Game Tape

A new year has begun, and it starts off with a pretty good selection of books.

I’ve talked here and there about the ongoing Transformers series, but issue 15 marks the first time a Transformers comic has ever truly amazed me. That’s not to say the series hasn’t been interesting. There have been some clever moments and ideas. The relationships between the various Cybertronian and human factions are less contrived than the cartoons usually are. Still, Transformers is probably the one book I read for the characters as much for or more than the stories. It’s especially enjoyable when I can take pleasure in both.

If you didn’t figure it out at the end of last issue, Megatron is back. That’s not surprising. His grand plan for taking the Earth is novel and deceptively simple. It’s insidious in a way the Morrison’s Darkseid could only ever dream of. I’m actually excited to see how it all comes out.

Fans of the Infinity Gauntlet or Bendis’s Illuminati will enjoy Avengers #8. This issue has both. On the whole, this arc is turning out better than the excessively talky first arc involving time travel. Still it feels like there’s a lot of padding here. If you take the time to read the text piece on the title page, you’ve effectively read about half of the issue. This is always going to be the problem with writing with trades in mind. Padding takes a great two or three issue story and stretches it to a mediocre four or six issues.

Last week’s SHIELD #5 was really good too. It moves much faster than the previous issues and shows the evolution of the group with both Newton and Da Vinci “in charge.” We also get to see Howard Stark and Nathaniel Richards doing stuff other than shoot at people. We see why they’re around. AND there’s a special (if slightly overused) guest at the end.

In addition to the usual books, I picked up the majority of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles. David and I were talking about this series over the holiday. We had both tried it and found it nearly incomprehensible. A couple of days later, I found 80% of both series and the millennial maxi for a price point where cheap trumps incomprehensibility. I’ll let you know if it’s been easier going as I get into it.

One comment on “Game Tape

  1. Jesse says:

    I’m glad you picked them up. As with a lot of Morrison’s work, it reads much better in one go rather than bits and pieces. I don’t think I’ve read it through since it concluded (has it been 10 years?!?!) but I remember the first volume making much more sense in one chunk, the second being the big ‘splodey American version, and the third trying desperately to tie it all together.

    If you need help (I certainly did) Barbelith is been the go-to site for annotations. http://www.barbelith.com/bomb/

    Also, the letter columns are great. This was back when Vertigo writers did their own lettercols. Just…be forewarned about the Thanksgiving magical experiment to boost sales.

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