September 15th, 2009
I saw Crank 2 the other day. I have never seen a film like it in my life, although admittedly I haven’t seen the first Crank film. This trailer makes it look far less ridiculous than it actually is:
So anyway, Crank 2 is now the yardstick with which I measure all things. With that in mind,
Citizen Rex #1+2
Published by Dark Horse
Story- Mario Hernandez
Art- Gilbert Hernandez
This reviewer is shamefully unfamiliar with the work of the Hernandez brothers. I’ve dipped in and out of Love And Rockets but have always concluded that this is not the way to consume such a sprawling work. Because of this I’m drawn more to the self contained stuff. I’ve always loved their run on Mr. X, particularly for Jamie’s art and enjoyed Gilbert’s Grip: The Strange World of Men. Citizen Rex seems to be doing the old Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep theme of exploring identity through robots. There’s plenty of plot threads to engage the reader but you kind of feel like you know where they’re all going. The art feels a bit lazy. In the back matter of #1, Mario describes their initial conversation regarding the creation of this work thus:
Gilbert: “I got us a project with __. We can have __pages or __ issues.”
Mario: “Do you have any idea what they might want?”
Gilbert: “I don’t want to think about it and I don’t want to draw buildings or cars.”
Mario: “Science fiction it is, then.”
This would all be fine if the pages were dripping with raw brainspill instead of exploding with adequacy as they are. The story provides ample opportunity to include a scene where the protagonist attaches one jump lead to his tongue and another to his right nipple then electrocutes himself but almost willfully refuses to do so. Citizen Rex isn’t bad, it just isn’t great.
The New Avengers # 56
Published by Marvel
Story- Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils – Stuart Immonen
Inks- Wade VonGrawbadger
Colours- Dave McCaig
In principle I don’t think the constant event Marvel is a good idea. Why can’t comics stand alone without serving a bigger story which requires one to buy four million other comics blah blah we all know this. It’s been many years since I read an Avengers comic and I certainly haven’t been following Dark Reign other than what I pick up from Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. Let’s face it, the BIG STORY is basically that Norman Osborn and lots of baddies are getting away with being baddies. I thought this copy of the Avengers read fine. It’s just goodies and baddies with good art and clear storytelling. I wouldn’t pay money for it (this was left round my dwelling) but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Much of this issue is taken up with Mockingbird as the only Avenger left standing after a fight. She fights the baddies. The action is clear and believable in its own obviously ridiculous way. At the end loads of baddies turn up, most of which I haven’t seen outside of the Marvel Handbooks I loved as a kid.
Spoilers, by the way. One serious criticism though: At no point in this comic does a stripper get shot in her fake tits so we can see all the silicone leak out all gooey and horrible.
Strange Tales #1
Published by Marvel
Story and Art – Various
Doing what DC did years ago with Bizarro Comics, Marvel has assembled a bunch of indie type creators to play with their characters. Loved it. Doesn’t all work, the John Leavitt/Molly Crabapple She Hulk piece being a low point but on the whole it was really pretty funny. High points include:
- Dash Shaw’s magical fight between Dr. Strange and Nightmare which involved a magical fist punching a nose.
- This panel from Johnny Ryan’s Punisher story:
- The whole M.O.D.O.K and his lover story by Nick Bertozzi
- The long awaited publishing of Pete Bagge’s The Incorrigible Hulk. Just a shame it had to be awkwardly cut so as to spread it across three issues.
So on the whole a success despite the lack of any scenes where a man puts a big gun up the bottom of another man really quite a long way.
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