Wednesday Comics 12 (23 September 2009

One should never hope for too much from finales. Especially not from an extremely uneven anthology series like Wednesday Comics. Batman’s bad. Kamadi flops. Superman apparently only remembered after twelve installments he had a wife at home. Deadman is okay. One of the better mediocre strips. Green Lantern is bad. Metamorpho is lacking; Gaiman tries too hard for nostalgia. Teen Titans is awful, Adam Strange is great. Supergirl is cute again, but Metal Men goes out too dreary. I still have no idea what story Caldwell told with Wonder Woman. Sgt. Rock’s lame again, but in a syrupy way now. … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 12 (23 September 2009

Wednesday Comics 11 (16 September 2009)

Azzarello writes Batman as a rube while Risso tries to ape Sin City as a Batman. Gibbons once again summarizes the action too much on Kamandi. Sook’s barely got anything to do. Superman is bad. As usual. Deadman’s okay, Green Lantern’s awful. Ditto, respectively, for Metamorpho and Teen Titans. Hope respectively, in that sense, means Titans is the awful one. Good (not great) Adam Strange. Poor (not terrible) Supergirl. For the first time, Garcia-Lopez is too busy on Metal Men. All the large scale action hurts it. And Caldwell breaks out of his little panels for Wonder Woman. It’s a … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 11 (16 September 2009)

Wednesday Comics 10 (9 September 2009)

Batman versus dogs, Azzarello’s inspired and Risso can’t even draw a cool Batmobile. Kamandi comes back a little; there’s a big battle scene, lots of panels. Arcudi misses a great Superman: The Movie homage on his dumb Superman strip. Deadman’s okay, though all the action seems inappropriate. Green Lantern is lame; Busiek doesn’t understand weekly one page pacing. Metamorpho is competent but lame. Teen Titans is awful. Galloway’s a terrible writer. Pope’s Adam Strange rocks. He’s clearly wrapping it up. Supergirl’s weak again. Too much plot, not enough cute. The Metal Men has some great art and a touching final … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 10 (9 September 2009)

Wednesday Comics 9 (2 September 2009)

The art on Batman’s good. Risso’s aping Frank Miller, but it’s a stylish fight regardless. Kamandi continues to have story problems and poor Sook has nothing active to draw. Crap Superman. Nice Deadman. It might be Comics’s underdog strip. It’s the best Green Lantern, which says little for the strip. Metamorpho‘s periodic table gimmick is so tired in its second week, Gaiman’s even bored writing it. I think someone told Berganza he was writing a kids’ cartoon for Titans, not a comic strip. Good Adam Strange. Pope hasn’t topped his Earthbound Adam development so it’s kind of underwhelming. Lame Supergirl … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 9 (2 September 2009)

Wednesday Comics 8 (25 August 2009)

Batman’s bad; Azzarello’s desperate to make it a noir and he just can’t. Kamandi’s mediocre. Still nice art but the story’s stalling. Superman has no story and is bad too. Deadman’s got some great art. Oh, Green Lantern. It’s weak again. Metamorpho’s fun, with a periodic table gag, but there’s no story. Teen Titans is inexplicable and bad. Adam Strange is confusing and fantastic. Supergirl’s tiresome. Very nice art on Metal Men from Garcia-Lopez, even if Didio’s run out of character moments. Wonder Woman’s nearly comprehensible, even if Caldwell wastes most of his page. Sgt. Rock’s lame but not bad, … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 8 (25 August 2009)

Wednesday Comics 7 (19 August 2009)

Batman is a little better than usual. Not the art, but at least Azzarello writes two scenes. On the flip, this Kamandi strip is probably the weakest. Still good, but pointless. Superman’s crap, Deadman’s pretty but slight, the Green Lantern is pointless. The Metamorpho, however, is weird in a good way. Crappy Teen Titans, but amusing–Berganza says Starfire is almost seven feet tall, Galloway draws her shorter than Robin. Great Adam Strange. Pope has really made the strip his own thing. Supergirl–with the Aquaman guest appearance–is weak again. The Metal Men strip is still charming, but it’s starting to drag … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 7 (19 August 2009)

Wednesday Comics 6 (12 August 2009)

Let’s get started. Batman–Risso’s artwork is weak. It’s loose when it needs to be strong and vice versa. Fun Kamandi but Gibbons isn’t giving Sook enough room for the content. Superman’s the opposite. Too much room, too little content. Deadman’s mediocre, probably its worst strip (it’s a wee trite). Green Lantern’s continuing to sink too. Busiek’s Hal is an unlikable narrator. Gaiman and Allred cheat on Metamorpho–half the page is a board game. It’s cute, but clearly there’s not much story. Oh, Berganza’s Teen Titans. He gives Blue Beetle the internal monologue of the Taco Bell chihuahua. It’s offensive in … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 6 (12 August 2009)

