Audio Quick Reviews for 2/27/2013

The Vestrymen sit down for a Morrison-y quick review session. Batman Inc #8, Happy #4, Action Comics #17, and Hawkeye #8. A lot of great runs started about eight months ago, I guess.

Action Comics #17

AC_Cv17WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Brad Walker & Rags Morales
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

We like trade paperbacks. We are certain that Morrison, who is co-hosting our podcast with us this week, is better in TPB format than in pamphlets. If go back and read Action Comics 1-18 and still think Superman is boring, I command you to tell me why!

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Happy #4

Happy_41-300x461WRITTEN BY:  Grant Morrison
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

Did you expect Happy! to get LESS insane as its run went on? Well its likely you are winning lots of money in your office comic book pool. Happy! was a delightful read, and it is too bad Morrison isn’t writing anything else of note right now.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Batman Incorporated #8

robin-batman-inc-8-variantWRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

If you miss Batman & Robin the way I do reading this book will feel a little bit like your favorite TV show had a reunion and you where invited. And then something else happens. No spoilers in quick reviews.

Vestrymen Grade: A

Hawkeye #8

detailWRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: David Aja
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 27, 2013

Every month we give this comic a great review and every month it seems to get better than the month before. I might be just a little in love with every woman that David Aja draws. They don’t even have to say one word and already I’ve fallen for an imaginary woman, which is good, ‘cuz I should be in love on Valentine’s Day.

Vestrymen Grade: A+

You can download this podcast if you desire: Reviews from the Future! 2-27-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: Savage Wolverine #2

Savage Wolverine 002-000WRITTEN BY: Frank Cho
ART BY: Jason Keith
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2013

Buy it here.

I may be in a very good mood or perhaps I just needed something to make me smile. Whatever the reason, I don’t know that I’ve had as much pure, silly, undiluted fun reading a comic book in a long time as I had reading Savage Wolverine #2.

Frank Cho and Jason Keith seem to be in perfect step, and they Savage Wolverine 002-009know exactly what they are doing(See fig 1 to the left). They are delivering a torrent of boobs, guns, stabbing, and fun and insanity.

There is not much more to say about this book, really, which is of course its core weakness. It knows what it is and doesn’t seem to be interested in trying to trick you into thinking that it is more than that. A pleasant feeling, floating across your eyes and mind, but, perhaps lost just as quickly. Or, perhaps, you will pleasantly remember your rendezvous with the insane and wonderful imaginations of the creators of this comic book, like a man thinking back on his time in Casablanca. Play our visit to the Savage Land, Sam.

Vestrymen Grade: B-plus-plus

Are we mean?

ego01

Leland and I do our very, very best to be impartial critics. We try and let you know what we like and why. We try and give you as much information as possible about how and why we came to the, admittedly somewhat emotional reactions to comics.

That is the thing that worries me though. All art criticism, wither the subject be“low art” or works that survive the test of time is, at least in part, about our emotional reactions to the work. There are objective ways to qualify the mechanical aspects, but great art interrogates the self as much as we interrogate it.

Listening to the podcast our friends over at Astro-boys, we are really not nearly as excited about some comics as they are. Is that because we have a more discerning palette, or more likely different tastes, or is that because we are the proverbial thin food critic?

Both Lee and I have both have this crisis of faith before. We genuinely want to put as many positive somethings out into the world as possible. We know that this medium is still young and that with growth comes creative pains. We do like things, lots and lots of things. The things we like tend to be closer to the “arts-y” end of the spectrum I suppose, so perhaps we are snobs.

You, gentle listener has, in theory, mostly due to the title I just gave you, gently listened to our podcast(s). What do you think? Are we the food critic from the beginning of Ratatouille or the fat and happy restaurateur from the end? Somewhere in between? Feel free to lie to make me feel better!

VF Cast Season 3 Episode 8: Not Clerks 2

Archer Month continues with a look back at Kevin Smith’s early 2000s Green Arrow work, Quiver. There are exactly zero instances of Necrophilia in this work, so that is a good thing!

quiver_01

Green Arrow: Quiver

!BmJMej!!2k~$(KGrHqEH-CcEtrIIhBE(BLeibUm 0!~~_3WRITTEN BY: Kevin Smith
ART BY: Phil Hester
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: April 1, 2002

Kevin Smith gets a hard time for a lot of his comic book adventures. Many of those objections to Mr. Smith’s writing are justified.  It is important to remember though, that when he wants to be, he is a really good writer. He possesses witty charm and a well-won reputation as one of the truly unique voices in Hollywood, geekdom, and pop culture.

I think that if you are a Green Arrow fan, a comic book fan, or a Kevin Smith fan you will find something to like in Quiver. I don’t think it’s the best thing he has ever done, but it is a solid delivery of one of the most complicated characters in continuity. Listen to the podcast.

You can download this podcast here: VFCast! Season 3 Episode 8

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Bouwakanja – “Saturneday” and Snowboarder – “Sled Dogs”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Review: Superior Spider-Man #4

SuperiorSpiderMan_4_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ART BY:Giuseppe Camuncoli
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: 2/20/2013

We are four months into this thing now, it is The Big Character Change, The Great Project, The Future of Superheroes, or if you read the letter pages The Great Calamity.

