Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Week of July 8 In Review Part 2 of 2

Onto Part 2……………

I have read that Mark Waid has grown tired of super hero comics. It is funny because he is admitting what every super hero fan feels about the cape and spandex stuff, it gets old and can be boring and mind numbing. Also many writers get lazy with their stuff or they are forced to just redo the same story over and over. I mean part of the problem is some of us continue with the material for too long and we have seen it all before way too many times. We then gravitate to other material. For me that material demands something to be unique and at least take some chances. I mean I have dropped a lot of super hero titles lately and I get more worked up over a new issue of Killer then I do over most of the super hero stuff. With that as a long prelude I’m getting around to Irredeemable #15. This book has gone downhill since it started. I have read reviewers who say those of us who want this story to be limited don’t get what Mark is doing. Maybe that is right, but as a long time reader and a self appointed editor (which I think is what all reviewer are in some fashion) of all comics having this series go on forever is causing me to lose interest. Add to that Peter Krause is no longer drawing the book and the artwork has a more generic look to it. Heck I dropped Incorruptible because of the artwork. I know smaller publishers need to charge $4 and pay less for their art and seek out up and coming talent, but this art is very, very generic looking and the bad guy looked pathetic. I like BOOM and I think Mark Waid is a talented editor and writer. I have a strong suspicion his politics and mine are far apart, but I still respect Mark’s work and his ideas, so I will hang onto this title a little longer, but an endless story is a mistake for this premise.

Brightest Day The Atom Special was out this week. Jeff Lemire did a fine job with the story and Mahmud (Dynamo 5) Asrar on pencils is getting better as he goes. The art was still uneven and I felt that the inker and colorist worked hard to save it, but Asrar feels like a raw talent who has the potential to be a star. The story itself was decent and I enjoyed it for what it was and that is as set-up to an ongoing back up series. The problems I had with it was Ray Palmer seems to be in his twenties and we got a lot of retro-con by adding tons of family for Ray. Ultimately Jeff understood that in order to make Ray Palmer interesting as the Atom he had to reinvent him, which he did, but we already had a more interesting Atom named Ryan Choi who was killed. I understand the editorial stuff DC is doing; I just think it is a mistake. Finally they should just have launched this as a series. Back-ups or co-features just don’t work in the comic market anymore.

IZombie #3 was another good issue. Having Mike Allred as the artist is going to give any book a quirky feel to it and this book just has a good vibe to it. It is like Happy Days meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer or somewhere along those lines. The pacing of the story is a little on the slow side, but it is a good read. It is building a solid foundation with the Zombie, Ghost and Werewolf group of friends.

Red Hood The Lost Days #2 (of 6) was another good issue. I keep being surprised because I keep expecting this book will be lame, but it isn’t. This issue Jason heads back home and sets up a trap to kill Bruce for ostensibly not killing the Joker. He walks away from the trap and lets Bruce live. I will be curious to see if Winick acknowledges Morrison’s little retro-con that Jason actually has red hair.

Brightest Day #5 was a very good book and just what I was hoping would happen. Instead of focusing a couple of pages on each character we got a lot of pages on a few characters. It was all great stuff with the Aquaman portion being the best. We find out that Mera was sent to our world to kill Aquaman all those years ago and her people have arrived and are looking to do the job she failed to do. I know it is pure retro-con but they have made Aquaman into an exciting character again with defining his powers better, bringing back Mera, Black Manta, a new Aqualad, heck I want an Aquaman series. The Hawkman and Hawkgirl storyline moved forward and is rather frightening to see what happens when they kiss. Finally we have Boston (Deadman?) hanging out with Hawk and Dove. The whole key about Dove is very interesting and Hawk is seems even more deranged then he used to be. This was an all around terrific issue.

Jonah Hex #57 was a great issue and Jordi Bernet does wonderful art with this book. He manages to draw children that look like children. Gray and Palmiotti continue to spin great single issue stories that draw you in immediately and hold your attention for a good story month in and month out. This has proven itself to be one of the better series on the stands.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird #2 was a nice surprise. I wasn’t sold on this series after issue #1, but I’m sold on it now. Jim McCann is doing a great job with Clint and Bobbi’s relationship and is building a foundation for a long term series as he tells an interesting first arc. Bobbi’s Mom getting shot was brutal and I can’t see that helping Clint and Bobbi since Clint found Bobbi’s Mom and brought her to New York. I think this maybe a hit for Marvel or at least a good solid second tier book that can have a long run.

