Friday, November 12, 2010

comics for the week of 11/3/10 and 11/10/10.

OK, I fell behind on this again, but I promise that I'll try not to let that happen again. This first group is from last week, and the next is current.

Batman and Robin 16 - So glad I stuck with this book; it wraps up The Return of Bruce Wayne without me having to waste any money on that mini. I think the whole thing with the Joker was wack, and this retcon of some evil mofo coming from the Wayne line (see, it wasn't his Dad but an oldass relative, with devil powers!) was beyond bizarre, but the story overall holds up. Plus, it was great to see Bruce, Dick and Damien all back together. An interesting angle at the end to start the Batman Incorporated era and, amazingly, it looks better than any of the ideas I had before these couple pages. A solid read.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer 38 - Thank God Angel's turning out this way. I don't think he'll end up dead, but, I mean, if he's gonna be Twilight and Twilight's the Big Bad all season long, he's got to do some bad shit. Not just kind of bad stuff that has ultimately good motives. Let's see some bad stuff. Buffy continues to impress and, honestly, I don't understand anyone who's saying they don't like it. If you liked or loved the show, you should be all over these comics. The only thing they've truly suffered from is an overreaching cast (bringing almost literally EVERYONE back) and the hurrying up of the storyline after a few of the seemingly-more-filler plots. But now that we're so close to the finale, the whole thing is feeling great.

Invincible 75 - To be honest, Invincible seems to be dragging a bit to me. This issue was great, I liked the oversize, but the double page splashes didn't feel overwhelmingly great. Also, the war doesn't really seem to have been hard fought yet. I mean, everyone's still alive, Invincible was recovering on a different planet for a whole issue, and the Alliance (right name?) appears to have rolled over most of the battles that I thought were going to take a toll. To that end, I liked the end of this issue, because it seems like it might finally start to get real. Maybe the Viltrumite War should have been a few issues shorter and things might have meant a bit more.

Red Hood: The Lost Days 6 (of 6) - The end of the mini puts Jason Todd exactly where we expected him to be. It was interesting to see him meeting with Hush and fully committing to being the bad guy, but the end with the Red Hood (is that really a hood? Not at all.) was more than a little melodramatic. Talia was really that bent out of shape over her Dad dying? I honestly don't know as I wasn't reading Batman at that time, but it seems a little out of character for her. The mini was good, but it could have been so much better, with Jason Todd as the main character and Winnick as the writer.

Scarlet 3 - Again, after the kind of disappointing first issue, this book gets better and better. We're getting more of Scarlet's backstory (although I hope we don't get too much, to be honest) and we see some of the characters that will (presumably) be riding with her on this journey. I gotta say, though, the ending to this issue takes the label graphic to a whole new level. I can't imagine that this book won't be getting (or is already getting) protested by a whole lot of organizations. It's tough not to hear those arguments, too. That aside, when Bendis and Maleev combine, I have no choice but to buy into that product - it's almost always amazing.

Book of the week goes to Invincible, topping Buffy, for celebrating a great anniversary, putting out a good enough product and just being honest about the delays. It was worth it. Kirkman continues to win, putting out what he wants, and being rewarded for it - congrats on The Walking Dead on AMC, too!

Batgirl 15 - Dustin Nguyen takes over art duties and I was a bit bummed, but it's obvious that the team knew this was coming and gave a little play to that in the first three pages. The book still feels the same, and Nguyen's a more than capable artist, so it's not like I think the book's going to suffer - I'm just always loathe to mess with a winning formula, which is what Batgirl felt like it had before. On the other hand, it does still feel that way, which is great. The contents of this issue weren't great or terrible, but it does feel pretty natural to see a mini-team forming around Stephanie. I like the way she and Barbara play off one another and the new addition Wendy is fitting in better than before. Detective Gage from this issue, though, seems weird, especially when we already have the default cop position filled by Babs' dad (Gordon) and Steph's semi-love interest. The cliffhanger ending fell flat with me because I know that's not going to be a real problem. Still excited for this book every time I see it in my stack.

Superboy 1 - This book actually came out last week, but I didn't care enough about it to grab it...until I heard a bunch of good press on it. The art did the trick for me, and the story, by Lemire, felt honest and original. I'm kind of against Smallville becoming the Smalliville of the TV show, and I hope that's not the direction they're going to go, but I do like the idea of Connor spending his time there and trying to learn the more important lessons of Superman, as opposed to just going out and fighting. The Luthor girl feels like pushing the envelope too far, though, I don't know why everything has to be generational and connected in the DC Universe. Some things should be organic. Lemire's got a great chance here.

The Unwritten 19 - Moby Dick rears its ugly head again. This book destroys everything in its path. (I mean that about both Melville's tale and The Unwritten.) Savoy, Lizzie and Tom are in the US, fleeing from the cops (kind of) and the insane group chasing them (more so) so, naturally, they're following Tom's idea of the map his father left him. Carey is writing something here that is going to have far-reaching results for a long, long time. This issue's big reveal, though, has to do more with the past (of Savoy) than anything else. We can tell something is wrong with him all issue, and as readers, we know what that thing is, but Tom and Lizzie don't know, and it's clear that Savoy himself is either in denial or has been brainwashed into forgetting. It'll be interesting to see if there's a parallel for this in the Tommy Taylor books, like there has been for almost every other event in his life.

Book of the week goes to the Unwritten every single time it drops. Nothing is working on a higher level. This stands as an example of what comic books could be.

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