Foilball’s Review Roundup #42 – Wherein I Love Comics Again!

Green Lantern #33 (****1/2)

Very cool. It doesn’t bother me in the least that Johns is borrowing so much from The Trilogy (obv you should know what trilogy I’m speaking of), and he’s basically admitted as much in interviews. Spence, I know you want to jump in here and call me a hypocrite, but this is totally different than what Mark Millar is doing. First, Johns doesn’t hype the shit out of his work. Second, it’s really well-written. Talent really does mean that much. Anyway, okay, I do have some issues with this issue. First, is there going to be some kind of “mind-wipe” action in Sinestro and Jordan’s future? How come they don’t remember any of this? I can see the Guardians pulling this off to protect their secrets. In fact, if this does happen, it adds so much to an already mythic run and totally validates Johns’ need to tell this retconned origin story. Second, the ring-less fighting promised for next issue… um, why are we repeating ourselves? I’m hoping there’s a reason for this, and as always with Johns, I’m positive there is.

Ms. Marvel #29 (****1/2)

So, question: Has Brian Reed just been killing time in this book ‘til the “Invasion” or what? Is this why his SI tie-ins have been so awesome and the 10-15 issues preceding them had been such trash? Or, is Ms. Marvel finally reaching the climax of her “I want to be the best hero ever!” arc? I love the irony that being the best hero ever also means not being very heroic. Killing Skrulls, for example, even in times of war is still murder. Heroes don’t kill. I mean, Superman would find another way, right? I hope there are repercussions here. I hope someone in the Marvel Universe brings this up later. Like, do you guys remember the first couple of issues of the Kurt Busiek Avengers, when Carol got kicked off the team for killing someone? I want some drama, damn it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. This book rocks! I just hope it’s also serving as the setup for even greater things to come.

Thunderbolts #122 (*****)

How does one follow up the epically fantastic Ellis run? I have no idea, but Gage is off to a great start. He somehow manages to maintain the tone established by Ellis, but at the same time injects enough of his own insanities into the characters to give us a little bit of the new, the fresh and the excitingly evil. Gage ain’t just aping Ellis; he totally owns this book! “Ellis who,” I found myself asking after finishing this issue. And it’s still ####ing funny!

Wolverine #67 (***)

Better than the last issue, mostly because the expo wasn’t so heavy-handed this time. Millar kind of relaxed a bit and let us enjoy the pairing of Hawkeye and pacifist Wolverine. Loved the Ghost Rider gang and loved the Hawkeye violence, but hell, I love violence in general, so that’s not saying much. The “Hammer Falls” thing is the most inspired idea in this arc so far. The teenage “Spider-Girl” wannabe is the least. I’ll finish the arc, because I’m a completist and I own every other issue of Wolverine, but I’m still waiting for that HUGE jaw-dropping moment. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet is encouraging, it means maybe Millar is saving it for the end, which would mark a change for him since in the past his endings have been the weakest parts of his stories. Oh, maybe a showdown with the Hulk? …also, yes, the art is amazing.

Quick Hits:
Astonishing X-Men #25 (*): I waited to read Uncanny X-Men #500 (in depth review to follow shortly) before reading this on the recommendation of the Pull List guys, I believe, and you know what? Didn’t help with the enjoyment, got to say. WOW. This book is terrible. First, the art: YOU CAN”T FUCKING SEE ANYTHING!!! It’s so dark! Second: WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE CHARACTERS!!! CSI X-Men is right. I’ll rant more about this when I do my UX:500 review, tomorrow or Saturday, because these books definitely go hand in hand in terms of quality. UGH.
Black Summer #7 (****): And it’s finally over. And I liked it. And I may have to re-read the entire thing again. It got a little preachy at the end, but it made sense. I like that Ellis remembered to answer the question he posed in the zero issue. And I agree with him. For a second there, I thought he’d gone off the deep-end and was advocating violent regime change. Thankfully he’s still only half-crazy and not full-on bonkers crazy.
Fantastic Four: Secret Invasion #3 (****1/2): This is exactly the type of mini I wanted (a story focusing on the interpersonal conflicts caused by the invasion) and it totally exceeded my expectations. I liked that it tried to reconcile old FF-Skrull continuity with new Bendis-Skrull continuity. This book was pitch-perfect in every single way except one: Lyja deciding to stay behind in the Negative Zone. This sounded like “Hey, Bendis says he doesn’t want to use Lyja in the main event, so get rid of her before the end of the mini.” That sucks, but at least they didn’t kill her. Anyone else wish RAS was still writing an ongoing FF book?
Invincible #51 (****): I like the new costume and direction, but I wish Kirkman would cut it out with all the fucking subplots. Like, tell a main plot once in a while, dude! The final page reveal was not shocking or unexpected. That guy is totally the resurrection type of villain. Oh, and for all the haters, I don’t know what your problem is with the coloring, I actually think it looks tons better.
Justice Society of America Annual #1 (****): I hate Earth 2, and yet… this was so good! OMG, why are there two Power Girls!?! OMG! Why is JSA so awesome?! OMG!!!
New Avengers #43 (****1/2): Out of all the New/Mighty flashback stories, this one has been the most satisfying so far. It gave us tangible answers about what’s currently going on in the SI mini. Like, all the dudes in the ship are Skrulls. Mystery solved. Mockingbird is a Skrull and she doesn’t know it! Drama! Bendis, you sick bastard! And you’re a liar. You said you were finished torturing Hawkeye, but dude, what happens when he finds out she ain’t who she says she is? Great drama, that’s what! Also, I liked that I was made to feel sorry for Cap-Skrull. Three-dimensional villains– Hooray!
Robin #175 (****): Other than losing a star for that terrible final page, the pose and dialogue made me cringe, I really liked this issue and I don’t think it portrays Robin out of character at all. Not at all. And, he finally voices his anger over what Stephanie did: the “I know you loved me and shit, and you would have liked to have known, but like, sorry I couldn’t be bothered to let you know I was still alive” crap. Yes, real human emotion has returned! I miss Dixon too, but Fabian appears to be an excellent second choice.

