I'm completely put off picking up any Ellis books these days. He's built up a terrible track record of starting books, getting very enthusiastic about them, and then the books drift into oblivion. Hullo, Planetary, newuniversal, Fell...
I really rate Ellis as a writer, but to be honest I have very little interest in his work now because, frankly, his comics come out whenever he can be arsed as far as I can tell. In the meantime, my money is used on other things.
Finally, managed to buy an issue of Dan Dare. It seems to have been reviewed everywhere, but I couldn't find the first issue until this week. It's a good start to the first story arc with some excellent artwork. I'm not certain if the story can be considered to be a reboot, or a continuation at this stage. However, the writer(s) have made a great effort to justify the existence of a UK-led space programme on a parallel earth.
Finally, managed to buy an issue of Dan Dare. It seems to have been reviewed everywhere, but I couldn't find the first issue until this week. It's a good start to the first story arc with some excellent artwork. I'm not certain if the story can be considered to be a reboot, or a continuation at this stage.
A bit of both I think. It seems to be set about a decade or so after the original Dan Dare series (I'm estimating based on things like the size of Space Fleet and the apparent age of Professer Peabody) but with a bit of adjustment to the world allow for 21st Century sensibility, whilst leaving Dan himself true to the 1950's values that he always exemplified.
I'd say that it treats the intent of the original strips as having happened (whether the actual details are 100% the same isn't entirely relevant) and goes from there.
And on another note - I did actually pick up a comic that wasn't Transformers related this week:-
Legion of Superheroes in the Thirty First Century#10: I know, I know. I said I was going to be dropping this to make way for "Dan Dare" but what can I say? I have long been a big fan of the Legion of Superheroes, and this animated series influenced take with its extremely accessible and all-ages style really feels like a natural successor to the Levitz/Giffen material I remember from my childhood. And seeing as I have gone to trades on "Nova" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight" there is room in the budget. This issue is another two-hander - Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl versus the Fatal Five, who have taken over control of the Legion's headquarters. I've always had a soft spot for Garth and Imra, one of my favourite Legion couples so I pretty much had to buy this issue. It didn't dissappoint - some great superheroics with the two legionnaires outwitting the Fatal Five who out-gun them by a long way, and some fun character stuff which rings quite true to the animated Legion's teenage status. Fun, without ever being too silly. Great stuff
Inincible Iron Fist 12 (7 Capital Cities of Heaven Round 5) More fighting. You get to meet the prince of Orphans a bit. Things do not go well for our Hydra fighting friends who end up tied up on a train with some explosives. 2 next issues as there's an IIF Special focussing on the Prince of Orphans, but IIF 13 is entitled "Orson Randall and the Green Mists of Death" What a cool title !
A bit off the ball this issue, several artists are used for the varying flashbacks and elsewheres. Still good.
Post by Andy Turnbull on Jan 21, 2008 18:09:54 GMT
Hulk #1 by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness.
Something of a return to form for Loeb after many, many issues of crap. It's a low key start to the Hulk title, with the title character only appearing in flashback and setting up a few mysteries. Enjoyable enough and She-Hulk punches out a superhuman bear.
Amazing Spider-Man 546 & 547 "Brand New Day"
Well after the turd-fest that was One More Day we now have a Spider-Man book that is eminently more readable. Dan Slott has a handle on all the characters and the art by Steve McNiven is very good indeed. The intro of a new villain Mr Negative is interesting enough. The extra back up strips in 546 are all eminently forgettable affairs and needn't have been included. If you can put the Mephisto bollocks out of your head you will enjoy this.
It's great. Every issue of it is gold. Seeds for some future issues are laid and in the backmatter Ellis provides an explanation for the long delay and it's not entirely his fault. The plan is to get the title out in a more timely fashion this year.
Astonisahing X-Men 24: I think i've said before the wait between issues has harmed the story.... but my Morrisson/Quitely NXM experience has taught me that you want to keep thee best creative team where availible. The problem is I've not felt engaged by this title from the word go. Sorry.
New X-Men 49 (MC12) X-Men 207 (MC13)
And we're done. All out action fest these last 2 issues with the predicted NXM massacre failing to take place. In someways the art styles in these 2 issues are very similar making for a cohesive read together. Several hanging plot threads: Madrox Dupe II and Layla Miller being the obvious ones. Supposed shock ending that felt a bit rushed.
Young Avengers Presents 1 of 6: Patriot. James Barnes comes to visit Isiah Bradley. How awesome is that just to start with ? Eli already met Bucky last Christmas and seeks him out again which results in a great conversation about what Captain America stands for. Great writing, though thought Bucky was a tinsy bit off even though Brubaker was in the writing chair. The end is superb, very similar to last year's Winter Soldier special where WS ends the issue talking to Namor about Toro.
