Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Weekly Crisis Comic Book Reviews for 08/20/08

Only two reviews for you guys today, but they're doozies in the form of Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds and Captain America. I won't bore you with my ramblings, so hit the jump for the reviews!

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting

Brubaker and Epting crank the dial up to 11 in this issue. To be honest, I'm not even sure where to begin, there was just so much going on here.

I think the biggest development was with Dr Faustus betraying the Red Skull. While it makes perfect sense, what with his recent string of 'failures' (or, at least, Skull blaming him for everything), but it still felt a little rushed.

Just how bad did Faustus screw the Skull over? Royally would be one way to describe it. Not only did he skip town on the Skull, but he gave Sharon Carter her SHIELD gps tracking device, contacted SHIELD, left without reprogramming the Grand Director and screwed all of the Skull's plans. I see a Luger in his future with the Skull on pulling the trigger for this betrayal. That is, if the Skull gets away unscathed.

Speaking of the Grand Director, it appears he went on the lamb post-Bucky beat down and both Bucky and Falcon had been trailing him for the past while. The issue opened up with the two having a hilarious game of cards where Bucky demands he pay him in Euros, what with the US economy and all.

The duo then followed some AIM goons, who were sent to and, surprisingly, succeeded in capturing the fake Cap. This lead them to meet up with the Black Widow and some SHIELD agents, where they are then filled in on the Dr Faustus betrayal.

On the Skull side of things, Arnim Zola has been working diligently on what appears to be Dr Doom's time platform, but to what end has yet to be revealed. It seems the Lukin and Skull minds can't hold up in the one mind anymore and it's driving both insane, prompting me to believe the time machine will pluck a body, maybe Cap's or maybe the Skull's from the past and they'll be able to separate them that way. It also seems like Sharon's baby was going to play some part in this, but it's not revealed why it was important.

Speaking of which, it is also revealed Sharon Carter's baby is really dead, but there's enough wiggle room for a resurrection / reveal that it's still alive if they decide to return to it. I think it's poor form on Brubaker's part to use the whole 'dead baby' twist to drum up tension, but the story isn't over yet and there's still lots of time to redeem that part of the story.

The issue ended with a kickass scene of Bucky stopping Sin from assassinating one of the political candidates and shouting he's Captain America that had me giddy and was a great way to solidify Bucky as Captain America in my eyes.

Verdict - Must Read. Amazing issue and one of the strongest for Captain America in months. It looks like this arc will end with a bang next month, but this issue definitely put the ultimate in penultimate.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by George PĂ©rez and Scott Koblish

Can an issue both disappoint and have you chomping at the bit for the next installment at the same time? Because that's exactly how I feel after reading this issue.

The disappointment arises from the fact this is a trumped up Wikipedia article with pretty pictures from George Perez. In fact, the use of the Superman museum and the Jimmy Olsen hologram was even worse than reading a simple Wikipedia article and it went on and on for the entire issue as it framed everything the Legion and Superboy Prime did.

I realize Johns has to setup dozens of characters, re-introduce people to this new Legion and its alternate future - all while setting up the actual story for this arc - but this is not how a story should be told and it comes off very similar to the exposition filled nonsense from the recent Batgirl mini-series, which is far from a good thing.

To be honest, the only thing really noteworthy from this first issue was seeing Superboy Prime assault the prison world and free the Legion of Super Villains. There was also a shock killing of some longtime Legion supporting character, but I didn't even know who it was at the time and the moment was lost on me, making me wonder why this was such a big deal.

Basically, all you need to know about this issue is:
  • the Time Trapper is the bad guy and brought Superboy Prime to the future
  • the Legion of Super-Heroes is on the verge of being disbanded due to the events of the recent Action Comics arc
  • Superboy Prime destroyed the prison planet and freed the entire Legion of Super Villains
  • Superman was called to the future and Brainiac reveals they will enlist the other two Legions from the three different Legion continuities
Of those bullet points, they take up about 5 pages of story combined with the rest of the oversized pagecount dedicated to explaining who everyone is.

Regarding the artwork, I'm not a big fan of George Perez (well, I used to be a fan, but his art has kind of stagnated and seems to be just going through the motions in recent years), but I think this is some of his best work in years and I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did.

Now, with my disappointment over this issue handled, how is it I'm still pumped for the rest of this arc? Well, all the boring introductions and setup seems to be out of the way and seeing Prime's handiwork, that of slaughtering over 20,000 guards and searing a giant, flaming Superman S-emblem into the prison planet, and the promise of the other Legions being called in for the next issue is more than enought to make up for this lackluster and disappointing Wikipedia entry.

Verdict - Check It. To be fair, I think you could skip this issue, read this review or random spoilers and be able to jump right into the next issue without missing a beat. This was the equivilent of a Secret Files one-shot or some other character profile book with the exception it was narrated instead of just static images and text profiles. To me, that's not good storytelling and I don't like paying $3.99 for it. However, what little that does happen is great and the setup for the rest of the story is taken care of, leaving us with nothing but, hopefully, action packed, balls to the wall action for the rest of the series.

