I hope you’ve been enjoying Guest Reviewer Month, which has obviously extended on into May due to some delays on our part here and there, plus our general no-post-on-the-weekend rule. We actually have a few guest reviews still to go, so check those next week and then we’ll be well and truly done.
Working on some bigger books for next time, so just a few short takes this time out.
Amazing Spider-Man #630
Writer - Zeb Wells
Artist - Chris Bachalo
I haven’t seen any Bachalo art for a while, so this was kind of coming full circle for me. Not full circle as in I was as excited by it as I was forever ago when he was making a name for himself on Generation X, but I found I still like his style and he kept himself controlled enough not to let any excess derail the storytelling. I’ve largely enjoyed the rotating creative teams and weekly schedule, but this storyline (the first of a four-parter called “Shed”) probably won’t be one of my favorites. It’s not badly written—Wells finds an interesting voice for the lizard brain part of Dr. Curt Connors, while Harry Osborn gives Peter some much-needed advice to stop being a jerk and just ask out the cute cop who’s really a good match for him. But whereas the prior stories have been exploring either new versions of Spidey’s rogues’ gallery or finding new layers to the original members, this seems to just be the same “Connors loses control and becomes the Lizard” story. And to be honest, I kind of just want the guy to get a handle on it and just raise his on and just be Peter’s occasional science consultant or something. Let somebody else be The Lizard. But if you want a more violent, gruesome Lizard story, with Bachalo lovingly drawing every shiny scale, here you go.
Brightest Day #1
Writers - Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi
Artists - Lots
I ripped the entire Blackest Night mini a couple weeks back, but I don’t see the point in going on and on in the same vein here. Suffice to say, I realize it’s really my fault for thinking that calling something Brightest Day meant the grisly doings of Blackest Night would give way to something more hopeful, a miniseries that was in some way about rebuilding, even if there was a requisite menace to face. But no, this seems to be more of the same, with stabbings, throat slashings, a dead squid, a dead shark eating a guy, a trident puncture would, strangulation and attempted child rape. None of the heroes smile or seem like they enjoy being around each other. None even seem happy that some of there heroic friends are back from the dead. Even Deadman seems miserable not to be dead anymore. Two positives, though: 1) Despite multiple artists, the book looks a bit more consistent (if less indulgent) than Blackest Night, and 2) there’s a panel where a pissed-off Sinestro is going to throw a yellow ring facsimile of a police car on top of some cops, and he has the pride? lunacy? brand consciousness? to put his Yellow Lantern symbol on the car’s door. I think I’d prefer that kind of superhero stupidity to the deadly serious grind going on in the rest of the book.
I, Zombie #1
Writer - Chris Roberson
Artist - Mike Allred
Cool twentysomething chick who happens to be a zombie, in a hip town that also has vampires and other monsters. She’s got a ghost girlfriend who likes to hit the town with her. A were-terrier has a puppy crush on her but she’s not into him. She eats brains to keep non-shambling and irreverent. She works as a gravedigger, giving her access to the cemetery after hours.
Roberson seems to be writing this under the impression that the reader won’t be able to figure out the girl, Gwen, is a zombie until he reveals it at the end. Dude, the book is called I, Zombie, she’s the lead character and the cover shows her with a half-rotten face. Also, she has a lavender skin tone throughout the book that gives away that she’s not normal. Allred’s always fun to look at, but aside from lots of different supernatural types I’m not seeing much originality here yet.