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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: Sneak Peek Reviews 10/14/08

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1
Written by: James Robinson

Art by: Jesus Merino, Leno Carvalho, & Steve Scott
If I am anything I am a hyperbolic individual. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say “But Scott, you say everything is awesome.” I'd be a much richer man than I am today. I am a die hard fan of comics and the comic medium, I love superheroes and slice of life stories and comedies and will give pretty much anything produced in the comic format a day in court. So, understand that I realize all of these things when I say that I would be hard pressed to pick a better single issue in the last year than Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1. What James Robinson brings to a comic is an understanding that there is no such thing as a small character, just a character written for the background. Jimmy Olsen has been a virtually ignorable character for years. I can't remember the last time he was important prior to Countdown ... but even that did little to really solidify the character of Olsen as what he truly is. I understand that what I am about to say is perhaps a bit shocking for some: Jimmy Olsen is just as important as Lois Lane, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Lex Luthor, and, yes, Superman. Jimmy Olsen first appeared as a character in the Superman Radio Show in 1940 (he appeared as a part of the Superman mythos before Dick Grayson ever graced a page of Detective Comics). And while he may not have appeared in the comics until the winter of 1941 he was already a known commodity and having Superman have “Pal” became part of what made Superman as popular as he was then, which lead to him being as popular as he is now. I could literally go on and on about this comic and how amazing it is but I think that it would be better for you to just make sure that you buy it when you get to the store tomorrow and read it as soon as is humanly possible. The only thing that I can compare this book to (not thematically or contextually, but impactfully) is to Countdown to Infinite Crisis, where we all realized the size of what was coming and we all realized how amazing a hero Ted Kord really was. By the time you finish reading this book you will understand that James “Jimmy” Olsen is an insanely awesome character and that what is coming in the pages of Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl, and the New Krypton specials is going to change the way we look at The Man of Tomorrow.

X-Men Worlds Apart #1
Written by: Chris Yost

Art by: Diogenes Neves

Alright, enough is enough ... actually ... let me start somewhat differently. This was a pretty interesting comic, Chris Yost tells an interesting story that involves primarily Storm but that dips back into the history of the character in an interesting way and ultimately I was satisfied with the telling. Also Diogenes Neves really did a rather good job on his first work for Marvel and without question there are some stunning pages in this book. But, back to what I was saying before: Enough is enough. X-Men: World's Apart #1 is the first part of a 4 issue miniseries. It has 22 pages just like any other comic and has the traditional cover stock and paper quality. SO WHY IS IT $3.99?!?!?! Seriously, from printing books that contain irrelevant reprints and slapping a $3.99 price tag on them to charging 4 bucks for a comic that is no longer or more significant than anything else currently being released? They've gone too far. This isn't the start of a new X-Men event ... it's just a miniseries. Moreso it's just a Storm miniseries ... so ... while it was good you are really going to have to figure out for yourself whether or not it is worth the price of admission. (Sidenote: Yes, the previously reviewed Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #1 does have a $4.99 price-tag but it is connected with an ongoing event and is 54 pages long.)

Ghostbusters: The Other Side #1
Written by: Keith Champagne

Art by: Tom Nguyen

Allow me to assure you that I never thought I would say something like this: Damn that was a fun Ghostbusters comic. It's only been recently that I have re-watched the Ghostbusters movies (I always had this fear that they wouldn't live up to the quality that I remembered them being when I first saw them as a kid) and it seemed so weird that there had only ever been two of them. I mean sure Bill Murray went on to become a bigger star, but I think it's probably safe to say that Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson never really did anything that lived up to the promise of the Ghostbusters franchise. There were the incredibly disappointing cartoons and ever present rumors that there would be a third film but nothing ever really lived up to the quality of the originals. What we have here is something that is at once reverential to the source material and at the same time modern and incredibly fun. I think that anyone who loves the films will find themselves humming the theme song to themselves as they read this and despite having not played the characters in almost 20 years the voices of the original actors immediately spring to mind as you read the book. What is perhaps the greatest part is that is that the book contains ideas that are essential to the world of Chicago. So, I guess the only question left to ask is: Who're You Going To Call?

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