Foilball’s Review Roundup #58 – The Give-Away-Pile!

So, my new books came in yesterday and I’ve already started digging in… but wait! I still got some reviews to do. Well, I got some books to bash, actually. This, from now on, is what we will call “The Give-Away-Pile!”:

1985 #5
Air #2
Dream War #6
Foolkiller: White Angels #3
I Kill Giants #3
Moon Knight #22
Powers #30
Spawn #183
Stormwatch: Post Earth Division #14
Wildcats #3
X-Men: Legacy #216
X-Factor #35
Zero-G #1

Most of these books weren’t horrible, like Zero-G or Powers, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t all boring. Some of them were super-boring.

• Memo to 1985: go back to being good! Oh, too late. Only one issue left.
• Okay, Air—you’re done! No more Air for me.
• That goes for all things Foolkiller and anything written by that writer as well (his name escapes me at the moment and it would seem poor form to Google it just to bash him, yes?).
I Kill Giants? YOU KILL MY BRAIN!
Dream War made it so I never trust Wildstorm again. Speaking of…
• I’m dropping all my Wildstorm books (Stormwatch, Wildcats, Authority), which is super-sad because I really loved the story that set-up the new “World’s End” status quo. LAME.
• Somehow X-Factor is STILL holding on… why?!?
• So, issue 30 of Powers was the last issue of this volume? Thank you, Jesus! Now I have an excuse to drop this book!
Moon Knight, we’re totally breaking up after this arc is over. You know this. I told you many times. Don’t cry. Stop crying!!!
• Which brings me to…

X-Men: Legacy #216 – I had planned to write a RANT/review about this comic, but time passed and most of my anger subsided and then the 3.0 patch was released and I disappeared into “The World” for a week and a half and I forgot all about it. Until now.

Why did I hate it so much? OMFG!!! How many times are the X-Men writers gonna go to the “This Is Your Life Charlie Brown” well?!?!?! SERIOUSLY!!! Stop all the mind-control memory lane bullshit!!! Tired! Tiring! Sick! Over!

Whew… better now. That’s it for last shipment’s books, look for the new reviews to be posted soon. Okay, gotta write up an awesomely wordy review of the latest Captain America and head over to the DCBS site to adjust my order—I gotta cut all these shitty books!

Spoiler Review: 1985 #4

The people over at Millarworld were kind enough to once again send over a PDF copy of Millar’s latest release, 1985. The book came out yesterday, but since most of us have yet to read it, I left the spoiler warning in the title of this post. So, yes, there will be spoilers and pictures links and whatnot. Enjoy.

When we last left out heroes, the Lizard was on the roof and ready to tear open that van like a sardine can—I’m really enjoying the realistic portrayal of not just the villains, but of this entire world that Tommy Lee Edwards and Mark Millar have created—Next, Toby’s dad smashes into a roadside billboard in an attempt to clear the bug off his windshield, but instead, it leads to a hostage situation—The speech by the Lizard, in fact the point that Millar is illustrating through the Lizard is my favorite part of this book. In this simple moment, Millar shows us that in this world, heroism is not the naturally occurring phenomenon that it is in the Marvel Universe—After getting his son back, Toby’s dad asks the army what’s up and they explain some shizzy about “sleeper agents”—until this moment, I’d forgotten that this story takes place during The Cold War. Obviously, they’re Russian sleepers and not Super Villains! Very cool—After Toby’s father runs off to save his mother, Toby tries to recruit his very own “Monster Squad”—I see that Millar has fond memories of that film as well—Naturally, Toby’s buds tell him to ###-off, so Toby decides to save the world on his own. In the next few pages, Millar and Edwards show us what the villains have been up to—this Bullseye full pager being my favorite—We’re back with Toby just as he finds a doorway to adventurea doorway to super heroes—SQUEEE—Toby leaps through, transporting himself across “The Bleed” and into the 616it’s fun how not only does the art style change once we arrive in the Marvel Universe, becoming more realistic, but also the font of the “To Be Continued” appears in that trademark superhero style. Avengers Assemble!