The Superior Spider-Man makes me really, really uncomfortable. Peter Parker, hero that he was, was not The Paragon of Efficiency.

The rage that Superior has created seems to be coming from all angles but one of the core objections seems to be that Slott is using this monthly comic book to attack the idea of an Everyman Hero.  You would not be wrong if that was your objection to SSM. It is becoming clearer and clearer that Otto, at least, believes that the choices that Peter made as The Everyman are not heroic choices, but rather the choices of a lazy man with no direction. Slott has control over cause-and-effect in the books he writes so Otto’s success or failure are in his and his editor’s hands. Otto’s string of victories rings true to me, though. He is applying discipline, logic, and professionalism where Peter applied emotion, fun, and snark. The Everyman is simply not as effective as The Consummate Professional.

I seriously doubt that the creative team will allow any Spider-Man to ride as high as Mr. Octavius has been riding forever. I fully expect Mr. Slott, one of the few writers with the patience to do it, to take his time, to build up this new Spider-Man’s world before it all comes crashing down.

It is also worth mentioning this his successes as superheroing aside, Doc Ock is a creepy mother*&#*er.

SuperiorSpiderMan_4_TheGroup-018

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Audio Quick Reviews for 2/20/2013

Today we review Nova #1, Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2, Justice League of America #1, Red Sonja: Unchained #1, and  Clive Barker’s Hellraiser- The Dark Watch #1. Archer month continues!

Nova #1

Nova v5 001-000WRITTEN BY: Jeph Loeb
ART BY: Ed McCunness
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2012

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that this is not a Green Lantern Corpse story at all. Also, any similarly, real or imagined, between the GLC and the similarly named Nova Corps exists purely in your imagination. The Nova have books have had better writing than their DC Universe counterparts since The Annihilation though.

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #2

Sherlock Holmes and The Liverpool Demon #1WRITTEN BY: Leah Moore
ART BY: Matt Triano
PUBLISHER: Dynamite
RELEASE: February 20, 2012

Leah Moore’s Sherlock Holmes stalks Spring-Healed Jack through Victorian Liverpool. Do you need to know more? I didn’t think so.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Justice League of America #1

JusticeLeagueAmerica_1_TheGroup-000WRITTEN BY: Geoff Johns
ART BY: David Finch
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2012

Green Arrow is on the cover and its Archer Month here at Vestrymen from the Future. Automatic half grade increase!

Vestrymen Grade: B –

Red Sonja: Unchained #1

Red-Sonja-Unchained-01-(of-04)-(2013)-(fixed)-(Digital)-(Fawkes-Empire)-01WRITTEN BY: Peter Brett
ART BY: Jack Jadson
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: February 20, 2012

It rarely bodes well for a comic when neither the author nor the line artist have their names put on the cover. Still, death mustaches!

Red-Sonja-Unchained-01-(of-04)-(2013)-(fixed)-(Digital)-(Fawkes-Empire)-16

Vestrymen Grade: C

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser – The Darkwatch #1

Clive-Barker's-Hellraiser---The-Dark-Watch-001-(2013)-(4-covers)-(Digital)-(Fawkes-Empire)-01WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker & Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: February 20, 2012

Ummm, do you know something about Hellraiser’s chronology? I do not and that made this a really confusing read! Leland knows more than me, so I’m hoping he will shed some light on the matter in the review.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Download the audio here, yes?: Vestrymen Quick Reviews 2-20-2013

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Reviews: Arrow TV Show

arrowposter652012Somehow I’ve watched 4 seasons of Smallville. The first four seasons. I’ve heard, from reputable sources that the show gets  much, much better in season 10, but I couldn’t stomach the terribleness that was the first few seasons to get that far. It was clear that Buffy had left a teen heartthrob sized hole in the WB’s lineup and they worked to fill it with anything, and DC was only to happy to offer up Clark Kent. Micheal Rosenbaum is a fine actor though, and honestly I think I only made it as far as I did because of his presence on the show.

So when I heard though the literally millions of ads I’ve seen for Arrow that the CW was filling its Supernatural sized hole with a Green Arrow TV show I was understandably nervous. It turns out my nervousness was warranted.

It is a strange beast, Arrow, a strange and fickle beast. Everything about it is just mediocre enough that you keep hoping that there will be a breakout, a brilliant moment that will really capture you, really draw you in. That moment never comes though, and I am forced to watch Ollie Queen date Diana Lance’s daughters, both of them.

It is a strange experience, like walking into an alternate reality where the rules are crazy. The names are all the same, the broad strokes are intact, but everything is just wrong. Ollie is a sad, sad man, loosing all the fun that his comic book counterpart takes in his job, Even in his darker renditions comics Green Arrow does the superheroing because he loves it and really for no other reason. The Lance family couldn’t give a crap about flowers, and The Huntress shows up for some reason, and then just disappears like a guest appearance in a 70s comic.

Don’t even get me started on the voice overs. Ollie clichéd gravely voice telling me about how hard it is to be a hero are basically just a Lonely Island sketch.

I’ll keep watching for a bit, hoping that this show finds its footing, but for now I think its days are numbered.