Comic Picks By The Glick
Gantz vol. 28

Gantz vol. 28

September 7, 2013

I’ve never seen any of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” films, yet based on their reputation I can’t help but wonder if this volume provides a very similar experience.  Nearly every page in this volume is dedicated to wholesale destruction as Tokyo is decimated by the alien crafts that crash into the city and proceed to lay waste to its buildings and inhabitants.  It’s impressively rendered and the scale of the event is conveyed quite well -- Dark Horse also gets kudos for keeping the four-page color fold-out of the “gigastructure descending” intact from the the Japanese release.  The problem is that its hard to feel anything beyond an appreciation of the technical craft that went into producing this.  Mangaka Hiroya Oku’s Tokyo has always been populated by gawking onlookers, or people all too willing to turn a blind eye to the injustices they see before them, or those who take the mass slaughter in the Gantz events in stride without blinking an eye no matter how big these things get.  When a city full of these people starts getting taken out, it’s really hard to feel concerned at all for their fate.


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A Man Called Hawken

A Man Called Hawken

September 6, 2013

“A new western from Tim Truman with text on the back promising a horror-filled take on the genre?  SOLD!”


That’s what I thought when I picked up this at Comic-Con, as the idea that Truman was going in for another take on the kind of material that made “Jonah Hex:  Two-Gun Mojo” one of my all time favorites was too strong to resist.  Yes, this story was written by Truman’s son Ben as opposed to Joe Lansdale, but at the price I was getting it for that turned out to be a fairly low barrier to entry.  What I found inside was a character who had nastiness to spare pitted against some real villains who were even worse than him.  In short, the faint of heart need not apply here.


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New Avengers by Hickman vol. 1:  Everything Dies

New Avengers by Hickman vol. 1: Everything Dies

September 3, 2013

While Jonathan Hickman’s “Avengers” is meant to represent the action-oriented superhero side of the franchise, this is something much different.  You see, “New Avengers,” isn’t really about a separate team of Avengers as it was under Bendis’ tenure, it’s about the Illuminati.  To recap:  the Illuminati are a secret cabal of the most prominent minds and rulers of the Marvel Universe who were formed with the original intent of sharing information to help ward off future threats to the world.  They’ve shown up infrequently meddling in things behind of and in front of the scenes with their intentions and methodology usually falling under the “morally dubious” end of the spectrum.  It’s this group that Hickman is writing about in “New Avengers,” and he has found a great “morally dubious” threat for them to take on.  Make no mistake, even though this is a superhero comic, it’s also the kind where they stand around and discuss the implications of the threat being faced as opposed to engaging in action themselves.  Under Hickman’s watch, though, all that talking turns out to be pretty compelling.


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Avengers by Jonathan Hickman vol. 1:  Avengers World

Avengers by Jonathan Hickman vol. 1: Avengers World

September 2, 2013

While Bendis’ accomplishments with the franchise over the past few years are many, there’s no denying that he set a rather low bar for his successor to overcome with his final volume.  Could it have been intentional now that I think about it?  Maybe.  Now Jonathan Hickman has been given the keys to the “Avengers” castle and is going to put his own distinctive stamp on its cast.  Those of you who lamented how Bendis’ take on the team and characters didn’t feel true to its history are likely to have the same kind of issues here, because while this volume is a lot of things it is certainly not a throwback.  However, if you’re like me and liked Bendis’ run (and have a big appreciation for all things Hickman) then you’ll want to dive on in.


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Journey Into Mystery/The Mighty Thor:  Everything Burns

Journey Into Mystery/The Mighty Thor: Everything Burns

September 1, 2013

All of you know around here that I’ve really enjoyed Kieron Gillen’s take on the adventures of Kid Loki in “Journey Into Mystery,” but have found Matt Fraction’s take on the adventures of his big brother in “The Mighty Thor” to be fairly underwhelming.  So when this crossover was announced, I was fully expecting to enjoy it only on the basis that the quality of Gillen’s half would more than compensate for Fraction’s.  That didn’t happen.  No, the former didn’t outshine the latter, but the overall story feels like a real collaboration between the two as they both knew the story they wanted to tell and were perfectly in sync during the telling.  Even though I haven’t read a volume of “The Mighty Thor” since the first one, everything you need to know to enjoy the story is right here on the page.  However, if you haven’t been reading “Journey Into Mystery,” then that might be an issue.


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