’t trust his father to protect him anymore. Hell, the guy’s missing a hand! And as Carl reflects, his father couldn’t protect his mother, his sister or the rest of the group since, you know, most of them are all dead now. I feel like Kirkman sat down with this script and really wrestled it into something powerful, something touching. I can imagine him agonizing over every line Carl utters, trying to figure out the best, least corny way to get across the feeling of total loss that the boy is experiencing. I loved it. It didn’t feel like an issue 50, but I still loved it. Bravo, Kirkman, but don’t get lazy. Don’t fall back into old habits. No more throwaway “hey-how-are-you’s” or runaway expository monologues. Write good dialogue and build good characters. Build on the fresh start you’ve carved out for yourself. Build the epic zombie story of awesome that you’ve always dreamed of. If you can do that, I can guarantee you at least one loyal reader for the next 50.

Oh, and not that I cared one way or the other, but the good men at DCBS thought enough of my massive ordering skills to toss me a copy of the Erik Larsen variant cover. Thanks, guys.

Quick Hits:
• Buffy the Vampire Slayer #16 (***): And then Joss Whedon returned and the book took a serious nose-dive in quality. Sad, sad times. I’m really excited about this “Fray” crossover, but after the awesomeness that was the Drew Goddard arc, the first part of this story left me cold. Like a dead body, or a recently turned suck-head. Yeah. Heh.
Captain America: White #0 (***): I disagree with Bruce Castle’s review of this book. I thought the story provided was adequate and the extra pages, Cap sketches and an interview with the creators, were more than satisfactory. But, I’m the biggest Cap fan I know so I may be biased.
Mighty Avengers #16 (***): This was fine, not the best SI tie-in, but fine. I have no idea what Bruce Castle was bitching about. Elektra doesn’t look old. There isn’t much dialogue, but hell, Elektra doesn’t normally say much, so, what the hell did you expect?
Ultimate Origins #2 (***): Um, it was okay? Nothing truly memorable here, but I do think it’s one of the best retelling of the Captain America origin ever written, if that counts for anything.
Young Liars #5 (*****): Um, Danny gets his dick sliced off?? NUFF SAID!!!

9 thoughts on “Foilball’s Review Roundup #36 – OMG IT’S COMIC-CON WEEK!!!

  1. Billy Billy Billy, you had me agreeing with you until you brought my name up and misrepresented me.

    Action Comics- Awesome!

    FC Requiem- Hey you actually agree this sucked! How come you didn’t say that my review was awesome?!

    Walking Dead- Hey you actually agree it was awesome! Again, you could have said that my review was on the money.

    See Billy, two books where everyone feels a certain way but we feel a different way because we’re awesome. Then you say this.

    Captain America- I’m saying pretty much the same thing you are! You gave it *** and at the time I would have given it ** and 1/2. Now I’d probably give it ***. So we’re on the same page!

    Mighty Avengers- I still think she looks old, but that’s not the point. The point is I didn’t enjoy the art and to enjoy a book like this with little dialogue, you have to like the art. I didn’t, so I would give it ** and 1/2. We’re only off by half a star!

    Ultimate Origins- Again we’re on the same page!

    See Billy, no need to fight me because we’re on the same side! In fact, I wrote them first so stop copying my emotions!

    So should I be reading Young Liars then? I always see that you love it.

  2. re: Cap… nah, but you were being whiny! you were hatin’, fool!

    re: MA… HATER!

    Young Liars is the best Vertigo series going today. if you’re reading Vertigo and you’re not reading YL… then by the law of conservation you are very, very lame.

  3. Don’t respond at 7:44, you’re unpleasant and irritable. You know I’m awesome. I love how you call me a hater when our stars are only a half star difference.

    I don’t read Vertigo at all so I’m not very lame. But it seems you’ve consistently given the book 5 stars so I thought maybe I should read it. Maybe I’ll wait for trade.

  4. OMG!!! This has to do with Action Comics. So I was reading about the new Superman event on CBR. It has Johns which is great, but you also have to read Superman and Supergirl. I’ve liked Supergirl as a character at times, but she is almost always written poorly. Geoff Johns said that this new guy has written the best Supergirl ever. Ok cool but what about Superman?

    I remembered that Billy wrote about the latest James Robinson Superman and panned it. Not without good reason, he posted some of the scans and they seemed awful. Billy said something about James Robinson being a “huge” talent and so why is this so bad. Well, I did some research on him, and I discovered something startling.

    James Robinson wrote the League of Extraordinary Gentleman screenplay! AAAGGHHH!!!! This is the guy writing Superman for this big event? This is the guy Geoff Johns says he admires? WHY????

    I may just read the Action Comics and Supergirl stuff who knows. Anybody else have any thoughts on this?

  5. I haven’t yet completed Starman, but from what I’ve read, it deserves the praise it gets, and the praise it gets generally calls it one of the best superhero stories ever. I can’t wait for the whole series to be out in omnibus.

  6. Sean was working in our comic shop the other day since the owners are in San Diego right now and some guy had just read WATCHMEN or something and was asking for recommendations for things to try out. Some of the guys there talked him into the first PREACHER trade and then he said something about liking dark and twisted stories and Sean offered to buy him YOUNG LIARS #1 on the spot.

    I’m all proud ‘cuz I got Sean hooked and shit. ^_^ But, yes, it is worth trying at least one issue of YOUNG LIARS.

  7. i love YL, but i don’t see how Lapham’s going to keep the momentum going. there’s gonna be an issue that doesn’t shock soon and i’m going to feel super letdown. we’ve been riding so high that one misstep could cause me to drop the book in disgust! i’m so serious!

    i can’t do the rehab!

  8. re: Starman… it’s only 31 bucks on Amazon, so i really should get it before it either sells out or goes up in price. i know i’ll be kicking myself if either happens.

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