I'm starting to read Mark Gruenwald's Captain America Fighting Chance TPB's.
I stopped reading Gruenwald's Cap at #410 and in reading Fighting Chance I am reminded WHY I stopped reading it. I give Mark credit for continually bringing in characters that we haven't seen in awhile, even characters from Kirby's runs (which, for some reason, we never see other Writers and/or Artists doing. Kirby's runs, while part of Cap continuity, are pretty much left alone.)
The downside is that the story is pedestrian. Fighting Chance was this 10-part story that could have been told effectively in 4 parts. Not real crazy about the Bulanadi/Hoover art. The whole concept that Cap's Super Soldier Serum is killing him just doesn't seem to hold water the way it's explained. I could go on and on but you get the drift.
I originally wanted to go back and collect the issues I missed but now I'll probably just start with Waid's run and go from there.
I generally liked Gruenwald's writing but it just seems as if he's run out of ideas on what to do with Cap and is starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Mark, I started collecting Captain America again with the Waid/Garney run, and liked it so much I decided to pick up "fighting Chance" as backissues. I have not read them to this day, and your post doesn't make me any more eager to do so. The two hardcover (Premiere Edition) collections of the Waid/Garney issues have been solicited for the near future.
Started in on 1998 with X-Men #71 (Cyclops and Phoenix take a leave of absence) and Uncanny X-Men #351 (one of my favorite done-in-ones as Daredevil convinces Cecelia Reyes to go back to the X-Men). Then I tackled Bishop: XSE, the third Bishop mini-series (following Bishop and XSE, naturally). The other two were pretty good (the first one even had Carlos Pacheco on art) but this one is the best of the bunch. John Ostrander writing; Steve Epting on art. Some nice twists and a very solid story.
I daresay that Brightest Day, as written by the melancholy Matt Kindt, might be a bit brighter than what we've actually been getting from this series! Don't get me wrong, but this book has been anything but "bright"...good, but not bright.
Alan M. said:
For a second, Jeff, I mis-read your post as saying that Matt Kindt was working on Brightest Day; I was, to say the least, quite confused by that. :)
I totally agree. But in my opinion the rest of the series has been kind of a downer. Like I said, I'm enjoying it, but I also enjoy Stray Bullets! That having been said, the latest issue with Firestorm and Aquaman was straight-up super-hero fun.
Chris Fluit said:
I don't know about that. Brightest Day #14 (featuring Deadman) was one of the most life-affirming stories I've ever read.
I also read the rest of Super Spy! This isn't exactly going to lift you out of any winter funks, but it is very well-written, and does such an incredible job of utilizing pictures and words to create the story. So good. Heck, even the front and back covers can be considered stories in and of themselves. It's just made up of dozens of little two, three, four, and more pages stories which create a whole if you stand back and look at it. Great work.
I also read Green Lantern (latest issue...60?) and it was pretty good. The art was awesome, and the story is good too. I just wish they had a different book to feature all of the other Lanterns. This book can feel a bit crowded.
I read Private Beach: Secret Messages, a collection of issues #1-6 of the indie title Private Beach from the earlier part of this decade. It's a sorta-kinda-but-not-exactly sequel to a 1995 miniseries titled Fun and Perils in the Trudyverse.
Both series follow the slice-of-life adventures of one Trudy Honeyvan, a twentysomething brunette free spirit, and her circle of friends: BFF Sharona Cupkey; Sharona's identical twin sister, Siobhan; Junior, a cool Black dude; and Sam, a beach bum who lost the lower part of his left leg in unexplained circumstances and is wasting away his life, rich off a financial settlement related to his injury.
There's some mystical hoo-ha about Trudy being important to the universe; she had an encounter with aliens when she was a child, and there are ominous little signs that she's being watched. These balance out the utterly mundane day-to-day things she does with friends, but writer/artist David Lapham makes them interesting with sharp dialogue, good humor, and wonderfully clean, detailed artwork. Hahn's work, while good in its own way in Fun and Perils in the Trudyverse, is leaps and bounds better in Private Beach.
However, issue #7 was the last one and ends on a cliffhanger. Too bad; I certainly would have liked to have seen more.