LSH #7, UFF #20 & Grimjack #5

Today I rounded up the remainder of my holds. I got one from Marvel, one from DC and one from IDW. I only liked one of them all the way through but I only disliked one of them completely, as well.

Let's start with the bad:

Ultimate Fantastic Four #20: (spoilers)The hackneyed story introduced in #19 gets just plain dull in issue 20. The villain is tedious and unoriginal and the way Mike Carey depicts her "higher" brain output becomes difficult to keep reading. See, she's overclocked her brain so she doesn't pause between words because she's thinking so fast. Get it? This little trick made a tedious story that much harder to stick with.

This issue also contains the Worst. Villain. Monologue. Ever. She injects it directly into Reed's brain. I think this was Carey's attempt to throw the necessary exposition in there without resorting to the "Now that I've got you I will reveal my insidious plan in great detail" cliché. It didn't work for me. Warren Ellis would have done much better. That this comes right after Ellis's run on UFF makes it even harder to read. I like Jae Lee's art even though it's a radical departure from the work Kubert did when he was on board. The only gripe I have about the visuals is the cover. Everybody looks good except for Johnny. He seems to be wearing eyeliner. It's Robert Smith as The Human Torch!

EDIT: Clarified Artist reference above.

Grimjack: Killer Instinct #5: #5 made up for a lot of the problems I had with #4. Issue 4 made me realize that the first three issues had pretty much coasted along on my nostalgia. I mean, dude! Grimjack! Ostrander and Truman are gettin' the band back together, man!

#5 is every bit as full of the clichés and tropes and worn-out, tough-guy dialogue as the earlier issues but somehow in every one, except for the fourth one, it works! I think it's because Ostrander is completely unapologetic about it. There were a couple of lines I predicted as they came up. e.g.:

"No way I could take 'em in a fair fight."

[turn page]

"Good thing I don't fight fair."

It's like a sing-a-long. It's like a classic-rock station. We all know the songs but it's fun to belt out the verses.

This book has absolutely no surprises and it's not intended to. It's empty calories and stuff blows up. What more could you want?

Legion of Super-Heroes #7: Waid and Kitson are still doing a great job with this one. I've been a Legion fan for a long time. I have enjoyed each revamp on its own merits and this one is becoming my favorite. They have done some cool stuff with the origins and sources of the various legionnaires' powers. This issue focusses on Colu, the home planet of Brainiac-5. Something bad is happening there which ties into the larger impending war storyline.

The characterizations are good and the setups for many of the "wow" moments work well. There are two inkers credited on this issue and it shows. The style is inconsistent from page to page but it's never bad.

Mark Waid sometimes tries a little too hard to inject intrigue and conflict into the Legion and this issue has a large helping of that. He's at his best when he lets those elements come naturally out of the story instead of plugging them in but overall this is still engaging and I'm interested in how the larger story arc develops.


Brian Cronin said...

"I like the art even though it's a radical departure from Kubert's work."

So radical, it departed from even BEING Kubert!!

In other words, it was Jae Lee...hehe.

As for Legion, yeah, I think Waid is trying too hard with the Cosmic Boy thing, and it irritates me because it is distracting from his main, super cool, storyline.

Vaklam said...

So radical, it departed from even BEING Kubert!!

Yeah, that was what I meant to say but I didn't state it very well. Note to self: Next time actually throw the artists name in there. Less ambiguous. ahem.

And, yeah, I'm really enjoying the big storyline for LSH, too.