I still love this book, despite all my Millar hate, because it’s a damn well put together read. Also, HO-HO-HO! I was right, as were many of you I’d guess; the kid from the Wyncham House had powers… or is it Toby’s dad with the powers? Not much more to say besides… looking forward to #5 and the promised crossover with Fantastic Four.

Oh, question for the readers… that scene in the middle of the book that takes place in 1964, are those zombies surrounding the house? Night of the Living Dead zombies? Hmm?

Foilball’s Review Roundup #41 – MARVEL! MARVEL! MARVEL!

1985 #3 (****1/2)

So far, of all the Millar projects, this one has me the most excited. It’s just really ####ing good. The real live people actually sound like real live people, unlike in say, War Heroes. I love the sinister way the villains of the 616 Marvel Universe are just killing people. M.O.D.O.K. fulfills his function as “killing machine” better than he ever has in regular continuity by forcing a whole mess of townsfolk to drown themselves. And the plot just keeps turning and turning, revealing new layers every issue. Like, obviously this has happened before right? Based on the dad character’s reaction to it. Perhaps his old comic buddy had (or has?) something to do with it? And this issue’s double page spread made me laugh out loud, but in that good comic book way. Dudes, forget Kick-Ass and War Zeroes and Old Man Eastwood and all that other shit, 1985 is DA STONES!

Foolkiller: White Angels #1 (****)

Two questions: Who is this Greg Hurwitz guy and why is he so awesome? I’ve really been enjoying his fresh take on the Foolkiller concept, and now that we got the origin story out of the way, Hurwitz opens up the world a bit more. Punisher next issue… continuity between the MAX books? Seems like a neat idea seeing as how Hurwitz is writing the first Punisher arc after Ennis leaves the book next month. The thing I most like about this new mini is how much it reminds me of what Brubaker is doing with Criminal. You know, jumping on the other side of things and giving us a peek at how the dysfunctional elements of society live. I’m going to switch to trade for the next mini, these seem to read best that way, but I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this violence-fest till then.

The Invincible Iron Man #3 (****1/2)

Iron Man, Thor and Casanova; these are the books that remind me how awesome Matt Fraction can be. Iron Man? New favorite, baby! Why? It’s simple. Matt Fraction is writing Iron Man to be Marvel’s Superman. SUPERMAN. Don’t believe me? Check out this sequence…

 

 

Take away the armor and replace it with invulnerability and super strength. Swap the boot jets for super speed. Lose the tracking gadgets and throw in some super hearing. Oh, and, Pepper Potts morphs into Lois Lane and what have you got… DING! Superman. And another thing, Fraction has so seamlessly blended movie and comic continuity, that it doesn’t even bother me that much (anymore) that the “Invincible” Stark is so different from the “Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Stark. Anyway, it’s awesome. ‘Nuff said.

Quick Hits:
Eternals #2 (*****): The Knaufs!!! Doing it again! These guys are sooooo good I want to sploodge all over myself after finishing one of their books. Ahh…
Guardians of the Galaxy #3 (***1/2): D&A have yet to WOW me with the book, but that’s not to say it’s poorly written. I can feel them building to something epic, but I’m just not sure what it is yet. Hmm, maybe that shocking final page is a clue? Magus, anyone? Oh, and enough with that damn debriefs. They’re funny, and I’m sure I’d be okay with them if they hadn’t been used so poorly in The Order. Bitter much? Just a little.
Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #31 (***1/2): This fill-in continues to do an adequate job, but this is definitely not the quality we’ve come to expect from this title. From the hokey to the clumsy, the dialogue is easily the most obvious weakness. After this arc we get an SI tie-in starring War Machine and then hopefully, the Knaufs come back?
The Last Defenders #5 (***): I’ve been enjoying this book, till this issue that is. Color me ten shades of confused? I think Casey bites off more than he can chew with all these pseudo-science explanations.
Punisher War Journal #21 (*): Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin? PLEASE LEAVE! When does Remender’s solo run start?
X-Factor #33 (-): Everyone else has bashed this enough. It’s bad.
Young X-Men #4 (*): Wow, great reveal, Guggenheim. Too bad I stopped caring two issues ago. Heh, bet you wish you’d actually written Cyclops as a Skrull imposter, aye?

