The Sunday Pages #51

22nd March 2009 | by | No Comments

This week! Capsule reviews of Amazing Spider-Girl

, Hellblazer, Ultimatum, X-Force and Transmetropolitan. Wait… what?

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Review : Amazing Spider-Girl #30
The fact that I haven’t read this title for years, despite being one of the handful of people probably interested in seeing mid-’90s Spider-mythology thrown together (Kaine! Phil Urich! Ben Reilly’s son!), probably makes me an example of the reason why it’s ended up being cancelled for a second time. Checking in with it for its final issue brings a faint nostalgic glow – but damn, it’s complicated stuff, attempting to wrap up a few years’ worth of increasingly crazy plotlines with half the issue taking place in Peter Parker’s head as he and May battle a metaphorical Norman Osborn while a genetic Goblin demon-thing runs amok in the “real” world. In one sense it’s a shame that it’s gone, as it was always a quite reliable presence, and there were some nice ideas at play, with May generally a quite appealing lead character; but it was never hugely exciting, and if I’m honest, if it hadn’t been cancelled, I can’t say I’d be planning on reading it again any time soon. [SP]

Review : Hellblazer #253
I can’t ignore an issue that sends Constantine back to our shared home of Liverpool, and Milligan and Camuncoli both do a good job of avoiding my nitpicking until the former describes the leafy coastal suburb of Formby as “a whole different city to the one that me and Ringo grew up in”. ‘Cos Formby’s not really a city area by any stretch of the imagination. Anyway, the story wraps up to a pretty neat conclusion, but does little to establish itself as anything other than yet another of those archetypally Hellblazer nil by mouth dvdrip download y stories that the book’s been doing for years without ever blowing the reader away in the manner that Ennis managed to. And there’s a disappointingly flat and sudden ending to the Phoebe relationship. Not a bad start to Milligan’s run, but he or someone else really needs to start making this book feel like it matters again. [SP]

Review : Transmetropolitan #1
While Alan Moore fans are probably blanching at the thought of DC making even more profit out of the writer’s creation, it’s easy to regard a reprinting of the first issue of Transmet under the “After Watchmen” banner as preferable to fleecing the public for a $250 “Reproduction Rorschach Mask”. From my perspective, anything that serves to bring a new audience to Spider Jerusalem, the bastard offspring of Sherlock Holmes and Charlie Brooker, is commendable.┬áThe only concern is that the story in question is both atypical of the series and far from its finest hour. One of the later stand-alone tales such as “Monstering” could have done a far better job of selling its style. [JHa]

Review : Ultimatum #3

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How come when Captain America and Thor are “dead”, they get to fight undead hordes in Valhalla (er, also, Jeph? Valhalla? You’re doing it wrong), but Valkyrie just lies there dead waiting for them to rescue her? Oh, it’s because she’s a woman, and it’s a Jeph Loeb book. Meanwhile, if the scene last issue with the Wasp having her innards eaten by the Blob wasn’t enough for you, we get a tasteful close-up of her mangled form lying in the palm of Pym’s hand, and the giant fellow chomping the Blob’s head. And the obligatory “stupid” factor is taken care of by the Madrox suicide bomber clones deciding to act like insects and accept Pym’s invitation to crawl all over him – because blowing up one guy is much more important than blowing up the Triskelion, clearly. Oh, this is just wretched, reprehensible comics. [SP]

Review : X-Force #13
With typical self-awareness, the team find themselves forcibly diverted from their mission to stop Bastion’s walking corpses when Cyclops hits the button marked “crossover”. Kyle & Yost use most of the issue to set their house in order, with some advancing of the main story while manoeuvring the Hrimhari and X23 strands so that they can be easily picked up in the future. The only real flaw in the issue is Clayton Crain’s absurdly over-sexualised depiction of Tabitha Smith. It’s hard to take the character’s fate seriously when the issue’s final panel suggests that instead of being killed by a bullet to the head, she was asphyxiated by the weight of her own breasts. [JHa]