Game Tape

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week I finally picked up my three weeks worth of books. Looking at the ridiculous stack, I’ve decided to only talk about books that haven’t usually made the cut for GT review. I’m forcing myself to talk about books which I regularly don’t have much/ anything to say.

I’m not really an art guy. I appreciate styles, and I understand the mechanics of storytelling through art. I just prefer to buy books for the written story. This is the one book I buy because of the art. Layouts and character design here are phenomenal. The down side is that this art slows the story. The average page has four wide-screen panels. You can’t quickly tell a story that way.

On the positive side, these pages give Texas the character it’s only received in the western movies of Howard Hawks, Sergio Leone, and Sam Peckinpah. It’s an enormous and vast emptiness. You could ride forever and not meet anyone in the panels of this book. The other thing that keeps me coming back is the relationship between Tonto and the Lone Ranger. It’s a more interesting and complex partnership than the relationship portrayed on television or radio.

You know what’s great about a Robinson written issue of Superman in which Superman does not appear? Nothing. Nada. Waste of time and money. Sadly, I’m beginning to feel this way about all books in this Robinson Renaissance. I loved this man’s writing in the ’90’s and early years of the decade, but something seems to have died inside of him. It’s like writing the screenplay to Leauge of Extraordinary Gentlemen kill off everything good about him.

Well, maybe not everything. Jim Harper-clone is a good character with the Science Police finally coming into its own. It’s just that the benefits do not outweight the crap (Mon-El) we deal with in a Supermanless Superman title.

Justice Society of America #33 is showing some of Willingham’s quality writing. I’m enjoying Jay Garrick as the narrator. For me he’s always been the most accessible and everyman character on the team…maybe in the whole DCU. Willingham uses this voice well. It’ll be nice to see where things head now that the schism has happened and we don’t have to deal with the tension building. We’re also getting some clues as to why the attacks and who wants Obsidian so badly. It’s getting better all the time.

In Brief:

FF #573 took what could have been a generic buddy story on the road, and it turned it into something a little sad and interesting. Nu World takes a page from Seti-Alpha 5 without the revenge seeking/ stranding Kirk in the center of a planet thing.

X-Men Forever reached a whopping 12 books in less than a year. It’s still solid. The directions some of the characters have taken feel more natural than 616 continuity. Where has this Chris Claremont been hiding? Did he, in fact, steal James Robinson’s mojo?

Jonah Hex #50 was Darwyn Cooke goodness. It takes a page from the Lone Ranger. Check Chris Sims’ review on the ISB if you don’t believe me.

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4 comments on “Game Tape

  1. Jesse says:

    You know, I always feel like I owe it to Robinson to read his new stuff. Until I read any review and it sounds terrible. We’ll see what happens with Starman 81, I guess. If he doesn’t (or can’t) make that sing, then we’ll know the answer.

    Maybe he just needs to be confined to the Golden Age?

    • Jesse says:

      Damn…I just realized that JSA All-Stars by Robinson is a book I’d probably really like. Of course, it wouldn’t be what we’re getting now, it would be the greatest hits of the 40’s. Which is as it should be.

      Robinson doesn’t get enough credit for the JSA resurgence. They appeared in a couple awful minis in the 80’s and 90’s and languished in character hell for years until Starman came out. Then there was the 5th week event from Mark Waid (including JR on the Starman book, if I recall) and now they’re popular enough to have 2 ongoings. None of this would have happened without Starman.

      • Matt says:

        In fairness, the attempt at an on-going (in ’92) was pretty good. The Mike Parobeck art was fantastic. It probably didn’t work because not that many new readers want to read about grandad dressing up to play hero. The series played up the fact that they’re really old.

        You probably need to look more at JR’s Golden Age as the seed of resurgence. It gave many of these characters (especially Starman) a certain depth they’d lacked previous. It amazes me to think that the Starman series was the only good thing to come out of Zero Hour.

  2. Jesse says:

    Fair enough, re: JSA. I read the mini (maxi?) and it was terrible, so I didn’t want to go any further.

    Didn’t Golden Age come after Robinson started Starman? At nay rate, you obviously never read Fate. 😛 Geez, that was bad. Just take my War Machine post and replace guns with knives.

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