I don’t feel like writing a full entry about each of these, so here’s a round-up of continuing graphic novel series.
First up, a Powers-fest, with Brian Michael Bendis’ Powers: Supergroup, Powers: Anarchy, Powers: Sellouts, and Powers Forever . These don’t vary significantly from earlier volumes, so take what I said there and apply it here. I continue to be highly, highly annoyed at the layout of the word balloons. I originally thought this was Bendis’ fault for writing such back-and-forth dialogue, but his other books have similar dialogue with no readability problems; plus, even where there’s no dialogue, it’s hard to figure out which order to read the panels in, so I think now I’m going to blame it on either the artist or the letterer. Also, I could have done without the explicit monkey-sex, but it kinda works in context.
More Bendis with Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 5 . This is the hardcover that collects the Ultimate Six and Hollywood story arcs. The Ultimate Six stuff is awful: The art makes characters look wholly unlike themselves, which is fitting as they continually act unlike themselves. But the Hollywood half of the book is fun. It’s perhaps a bit too meta-referential to have Spider-Man encountering a Sam Raimi film crew making a Spider-Man movie (starring Tobey Maguire), but it’s amusing enough to be forgiveable.
Finally, Warren Ellis’ Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 2: Doom . While all the other books in this round-up have been more of the same of their serieses, this one isn’t. The first Ultimate Fantastic Four collection was co-written by Bendis and Millar, and was uninspired, but Ellis appears to actually care about the book. It’s still not a great series, but it is decidedly better; at least now the characters have distinguishable personalities. I’ll look for the third volume, and hope that it can kick up into something genuinely interesting in its own right