ZacWilliam's Comic Week in Review 3/1

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Mar 1, 2006, 3:18:34 PM3/1/06
ZacWilliam's Comics in Review 3/1

Amazing Fantasy 18
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis 40
Detective Comics 817
Green Lantern Corps Recharge 5 of 5
Infinite Crisis 5 of 7
Marvel Team-up 18

Amazing Fantasy 18 - I'm buying this title because I'm a huge
Transformers fan and the original (and still best) Death's Head began
as a TF supporting character, added to that this revamp is written by
Simon Furman (long time TF scribe) and drawn by James Raiz (who worked
on Dreamwave's TF books). So far the story, set in a 2099 like
future, has some interesting potential, but is developing quite slowly.
Perhaps too slowly for those not invested in the character. Still,
I'm interested to see where it all goes. The art is fairly good, but
not quite at the level of coolness of Geoff Senior or Liam Sharp on
either of the previous two Death's Head books. This Death's Head so
far lacks the fun quirky personality of the original or the 90's
badassitude of DH2, He remains a slightly sympathetic and massively
destructive blank slate. Really the most interesting thing about him,
and this series, has been the unexpected link to the first issue of
Planet Hulk. There's potential here that I would love to see reached,
but"as is" I doubt it's drawing in many folks not already
attached to the Death's Head legacy. GRADE: C

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis 40 - Aquaman is one of those characters
that everyone wants to work in a solo book but who has a hard time
doing so in practice. I enjoyed Peter David's run, which succeeded
probably as well as anyone ever at making him interesting and fun, but
I can see the argument that it took the character too far away from his
iconic roots (which are important to big pop-culture heroes like the DC
A-list). Kurt Busiek is a creator known for both great stories and
capturing a book's classic heart, combine that with a sword and
sorcery vibe he's been nailing on Conan and there's a lot of
potential here. The result is... interesting. Went in expecting an all
new Aquaman from the interviews, and that's KINDA what we get but...
There's a mystery and a twist here perhaps not as in your face
dramatic as his classic blindside from Thunderbolt's #1 but just as
deep and drawing. Who IS the new Aquaman? Why does he have some
similarities too close to the old to be coincidence, and if the end of
issue reveal is to be believed what's happened to the old to change
his status-quo so greatly? Out of all the books this week this is the
one I wish I had the time to give a full multipage review. The art by
Butch Guice is a bit muddled in a few places, but of a style that's
well suited to capturing the underwater world of the new Aquaman. This
is a book I'm definitely buying the next issue of just to see where
things go from here. GRADE: B+

Detective Comics 817 - I'm not a Batman reader generally, but I am
a fan of James Robinson's Starman and all the Infinte Crisis stuff
has me interested where Batman ends up, so I decided to give this a
try. I like it. This issue is the kind of Batman I could find myself
reading and enjoying. He IS Batman and Gotham is a crime filled place,
but this Batman seems to have his adventurousness back, this Batman can
smile slightly as he talks to Jim Gordan about what he does. This is
not Batman light, but Batman FINALLY not insuffereably dark, repressed
and inhuman. The most classic Batman I've read in quite a while.
I'll pick up the next part. GRADE: B+

Infinite Crisis 5 - On the whole I think the Infinite Crisis event
has been masterfully conceived, but the series itself hasn't been
quite as flawlessly executed. It's really felt to me like the book
just hasn't had quite as much space as it needed to cover everything
that's going on, leaving some bits feeling more rushed than would be
ideal. Ah well. I was hoping this issue would also shed some light on
the reality fragmenting Superman vs Superman fight that's been going
on in his (their?) titles. No real luck. I guess those issues must
happen during their fight here, but there's nothing to let you know
that's the case. The ending of this issue would have been more
dramatic and exciting if not spoiled by a DC toy solicitation a good
while back. :P Wonder where he stopped to grab that armor? Hope the
Flash will explain where they took SP, where the speed force went and
why, and where Bart (assuming this is Wally) is. The number of
artists/inkers this issue is noticeable but not distracting, as they
maintain a mostly uniform style. I'm still very much enjoying the
event and quite interested to see where things go, but I have to say
again, I really do think it would have been greatly improved by upping
the size of each issue. I know we all bemoan overly decompressed comics
nowadays but this great story could've used just a bit more space to
breath. GRADE: B

Green Lantern Corps Recharge 5 - This books been a surprisingly good
read. This issue basically comes down to one climactic giant battle but
it's been well set up and is well told and fun, giving Guy Gardener
of all lanterns a chance to really show why he was given the ring. Then
new lanterns introed have really shown as well. Great stuff that makes
me eager for the ongoing if it can keep up the quality of excitement
and characterization. GRADE: B+

Marvel Team-Up - This storyline surpassed even Runaways as my
favorite Marvel read for the last few months. Kirkman's told a
wonderful fun classic Comic Book story of Marvel's lovable C and
D-listers proving themselves real heroes when the chips are down.
It's great to see characters like Darkhawk and Sleepwalker and
Speedball get a moment in the sun (that last one especially given the
coming of Cival War :P ). Even better, Kirkman ends this great
time-travel story WITHOUT hitting the reset button I assumed was
destined to be there at the end. The Legion of Lossers ( go with
Speedball's name suggestion guys) Lives! And are there primed and
ready for more stories whenever Kirkman gets the chance. For the same
reason I love Dan Slott's She-Hulk this book has ruled: classic fun
comic book super hero adventure like not enough people seem to know how
to right anymore. GRADE: A

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