9 thoughts on “Foilball’s Review Roundup #42 – Wherein I Love Comics Again!

  1. You should know by now that BENDIS WILL NEVER STOP TORTURING HAWKEYE. Even after he gets over the whole Mockingbird thing, he’ll probably end up accidentally killing Kate Bishop or something. Then he can torture two Hawkeyes at once.

  2. GL- Are you talking about the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Yes Millar hypes the hell out of his books. Just don’t pay attention to that shit. Yes, Johns is a far superior writer as well. But I still love Wolverine and I still love this issue too. And what’s up with the lack of 5 stars? Are you getting stricter?

    TBolts- And then you give this 5 stars? Really?! Punisher, JSA, and GL don’t get 5 stars but this does? Is it that good? I didn’t even read this because I thought Ellis was as good as this book would ever get or ever should get for that matter. But I’ll throw down the three bucks if you really think it’s that awesome. Oh and don’t get too comfortable with Gage Billy. He’s only on the book for 4 issues sorry. Then we get Andy Diggle writing and Roberto De La Torre drawing. Here is an article and the cover for 126 does look pretty sweet.

    I haven’t read anything Diggle’s done to my knowledge but I guess he did the Green Arrow Year One mini and he writes Hellblazer right now. And I guess Roberto De La Torre did issue 39 of Cap and the first 8 issues of Ms Marvel. So yeah I think they’ll be on it for a while so I’m still a little iffy on the book. I loved Ennis’ run with all my heart, but I’m not sure if these guys will do the team justice. Maybe I’ll pick it up in trade.

    Wolverine- You know you love this story. I think you forgot to put two stars on there Billy.

    Astonishing- Dude for an Ellis whore you can’t understand the man’s genius. I loved this issue! I’ll admit Bianchi’s art isn’t something I dig but this was probably his best work. It’s still not that great though you’re right. And hey you can’t see anything in X-Force either so ha! Anyway this issue ruled. It was just the X-Men interacting with each other and there was lots of humor and cool character moments. I don’t want the whole series to be like this but I loved it here.

    Invincible- Hey you liked it more than I thought! Yeah the new colorist is doing a good job I’m happy to say. But I still miss Bill a bit. Yeah it’s ok if this villain came back but it still reminded me of that governor shit.

    JSA- Yeah I was surprised at how much I liked it too! Good old Johns!

    New Avengers- Yeah this was one of the better issues but it still wasn’t as spectacular as people think it is.

  3. i’ll say more tomorrow, in my uncanny review (if i do it!), about why i think the new x-direction is ass.

    t-bolts gets 5 stars cus out of that batch of books, it was the one i enjoyed the most. i don’t like to 5-star too many books in the same review unless they really deserve it. but like, half a star is such a cheat already, so…

  4. Hahaha! Yeah, ASTONISHING was crap. I tried to pull some punches on it because I realize that a lot of my hate for that issue comes from my loathing of CSI and the bajillion knockoffs it has spawned, but the more I rethink about the book the more angry I am at myself for not being harder on it!

    Sorry reading UNCANNY first didn’t help, Sean really hates it when they do things out of order with his X-Men though. Like that whole Shadowcat thing before the ASTONISHING X-MEN ANNUAL came out. He would NOT let that go!


  5. no, i am talking about Star Wars… OBV!!!! O! B! V!


    @PROF: god, i really want to do like the most epic of write-ups on how bad UX500 and AXM25 were, and i will, but it’s gonna take time. cus i got to scan in all the stupid/asinine panels and shit, and get all my thoughts in order, etc… and Yip’s coming up today for Pineapple Express so i don’t think i can get to it til tomorrow or Sunday, but YES, it is coming. and once it does indeed arrive, we can all go into the comment section and bash the shit out of the X-Men safely and without remorse– no fraction/ellis/brubaker apologists allowed!

    (you know who you are)

  6. @prof: Well, I loved the issue but I knew that there would be a lot of people that would hate it. Different strokes for different folks. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a CSI episode so that’s why I wasn’t bothered there. But I mean even for you, was it really that similar to the show? To me the criminal investigation stuff was such a small part of the issue. I saw it as just the X-Men interacting with each other in a human (or mutant) way. Oh well, I can understand why that turns some people off.

    @D: Really? You couldn’t tell that was sarcasm? Oh well, I guess it is hard to tell in this format but for the record, I knew exactly which trilogy Billy was referring to.

    @BZ: I’m not an apologist, I can just understand their genius a little bit better than you can (That’s sarcasm Desiato). Yeah I guess we’re totally at odds on this subject. I’m interested to see why those two issues were so bad.

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