Well another week and another somewhat half-ass week in review. See I have recently rediscovered this other form of storytelling. It consists of words on pages and – get this – no pictures. I know. Who came up with this radical idea is beyond me. Anyway I have almost finished “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and it is a very good read. Also it seems every year around November to February I get burnt out on comics and truth be told I’m probably slightly depressed since I’m still in the middle of this horrible transition period as I get ready to move. Since I read so many comics it is hard to read other stuff as I only have so much free time, so when I stop and read a novel it means I have read only a few comics this week.
What this means for the week in review column is that instead of getting a good sense based on everything I got I can only review what I read and this week I will remark briefly on everything I read. It is interesting to note that I think we find that we talk more about what we don’t like then what we do like. I have noticed in my personal life that people have a tendency to only complain about others in their lives, because when you are happy with someone else you are content and don’t have a need to share. When you are unhappy with another or a situation you need to vent. Let’s see if I can make each commentary of equal length whether I liked or disliked the book.
Sweet Tooth #28 by Jeff Lemire writer and Matt Kindt artist: this wrapped up the origin of the plague storyline. In truth it gives us a choice as to what we want to believe is the reason for the plague as we never know where these original animal people actually come from. Still the jump backwards as to the first modern outbreak of this plague set in the wilds of what I think was northern Alaska or somewhere similar was a good one. The story invokes the man versus nature type theme and also focuses on man’s inhumanity to man. It still does not explain how 100 years later this has all started again, but we can basically figure out that the bodies of the plague victims were found and man decided to experiment and unleashed the plague yet again. Jeff Lemire has said he writes complete stories and I can’t wait to see where this story goes from here. I hate that the Vertigo imprint seems to be imploding as that brand has created some of the best comics of all time. (183 words)
Swamp Thing #4 by Scott Snyder writer and Marco Rudy pencils: this issue we continue to build towards the greater story of the Green and Red versus the Rot. Will Alec Holland accept his predestined role as Warrior-King of the Green; will he have to kill Abby Arcane, what can stop the rise of William Arcane? The pace of the story is slower, but the buildup is excellent, we are developing the characters and learning about them as we build to the greater story. It feels very obvious to me that Scott and Jeff Lemire (who is writing Animal Man) are building a bigger story between both series. This issue we got Marcos Rudy doing the artwork and I have loved his work on other series and once in a while his page designs get too elaborate and hurt the story telling, but not here. Also his draftsmanship is superior to Yanick Paquette (the regular artist), so he can be the fill-in or main guy on this book anytime they need him to in my opinion. (176 words)
Defenders #1 by Matt Fraction writer and Terry Dodson on pencils; was an uneven venture at best. I have never been a big Matt Fraction fan and his writing in this issue was often obtuse. The funny thing is that this book had captions at the bottom of almost every page which was distracting, like on page 3 it says “Who loves Doctor Strange? Defenders #4. Also I noticed the lettering, which I hardly ever really pay close attention too and the style was off in my mind and often too large. Another flaw, Terry Dodson is not a super hero artist and is better served when he does good girl style artwork, where he excels. The story was basically a menace is identified and a group is pulled together to stop it. Why it has to be Dr. Strange is never made clear as this appears to be a menace any other super group would have gone after. I know it is a comic, but inside the imaginary Marvel Universe there should be consistency. Finally we have the random bedroom scenes in this book which have become vogue at both of the big companies. When it serves the story fine, but Iron Fist’s hook up did nothing for the storyline. Not sure if I will get the next issue or not, if issue #2 is again $3.99, the answer will be no. (233 words)
See it is just easier to bitch then praise – something inherently wrong with that.
Alright for some quick mentions:
Action Comics #4 – Grant Morrison writer and Rags Morales pencils – I love this book, but now we get a two issue hiatus? We talk about monthly comics, but it seems very few books can hold up to a monthly grind anymore. Anyway part of Metropolis is now a bottle city – cool stuff.
Chew #22 – John Layman writer and Rob Guillory art – consistently a great book and made even better since I know they have an endpoint in mind. Still it is pretty dense at this point in trying to following the overall plot, but the individual issues hold up very well.
The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode #3 (of 6) – Justin Jordan writer and Tradd Moore is the artist – for a talent team that is who and who – these guys are making a name for themselves with this effort. Tradd does a decent job on the art and his storytelling ability make this an easy read. The story is fun as Luther is dealing with the sudden onset of super powers and being a teenager in high school.
Penguin Pain and Prejudice #3 (of 5) – Writer Gregg Hurwitz, Szymon Kudranski art – this is a great examination of a single character. It is doing what a mini-series like this should do and that is to define the character in such a way that it enhances the character for readers when he shows up in a regular Bat book again.
And now for next week’s listing, but first the next set of DCU books I have dropped are Legion of Super Heroes, Legion Lost and Legion of Super Heroes Secret Origins. The LOSH is just an unrecognizable mish mash of various continuities and I have hung on way longer then I should have to this material. The list American Vampire (just gets better and better), Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Batwoman, Demon Knights, Frankenstein Agent of Shade, Green Lantern, Grifter, Mister Terrific, Ray, Resurrection Man, Shade, Suicide Squad, Superboy, Unwritten, Avengers 1959, Marvel Masterworks Nick Fury, Agent of Shield, New Avengers, Uncanny X-Force, Pigs, Severed (great mini-series), Walking Dead, Baltimore Curse Bells, Hawken (cool hard edged western), Locke & Key (has been missed) & Warlord of Mars.
That concludes another week in review, see everyone next week.