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Bringing the comics criticism

Without further ado, some Reviews:

Runaways v2 #6
Brian Vaughan brings home ‘True Believers’ with resolution, secrets revealed and mysteries begun. It was obvious that Victor is going to come around, the enjoyment should be in the how. The ‘moment’ isn’t anything extraordinary, as I’ve come to expect from BKV, but is dialogue and characters more than make up for it. I got a kick out of seeing Rick Jones again, after Peter David made him such a great character (and Vaughan mentions the autobiography here, which is a nice touch.) Nico is turning into a smart leader, which is good. And could that be a dead member of the Runaways at the end…? Good stuff, ably matched by Adrian Alphona on art.

Legion of Super-Heroes (volume who knows) #8
I sorely missed Barry Kitson’s art this month; I know some find his work a little stiff, but I’ve always enjoyed it since I first saw it in a 2000AD story called “The Fists of Stan Lee” and LSH wasn’t quite the same without it. Sharpe isn’t bad, just not as consistent, especially on the faces, and the torsos seemed overly muscular. The story sees the in-fighting between Brainy and Cos come to a head, with Waid bringing through the teenager aspect of the characters. It was nice to see the team use its powers, even if it was on each other. However, even with the extra pages, Mark Waid is taking a long time to get things going, which is unusual for him.

Astro City: The Dark Age Book One #2 (Winner of Long Winded Title Award)
This issue seemed more like the Astro City of old; after setting the tone in the first issue, Kurt Busiek gets things in gear with the reaction to the Silver Agent’s trial and the rest of the super-powered inhabitants getting cameos, as well as the reaction to these events from the perspective of Royal and Charles, and their history with the Agent. Brent Anderson tells the story well, but his art seems on the messy side of ‘loose’ for my tastes. Compare his rendition of the Blue Knight on the rooftop with the cover, for example, or the face of the newsreader on page two. Maybe it’s just me. Still, good to have Astro City back.

The Pulse #10
This was my first taste of House of M; the glimpse I got seems like it is an okay alternate universe story and that Brian Bendis has got the world mapped out. Based on this, I might be tempted to get the trade. Strangely, it all seems to be about Bendis’s love of Clint Barton, which is fair enough, if you like that sort of thing. This issue sees the world of news and how it is affected by the House of M, and Clint Barton explaining to Kat Farrell what the world should be like, and a glimpse of the stubborness of the character. Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano make for a strange art team; glimpses of the two talents without the quality of either shining through. I think The Pulse might have to put on the Wait For Trade list from now on, though.

Hellboy: The Island #2
In which we learn the origin of Hellboy’s right hand and the wheels are set in motion for the future of the Hellboy universe. Mike Mignola’s art is a beautifully moody as ever and the strange sadness of our hero comes out with the few words he actually speaks. Your continued enjoyment will depend on how much you love Lovecraftian monsters, which may mean I pass on future stories. Also, Mignola seems to be setting up the stories but getting others to finish them off, which takes away a large part of the charm and reason for reading, namely his wonderful pencils. Whatever happened to one chap telling their own story?

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