Foilball’s Review Roundup #34 – THE GOODERS!

And now, The Gooders. These books were the cream of the crop, or as close to it as this bunch got.

1985 #2 (****): I’m really liking where this is headed. See, you can’t call me a Millar hater! Some of his stuff is utter garbage, and some of it, when he puts the research and thought in, turns out quite fantastic. Here’s hoping I’m right about this one.

Conan the Cimmerian #0 (****): Bruce Castle’s review of this was spot on. It was a very, very, VERY good sword and sandal read. Unfortunately, I think I’m done with Conan for now… or, I may pick up the first issue when it ships! I just don’t know!

Daredevil #108 (****): It just keeps getting better! Dear Greg Rucka, please never leave. No more brooding! No more Mila! No more Emo!

Fantastic Four #558 (****1/2): This was really good. Really, really good. I can see clearly now what Millar is doing and I love it. The interweaving of the subplots over multiple 4-part story arcs is finally starting to pay off. I haven’t been this excited about reading Fantastic Four since JMS first took over the book. I know I was harsh on the first couple of these, but now that the engine is revving up toward max RPMs, I couldn’t be happier. I just hope he doesn’t blow his load too soon. But, I still think the Galactus suit was a lame idea. OH! Almost forgot, little Val is a genius!

Ghost Rider # 24 (****): Love the new artist. Love the new direction. If this is what we can expect from the rest of Aaron’s Ghost Rider run, I think I can finally put myself safely in the “on board” column. It was touch and go there for a while with a couple of stinkers mixed in with the gooders, but this issue has restored my faith… for now! Ha-Hah, you just never know! Next month I could be bashing it again! Help, I’m in an abusive relationship and I can’t get out!*

Iron Fist #16 (*****): Terrific series finale, bravo to all involved, especially Matt Fraction. I can’t wait for the “Heroes For Hire” relaunch this fall… wait, what? Not cancelled? New creative team? Get OUT of here!

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #30 (****): Still not the Knaufs, but adequate. Actually, more than adequate. This Moore guys is doing a bang-up fill-in! Overkill Mind! Star Squad! Paladin messing up Iron Man’s fascist face! YES! YES! YES!

The Punisher #58 (*****): Every month I get a little sad. New Punisher issue only serves to remind me of its imminent cancellation. Well, pretty much, right? I like the new guy, his Foolkiller was good, but no one’s ever going to top Garth Ennis. Oh, I should say something about this issue. It was really good, as usual. They always are. Sad face.

Thunderbolts #121 (*****): OH GOOD GOD! This was epic. And now it’s over. Forever. I don’t care that this book shipped once a quarter, it was totally worth it. But, I don’t think Ellis is leaving because of lateness, I think he’s just done. Is that true? Does anybody know? I’m seriously asking a serious question here…

X-Factor #32 (****1/2): In this issue, Madrox tells Cooper to get stuffed and finally takes responsibility as the father of Theressa’s baby… and just like that, *POOF*, X-Factor is a 4-5 Star book again. Why? Because we’re back to focusing on the drama, baby, and not the action. Yay! Thank you, Peter David. I don’t know what happened to you or why you had to phone the past 6 months in, but I’m glad you’re back. Now, if only I could say the same thing about She-Hulk. UGH!

Young Avengers Presents: Hawkeye #6 (****): This was easily the best of the series. Fraction is just on fire this month (although his Punisher still sucks ass). I loved how much of a dick Clint is when he makes Kate cry. Ha-Ha! But then, it was just Clint teaching her a lesson all along! Oh snap! Shit, I wish Clint had his own team book or something. He works well as mentor/father figure… FUCK, why isn’t he leading the New Avengers? He’s got the attitude, the skill and the experience. Maybe that’s one of the changes Bendis has lined up for after Secret Invasion? I hope so. I’ve always loved me some Hawkeye. Oh, and when the hell is Young Avengers Volume 2 coming out? These characters are way cooler than the Titans and those shitters have two books, both equally shitty!

Hmm, got surly there at the end. Ah, well. Tomorrow, Planetary Series Review (honest) and on Wednesday, maybe a Spoiler Re view… if something cool comes out.

 

*That one was for VsRealms.