Funnybooks Offline: From the Cutting Room Floor….

We talk about a ton of books on FUNNYBOOKS, but not every book we read makes the weekly podcast, especially when only one of us has read it.  Still, there’s a bunch of good stuff (and horrible stuff) out there that you’re curious about, and that we’d love to tell you about.  Welcome to From the Cutting Room Floor, where we can tell you about the books that got excised from the program, and whether you should spend your hard earned money on them.  After the jump, short reviews of…

  • Assassin’s Creed: The Fall #1 (DC COMICS)
  • Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6 (DC COMICS)
  • Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1 (MARVEL)
  • Amazing Spider-Man #648 (MARVEL)
  • Dungeons and Dragons #1 (IDW)

Assassin’s Creed: The Fall #1 (DC COMICS)

I really didn’t like the first Assassin’s Creed video game.  I mean, I tried, but I just couldn’t get into it.  I even finished the game, and felt that it was boring, repetitive, and confusing … I didn’t get all the crazy shit that happened at the end.  I recently picked up the sequel and find myself enjoying it a great deal more. When I heard about the comic being released , I found myself excited – not at the property, but at the creative team.  Karl Kerschl and Camern Stewart, both extremely talented artists in their own right, would be collaborating on both art and story and, not only that, they were doing a TON of research to make the story authentic.  And, much like the first Assassin’s Creed game, I find the results a little cold.  Beautiful art and attention to detail, but the story just isn’t gripping me.  There’s enough there of interest to get me to come back for issue 2 (of 3), but it didn’t wow me like I was hoping.  Verdict: Wait for the trade

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6 (DC COMICS)

Incomprehensible.   Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin is turning into a great read with the recent conclusion of “Batman and Robin Must Die,” kind of a sequel to the storylines set up in Batman R.I.P. However, Return of Bruce Wayne is more like a spiritual successor to Final Crisis, and we all know how that series turned out.  Bruce Wayne ultimately overcomes Darkseid’s Omega Effect with the help of his friends, and I’m left wondering why this series had to suck so bad, when there’s so much potential in the ideas it presents.  But the fact that a fairly straightforward story was told so poorly really just hurt this series for me, with it easily becoming a contender for worst series for the year.  Absolute garbage.  Verdict: F*ck this book

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1

Surprisingly good, actually.  Written by Christopher Yost with art by Brian Clevinger and Patrick Scherberger, this premiere issue takes off on the story threads and designs laid out by the new Earth’s Mightest Heroes cartoon, which I enjoyed.  This comic contains two short stories that are a little juvenile (everybody learns some kind of lesson) in their telling, but ultimately fun superhero stuff.  An enjoyable read from a great creative team.  Verdict: Buy only if you like the cartoon

Amazing Spider-Man #648 (Marvel)

WOW…that’s really what I have to say about this book.  At first, I was unhappy about the $4.99 cover price but it helps a little bit that the entire book is all new material.  The story by Dan Slott, jam packs A LOT into one oversized comic, featuring the Avengers taking on giant Doctor Octopus robots, Peter finding a new place to live and a new job, and set up for a ton of side stories.  Oh yeah, and the reveal of a new Sinister Six!  It’s definitely a dense book, and there’s a ton going on, so it almost begs repeat readings…which you definitely won’t mind, because this book is GREAT.  The art by Humberto Ramos is gorgeous, if you’re a fan.  His hyper-kinetic, energetic style is definitely an acquired taste, but if you like his stuff, this is heaven for you.  Oh, and Hobgoblin returns – worth the price of admission alone!  Not only that, you get a co-feature with Spider-Girl that almost convinced me to pick up the first issue.  Great start to the BIG TIME era of Spider-Man.  Sure, he’s still not married to MJ, but the book is almost good enough to make me not care.  Verdict: Buy it

Dungeons and Dragons #1

Another great read.  I didn’t expect too much from this book, even though I enjoyed the zero issue.  I half expected to pick up the first issue and be done with it.  But, ya know…this is a damn fine book.  Sure, the team is comprised of clichéd characters (the elf, the dwarf, the Han Solo guy, the hot chick, the thief), but the writer even admits that he did that intentionally to bring in new readers.  As someone who knows next to nothing about the D&D universe, I enjoyed this quite a bit.  Not only was it a pretty decent introduction to the way the world works, but it’s a fun read, and you’ll find yourself laughing more than once.  It’s written in such a way that it reminds you of a modern TV series, with tons of witty banter, not getting bogged down in what you’d expect from a book like this.  Highly recommended. Verdict: Buy it

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