New Comics 6/11/05

Ultimate Fantastic Four #19: The story has a "been there; done that" feel to it: A they all laughed at me at the academy villain takes over the Baxter Building's defenses while the FF is out of town (WAY out of town - Like, in another dimension). She's had something done to her to enhance her intelligence and she's very, very angry at the cool kids who made the cut.

This is part 1 and I'm interested enough in what's going on to read part 2 (which should be the conclusion of the story) but Warren Ellis would have done it better. Ellis realized that Reed Richards' primary superpower is his intelligence. At least once per issue, Ellis would have Reed do something really clever. Sometimes it was a small thing but it would make me say "Wow! Cool!". Mike Carey didn't write any of those moments for Reed in this issue. It's a different style, I know, but there was nothing particularly exciting about the events. The dialogue was even kind of flat.

The art, however, I like.

Jae Lee did a great job of conveying the darkness and isolation of the characters as they move through a familiar building which has now become unfamiliar. Nothing beats Adam Kubert's art for this series but I like Lee's work on this. It reminds me of Stuart Immonen's stuff in that he really captures the "guy on fire" effects on Johnny well.

Ultimate Spider-Man #78: As I was reading this issue I was thinking "Ugh. This is a lot of navel-gazing even for Bendis". Then I got to the punchline. Nice work.

It didn't go the direction I was afraid it was going to and it did, in fact, advance the story. Brian Bendis isn't Joss-Whedon good but he keeps pulling compelling stories out of these characters. I'm not reading much else that Bendis is writing right now but I am very impressed with Ultimate Spider-Man. He has kept my interest through 78 issues and that ain't easy. There was a bit of meta-comic-geekery that threw a speedbump into the story flow but it was a minor thing.

One of the reasons I have stayed interested in US-M has been Mark Bagley's art. Damn he's good! His style fits Bendis's writing perfectly. If the title had rotated through various artists (see Ultimate Fantastic Four above) I might not have stuck with it. Consistency of art and consistency of writing have combined to keep this thing in my holdbox.

Also purchased: The Goon #12 and Iron Ghost #1 but I haven't read those, yet.

No comments: