• Categories

  • Archives

  • Top 10 Most Read

27: Second Set #1 – Review

By: Charles Soule (writer), Renzo Podesta (art) and Shawn Depasquale (letters)

The Story: Garland, the guitarist who lost the use of his playing hand & gained some funky powers in the first 4-issue miniseries, is back to try to reclaim his stardom.

Background: I really enjoyed the first 27 miniseries as it followed the arc of a famous guitarist who is struck down by losing the use of one of his hands at the age of 27.  Through a number of attempts to heal himself, he takes part in this arcane procedure that leaves him with something that looks kinda like an amp stuck into his chest.  Supposedly the deal is that he can push the buttons 27 times and gain some kind of genius level super-power (like the ability to play brilliantly again or write the best song ever), but after he pushes the button the 27th time, he’ll die.  The trouble is that he pushed the buttons an unknown number of times before he knew the deal, so he isn’t sure how many he has left.  Oh, and there’s this hook tying everything to numerology and the gods of creativity.  It was really all quite clever, funky and touching and a couple of the issues were my pick of the week.

What’s Good: So, I was glad to see it come back for more.  We see that Garland’s attempt to regain his stardom by learning to play left-handed isn’t going so well and he’s still kinda a dick.  In fact, he’s always been a dick, but he was able to skate by on genius-level talent before.  Now that the talent is gone, his dickish behavior is coming back to bite him in the ass.  No one seems to want to cut him any slack.  What Soule and Podesta do very well is somehow dance on the edge of Garland being an unlikeable character without having the reader hates him.  If he was a cheerful dude who everyone wanted to help, this wouldn’t be a very compelling series, but it also wouldn’t work if Garland was just unlikable.  He’s more one of those guys who you’re rooting for to get his crap together and stop dumping on people who try to help him out.  Somehow they manage to pull this off.

The funky mystical stuff takes somewhat of a backseat in this issue, but it still ends up with Garland getting his buttons pushed.  What happens in the ensuing events seems to be key to the arc of this series.

Podesta’s art is again really nice.  This is a dark story, so the art is fittingly dark and he uses a more cartooning style that communicates characters mood and body language much better than a more realistic style would.

Also, if you’re not a fan of the live music scene, don’t use that as an excuse to stay away from this series.  I think people who prattle on about live music are about as interesting as people who talk about golf all the time and I still really love the series.
Continue reading

Weekly Comic Book Review’s Top Picks

Dean’s Top Picks

Best From The Past Week: Thunderbolts #163 – Did you know that this is the 20th straight really good (“B” or better) issue that Jeff Parker has done on Thunderbolts since I started reading it after Siege?  So, he has 36 more to catch DiMaggio, but that is about a good a run as you’ll see in Big 2 comics these days.  And, it isn’t running out of steam at all as he’s seamlessly integrated a new cast of characters, worked in Nazis and a Cap that will work well with folks who saw the movie this summer.  It’s just really good stuff.  And Kev Walker is a fabulous artists.  Love this issue and title.  Runner-up: Swamp Thing #1

Most Anticipated: Batwoman #1 – Lots of anticipated comics this week, but my pick is one we’ve been waiting on for over a year.  Honestly, it may have trouble living up to the anticipation, but I was just going through the Batwoman – Detective Comics run again a few weeks ago and it was really HOT.  Maybe it’ll miss something without Greg Rucka around to write it, but with JH Williams, III drawing it there is no doubt that it will be beautiful.

Other Picks: American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4, Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #1, Scalped #52, Unwritten #29, 27: Second Set #1, Pigs #1, Severed #2, Amazing Spider-Man #669, Criminal: Last of the Innocent #4, Uncanny X-Force #15

Alex’s Top Picks

Best From The Past Week: Animal Man #1 – I thought that’d be harder but, despite the quality books, Animal Man was the clear winner for me.  It felt fresh, energetic, new, and awesome in so many ways. It’s stunning just how much Lemire puts on offer in this book, from the opening interview with “A-Man,” to domestic, family-type scenes, to superheroics, to straight-up horror. It seems hard to believe that a 20-page floppy can have it all, but this came damned close.

Most Anticipated: Demon Knights #1 – This is basically like someone reached into my brain and plucked out my dream book.  A genre I love (high fantasy), characters I love (Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, and Vandal Savage), and one my favourite writers (Paul Cornell) are united on a book that is so awesome in concept that I’m seriously waiting for someone to tell me that it doesn’t actually exist.  Better still, Cornell always seems his best when allowed to go about the more niche books, and this seems just that. Admittedly, Frankenstein was very close to taking this, particularly due to Jeff Lemire’s performance last week, but I cannot deny the awesomeness that is Demon Knights.

Other Picks: Frankenstein: Agent of of SHADE #1, Batwoman #1, Green Lantern #1, American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4, Scalped #52, Amazing Spider-Man #669, Daredevil #3, Fear Itself #6, Journey into Mystery #627, New Avengers #16, PunisherMAX #17


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 789 other followers