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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Living Up To Expectations: The End League #5, The Stand: Captain Trips #2, Gen 13 #23

The Stand: Captain Trips #2
Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by: Mike Perkins

Having had no real expectations going into the first issue of this series and really having only picked it up because I was such a fan of Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa's previous works as well as being such a fan of the artwork of Mr. Perkins, I certainly didn't expect to be so taken with the story (I had never been the biggest fan of Mr. King). This issue builds on all the really incredible things that went on in the first issue and establishes such an interesting world in which the characters exist. The cast is still far too large and far too spread out to be as fleshed out as I would like but I can see that there are going to be characters that I am going to really enjoy getting to know, some for better, and some for worse. I think the idea of watching these normal people face the far from normal situations is going to be one hell of a fun ride and I think that if you enjoy titles like The Walking Dead that this book very well could be in your wheelhouse. Conversely if you are reading this book and you haven't checked out books like The Walking Dead or Dead World then you could very well be missing out on something that would turn your crank in ways that you had never conceived before. I had never thought that I might enjoy this series quite as much as I do, so to say that it lived up to expectations is difficult because I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can say that I am loving it.

The End League #5
Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Eric Canete

Alright. Back in January a brand new bi-monthly ongoing series began from the brilliant mind behind Strange Girl, Sea of Red, Black Heart Billy, and, perhaps most importantly, Fear Agent: Rick Remender. The series was launched with Mat Broome in the penciller seat. Broome had long been absent from the comics industry and while it was nice to see him back among the pages of superheroes and all that comes with them he seemed to have lost a bit in the matter of punctuality. Even at a bi-monthly schedule it seemed that Mr. Broome couldn't keep his page rate consistent. And while that may ultimately be unfortunate because his pencils did look just as good as the last time he had been seen in the industry it managed to serve another purpose by causing Mr. Remender to have to find a new artist who might be able to produce a more consistently releasable product. Enter the brilliant artistic talent of Mr. Eric Canete. Not only can the man tell a story with his pages, not only can the man create incredibly interesting characters, but he can do so on a monthly schedule and he can do so while knocking my damn socks off. Seriously, The End League has been a pretty complicated story that has a pretty big cast of characters so it certainly suffered from the delays in shipping and I believe that it will be far better served by having the incredibly talented Mr. Canete on board as penciller. This has gone from hesitant recommendation to MUST READ, and in a mighty quick fashion.

Gen 13 #23
Written by: Scott Beatty
Art by: Mike Huddleston

I have been a big fan of all of the post Number of the Beast Wildstorm books (that should seem pretty obvious to anyone who reads this website). Gen 13 has been, perhaps the most interesting while not being my favorite of the quartet. The Gen 13 crew have never been the most serious bunch and while I think that it is certainly interesting to watch how 5 genetically modified teenager might deal with the world post-apocalypse, I wish it were done with a bit of a more serious tone. I mean sure not all of the Wildstorm Universe books should be glum and pessimistic, but I do think that following these characters through the serious situations that have been presented thus far has been far more entertaining than the more humourous moments of the series. I certainly think that Scott Beatty has a good grasp on the characters that he is dealing with, I just think that he would do better to put his own stamp on the book as opposed to relish in the style that had been established by Gail Simone (not to say that it was a bad style [you'll find few bigger fans of Gail Simone than I] but more to say that one should strive to trod upon new ground rather than retread old styles). While this might make for an interesting juxtaposition of showing the lighter side of how these characters deal with things and how they have to deal with serious situations I think that ultimately that an issue like this seems like putting the car in idle without much of a reason, and squandering promise that seemed so pure. But that's just my opinion, and for what it was, it was well written and certainly well drawn.

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