Unplanned Hiatus

The combination of a dead laptop and a new (better) job with no opportunities to post from work have combined to kill my posting lately. Noetic Concordance will be back soon with regular posts and possibly a new member. More as it happens.

In the meantime, here's a cool picture of Zzutak from the Monsters of Jack Kirby website:

Grr.  Arg.


Young Avengers #9 - Marvel (2005)

OK, if you've read any of my previous Young Avengers reviews you know what to expect. Here goes:

Man, this title just gets better and better. First off, behold that cover. Check out all its majesty! Go on, check it out.

The interior art is fine, as well. Jim Cheung started out with a bang and he has refined the look of this book with each issue. He also does some of the inking along with Dave Meikis and John Dell. That's right, Cheung draws with the strength of three men! The visual team (including Justin Ponsor on colors) really makes this book work. The style shifts slightly from sketchy to detailed according to the needs of the individual page.

As for the writing, Alan Heinberg continues to kick ass. He has surprised me many times in Young Avengers and issue #9 is no exception. Whoa, mama, is this no exception. They're gonna make a movie where Godzilla fights my sense of pleasant surprise at the Thing That Happens in this issue. I won't spoil it for you but if you're a fan of old-school Marvel (and you've liked the Young Avengers so far) you won't be disappointed in this issue.

It starts off rather formulaically with all the kids bummed that The Man is not letting them be superheroes but, like a good Joss Whedon show, it twists about a quarter of the way through and gets better and then even more betterer!

There is a Shocking Image at one point in the comic but it works for the story.

I simply can't say enough good things about this title. Flip through the first trade if you haven't seen any of the issues yet. It's well worth the money. I've said it before and I hope I get to keep on saying it:

This is what I read comics for!


Zatanna #4 (of 4) - DC (2005)

OK, that last post wasn't really a review, as such. You want a review? You can't handle a review!



Zatanna has concluded and it remains my favorite of all the miniseries which make up the big Seven Soldiers of Fate megaminiseries. I have enjoyed all the others but it's going to be hard to top this one. Sometimes Grant Morrison is too cutting-edge to be clearly understood. Even then, it's usually fun to hang on and enjoy the ride. When Morrison is on, though, he's really on. With Seven Soldiers, he is super on!

Zatanna can be read on its own without the need for any of the other miniseries. As you might guess, some things will be clearer and more entertaining if you have read, say, Shining Knight but this mini holds up by itself. Morrison throws so many bizarre concepts together and he makes them work. In this issue, Zatanna goes in search of the Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp. Even if you don't recognize them from the single issue which started this megaminiseries, just the coolness of the words "Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp" should suffice.

The best part of this issue is the appearance of a Golden Age magical villain. I suppose it's a spoiler to reveal his name but it's not like anyone is going to buy this comic just because he shows up. Suffice it to say that the battle between Zatanna and the enemy sorceror is the best wizards' duel I have seen in a comic book ever. Morrison goes totally metaphysical with this and I love it.

For all the great writing, this miniseries would not have had half the impact on me that it did if Ryan Sook had not been doing the art. That cover up there is his and the interiors are even better. I can't come up with a better person to have drawn this. The synergy between Sook's art and Morrison's writing makes this comic much greater than the sum of its parts. There were a couple of heartbreaking moments in this issue and both creators get the credit for them.

Now, to read Frankenstein.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #25 - Marvel (2005)

Hey, I'm back to posting reviews! I just picked up UFF #25 and it's official: I'm dropping it from my hold box. I'm not fond of Mark Millar's writing so that's a strike against it, right there. When you combine the writing I don't like with Greg Land's art (which I really don't like) you get a dropped book.

It's not that Land is a bad artist, it's just that his heavy reliance on photo references turns me off. You can find examples of Land's work in so many places on the net that I'm not going to bother reproducing the cover here. I prefer to insert the cover of Fantastic Four #4 instead:

OK, if you really want to see the Land cover, it's on this page

Anyway, if you like what Millar has done with UFF so far, you'll probably like this storyline. I admit that he did do something interesting with Namor's character but it's just not what I want to read. Also, I don't like his characterizations of Reed and Sue. When Warren Ellis was writing UFF Sue was presented as much stronger and more capable than the Millar version. Ellis's Reed was far more interesting and three-dimensional. I get the feeling that Millar just sees these characters as plot modules with great hair.