Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Pickups 2/9/11

It's new comic book day again but can one truly appreciate new comics if they don't learn from the old ones? No, so as an invaluable service to you the reader here are last week's comics and what I thought of them.

First up this week is Widowmaker #4 of 4. This sordid-spy tale comes to a conclusion as Black Widow faces her ex-husband while Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Fortune are left to deal with an active volcano and an army of nationalist ninjas. Did not care to much for this issue as both writing and art felt very bland which I mainly attribute to this creative team handling issues 2 and 4 while a different one handled 1 and 3. I am holding out some hope for the next Hawkeye mini (entitled Blind Spot) since I think it will have a steady creative team or at least only Jim McCann writing it. If you were going to pick this up in trade, I have to recommend passing on it as the book just never blends into one solid story.

Next up from Marvel is Ultimate Captain America #2. Steve wakes up after having his butt handed to him by Frank Simpson (aka Vietnam Era Captain America) last issue and doesn't exactly play by the rules when he's told to stay on the bench and let the black ops team handle Simpson. I really like how Jason Aaron handles Ult. Cap, writing him as more of an arrogant jerk than his regular universe counter part, giving him a unique flavor. Ron Garney's art goes well with it, presenting some strongly defined close ups but leaving it a little rougher for the action sequences. Looking forward to the rest of this mini and the different kind of Cap story it's telling.

Staying in the Ultimate Marvel U, we have Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1 (its also under the Ultimate Death of Spider-Man event banner but since nothing in the book seems to be related to him I'll just leave that be.) The New Ultimates (with two new additions to the main team) stop a train supposedly carrying stolen super soldier information but what they find is something a bit darker. I've never been a huge fan of Lenil Yu's art but once again it manages to work on these ultimate characters, the grittiness of it complimenting the style of the world. Mark Millar's overall story has been building nicely since the first volume of Ultimate Avengers but to someone just picking up this issue it probably seems like an excuse for a hero vs hero fight. Definitely going to pick up the next issue but if I continue to just find it ok, I might try to drop the title before getting sucked into this arc.

Heading over to DC, we have Justice League: Generation Lost #19. Max continues to torture and experiment on Jaime (the Blue Beetle) while the rest of our band of outsiders finally tracks down his location. Another fantastic issue from writer Judd Winick, the way he is handling these character keeps me chomping at the bit for more every time. Not to be outdone though, Fernando Dagnino's art (and Dustin Nguyen's stylish cover) provide the book with some compelling and action packed visuals. Going to be interesting to see where the books moves from the ending of this issue.

Rounding out DC comics is Red Robin #20. Crossing over with Teen Titans, Tim fails to stop Catman from recovering Unternet access and has to call in the reinforcements when he discovers a world-wide network of Calculator androids. I enjoyed Marcus To's pencils, as always, with Guy Major's colors filling them out nicely. The story here, written by Fabian Nicieza, seems like it could really be handled in one title and doesn't need the crossover gimmick, but we will have to wait and see how it wraps up in J.T. Krul's Teen Titans.

Getting into the non-capes and tights books, we have Uptight #1 from Fantagraphics Books. Written and drawn by Jordan Crane, this anthology title features two stories (Below the Shade of Night and Keeping Two) dealing with the loss of loved ones. Overall, I enjoyed Crane's illustrated shorts. While I wasn't too crazy about the art the stories were interesting enough to keep me going and I really like the cover design. I think my local shop had the next few of Uptight so you might see those make an appearance here soon.

From Image we have Hack/Slash jumping from mini-series to full blown on-going with Hack/Slash #1. Cassie and Vlad have been tracking slashers without rest leading them to Louisiana and a meeting with an old friend while Cat Curio's investigation leads her to Emience, Indiana and the man who put her into a coma. Great start for the series, even for readers like myself who aren't caught up on all the prior Hack/Slash mini-series. As usual with a Hack/Slash book, we are treated to some great cheesecake art (this time done by Daniel Leister) and Tim Seeley's deadly yet funny universe. Hoping this series has a long run.

Moving over to Image's Shadowline department, we have Twenty-seven #3. Will Garland further explores what the magical box in his chest can do and meets up with a famous rocker to learn more about the 27 club. Still enjoying the story in this book (written by Charles Soule) and its take on the whole "9" thing but I can't say the same for the art of Renzo Podesta. Its alright but sometimes it's loose backgrounds and emotionless faces just distract me from really getting into the book. I know their is more comics to be set in this universe after the mini but I don't think I will be sticking around for them if their drawn by Podesta.

Taking to the high seas, we have The Unwritten #22. Tommy continues his search for Moby Dick but finds a different "monster" while Lizzie and Savoy begin playing parts in someone else's plans. Initially I thought there was a large gap missing between this and last issue until I realized I missed #21 (whoops). Still consistently great, like The Unwritten always has been, Mike Carey and Peter Gross world of "real" and powerful literature is among the top books on the stand. If you still haven't checked it out, you really should.

Pick of the week should be no surprise, Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon's Casanova: Gula #2. Zephy begins taking down her assigned targets very sexily, while the Casanova's crew continue their search for him. I've written a lot about this series in previous post so I won't rehash it all but I love pretty much everything about this book. The sci-fi/spy world, the oddball references, the multiple WTF moments, and the art done by Fabio Moon (or Gabriel Ba from the first volume) are all fantastic. Hopefully with the rising popularity of all three, this book will get into the hands of more fans soon enough.

That is it for this week. You know the usual routine; comments, criticisms, or suggestions can all be left below or set to Now if you'll excuse, I am off to search for the illusive The Unwritten #21.


  1. Let me know if you don't get Unwritten #21, I can keep an eye out for it. Also, you are correct, I LOVE that cover for Uptight.

  2. No worries, my local shop still had a few copies.