Comics Reviews (March 30th, 2016)
The Last Tournament in Albion continues apace; that’s the bracket after Round 2. Round 3 starts tomorrow.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Adventures Year Two #7
A bit of a comedown after an utterly charming issue, with the potential of Shada mostly being frittered on a Douglas Adams pastiche AI. Not a bad pastiche, mind you, but very much coming in below the excitement level generated by the previous issue. And the end thoroughly loses me; so far as I can tell River and Daak just sort of vanish? Anyway, largely reminded me of the sort of “this is almost great, oh, never mind” feeling that soured me after the first year of this, so probably back to done with it.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6
The start of a crossover with Howard the Duck. Best part are Chip Zdarsky’s replies to Ryan North’s footnotes. Past that, it’s a standard (and thus delightful) Squirrel Girl issue, and thus delightful, if a bit fragmentary. I’m curious to see how the tone shifts when we move to the Howard the Duck conclusion next month, certainly.
Darth Vader #18
As usual with Gillen’s Vader arcs, I’m finding myself really getting into this as we go on. I’m really enjoying how Gillen plays the austerity of Vader at this point, finding a wealth of very clever ways to work around the problem that his main character has no facial expressions and is pathologically averse to displaying any emotions. This arc has been particularly satisfying in that regard, working as a very methodical political battle with most of the pieces in plain sight, which combines well with Vader’s pecularities. Good stuff.
I know, I’m as surprised as you to see this doing well; I almost threw it back and dropped it, in fact. Still might after #36 in favor of trade-waiting, but in any case, as everything kicks into high gear for the climax this ends up working. The ultimate pay-off it’s building towards seems a bit too obvious – a crushing near-miss rescue of Hazel that will, in typical Brian K. Vaughan fashion, lead to another arc whose plot can be summarized as “several issues of individually focusing on characters as they travel.” But hey, you get what you pay for with Vaughan these days, and this was actually as worth $3 as any comic right now.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #5
An absolute delight. This is a simple issue with an unfussy plot – Moon Girl breaks Devil Dinosaur out of prison. And yet between its character beats showing Lunella’s anxieties and capabilities and its incredible knack for visuals (Moon Girl walking alongside Devil Dinosaur on giant spring stilts is probably my favorite), it’s an easy pick of the week – an untroubled thrill of a comic.
March 31, 2016 @ 5:30 am
And, you get my “I’m not on Twitter” votes here, even if they don’t count:
V/ Halo Jones: V. No contest.
Phonogram/ Miracleman: (flips coin) Phonogram.
Sandman/ Animal Man: Animal Man, but it’s a fight where either one winning makes me happy. I do like that this fight is getting recreated here, I vividly remember some discussion back in the day saying that it was good Sandman had a 1989 cover date so we didn’t have to argue over which was the best new book of the year.
All-Star Superman/ Swamp Thing: All-Star Superman. I’ve been saying all along Swamp Thing was seeded too high; here’s where I start thinking it’s not even close.
Watchmen/ Transmetropolitan: Transmetropolitan.
WicDiv/ From Hell: WicDiv. Only one week until it’s back, woot!
American Gods/ Neverwhere: As much as it would amuse me to see two TV shows fighting for the division, I have to go with the book here.
Voice of the Fire/ The Doctor’s Wife: I should probably not vote here, as I still haven’t read Voice of the Fire. But, particularly since my vote doesn’t actually count, I’ll go with The Doctor’s Wife.
March 31, 2016 @ 2:26 pm
Eric, looks like it’s you and me against Twitter. Okay here’s my results.
V/ Halo Jones: I want it to be Halo Jones but in fairness it has to be V
Phonogram/ Miracleman: I like Gillan but Miracleman for its game-changing legacy is the better work.
Sandman/ Animal Man: Tough. A somewhat overrated and overlong piece of purple prose from the dream weaver versus the Scottish one’s first tentative toe-dip in hubristic meta narrative. I’ll give it to Animal Man for its vegetarian credentials.
All-Star Superman/ Swamp Thing: I’ve never got into Swamp Thing ( I know!) so it’s A.S.S. by default.
Watchmen/ Transmetropolitan: A seriously unbalanced match. Watchmen.
WicDiv/ From Hell: From Hell. See my comments on Phonogram/Miracleman above.
American Gods/ Neverwhere: Neverwhere is a reasonably good book spoiled for me by various terrible adaptations in other media so – American Gods.
Voice of the Fire/ The Doctor’s Wife: I haven’t finished Voice of the Fire. It’s flawed but not as bad as Nightmare in Silver I’ll go with The Doctor’s Wife.
March 31, 2016 @ 9:51 pm
Did you drop Cry Havoc?
March 31, 2016 @ 10:00 pm
Nope; last issue was a week or two ago, though.
March 31, 2016 @ 10:10 pm
My mistake. Forgot that my LCS got a lot in late this week and last.