Wednesday Comics 5 (5 August 2009)

Lame Batman, good Kamandi (Sook does a good Planet of the Apes), lame Superman (though Bermejo’s a little better), okay Deadman (one of the book’s steadiest strips), lame Green Lantern (after always being mediocre before)…. I’m trying something different since these comics usually provide so little to really talk about. Metamorpho’s a little better, Teen Titans is a little worse. Great Adam Strange, just featuring Alanna. Pope gives her a nice strip to herself. And Supergirl’s turning into one of the better strips in the series overall. Palmiotti’s tone for it is perfect and Conner’s art is engaging. Another good … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 5 (5 August 2009)

Wednesday Comics 4 (29 July 2009)

Baker gets awkwardly jokey on the Hawkman, which is otherwise all right. He’s got a great looking space battle involving the JLA satellite. Speaking of art, Bermejo’s Superman is particularly awful this issue. He’s apparently incapable of drawing Ma Kent. He draws her for three or four panels, each worse than the last. Metamorpho makes a slight recovery; at least Gaiman’s got actual panels and something of a narrative. It’s all a tease, but it’s better than it has been. The most reliable strips are Pope’s Adam Strange, Bullock and Heuck’s Deadman (it’s never great, but always decent), Gibbons and … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 4 (29 July 2009)

Wednesday Comics 3 (22 July 2009)

This issue has even less good strips than before. Sgt. Rock in particular falls off, with Joe Kubert’s art getting way too loose. Gaiman and Allred’s Metamorpho doesn’t recover either. In other words, at issue three, Wednesday Comics is already downhill. Azzarello and Risso’s Batman manages to be worse, as does Arcudi and Bermejo’s Superman. Kamadi by Gibbons and Sook, however, is awesome. It’s perfect as a comic strip. Nice Adam Strange by Pope, nice Metal Men by Didio and Garcia-Lopez. Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s Supergirl is rather cute; being well-intentioned and competent compensates for its lack of ambition. … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 3 (22 July 2009)

Wednesday Comics 2 (15 July 2009)

So even some of the better ones from the previous issue are losers this week. Specifically Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred’s Metamorpho. They flop on the format. Still strong are Pope’s Adam Strange, Baker’s Hawkman, Dan Didio and Jose Luís Garcia-Lopez’s Metal Men (no, really) and Catwoman by Walt Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze. Oh, and Kamandi by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook. The biggest surprise has got to be The Flash from Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl. They split it between Iris and Barry and have a very unexpected, but fun, twist. Deadman, from Vinton Heuck and Dave Bullock, is … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 2 (15 July 2009)

Wednesday Comics 1 (8 July 2009)

Wednesday Comics really needs a stronger editorial hand. While some of the creators get the concept, others completely fumble it. The successes (and the mediocrities) make up for the bad patches. In the “no idea how to do the format” section, the issue has Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso on Batman, John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo on Superman (thumbs down to Bermejo’s interpretation too), Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway on Teen Titans (Galloway’s art is atrocious) and the Kuberts on Sgt. Rock. At least the art’s good on Rock from Joe. The best entries are–no shock–Paul Pope and Kyle Baker’s. … Continue reading Wednesday Comics 1 (8 July 2009)

Supergirl 3 (January 2012)

Green and Johnson give Supergirl a Lex Luthor knock-off this issue–he lures her in, runs tests on her… Seems very familiar. Oh, like Action Comics last month. It’s unclear why they need a Lex Luthor stand-in, except to make a dig at the U.S. over the lack of a space program. The issue’s sadly stupid. Superman leaves Supergirl to her own devices (he’s got to help somebody) and Lex Jr. speaks to her as a hologram. In English, so she doesn’t understand, which creates some of the issue’s problems. It’s not a bad plot for an issue, it’s just a … Continue reading Supergirl 3 (January 2012)

Supergirl 2 (December 2011)

Oh, I’m going to regret saying it… but this issue of Supergirl isn’t bad. If it weren’t for some of the art issues, it might even be good. It’s an all-action issue (again), with Kara and Clark fighting it out over Russia and China. The location makes it a novel idea, but there’s also all this talking, with Clark trying to calm her down and whatnot. And in those moments, Asrar and Green (and colorist Dave McCaig, can’t forget him here), make this great Supergirl comic. Sure, her costume is still moronic. Asrar doesn’t objectify her, but her costume does? … Continue reading Supergirl 2 (December 2011)

Supergirl 1 (November 2011)

