Weekly Awards For The Comic Books From May 14, 2008

Let’s go ahead and dish out The Revolution’s weekly awards.

The nominees for the Che for the best read of the week:

Batman #676
Booster Gold #9
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Newuniversal: Shockfront #1
Project Super Powers #3

The Winner: Newuniversal: Shockfront #1

This week was just loaded with some excellent reads. I love it when we get a week like this one. Batman #676 was an enjoyable start to the “Batman RIP” story arc. Morrison succeeded in capturing my interest with this issue. The Club of Villains is an intriguing looking group of characters. This was a promising start to what should be a complex and well crafted story.

Booster Gold #9 was another gem. Johns and Katz have delivered one of the best reads on the market with this title. The way that they are delicately meshing Booster into DC’s continuity has been enjoyable to watch. This issue was action packed and quickly paced as we rush toward the dramatic conclusion of this story.

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy #1. DnA turn in the perfect model of what a debut issue should read like. This issue had it all. DnA treat the reader to quality action scenes while still delivering nicely fleshed out characters and good dialogue. Still, the most impressive aspect of this issue is how many plotlines that DnA were able to spin out of this debut issue.

Project Super Powers #3 was another great issue. Krueger has the Midas’ touch with this title. This story is moving at a pleasantly measured pace as Krueger concentrates on pulling off strong character work with each new super hero that we meet. For all that The Twelve has failed to deliver, Project Super Powers has more than made up for.

However, I went ahead and gave The Che to Newuniversal: Shockfront #1. Ellis dishes out one incredibly well written comic book. I was immediately hooked and cannot wait to learn more about the strange world of Newuniversal. This title is definitely not your typical comic book.

And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week:

Amazing Spider-Man #559
Titans #2
The Twelve #5
Wolverine #65

The Winner: Titans #2

Amazing Spider-Man #559 was another miss as I continue to struggle getting into this title ever since the Mephisto retcon. This issue was rather cheesy. Seriously, a villain that practices Parkour and streams the video of her capers online? Ugggh. And a normal human who is really good at Parkour is better than Spider-Man’s spider-agility? Yeah, I don’t buy that for a minute. And the worse part were the inevitable puns with the word “Parkour” and “Parker.” Amazing Spider-Man continues to trend to the juvenile side with the types of reads it has been giving us since the retcon.

The Twelve #5 was just hideous. I am stunned at what a truly wretched read this title is. The Twelve continues to lumber along at a brutally slow pace. JMS appears to have absolutely no point or purpose at all with this story. We are five issues into this title and absolutely nothing has happened. I have read some slow and pointless stories before, but I can’t think of one worse than The Twelve. I have absolutely no idea what I am supposed to find appealing about this title.

Wolverine #65 was a disappointing end to an average story arc. Aaron pulled off the cardinal sin of overpromising the ending throughout this story arc and then under delivering once we finally got to the end. Aaron hammered into the reader’s head that no matter what may happen that this will be the last conflict between Logan and Mystique. That Wolverine was going to kill Mystique. No questions asked. Now, I didn’t believe that for a minute. Mystique is too fun and popular of a character to kill off. I figured that Aaron had forced himself into a corner where he could not deliver on what he had been promising over and over again.

And I was right as we get a weak ending that allows Mystique to come back better than ever at some point in the future. We all know that somehow Mystique will get out of the desert alive and heal up and be back in the near future. The only way this story arc could have satisfied me is if Logan made good on his continual promises and killed Mystique.

In the end, I had to give the Sequential Methadone Award to Titans #2. The fact that Titans #2 was able to beat out The Twelve #5 tells you all you need to know about how poor of a read Titans #2 was. It is actually stunning that a comic book company like DC would publish such an amateurish story. This isn’t some tiny small press cranking out comic books in the garage of some one’s house. This is one of the big two. If nothing else, when it comes to reading a Marvel or DC title I except big name talent and a professional comic book from top to bottom.

We don’t even come close to getting that with Titans #2. This might be one of the weakest comic books that I have ever read. I always try to remain respectful of writers when reviewing their work. And the fact is that almost every writer employed by Marvel and DC are talented people. However, Winick just cannot write a super hero comic book to save his life. It is as simple as that.

I am actually at a loss for words when it comes to how Winick still manages to get any work with DC. Seriously, I could go to almost any college with an MFA program and find several students that have more writing ability than Winick. Honestly, if you are an aspiring writer hoping to break into the business and write for DC then don’t give up your dreams. If Winick can find consistent work with DC then absolutely anybody can do the same.

Titans #2 was just a brutal read in every aspect. The pacing is poor as this issue had a lousy flow and the story creeps along at a snail’s pace. The plotting is unimpressive as it appears that Winick just doesn’t have anything at all in store for the reader on this title.

As a point of reference, look at Guardians of the Galaxy #1. In just the first issue, DnA manage to create an immediate plotline to be investigated in the next issue. They also create a mid-range plotline with the UCT that will be investigated over the immediate future. Then they create a long-range plotline with Mantis’ cryptic statements about a traitor in the Guardians of the Galaxy that will come to fruition in nine months.

What has Winick given us in the first two issues of Titans? That Trigon has another child and is plotting with that unknown person to take out anyone who has been a Titan. Wow. One whole plotline in two issues. And that one plotline is about as creative and interesting as a beige wall.

So congrats to Newuniversal: Shockfront #1 for winning the Che for the week and congrats to Titans #2 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.

4 Comments

  1. your way too hard on Winick, and calling him a hack (which you have done in the past) is totally unfair. I know you have your opinion, but it seems a contradiction to what you lay forward as your supposed rules.

  2. Winick is…immensely frustrating; his comics will often have great moments, even a whole great issue; #4 of Green Arrow/Black Canary, when Connor is hospitalized, is excellent; but the series as a whole is crude (particularly in terms of sexuality), with often bizarre characterization choices, and is totally tone-deaf in acting like a comedy in the middle of what should be a serious plot (the search for Connor’s would-be assassin/abductor has basically degenerated into a farce, and then), the cumulative effect of which is whiplash-inducing.

    What did you think of Captain Britain and MI: 13? I thought it was an excellent debut issue; great action (all the throat-ripping, head-punching-off action you deserve in a comic), great art, an effective balance of seriousness and humour.

  3. Apart from Black Knight, a semi-regular Avengers benchwarmer, the rest are pretty obscure; Spitfire, apart from the short-lived New Invaders series (9 issues, I think, in the early 00s), hasn’t been a regular feature anywhere since the original Invaders series ended in the 70s (though of course I remember her from “21st Century Blitz” in Brubaker’s Cap).

    This is John the Skrull’s first appearance outside of Cornell’s Wisdom MAX mini; short backstory: in 1963, four Skrull agents were sent to Earth to impersonate the Beatles and facilitate an invasion. However, they decided not to (“Lads, I’ve found I like money and power.”).

    Faiza’s a new character, so you know as much about her as anyone does.

  4. Either newuniversal or GotG were good enough to win, so I like your pick.

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