Wednesday, May 30, 2007

X-Men #199, Countdown #49, Shadowpact #13

X-men # 199
Mike Carey-Chris Bachalo

Still the best X-book going for my money. The art is STILL fantastic. And the last arc just ended, so you should be picking this up at 200. This is by far the most interesting X-team out there. I think Astonishing's Team is kind of the headliner X-men, which aren't so much put together because they're a good team, but because they are the top marketable team. Uncanny is Charles Xavier-led team, and we all know he's no fun. So that leaves us the Dirty Dozen-esque Adjective less(appropriately) X-men.

In this issue we get almost a JSA type level of team work by this group that at the same time seems to be barely holding together. The way that the team splinters off when Rogue isn't around is a fantastic move by Mike Carey.

We also get more development of the Rogue/Mystique/Iceman triangle, as well as getting to see Iceman do some really amazing stuff with his powers.

All of this of course drawn in the near seizure-inducing art of Chris Bachalo. The way that Carey narratively builds to these almost orgasmic climaxes of art is truly something to behold, when he lets Bachalo go nuts on a page, it's one of my favorite things in any monthly.

Read this x-book!

DC Countdown # 49

The plot thickens this week in DC Countdown. We get to see our good friend Jimmy Olsen do some peculiar stretching in a fight with Croc. The monitors argue about what is to be done. We get something of a hit list, and those Rogues in Flash's book are up to something. All of this building up to a lovely climax involving our good friend Mary Marvel, and a significant villain from 52.

Yes, Countdown is off in full swing. And I have to say, so far it's looking like it may just top 52 in terms of payoff week in and week out. Sure there are parts that are more interesting than others, but we're getting a lot into that crazy metatextual multi-verse talk again, so this is a book you really want to be reading to illuminate the rest of the DC Universe, and not get completely lost sometime next year.

The art is also quite good for a weekly. All in all, I'm definitely signed up for this weekly format of comics, it's very television-like.

It's only 3 issues in, so get on now!

Shadowpact # 13
Bill Willingham-Scott Hampton

So last week I reviewed Fables, this is another book by Bill Willingham, this one set in the DCU about the group of heroes who helped beat the Spectre on Days of Vengeance there awhile back. This book is for anyone who enjoys magical adventures, demon slaying, and really good writing.

This is an excellent issue to start with too, because I for one, have been lax in reading Shadowpact, but this issue kind of sets the stage for a lot of big things that are about to happen, that don't really rely on a lot of things that have already happened.

The narrative voice that Willingham chooses to employ for this book, in my opinion, hits near the one you see in The Dark Tower, but much more tolerable. Plus Willingham seems to have a gift for almost effortless characterizations.

The art of the book is suitably dark and foreboding.

I think if you are at all a fan of the magical part of the DC Universe, which I am, then this is defintiely the book to read. It also is a fantastic read just for fans of Bill Willingham. If you are reading Fables, you really should read this as well. I don't know what it's sales numbers are like, but this is definitely one of the better books set in the DCU being put out. Hopefully people take notice before it gets canceled, because I think this is a book that many will read in trades and be very impressed with, and wish they had been on board earlier.

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