Friday, May 26, 2006

Marvel Annihilation: Update

Marvel's secondary Summer event is now a few issues into each miniseries' run, so I thought it'd be a good idea to reassess my views on the books.

As expected, Annihilation: Nova is pretty much the book to beat in this group. It's actually one of the best books I'm reading right now, not just from Marvel, but from any publisher.

Wow. Nova is one of my favorite comics. That just feels weird to admit.

If anything, the second issue actually improves on the first, supplying another couple of interesting character dynamics with the addition of Drax the Destroyer and his little Earth girl companion. The writing is snappy, and the art is just terrific. I'm really grokking on this book, and would gladly buy an ongoing or follow the creative team to a new book.

Annihilation: Super-Skrull is a good read as well. I was very skeptical about this one. I mean, the Super-Skrull? He's got to be one of the goofiest characters to come out of the House of Ideas. He looks like Ultra the Multi Alien's brother-in-law, fer cripe's sake. Still, it's a pretty bouncy, light outerspace book, and certainly satisfies on that level.

Confession: I have never, ever enjoyed a Silver Surfer story. He seems to me to be the ultimate Stan Lee creation. He simply cannot be written without being overwritten. His overriding angst and flowery speech patterns have the same effect as an prescription sleep aid on me. He is possibly the most boring Marvel character I have ever encountered. There's plenty that are lamer or goofier, but as we all know, the greatest crime in super-heroics is to be boring. Which he is. (Although he is certainly goofy as well) I'd rather read a Razorback story than a Silver Surfer story.

As for Annihilation: SIlver Surfer? Well, it's a typical Silver Surfer story, which means I didn't like it. Huh, that was pretty easy.

And then there's Annihilation: Ronan. I've only read the first issue, but it didn't really resonate. I don't really have any knowledge of the character before this mini, and I'm still not sure I have a handle on who he is. I think I had him mixed up with one of the Celestials, a group of characters that I have only previously seen in the Marvel Handbooks. The book itself is kind of boring, so it's going to have to get a thumbs down from me.

All in all, this "Event" is batting .500 with me, which is actually pretty good for a group of miniseries, and is downright spectacular for a group of Marvel comics. Nova is great, Super-Skrull is fun, but Silver Surfer and Ronan are kind of drag.

Note to Marvel. Nova monthly. Dan Abnett. Kev Walker. Money in the bank.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kicking and Screaming - Criterion Details!

The Criterion website has finally released info on their upcoming release of Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming, which is, by chance, my absolute favorite movie. It looks to be another high-quality presentation from the good people at Criterion. Still no commentary from Baumbach, but that wasn't really very likely considering the lack of such on his recent The Squid and the Whale dvd. Lots of good stuff on K&S, though, including copious interviews with Baumbach and cast members, as well as some deleted scenes.

I really couldn't be more stoked. It's nice to get exactly what you want, even if it takes a bit longer than you would have liked. I really recommend anyone who hasn't seen it make a note to check it out when released. There's no date listed, but hopefully they're still planning on releasing it sometime this summer. [edit: the site lists August, so... yay!]

(I love you, Criterion.)

Oh, the details are also out for Dazed and Confused, which looks great as well.

Anyone??? Bueller???

I'm not dead, although when I was doubled over with crippling gallstone pain a month or so back I sure felt like death was imminent at times. Things have been hectic, but I think I'm back on track, so you can expect a return to my previous level of sporadic posting.


Oh, and Waiting... was just terrible. Watched it yesterday. Save yourself the pain.

Teen Titans #37 - The Tipping Point?

I like the current Teen Titans book. I have affection for most of the characters, and I find the plots to be, for the most part, a lot of fun. That said, I am on the verge of dropping the book altogether.

The reason is the art.

I don't know a lot about Tony Daniel. I think he was responsible for the art in Darkchylde, which was an Image book about a girl with thong underwear, if memory serves. What I do know, however, is that the Image/Maximum/Avatar art style is really pulling me out of this book. This is a book completely drenched in DC history, using characters from all over the DCU. It is not a book "to teh extreem!"

It's a fun, soap-operatic book that needs a lighter touch on art, in my opinion. Mike McKone was the initial artist on the title before Marvel sniped him, and he was a great fit for the book. The skinny, sketchy characters populating the books at present just don't mesh well with the storylines. Teen Titans require an artist who can effectively show fluidity, from Robin's smooth acrobatics to the almost cartoonish appearance of Beast Boy's green animal incarnations.

Daniel is a good artist, if not entirely to my taste, but his style of rendering and figure work just aren't suited for this book. I feel like a jerk for dissing his work, but it is really turning me away from Teen Titans.

I'm more of a writer's comic-fan, and I can't even remember the last time I found the art on a comic so distracting. I really might drop the book, which would suck, because I think that Teen Titans is one of the books that has made the best use of the whole One Year Later concept.

I hope DC finds a book that is a better fit for Daniel's art, and I hope Teen Titans gets a clean-line artist like McKone or Alan Davis. This whole thing is likely just a reflection of my unrealistic desire to have Alan Davis pencil every book DC is currently pencilling. Except the Seven Soldiers books. The art in those was the s**t.

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Prisoner Series?

Hmm... not sure if this is a good idea or not. Remaking one of the seminal 60s Brit series is a tricky proposition. The original is so linked with Patrick McGoohan, who not only starred but also wrote and directed several episodes, hat it might be difficult for a new actor to establish himself in the role.

Still, the original Prisoner was a long time ago, and many younger viewers won't have any familiarity with the source material, meaning the show could do well with the Lost crowd. Plus, Christopher Eccleston is an interesting actor.

I'll be keeping my eyes open for this series. It's going to be a six-parter, scheduled to air next Spring.