Friday, January 30, 2015

2014 Comics In Review - Part 4

I really enjoy these posts. It's a fun excuse to go back over all the books, see the things I might have forgotten over the course of the year. I still need to decide what from this year is staying, and what's going. There's definitely a few things I won't end up keeping.

Roche Limit #1-3: Michael Moreci and Vic Molhorta set up a colony on a planet orbiting a strange anomaly. The colony was built by someone with big dreams, but fell prey to the usual human follies, and now its kind of a dump. It started with a bog-standard plot about a detective teaming up with a drug chemist to find her sister, but has started to get weird and metaphysical, with a doctor who believes he's found the soul, and some weird possession thing going on that's speeding up the disintegration of  the society in the colony. Which is good. I was going to be seriously disappointed if they wasted this setting on a story you could tell in any seedy urban locale.

Rocket Raccoon #1-6: Skottie Young wrote and drew the first four issues, then he and Jake Parker shared art duties on issue 5, before Parker did issue 6. It started with Rocket wanted for murder, which hardly seemed surprising considering how much he seems to murder these days, but he was innocent this time, and he had perhaps found another of his kind. Then the other raccoon turned out to be Blackjack O'Hare, and I don't know why they're enemies again, but they are. Then Rocket was attacked by the League of Justifiably Angry Exes. Then Groot shared a campfire story about a treasure hunt he and Rocket went on, and then Rocket helped a former war mech save some of his buddies from being sold back into combat.

High point: Young's artwork is excellent, naturally, and especially well-suited for drawing weird aliens. It's been a very funny book at times, and kept up a fast pace. I liked the story with the mech, for the appearance of Cosmo, for Rocket's annoyance with being stuck with another partner with a limited vocabulary. In general, I like the fact there's a lot of action, but things aren't taken terribly seriously. It's strange and absurd, but it works.

Low point: Rocket objecting to be wanted for murder at the exact same time he's drowning a cop was an extremely uncomfortable moment. That and him being essentially one of those scam artist boyfriend types was not what I wanted in a Rocket Raccoon book. Now that he seems to be actually helping people, albeit with a lot of grumbling and crabbing, I'm enjoying the book a lot more. I too, help people while grumbling and crabbing a lot, so you know, identifying with the character.

Secret Six #1: Ha, well, this is awkward. I haven't gotten this yet. But I know it was written by Gail Simone, and drawn by Ken Lashley. I've heard mixed things about it so far, but we'll see what I think next week.

She-Hulk #1-10: Charles Soule and Javier Pulido set Jen up in her own law office, with a curious assistant and Hellcat. She helped Kristoff assert at least a little independence from Dr. Doom, with the power of words (and smashing robots). She helped recover a scientist with a new, but not entirely perfected shrinking method, then helped defend Steve Rogers from a charge he was responsible for the death of a man's brother back before he became Captain America. Then Titania showed up to start a fight over a mysterious blue file.

High point: Soule seems to get two critical aspects of Jennifer Walters: She's a good lawyer, and she's a Hulk. So legal shenanigans, and robot smashing. Then he went and added Hellcat to the mix, which is never a bad thing. Also, Matt Rocks was great throwaway funny idea. Pulido's done some great work throughout. I like how he bulks Jen up a lot when she starts smashing versus when she's in the courtroom. Nice demonstration of how she keeps herself in control, unlike her cousin (for much of his history, anyway).

Low point: Those two issues Ron Wimberley drew. That art did not work at all. And it isn't just me. My coworker friend and her sister both complained about it (especially the sister, who was not aware of fill-in artists), not to mention I know Mike Sterling said it tanked the sales of the book at the store he used to work at. Not sure it would have made a huge difference in the long run, but I would have taken all the extra issues of this book I could get.

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8-17: This thing turned into a huge series of double-crosses, with Boomerang engineering a set-up where everyone is running around after the von Doom painting, or the head of Silvermane, double-crossing each other constantly, while he goes after what he really wants. No idea if he got it or not, so I like to think he didn't, because he's a little too convinced of how clever he is for a schmuck. Though there's a good chance he's massively embellishing the whole thing. Steve Lieber and Nick Spencer handled most of it, and crafted a funny, engaging story.

High point: The comedic asides, the thought balloon illustration things Lieber draws. Those are always good. In general, Lieber and Spencer have a good sense of pacing on their jokes. The gag with Mach-7 breaking a bunch of stuff in a furniture store because he keeps forgetting about his wings when he turns around. The way they draw it out and keep compounding his embarrassment. It's cruel, but then you remember Fred is telling the story, and he hates Mach-7, so it makes a little more sense.

Low point: Those two fill-in issues, the one about the retired super-villain support group sharing horror stories about Spider-Ock, and the one where our protagonists sit around a bar and share war stories. The second one wasn't bad, but it didn't advance anything, and it was a waste of my money to buy them.

Tomorrow is the last part, the list portion, when books are ranked against each other. That's right, some titles and their creative talent will have their self-esteem bolstered by the denigration of other books and the talent involved. Or they would, if anyone was paying attention (or was already down enough on themselves to let my blatherings bother them).

1 comment:

SallyP said...

I agree with you completely on She-Hulk.