Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Legion of Monsters Satana # 1;Red Sonja: She Devil With A Sword # 23;Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special # 1

First off, apologies for missing last week. I was moving and didn't have internet access until like Friday. So anywho. Without further ado.

Legion of Monsters Satana# 1
Robin Furth(Satana)-Kalman Andrasofszky(Satana); Jonathan Hickman(Living Mummy)

I primarily decided to read this one because of Jonathan Hickman's name being attached. But the book is basically something of an anthology of stories involving some of Marvel's more obscure Hellbent Characters. In this case Satana, and the Living Mummy.

Robin Furth's Satana story leads off. It's basically the whole devil's deal but told from the Devil's perspective. Trips to hell. Souls sent and retrieved. This story certainly isn't made more remarkable by how much of a sex kitten Satana looks. But even Furth is aware of that and makes a joke to that end. It is pretty much standard fare that is and has been done a lot better in things like Hellblazer and Strange Girl. But it's certainly not not enjoyable. If this is actually an extended series, it might end up being kind of good once the cast of characters in it are expanded, and Satana is fleshed out more. Right now she is more of a stereotype.

The Art for the Satana story is about what you'd expect to see reading say...Heroes for Hire. It's like the story in that it's solid but not wholly remarkable. At least to my art ignorant eyes. But there are certainly worse books.

As far as Hickman's section. Wow. Yeah. A-mazing. I was interested to see how his style which worked so perfectly with Nightly News would work with kind of a silly Marvel story. And it worked amazingly well. We are given a lot of interesting bits of information related to the story and Egyptian history and it's all given across eyebleedingly cool pages that seemingly can barely contain their contents. Hickman's work just kind of spills in all directions across the pages and in many ways succeeds far better than a simple panel structure would have worked.

Essentially his living mummy story is the same story as Satana, but his artistic vision takes it up to the level of must see. I'm definitely interested to see where Hickman goes next. I would like to see more sort of landscapes like on the last page of this book.

Red Sonja: She Devil With A Sword # 23
Michael Avon Oeming-Homs

Red Sonja is a book that I've heard a lot about, like Conan, that I just never gave a try. Until now. And I have to say, if I had been up on where the story was, and understood who all the characters were, it probably would have been really good to me. As it stands though, it was a pretty action packed adventure, with lots of scantily clad sex bunny poses by Red Sonja(who is inexplicably swimming in a metal bikini, which also doubles I think as armor...maybe?).

The art is pretty good, covering both the profane and the sublime. The book almost plays as a study in contrasts. Whether it's beautiful Sonja against ugly sea monsters of completely horrible concoction. Or the Wizard towards the end who brings darkness as well as light. The interplay in the tone of the art is definitely emotionally affecting.

Oeming also writes Omega Flight, and again here he shows himself to be a very capable writer, even if all I'm really able to appreciate is the direction and dialouge of the script that relates to just this issue. It's very hard sometimes to nail the kind of "by the gods" kind of talk that this book sometimes would entail, but Oeming does it quite well. It doesn't take you away from the reality of the book, but actually succeeds in bringing you farther into this world.

I don't know how much I would recommend this book on it's own, but I'm certainly interested to pick up a collection of this run and see how it goes. Anyone that has read my reviews in the past knows I'm definitely a fan of super heroine stories.

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special # 1
Geoff Johns-Ethan Van Sciver

Straight out I have to say I have never liked any of the Green Lantern characters. I think they are all boring stiff cardboard cutouts of better archetypes. I'm not a Hal Jordan fan. Not a Kyle Rayner fan. Not a John Stewart fan. And so on and so forth. That said, you know a huge "but" is coming after all that build up. BUT I enjoyed the crap out of this book.

Geoff Johns is one of the best and brightest of those working in the field right now. He was good about five years ago too. But he's turned a corner with his work to where he is getting into really rarefied air with his work. I don't know if there is a comic book writer right now who makes me care more about his characters no matter who they are than Geoff Johns. The man is a powerhouse and if you're not reading most everything he is writing I'm not entirely sure why you're even bothering to follow comics at all.

Sinestro Corps is kind of a distillation of all the things Johns is brilliant at. He takes a character that to my eye is one of the least threatening and most ridiculous looking in all of DC Comics, which is saying a lot. And a concept that is kind of silly in and of itself, the whole Sinestro Corps, and the yellow impurity, and makes this into an amazing meditation on evil. Watching Sinestro torture Kyle Rainer and teach him fear has to be one of the best sequences in all of comics this year.

What Johns accomplishes in this one issue in setting up the Sinestro Corps as a major threat to the DC world is astounding and just goes to show, all of this crisis kerbabble that DC is doing is unneeded. The old formula of getting together some screwed over baddies, and planning a major assault on the status quo--it's all we've ever needed. Johns makes the Sinestro Corp far more feared than Monitors or Anti-Monitors have ever been on their own(in fact there is an appearance by the Anti-monitor in this book, but oh well).

By the time you get to the final reveal of this book, you are ready for things to go down. The Sinestro Corps are this year's Black Adam.

And then after all of that you get a Dave Gibbons backup story about Sinestro's tutelage of Hal Jordan, which is also tremendous, and I look forward to seeing more of those.

You would be hard pressed to find a book more jam packed with goodness than this one this year. Definitely a must read.


Gordon Downs said...

hey, i dig your comic reviews - would you be interested in a gig?
-IMPOSE Magazine

Gordon Downs said...
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