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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

10/19/2005 Reviews

This week was much, much better than last week. Up this week we have Daredevil/Punisher # 5, Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four # 1, Klarion Witchboy # 4, and Shaolin Cowboy # 4. That's Lapham, Morrison, Irving and Darrow in one week. Hot damn!

Daredevil/Punisher # 5

This is the Frank Castle that I knew and loved when I was in the 5th grade. Back then, Punisher was a pragmatic, hard-boiled, no holds barred ex-Marine turned criminal-killing-machine. He was one of the first. However, despite his mean disposition, he was a person that you could like. You felt for him and his loss and almost believed that his mission, although rash and involving lots of dead people, made sense. When I was younger, I constantly found myself thinking "Is it possible for someone to wage a one man war on crime? And am I the person with the stones to do it? Could I wear a skull themed costume and pack a whole bunch of guns to unleash hell and brimfire upon those who could not follow the laws set forth for us?"

This warped 5th grader thinking was all because of the Punisher.

Lapham's Punisher is more in tune with the Punisher that I knew which is one of the reasons that I'm digging this mini-series so much. I have no problem with Ennis's psycho crazy Frank Castle. That's good stuff, too. However, there was a time when all Punisher was, was a guy with a mission and an armory to back it up. He didn't need a psychosis to make him interesting.

Daredevil, on the other hand, is the one that's lacking in this story. He is serving more as plot device here with his belief system(justice by due process) playing against the Punisher's(vigilante justice). He also pops up to make Punisher's life difficult, which is really the best part of DD's involvement in the story. Watching Frank get all PO'd when that uppity blind lawyer in red tights shows up and starts frolicing around while throwing cheerleader batons everywhere is great. Just imagine the complex that this already very angry man must have when folks with real powers get in the way of his vengeance.

Lapham's pencils are great, even if the colors are shitty. If you haven't been following this, pick up the trade. Get yourself some Stray Bullets while you're at it.

Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four # 1

This makes up for last week's bullshit fest. Classic comedy using shrunken versions of monsters before Marvel's super hero whoring days that work in Four Freedoms Plaza. Or is it the Baxter Building? And are the FF still broke? Or is this where Thing all rich and wears dumb top hats because that's what rich people do? I'm a bit confused. My funny bones have been thoroughly tickled, however I'm not sure which version of Marvel's Fantastic Four is in this comic.

Really though, this was hilarious. Little H.E.R.B.I.E-ish bots laughing at Elektro for only have 32k RAM is thumbs up. Beats all that horror crap that everyone's trying to shove down your throats this month, that's for damn sure.

Seven Soldiers: Klarion The Witchboy # 4

Here we are, another step closer to the end of this massive saga that Grant Morrison has put together for our reading pleasure, and quite frankly, we're still going strong. Now, please don't expect some elaborate critique about Seven Soldiers and how if you read Seven Soldiers: Klarion The Witchboy # 4 on the Winter Solistice in the nude with nothing but the cool air blowing upon your nether regions, you can tap into ancient celtic dryad demon lovers that will spill forth all of the secrets of the multiverse, both big and small, helping you to jump start your career with mainstream super hero comics, because, that's what Jog is for. I am not as intelligent nor articulate enough to understand half of the shit that Morrison is dropping inbetween these pages, but when I want to know, I go read Jog's blog. He is the Mad Thinker of comic book blogging, minus the Mad part. He even mention how awesome it is that Morrison and Irving have Klarion's familiar, a cat named Teekl, put on a little kitty stake. Jog gets it right.


I read my comics late and post my thoughts even later, which brings me to my one little gripe:

What happened with the bad guy? One minute, he's all dope, this underground puritan town is gonna be all my bitches, shot the Grundies and let's get on with it, until SHIT! CRAP! FUCK! its Klarion all crazy and then:

He's running scared from Klarion, they both crash into something and then!:

The bad guy's a fire monster who rants for 20 seconds. Doom and Gloom on you, Klarion, Witchboy!:

Just kidding!


Uh, what?

Sorry, but that's just poor writing. At least give Klarion the satisfication of kicking the guy's ass, sending him running, giving Klarion the motivation to follow. Sure, Klarion follows him because he takes off, however I just feel kind of.....well....

Grant Morrison was rubbing my comic enjoying nuts then stopped dead cold and told me that me imagining him rubbing my comic enjoying nuts would feel much better. We get a 2 page chase only to find a villian that was dead set on kicking everyone's ass is really going to turn around so he can kick the world's ass and come back for them later. I'll say it again: Uh, what?

Yeah. Doesn't make sense to me either, but what can you do. Since Klarion didn't die, does this mean that Zatanna's gonna die? I do remember some solication that one of the Soldiers was gonna kick the bucket and all we have left is that damn mindwiping JLAer, so.......

Or did I miss something? Somebody get Jog on the case, stat!

Shaolin Cowboy # 4

Who knew that Geof Darrow had it in him? This is so damn funny that its beyond words. Describing this is like telling my friends how good the Upright Citizens Brigade was. They just won't get it. In this issue alone, we have a talking horse that shits on a zombie chiropractor that is being controlled by some ancient, evil head who is being pulled around by a bird, spouting nonsense about chi and whatnot while engaged in combat with the Shaolin Cowboy as baby with bloody hands walks around saying "mine." Doesn't make sense, but it is funny funny funny times not a billion but a gang of million.

The cover of the book says "2005 Eisner Award Loser." What's not to like?

1 comment:

Jog said...

I am so on this case, and only four days late!

Irving's art wasn't at its clearest there, but I think the scary Klarion/Teekl monster caused gross bodily harm to the villain, making him turn into a fire thingy (he's hot-blooded?); I guess his powers of flame weren't going to do much toward enslaving the witch people, so he sort of went home to cut his losses (I think Klarion killed all his minions too)... judging from the other miniseries, he's needed later in the story anyway (unless he's somehow the same fire dude as in Zatanna - then he already has a different part in the plot)... none of these books have completely solid endings, after all.

Don't hold me to this, but I'm pretty sure nobody's gonna die until Seven Soldiers #1... they've gotta keep that suspense building!

Also: Shaolin Cowboy is one rad book indeed.