Related Posts


Ethereal said...

Wow. So excited for Captain America now. Faustus screwing EVERYTHING is a great plot twist. I'm excited for next month, which hasn't been something that Captain America has done to me lately.

I hated Revelations, and I'm going to hate this, too. I'm under the impression that all of this Final Crisis stuff is just going to be better in trade format (I'm about to call Geoff under the pseudonym of Trade Johns).

Andrenn said...

Too bad about the baby, but I agree, there's lots of room for a resurrection or "We where just kidding" moment. I've decided to add Captain America to my "buy it when in the trades" list, like X-force and Hulk.

Keith Gammage said...

You meant that Bucky was playing cards with the Falcon, right? First time I read it I thought it was with the Grand Director.

New format for Marvel team-up: First play cards, then team up against the bad guys.

Salieri said...

I liked that Faustus was given some dignity and humanity in this latest issue...I've always hated it wen a writer just makes their characters be out-and-out bad guys 100% of the time.

With New Ways To Die, this really was the week for unnecessary recaps, wasn't it?

The Rook said...

I think you were way too hard on the Legion book -- those four bullet points are far more than happens in your usual issue of Secret Invasion. Besides, I thought the way they brought everyone to speed on who the Legion was was very well done -- I appreciate it when writers acknowledge the fact that not everyone knows these characters nor does everyone use wikipedia (shocking, I know). So many writers forget what Jim Shooter used to say about every issue being someone's first and as a result too many books are not new reader friendly. Legion was both new reader friendly *and* an exciting story.

Harry said...

Captain America is amazing and I can't wait for next month.

I bet Faustus saved the fetus and has his own plans for it.

Jack Norris said...

I'm pretty sure that it's Doom's body-switching device that Zola's working on, not his time machine. Seems more useful for the situation. He's modifying the device to pull them out of Lukin's body, then the "other device" that he's working on to separate them, then Doom's device again to put them in separate bodies. Not sure what body the Skull is getting, whether it's 50s Cap (can't bring myself to say the g.d.) or whether he had designs on Sharon's baby (with accelerated ageing perhaps?) or what...

Derek said...

oh god no, not accelerated aging, that brings back too many memories of that abomination "Sins Past" in Amazing Spiderman.

I think Brubakers a far better writer than Stracynski though, Captain America has been a phenomenal comic since he took over so I've confidence that whatever happens next will be good.

Salieri said...

Er...Jack? When we first saw the device, Zola specifically mentioned bending time/moving it for the Skull's purposes.

oakleyses said...

jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin uk, gucci handbags, true religion outlet, longchamp outlet, polo outlet, burberry outlet, nike free, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet store, coach outlet store online, replica watches, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, christian louboutin, burberry handbags, prada handbags, kate spade, michael kors outlet, nike air max, chanel handbags, coach purses, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, longchamp outlet, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

burberry pas cher, ralph lauren uk, new balance, sac hermes, ray ban pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, nike air max uk, north face, nike roshe, nike air force, polo ralph lauren, converse pas cher, ray ban uk, louboutin pas cher, michael kors, guess pas cher, polo lacoste, michael kors pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike free uk, nike blazer pas cher, timberland pas cher, hogan outlet, nike air max uk, sac vanessa bruno, nike free run, north face uk, true religion jeans, hollister uk, mulberry uk, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, nike air max, air max, nike tn, jordan pas cher, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, lululemon canada

oakleyses said...

vans outlet, abercrombie and fitch, mac cosmetics, mcm handbags, hollister clothing, reebok outlet, wedding dresses, nike trainers uk, nike roshe run, lululemon, oakley, giuseppe zanotti outlet, beats by dre, celine handbags, north face outlet, hermes belt, instyler, herve leger, iphone 6 cases, nike huaraches, mont blanc pens, chi flat iron, jimmy choo outlet, nike air max, longchamp uk, hollister, p90x workout, valentino shoes, soccer shoes, babyliss, timberland boots, nike roshe run uk, new balance shoes, insanity workout, asics running shoes, ghd hair, north face outlet, baseball bats, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, nfl jerseys, ferragamo shoes

oakleyses said...

louboutin, vans, montre pas cher, converse, ugg boots, uggs outlet, marc jacobs, toms shoes, lancel, swarovski crystal, coach outlet, converse outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet, hollister, uggs on sale, ray ban, ugg uk, nike air max, wedding dresses, juicy couture outlet, replica watches, ralph lauren, ugg boots, pandora uk, ugg pas cher, hollister, gucci, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, thomas sabo, ugg, karen millen uk, links of london, pandora jewelry, uggs outlet, swarovski

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.