Relaunching Supergirl when Superman’s not even established seems thoughtless. Thank goodness writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson are so dull they don’t even engage that question. Their take on Supergirl is she’s a dumb teenage girl. If they made her like Paris Hilton–someone who turned herself into a brand–it might be interesting. Instead, she’s just a dumb girl. They do, however, lift moments from Supreme Power and Red Son; their lack of ingenuity is universal, not just Kara. DC should have hired a female writer. Or at least hired a guy with a teenage daughter. Green and Johnston’s insight into … Continue reading Supergirl 1 (November 2011)

Supergirl 59 (February 2011)

All writers have limits… and it’s too bad Gates’s limit is writing Cat Grant as a likable human being. He just can’t do it. He tries and tries here, but he ends up making Superwoman more likable than Cat. It’s a strange disconnect. There’s just something so hateful about her, he’s gone beyond a point where he can even bring a glimmer of humanity to her. That statement made, it’s a wonderful issue. It’s a Christmas issue, ending up in Smallville (it’s hard to tell Kara’s supposed to be the one in the glasses—I thought they were still drawing Ma … Continue reading Supergirl 59 (February 2011)

Supergirl 58 (January 2011)

Gates really humanizes Cat Grant here (I didn’t know she had a dead son, for example) and it comes a little late. If he’d done it earlier, she wouldn’t have seemed so shrill. Besides that delay in characterizing, it’s a good issue. Igle does a great job with Supergirl, as usual, but something about his approach is a little different. This issue is the first in forever not to be laden with New Krypton scenery or props; it gives Igle a chance just to do the superhero stuff and he does it really well. Gates’s pacing is a little off … Continue reading Supergirl 58 (January 2011)

Supergirl Annual 2 (December 2010)

For the annual, Gates sends Supergirl to the future. The whole new Legion of Super-Heroes continuity is incredibly difficult to understand. Every time they guest in a book, I get even more confused. But Gates does a good job doing a done-in-one adventure. The story moves, has a lot of scenes, and has Supergirl and Brainiac 5’s relationship develop a little. What’s bad is Matt Camp’s art. He draws everyone like they’re twelve—making the Supergirl kisses Brainiac 5 scene a little confusing—and it draws attention to things one shouldn’t be minding. There’s some fill-in work from Marco Rudy and Rudy … Continue reading Supergirl Annual 2 (December 2010)

Supergirl 57 (December 2010)

Thank goodness for the colorist because without him, you wouldn’t be able to tell who Chang was drawing as a Bizarro or as a non-Bizarro. Chang actually manages to draw Supergirl okay (too lanky to be slutty even), but everything else is a bit of a disaster. His art lacks dimension, which messes up his proportions eventually. Again, Gates uses the events on Bizarro world to make Supergirl feel okay about herself and the New Krypton thing, but here it works a little better. Maybe because he’s got an actual relatable event, maybe just because he really does make all … Continue reading Supergirl 57 (December 2010)

Supergirl 56 (November 2010)

It’s amazing how much I enjoy Supergirl even though the issues read so fast. Gates never leaves the Bizzaro planet this issue either, so there’s no subplot development. It does open a little weak, with Supergirl telling the unconscious Bizarro-Girl helping her will be a cathartic experience (not in those exact words, but close enough). Gates doesn’t know how to do subtle self-reflection. It’s not a superhero comic standard for a reason—there just isn’t room for it. But once Supergirl and Bizzaro-Girl land, the issue just gets excellent. There’s space bugs, the DC version of Galactus (oh, wait, didn’t he … Continue reading Supergirl 56 (November 2010)

Supergirl 55 (October 2010)

Another very fast read, but it goes very smoothly. Gates resolves his cliffhanger pretty quickly—all while developing the Bizzaro-Girl character into a sympathetic character (some via flashbacks to her origin on the Bizzaro planet). Supergirl, of course, is the only one who can see her as a misunderstood creature and not a monster.But Gates also has time to bring in a second action sequence, handle some stuff at the Planet (Cat Grant has some subplot of her own going, in addition to the Lana discovery) and then come up with another end sequence. It’s an excellent issue, the kind of … Continue reading Supergirl 55 (October 2010)

Supergirl 54 (September 2010)

Besides one glaring problem (implying there’s a supernatural pedophile out there posing as a Metropolis cop and kidnapping kids), this issue of Supergirl is a great read. It’s a fast read too—really fast, but it all works. Well, wait… more Cat Grant lameness as she discovers Supergirl and Lana’s relationship/ DC’s unable to produce good new villains. The issue opens with Jimmy Olsen discovering Bizarro-Girl in a good sequence (so good Gates should do an Olsen series of some kind) then finds Kara (or Linda) moping while Metropolis gets destroyed. Lana has to call her up to motivate her and … Continue reading Supergirl 54 (September 2010)

Supergirl 53 (August 2010)

