Friday, July 15, 2011

Capsule reviews: Comics from 7/13

A short but pulperrific week...

Mystery Men #3 (of 5) (Marvel, $2.99, David Liss, Patrick Zircher) - Two new heroes enter the fray; one is new to us, the other we got a glimpse of in the preceding issue.  Both have their reasons for wanting to stop the General's plans.  The Surgeon's origin is rather brief, and may not work for all readers (especially those who are used to modern extended storytelling techniques), but it fits nicely with the pulp aesthetic of 'don't waste time on needless exposition, let's hit the ground running' that was very much a part of the original pulp magazines of the era.  The plot by Liss continues to entertain, and Zircher's design and detail to attention really help to sell this title as a period piece, while still making it palatable for modern audiences. This is the type of book I wish Marvel was making more of.

Doc Savage #16 (DC, $2.99, J.G. Jones, Phil Winslade) - Part 4 of 'Raise The Khan" brings us yet another artist; I suspect that Winsalde and last issue's Dan Panosian are simply pinch-hitting on a low-priority title that's about to be cancelled while more attention is given to the upcoming relaunch of DC's core titles.  That's something of a shame, as the script by Jones is finally starting to really hit its stride.  It's still a few steps shy of re-creating the spirit of the original books at their best, but it's a solid and entertaining read.  The secrets revealed in this chapter start to bring everything together, and next issue's finale actually has the potential to do something that the previous story arcs on this title have failed to do: gives us a pulp-style story with a solid premise and a satisfying conclusion.  It's a shame that Jones won't be able to carry on with future Doc Savage stories in this format; of all the writers who have worked on this current incarnation of the Man of Bronze, Jones is the one who seems to have had the best handle on how to tell an engaging Doc Savage story for modern comic book audiences.

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