Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Shortbox 2/8/06

Spider-Man and the Black Cat #6 (of 6)
writer: Kevin Smith
artists: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
Marvel Entertainment, 3/06
So this mini finally ended after about 3 years of waiting. Was it worth it? Unless you like to have the final chapter of what started out as a great, action-packed story told in flashback, yes. I don't. Just like Smith's Daredevil and Green Arrow runs, this mini started out strong and then fizzled in the last two issues. It's a shame because I think the Black Cat has a plethora of interesting stories that can be told about her, but before those happen, she's got to get over Peter Parker. They've been beating that horse for close to two decades now. Hopefully someone else will make Felicia Hardy worth reading again and I hope they bring the Dodson's back with them.
And what's with Smith's hard-on for Mysterio? Stick with writing movies not titled Jersey Girl, Kev.
4 out of 10

Ultimate Extinction #1 (of 5)
writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Brandon Peterson
Marvel Entertainment, 3/06
Hopefully the pieces in the Ultimate Galactus saga will come together soon. As with the first two chapters, this one is pacing itself and hitting a lot of good notes along the way. I've looked forward to each issue and Extinction is no different thus far. Peterson's art is sleek and polished in the Ultimate tradition. Still, I'm waiting to see how the X-Men and Ultimates fit into the big picture of the series.
8 out of 10

Star Wars: Purge #1 (one shot)
writer: John Ostrander
artist: Doug Wheatley
Dark Horse Comics, 12/05
This issue takes place one month after the events in Episode III, and we meet a small band of surviving jedi knights, none of whom I remember from earlier pages of Star Wars: Republic (but doesn't mean some of them weren't introduced), and then subsequently watch them get butchered by Darth Vader. As great as it was to see Vader kicking ass since we didn't get to see it in the movie, I'm left flat without Ostrander's conflicted jedi, Quinlan Vos, from Republic. Look for more of my thoughts on Republic in "The Longbox," and you'll see why I feel this way.
Now I'm suddenly a little less enthused for the new Ostrander Star Wars title coming out soon.
6 out of 10

The Outsiders #32
writer: Jen Van Meter
artists: Matthew Clark & Dietrich Smith
D.C. Comics, 3/06
This group of Outsiders were initially supposed to be a strike-first group -- attack the baddies before they could actually do something bad, much like the current U.S. administration's stance on terrorism they began a few years back. Unfortunately, art is now imitating life as, like President Bush, the team doesn't have much of a focus on who it's enemy is anymore. In this issue we get half the team having a tedious flying-through-space trip and the other half hitching a ride on a cruise ship because they were stranded at the end of their last mission by the airborne members of the team. Regular writer Judd Winick probably would have made the cruise ship subplot enjoyable, but Van Meter writes the team so flatly, I'm amazed they even bothered putting out the issue. If it hadn't been for the Infinite Crisis crossover, maybe we would have been spared. This title really needs to be re-focused after Infinite Crisis, otherwise it won't be worth getting any longer.
3 out of 10


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