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Old 07-21-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
67wm
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WE HAVE ISSUES! Comic Reviews 07/22/12 POTENTIAL SPOILERS

RETRO REVIEW

Fantastic Four #192


Marvel Comics - $0.35(!!) cover price - all ages
Roger Stern - guest scripter
Len Wein - Plotter
George Perez - penciler
Joe Sinnott - inker







As you may remember from my brief bio this was one of the first books that got me into this obsessive hobby. I dug it out to get George Perez to sign it for me at the recent HeroesCon and decided to give it a revisit for my review this week.



the story so far:

The Fantastic Four have disbanded and they are persuing individual interests. This issues focuses on Johnny Storm as he heads west to participate in a cross country car race.



Now having said that, and even though this does continue the main storyline, this issue is basically a fill in issue. The focus is entirely on Johnny with only roughly two pages devoted to the other three members. We are given a view of Reed and Sue as he goes through the classified ads looking for a job. Not a problem you would think for one of the smartest men in the world, but Reed informs Sue that he would quickly become bored with any regular job. As if on cue there comes a knock on the door and a job offer is literally dropped in Reed's lap - if I remember correctly this little subplot leads directly into the plotline for issue #200.





Ben's interlude is one of the things I miss in the modern comics - his interaction with the Yancy Street Gang.

This is one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe and yet the mere mention of the Yancy Street Gang causes a rash reaction.



The rest of the issue focuses on Johnny, the race and a villain I would be stretching to call a B-Lister





I remember loving this issue as a kid, and I'm sure it was partly due to the incredible artwork by Perez. This layout in particular drew me in. The flow going from Johnny's thinking and then showing his car being overtaken by Rebecca Rainbow (yes that was actually her name) and her resulting reaction.




But great artwork cannot completely save this issue. While it is a fun read I honestly cannot rate it any higher then 3 stars
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:50 AM   #2
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WE HAVE ISSUES! Comic Reviews 07/22/12 POTENTIAL SPOILERS

ratchet



I wish I could keep on with my Aaron hate but, amazingly, this is the second issue in a row that I thought was pretty decent! Although I am still reeling from Aaron's last story arc - but this one, beginning pretty weak, has picked up nicely. Unfortunately, it is still a re-tread of the movie Crank - but at least the single issues are interesting enough!
This issue pits Hulk against some cybernetic bears in space... and the man who has sex with them. Nope - I am not kidding. It had a feel of my favorite issue - #165 - and the Hulk takes on a few robo-bears and the fat, sharp toothed man who has relations with said bears... I know I just said that - but I really can't get past it. He does come to a timely and fitting end though.
It's still Hulk killing without a reason to do so though... and seemingly enjoying it. Reading Aaron's issues it's really hard to find people to root for. Are we supposed to want the Hulk to take on Bruce... and win? Is Bruce really up to something sinister? We have no idea - we just know Hulk doesn't want Banner to succeed because he hates him. As he always has. The twist, this time around, is that we are supposed to hate Bruce too - but all we know is that Bruce went a little wacky - and then the Hulk killed him.
Aaron's Hulk is still a confusing and muddled mess of violence and bestiality but at least it's somewhat more fun to read after the first disastrous arc. Grade: ** (out of 5)


JLM


First up, Goliath by Tom Gauld (published by Drawn & Quarterly), my pick of 2012 to date. Tom Gauld is brilliant. He writes and draws cartoons for the Guardian, such as “Bronte Sisters: The Videogame” (http://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/24060372637), “The Multifaceted Mr Dickens” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomgaul...in/photostream) and “The Locked Room” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomgaul...in/photostream) all display a quiet, intelligent, but off the wall humour.
His full book Goliath is a take on the Old Testament story of David and Goliath, but from Goliath’s point of view. Rather than the terror of the official version, Gauld’s Goliath is an amiable chap, who would much rather do admin than guard duty, and generally prefers the quiet life. He’s not that happy when his call up comes, and the rest of the book is spent pondering exactly what he is doing, before the inevitable outcome.
If you are looking for kick ass fights, they aren’t not here. What’s served up is thoughtful, humorous and sad, with beautiful, elegant artwork to accompany the story. Highly recommended.
Another new discovery is Mouse Guard by David Petersen (published by Archaia). Having read Usagi Yojimbo last year, I was quite happy to check out another animal based comic. In these three books (Autumn, Winter and Legends of the Guard – the last being an anthology of stories) we follow the noble Mouse Guard. The premise is that mice are too small to fit in with an awful lot of the rest of the animal kingdom, so a Guard has developed to help the mice survive against the odds. The Guard is a noble calling, but there is conspiracy within and danger without to be faced, and well as an encounter with the Black Axe, a figure of legend amongst the guard.
Petersen’s pages are chocked full of detailed, heavily referenced art work. Creatures and architecture have a life of their own. Autumn, basks in gold and brown, while Winter is bleak and harsh. Plots are satisfyingly rich and intriguing, and battle well executed. Again, recommended.
Paul Grist has placed Jack Staff on hiatus (boo) but instead brings us Mudman, published by Image (yay!). I often think this harks back to simpler comic times. Mudman is bright, colourful, funny and with a teenage superhero, is an awful lot of what superhero comics used to be, but now aren’t. Grist has dispensed with the multi thread elements of Jack Staff as our awkward teen hero struggles to come to terms with his new powers and talk to girls. If you wish for superhero comics of yore, get this; it’s great.
One book that I wasn’t so keen on was Habibi by Craig Thompson (published by Top Shelf). This tells the tale of an orphaned boy and girl who have to depend on each other to survive the Arabic state they live in and looks at the shared heritage of Christianity and Islam. Visually, it is beautiful. Clearly a labour of love for the author and artist, but I found several elements of the plot unpleasant, particularly what the central characters must do to survive. There are moments of humour, but not enough to lift the rather bleak mood in this reviewer’s opinion. The book does seem to divide opinion, but is not something I would care to revisit.

And that’s your lot!
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