It’s an issue of Supergirl without a bunch of crossover stuff? I mean, there’s still some crossover stuff (and apparently they’re keeping Lucy Lane alive because Superwoman’s just a great villain… eye-roll) but it’s mostly just Lana and Kara talking. Wait, Linda. She wants to be Linda Lang now. I had to go read up on Wikipedia how the “New Krypton” thing finished up. It’s surprising, with such an iconic cover, the series is totally unconcerned with picking up new readers. There’s some good stuff between Linda and Lana, but Gates can’t keep it up when he’s got Linda refusing … Continue reading Supergirl 53 (August 2010)

Supergirl 52 (June 2010)

I didn’t read the previous issue in the crossover—even though the notice tells the reader to stop and go read it first (I figured that issue would instruct me to read something else and I can only handle so much of this inane crossover). Let’s see… from here I can tell all three villains from Superman II are back (new costumes, of course), Lex Luthor is betraying Brainiac (shocker) and Supergirl and Brainiac 5 got together some time in the future. Or the past. I never finished reading that Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes book; I’m unsure if it’s … Continue reading Supergirl 52 (June 2010)

Supergirl 51 (May 2010)

Poor, poor Supergirl. Once again, trapped in a crossover she didn’t make, she takes a back seat to Mon-El, the Legion of Super-Heroes (wait, Mon-El’s in the Legion, right… well, he’s not with them this issue), her mother, General Zod and some cute little Kryptonian girl. Igle gets to do an action issue, which he handles well. He gets to do some iconic panels too and he likes those… shame they are only occasionally Supergirl-related. Very little actually happens in the issue, which is probably editorially mandated. It goes… fight scene, fight scene, talking scene, fight scene, talking scene, talking … Continue reading Supergirl 51 (May 2010)

Supergirl Annual 1 (November 2009)

Dagnino’s art isn’t bad–in fact it’s good a lot of the time–but why does he draw Lana Lang like she’s about thirteen years old? She looks the same age as Kara or younger. Gates tries to come up with an affecting story but it’s pretty pat. Supergirl foils a bank robbery and inadvertently outs some Kryptonians living on Earth. The most striking thing about the story is how weak the Kryptonian’s argument is when she’s berating Supergirl. It’s a competently told, but utterly pointless tale. Dagnino’s handling of the bank robbery has some great panels though. Then there’s Lucy Lane’s … Continue reading Supergirl Annual 1 (November 2009)

Supergirl 50 (April 2010)

Yay, Igle’s back. And he’s back for an issue where Gates gets around to doing everything. Unfortunately, Superwoman and Sam Lane are back too. Apparently one can never get rid of Johns’s worst ideas for the Superman line of books. There’s a great moment where it seems like Lane might dissect his daughter. Then he doesn’t. But the rest of the issue, featuring the return of the Insect Queen (Lana Lang) and Supergirl defeating her, is good. There’s even some Supergirl knows science stuff, which Gates doesn’t make a big deal about. The end is pretty sad though. Supergirl abandons … Continue reading Supergirl 50 (April 2010)

Supergirl 49 (March 2010)

Camp does a fine job, but I’m really missing Igle. Gates does two things this issue. First, he resolves the Silver Banshee cliffhanger and does a great job with it. He’s able to do a relatively concise action sequence, get in some character development for the police inspector friend of Supergirl’s and introduce the possibility the Silver Banshee might be nice to people occasionally. The rest of the issue is spent on Lana and there’s a giveaway this issue. A cockroach. Doesn’t Lana Lang become Insect Girl or something along those lines? Insect Lady? I sort of assumed it had … Continue reading Supergirl 49 (March 2010)

Supergirl 48 (February 2010)

Gates finally gets to the Lana thing–her nosebleeds and everything else. Turns out she has an unknown form of cancer (or something). I understand the need for drama, but Gates handles it poorly. He doesn’t handle it badly, he just handles it unrealistically. Supergirl’s anger about Lana not telling her is overblown and her concern is meager. Luckily, the rest of the issue is solid. It starts as a recap of Silver Banshee’s origin and leads into some expanding of that origin (there’s brief homage to Chuck Austen and John Byrne at the open of the issue–they both worked on … Continue reading Supergirl 48 (February 2010)

Supergirl 47 (January 2010)

You know, I hate to rag on Jon Sibal’s inks when he’s not on an issue… but Matt Camp’s fill-in here looks a lot like Igle before the Sibal inks. It maintains some of the roundedness. It’s not all about having thin lines. Also, this issue shows off what’s wrong with editors. Here, at the end of the New Krypton primary nonsense, Gates gets to define Supergirl’s mom. Her backstory–given earlier–would have made her a great, rich, conflicted villain. Instead, Gates gets to do it at the end when it doesn’t really matter anymore. I mean, it’s a really good … Continue reading Supergirl 47 (January 2010)