Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Dig List - The Quarter Box Edition

I bought some books from a quarter bin sale at a local shop last week, and by gum, you're gonna read what I thought about 'em. You know, if you like.

Claw the Unconquered #1 - I've never been a big fan of barbarian/sword & sorcery comics, since far too many of them read like someone's high school D&D campaign. And storywise, this isn't too different from any of those. The art though... wow, Ernie Chua/Chan just drew the living hell out of this. Dark, moody, a little bit of sex, and a little bit of gore... handled with equally gorgeous aplomb. I may pick up the rest of the series for art alone.

Star Brand #1 - This is, to my knowledge, the first of Marvel's New Universe books that I've ever read. And... I really didn't miss much. Maybe it gets better, but I liked "average shmoe becomes kinda/sorta Green Lantern" better back when it was called Nova. Fantastic artwork by John Romita, Jr., though, in the final years before his figures all became super-blocky.

Marvel Age Annual #3 - Okay, I didn't really need coming attractions for Marvel's 1987/1988 comics, but I've always had a soft spot for the Marvel Age Annuals and the 1-2 page preview strips the various creative teams would do for their books. This one had a couple of really fun ones, including a Hulk/X-Factor story summary drawn by Todd McFarlane and a quick review of the previous year's Thor storylines as told to Asgardian children by Volstagg in the form of an inappropriate bedtime story. Plus, the whole thing is presented in a special Fred Hembeck Show framing sequence (spoiler alert: Wolvering sings). Worth a quarter for the nostalgia factor alone.

Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1 - Spidey, Hulk, and Iron Man, hanging out together for no real reason other than that they all had movies in the past 2 years and Marvel wanted to capitalize, get hoodwinked into dogsitting for Hercules, and the dogs end up being Cerberus and Orthus, guard dogs of the Underworld. Sitcommy antics ensue. Probably not everyone's cuppa, being sort of like The Monkees with super powers, but I really enjoyed it. After all the darkness in superhero comics the past few years, it's refreshing to read something so unashamedly goofy with these characters. Paul Tobin continues to do no wrong in my eyes.

Criminal Macabre: Feat of Clay - Horror comics aren't usually my thing, but there's enough dark - often downright twisted - humor in here to keep things interesting, and I enjoy that it's as much a P.I. story as a scary one. Still a little more gruesome than I tend to prefer, but I could be persuaded to check out more.

Battle Classics #1 - Johnny Cloud, The Haunted Tank, Sgt. Rock, and Mlle. Marie all team up in a story written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Joe Kubert. So why the hell is this so painfully boring? At least the art's nice, I guess.

Love and Rockets #s 29 & 30 - Even though I already have the giant Locas book, like I'm gonna pass up classic L&R for a quarter apiece? As I expected, I liked the Jaime stories in these issues more than the Beto ones. Checking in on Maggie, Hopey, and their assorted hangers-on is always like dropping in on a long-running TV drama that you always enjoy, even if you don't always follow it closely. Familiar, but still interesting. The Palomar stuff, though... while I certainly enjoy Beto's work from a technical standpoint, his stories are usually much too grim for me.
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