Sweet Tooth #11 was a frelling tough book. Jeppard’s story gets fully revealed and we see how nasty and tough he can be as he kills a bunch of people who were responsible for his wife dying. I loved how fast the book read and how much information was conveyed in a book that just flowed like a river. An excellent issue in a series that is continually moving up the charts in my view.

Red Robin #14 was a good issue. What has impressed me the most is the new creative team has picked up the threads from before and maintains the momentum this series has generated for itself. Marcus To and Ray McCarthy border on being too generic in their art, but the story is strong enough that the art becomes less of an issue. The story telling and page design also is solid and makes for an easy read of the book. One thing I have an issue with is Dick and Tim appear too young to me, but it is a very minor quibble. The story of Tim taking down a list of bad guys is solid; the interpersonal stuff between Damian, Dick and Tim is extremely well done.

So I’m almost at the bottom of my rather large stack of books this week and I intentionally leave what should be a good book at the bottom. Usually I have run out of steam by the time I hit that point and I often decide they are not worth commenting on because this post is too long by then. Batman and Robin #13 just blew me away. This is why I want Grant Morrison to stay on the Bat books for many years to come. I thought Frazer Irving was the wrong choice for this title, but it worked for this story to perfection. Irving is highly stylized and I’m sure for the fans of the standard super hero fare this was a slap in the face, but from the opening page showing Thomas Wayne over the bodies of his wife and son, to the panel where Thomas Wayne is shooting an unmasked Dick Grayson and then flashing back three days to the end of the last issue it was a stunning art job. Grant is bringing together elements from before the first issue of this series and taking the enjoyment of this series to another level. Grant often misses delivering good episodic issues, but has hit way more then missed with this series. In addition he is bringing his strength of creating wholes larger than the sum of their parts to the forefront in this issue. Professor Pyg, Oberton Sexton, The Black Glove and more are coming together in what looks to be a great story. I loved the confrontation by Robin and the Joker. Damian embodies the darker side of the vigilante so well and Dick is growing into the role of Batman in fantastic fashion. The biggest sin DC could do, bring Bruce back as Batman in Gotham. Let Bruce be the mastermind, the Batman in JLA or doing foreign operations, but Dick and Damian are my Batman and Robin now and I would like this team to last a decade at least. And I still have Scalped to read to end the week.

Scalped #39 was a terrific start to the new arc. R.M. Guera’ art actually seems to be improving and it was already ready very good. The colors by Giulia Brusco are always a compliment to Guera’s art. It has been a real treat that the major story arcs have always had the same art team since this series started. The “Unwanted” this issue refer to both Red Crow’s wife not wanting her baby and now Red Crow’s daughter not wanting her child. As that story weaves back and forth through the issue we also catch up with Dash who is in bad shape as he has no control over his drug addiction. Red Crow with Shunka in tow show up and appear to be ready to drag Dash back into the real world. A very nice twist ends the issue. Scalped is one of my favorite series of all time and I believe DC is remiss in not giving this book more attention or at least doing a hard cover collection on the book. The emotional content and complexity of these characters is phenomenal and Guera’ art pulls it all off. An artist of lesser talent could not make the raw and powerful emotions that Aaron writes work this well. This is another great issue in a great series.

So an amazing week that started off with some terrific books and ended with two books that were solid gold. A great start for the second half of the year.


  1. I actually like Incorruptible better than Irredeemable right now, but I'm beginning to realize that my life would go along just fine if I never find out what happens with these characters. I miss Krause on the art too.

    Maybe Waid will give you a money back guarantee if you continue reading the book! :)

    I wouldn't call us editors, but we are constructive criticism-ers. We praise what's good and shed light on the bad in hopes that they'll improve. If we weren't fans first, then we wouldn't even care. Comics can be such a solitary hobby, but it's also a very social one, when you can get together with people. So, when we review a book that someone is following or interested in, then maybe they'll see something new about the comic or at least realize that someone else feels the same way as they did. It's a great gig, we get to express ourselves, connect with people (especially creators), and we may be at least an audible voice for positive change (versus just stewing about in our head).

  2. Matthew - That is a good way of looking at it.

  3. You guys are NUTS. Diego Barretto's art is awesome and issue 15 was the best issue yet.

    But we can agree to disagree, just cause I like you all so much.

    Krause back on art in IRREDEEMABLE #16.