Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tue Reviews

Originally run as part of the Best Shots column at Newsarama.

Justice League of America #46 

Published by DC Comics
Written by James "hey, wasn't my Starman run great" Robinson
Art by Mark "I'm not gonna blame anyone" Bagley, Rob "I don't even want to comment" Hunter, Norm "ditto" Rapmund and Ulises "aren't the Northern Lights purty" Arreola
Edited by Rex "don't blame me, I was writing a 'Second Feature' elsewhere" Ogle, Adam "don't blame me, Eddie's the boss" Schlagman & Eddie "it's totally the fault of my subordinates that this had three editors and still sucked" Berganza

I'm a sucker for the JLA/JSA crossovers, so I picked up this issue despite feeling Robinson's run thus far has been a major disappointment. While hoping that this may have been an example where he stepped his game up for a special event, I was confronted with a book where the severity of the writer's flaws were multiplied instead.

One of the major problems is Robinson's insistence on attempting multiple character narration. Switching back and forth as often and as rapidly as he does is jarring on its own, but his tendency towards maximum verbosity sets him up to fail. The brain-numbing amount of exposition used to spoon feed everything to the reader is clunky and serves to frustrate/insult the reader at every turn. The dialogue suffers for reasons beyond that, though.

Robinson writes a scene where Jesse Quick seems like she just stepped out of Gone With The Wind and leaves me expecting Hourman to step in and say, "frankly, Jesse, I don't give a damn!" Towards the end, he writes Mikaal's narration as if this Starman is trying to channel the worst William Shatner delivery into something that fits a tweet.

The art is NOT strong. Bagley looks rushed and his pages with many costumed heroes shoehorned in (read: much of the book) look terrible. He's not helped by his inkers or a colorist that decides to have the JLA & JSA discussing tactics inside the Aurora Borealis (judging by the background they created). Issues like this will no doubt lead readers to look back and say, "you know, JL Detroit wasn't so bad."

Death of Dracula #1
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Onofrio Cattachio, Frank D'Armata
Edited by Daniel Ketcham & Axel Alonso 

There doesn't seem to be a real purpose to this book. It is heralded as the starting point for the new X-Men book debuting Thursday, but has no X-Men present or any mutants. What bits it might help set up about the vampires here is likely to be restated early and often in the actual X-Men series. I mention this not only because it can factor into how much one enjoys the read or feels satisfied in their purchase, but because this lack of point or purpose seems to be reflected in the quality of the story. The story lacks a soul and serves to put forth info about this group of characters as dispassionately as the protagonist reacts to his father's demise. It certainly doesn't bode well for what is to come from Gischler's X-Men vs vampires storyline.

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