Thursday, September 27, 2007

Indy Capsule Reviews 27.09.2007

This week in review:

  • Fallen Angel #20
  • Madman Adventure Comics #4
  • Fables #65
  • The Programme #3


Write: Peter David
Artist: Dennis Calero
IDW publishing

The Fallen Angel's son, Jude, stars in this done-in-one exploration of the 5 stages of grief, trying to come to terms with his new role/curse as Bete Noire's magistrate. Bar fights, runaway nuns and seduction of the clergy.
Jude still hasn't grown on me as a character, although this issue is a step in the right direction. Peter David's exploration of the five stages doesn't break from the expected, even falling in the common misconception of what the Bargaining stage really refers to; it's commonly shown as literal bargaining with a third-outside party to alleviate the pain, while in reality it most commonly refers to a person bargaining with themselves: 'if I do this one thing today, it will help ease the pain'. Still better than the sum of FALLEN SON: CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Grade: 6/10


Writer/Artist: Mike Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Image Comics

Mike Allred's return to the character who made him famous continues on an odd pace and with a novel spiritualist adventure bent. Madman's done with the soul searching, he's back to reality-- but a moment too late! His loved ones have already shot his body into space for burial - packed tight with his robot cloned body, AstroMan, for company -huzzuh! While Astroman races on low fuel to earth for help, Madman has a close encounter of the third type with a space hottie from a planet of multi-colour tuffy and gets tangled up in a vag-mouthed dendromorphic seer.

Does the story make much sense? Not at this point. Since the start of the new volume, with the first recap issue, Allred has been pushing Frank onto a larger path of destiny, trying to fit everything that's come before into a grander scheme (something that doesn't easily suit the character), while at the same time amping the weirdness with each stop of his Odd-yssey. As jarring as the plot is, the art has never looked better. This is the most beautifully drawn and coloured book on the stands, but I do miss the nonsensical adventures just for the sake of fun which littered the original run of the title. Some things are better left simple and fun without an overall purpose and direction.

Grade: 7/10


Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Mark Buckingham

It's been taking more and more of an effort to sit down and crack this book open every month. When did Fables turn into Days of Our Fairy Lives? The current storyline has been dragging on way too long, feeling like an ongoing soap opera. Don't get me wrong, when I do manage to start reading, it's still engrossing and drop dead beautiful (deservedly Eisner-winning), but it doesn't have a central story in each issue to pull the reader in, instead offering the next part of the several ongoing plotlines.

The Frog Prince keeps marching with his army of Dead Fables, finally reaching his deserted Kingdom (Willingham's done wonders turning Ambrose into a true hero and convincing both the other characters and the reader of his valour and right to lead). In Fabletown central, everyone spends their days watching the Prince's exploits (told you it's like daytime soap over here). Frau Totenkinder reveals her true motivations and the nature of the coming conflict. Bigby trains more soldiers. The Snow Queen obsesses over beans. Prince Charming learns a foreign language. Khan schemes. Bluebeard still doesn't have any clothes on (roooowr)

Grade: 7/10


Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: C.P. Smith
colorist: Jonny Rench

Superman Max is still on the run after his awakening. So who you gonna call to stop the big bad Russian super-terror? Well, turns out, neither of the super-people are unique, as neither side of the Cold War stopped at one when producing superman weapons. Now the Spirit of Lenin has already reached his Communist Superwoman: Pravda, while the American agents race to retrieve the secret location of their number two from a retired child-molesting piece of trash.

Milligan is in his best form here, providing a sharp and fast-moving story, with C.P Smith providing adequate (if sometimes confusing) art, but which is raised to drool-worthy heights thanks to Jonny Rench's pallette which simply make the book. Get this guy a raise and an Eisner nomination please.

Grade: 8/10

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