Thursday, October 30, 2008

The things people read nowadays...

Just in case you're reeling from all the political hubub now that Election Day is almost within reach, we here at Exfanding Your Horizons will be providing you with a break from all of that for the next few days.

Do please remember to VOTE in our POLL for FAKE PRESIDENT, though, before you FORGET that we're having our own ELECTION. The FATE of the WORLD depends ON it.

Moving on...

As I said in an earlier post, I've really been getting into comics lately. Between borrowing from Alex and buying my own, here are the comics I've read or been reading recently, in the off-chance that anybody actually cares:

- Batman: Year One: an outstanding retelling of Batman's origin story and my favorite Batman comic thus far.

- Batman: The Long Halloween: A very solid whodunnit (and follow-up to Year One) that opened my eyes to some of the great things people can do with the visual portion of comics, but a little too crime-drama for my tastes. Still very good.

- Batman: Dark Victory: Another solid whodunnit (and follow-up to Long Halloween) that was still a little crime-drama heavy for me, and suffered a bit from constantly needing to explain who everyone was and what happened in the previous book. Still very good.

- Batman: Hush: Set significantly later than the three books above, this was more my style and had a great story and amazing artwork by Jim Lee. The first half of Hush ranks a little below Year One, but the second half fell apart for me because there were so many references to other comics, Batman and otherwise, that I had trouble keeping up. Overall, though, it balanced out to be very good.

- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Set at the end of Batman's career with a much older Batman, I found the story to be really engaging... when it wasn't being told almost exclusively through TV news reports. The artwork, which I found to be inconsistent and usually sloppy, bothered the heck out of me. I read this right after Year One, so it was rather jarring when I realized that I had missed decades of plot in-between (in the same continuity or otherwise). Good, but I had serious issues with it.

- Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again: Set after The Dark Knight Returns, this one pulled in characters and villains and ideas from all over the DC universe, and it did a good job identifying everyone and everything so that I seldom felt lost. I had the same issues with the artwork that I did with the last one, and the few times I was lost were pretty big and important ones, but overall this was pretty creative and good.

Now, there's been more than Batman, though you wouldn't suspect it.

- Ultimate X-Men: I'm borrowing the complete series on CD and going through it little by little. I'm around a dozen issues in, and after I got past the first issue I began to enjoy the series, though I could put it down today and not look back without shedding a tear. There are some neat action scenes, but I sorta feel like the series was aimed specifically at teenagers (maybe it's all the various "Tobacco Is Whacko... If You're A Teen" ads they have in every issue), and the character don't feel as deep as I hoped they would be. Enjoyable enough to keep reading.

- Green Arrow: Year One: Green Arrow and several other DC characters made crossovers into the Batman stuff I've been reading, and Green Arrow caught my attention. This book tells his origin story, and though a few parts made me wince a little bit for one reason or another, the artwork is excellent and the story is highly engrossing. Excellent.

- Star Trek: Voyager: Encounters with the Unknown: I just had to return to my Star Trek roots. This is a collection of four story arcs from different Voyager comics that all relate to--surprise!--encounters with the unknown. The first two stories were really well done and very enjoyable; the third one, a condensed and slightly altered retelling of the computer game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, was pretty disappointing, save for the end; and the last one had a great concept but didn't prove to be quite as exciting as I was wishing it to be. Overall, though, I got my Star Trek fix, and I liked it.

That's all for me... for now.

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