Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Bill June 8, 2011

Another week full of promise, another week that fails to live up to it. That's right, it's one of those kinds of weeks. Imma try to not get too bitter this time though. Let's see how I do...

Terribly Confusing:

Fearsome Four # 1
Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artists: Michael Wm Kaluta, Ryan Bodenheim, Simon Bisley

This is normally the kind of tie in I love: A collection of lower tier or obscure characters interacting with a larger event in a smaller, more interesting way than anyone else. And it doesn't get anymore lower tier or obscure than Man Thing, Frankenstein's Monster, and Howard the Duck; it ought to be all kinds of fantastic! Spoilers: It's not.

It's not so much the premise - which involves a fear drunk Man Thing on a rampage, it's pretty awesome - as much as it is the presentation. Sure the inclusion of the keeper of the Nexus of all Realities is a great diegetic reason to change up the art styles every few pages, but it creates a very uneven reading experience. I could never really fall into synch with this book, and that's a major problem.

Adding to my person disconnect from the book was the strange character choices. Not so much who they chose, I guess, but more how they were presented. She Hulk is just down right pissed the whole time, Howard looks hideous, and Nighthawk suddenly became a psychopath. It's weird and I don't like it.

Unless I hear of some drastic reveal in the next issue, I think my travels with the Four will end right here. And I don't think I'll miss anything aside from confusion.

Stumbling out of the Gate:

Ghost Rider # 0.1
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Matthew Clark

As much as I wanted to go into this one with an open mind, I think I knew deep down that it was going to be DOA with me. However, I thought it'd be more about not liking the direction of the story, than the quality of the writing.

To put it simply: this ain't no Jason Aaron series and it suffers for it.

The early word for this book was that it was supposed to be a pulpy, grindhouse throwback to the world of the 70s, full of hard drinking, loose women, questionable morals, and plenty of action. Basically, everything that the Jason Aaron run on the book was. In practice, the book comes off as kind of tame and pretty uninspiring. For a "grindhouse" book about a flaming skeleton on a motorcycle that fights demons, there's a lot more belly aching than should be legally allowed.

Honestly though, I could forgive all that if the characterization was anywhere close to being right. I don't know if Rob Williams had checked out any Ghost Rider issues before this one, but he seemed to miss the point Johnny Blaze. Or rather, disregarded how he's supposed to talk. I don't want to spend too long harping on this, but come on, Johnny Blaze should not say "dude". I don't know why exactly, the word just seems outside of his vernacular range. But that's just me.

Still, I'm intrigued by the idea of a new and different Ghost Rider moving forward, so I might stick around for the next issue. Maybe...

Bitterness quotient reached! You're all free to leave me. Come back next week, hopefully with at least 50% less bitterness...

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