Big week for James Buchannon Barnes next week though.
Legion of Superheroes #37 & #38: Missed '#37 when it came out so I snagged it this week along with the current issue. A new creative team starts out in this issue - I say new but Jim Shooter has done the Legion before, many moons ago - so I thought I would give it a go to see how it pans out with him at the helm of the new version. Actually it works out fairly well - the superheroics are in the classic Legion tradition, a horde of incredibly powerful space bugs are attacking Earth's solar system and only the Legion stand between them and helpless civilians. But at the same time Shooter is having a bit of fun with the fact that the Legion are trying to manage the transition from uppity teenage rebel movement to government-sanctioned superheroes. Watching an out-of-his-depth Lightning Lad flounder around systematically managing to antagonise every goverment agency and paper-pusher he encounters is quite amusing. The art by Francis Manapul isn't really entirely to me taste, it's competent enough just doesn't really gell with me. Overall a decent start by the new creative team
The Order#5 & #6:
The thumping sound that you can hear is me kicking myself that I didn't start reading this sooner. I'd not quite gotten around to it and was meaning to start this month, and now I hear that the title is cancelled just when I am getting into it. A real shame because this is a bit of a hidden gem. Marvel are oft prone to talking about the "relevance" of their comics. On that basis I can't understand why "The Order" hasn't been given a bigger push. An "instant celebrity" super-team for the media-obsessed, American Idol-driven twenty-first century, complete with their own hard-as-nails PR flack is exactly the sort of interesting new blood that the Marvel universe could do with. Written in exactly the opposite to the "decompressed" style that blights so many comic books there is loads of stuff going on in both these issues, and a load of decent characterisation too. I think I shall be picking this up in floppies for the remainder of its run.
Dan Dare#2 & #3: Clearly it wasn't just me who seems to have had trouble getting their hands on #2 of this, seeing as there seems to have been a second printing to coincide with #3 hitting the stands. Continuing in a similar vein to the first issue this title seems to have hit the stands knowing exactly what it wants to do, and how it intends to do it. Garth Ennis seems to be using Dan as a metaphor for a whole vanished era of "stiff upper lip" British heroism, playing him of against a more pragmatic modern mind-set. A mining colony threatened by an evil plan of the Mekon? Friendly treens being mistrusted by humans? Dan Dare faces up to it with the same pluck that he used to show. In other hands this could have come dangerously close to becoming bad pastiche, but Ennis keeps a certain authenticity to it by dint of the fact that it is played entirely straight. Which actually makes the humour work a little better than if it had all been played tongue-in-cheek. (Dan's method of dealing with a couple of British Army officers who are more concerned with preserving their own lives than those of the civilians around them does amuse - "You can go, but your uniforms stay. You won't be needing them as you aren't British officers anymore"). Enjoyable stuff
The Order #7: The usual quality, shame it's been canned before it even had any trades. Best written Namor in quite some time. -Ralph
#7 is out - ah, excellent. I shall snag that in a day or so's time. I'll probably end up having OD'd on "The Order" - three issues in two weeks. I thought the Namor appearance at the end of #6 was pretty darned good (I loved the "right, we atlanteans are sick of you already. Remove us from this ludicrous "Axis of Evil" nonsense and cease defaming us. Forthwith" kind of tone that he took). Good to hear that they keep up the quality of the characterisation.
Captain America was fantastic this month, i wasn't sure about the whole 'New Cap' thing, but it worked out well. The whole storyline is coming to a head.
Avengers Initiative is another book which i feel is a guilty pleasure. It's a daft romp of a book, but i enjoy it every month. With the inclusion of Taskmaster (one of my favourites), and the events of this month, It's only going to keep getting better.
The Order#7: Now for the record - _that_ is Namor, Prince of Atlantis. As Ralph says, one of the best written Namor appearances in a very long time. And also one of the best takes on the "one man's hero..." arguements I have seen in mainstream comics recently. Very, Very good stuff this. "The Order" seems to have really done well at staking out its own distinctive identity and its own voice. A shame that I have only gotten into it when its days are numbered, and in sadly very few digits.
I hadn't bothered with this series and now I wish I had. However, I will pick up the trade(s). Hopefully if trade sales warrant it they may do a limited series down the ways. Only problem is now the Mighty Marvel Marketing Machine is gearing up for Secret Invasion.
It will be worth getting in trade form. I will definitely be shelling out the paper pounds for the trade that is scheduled in March, and I think I will be getting the remaining single issues just in case they don't get collected.
Very few titles grab hold of me this hard in the space of one issue, but "The Order" was one of the very few.