Monday, January 28, 2013

comics for the week of 01/23/13.

I'm starting the catch up on Daredevil. I might be posting some reviews separately when it comes to the trades I'm getting through.

Batwoman 16 - I feel like I say this with every issue of Batwoman, but: This is a clinic! God, this book is so good, the artwork is so exquisite. The page of Bones was awesome, the return of Flamebird was unexpected, but the page of Wonder Woman taking down the Hydra was the best of the bunch. It's incredible artwork, but I've raved about JH Williams for long, it feels trite to continue doing so. Instead, let me say this. I feel like he's learned a lot in a very short time about plotting and pacing. There were some previous issues where he was bouncing around the plot in a way that felt too much like whiplash. Here, it feels natural that every other page should be narrated in a different voice, and his writing seems to have not only a flow to it, but a grasp that it might have been lacking before. The best part of this issue is that it's not the last part of this arc, which I wasn't even that big of a fan of when it began. But the longer that Williams has to work on something, the better it becomes. I can't wait for next month's conclusion.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen 6 - "I figured I would go to Hell now. The way I was brought up, that's what happens to people who don't confess their sins. But my friends won't have to bear the burden of my guilt." And what a guilt trip this has been. Exquisite artwork by Darwyn Cooke mixed with a ridiculous level of sex, violence and revenge. The tale of Hollis Mason is the centerpiece of the Before Watchmen books, because he connects everyone in a way that not even the Comedian can match. And while we didn't get the sick reveal that I was hoping for about Hooded Justice, the truth, when it finally came out, was even worse in a way. The relationships that these people had with each other really proves that it must take a genuinely psychopathic person to put on a costume and go out there and think that you're a crime fighter. The best case scenario is that you get to speak the line above to yourself, retire as a broken, damned man, and hope that those who come after you can do better than you did. How sad.

Fables 125 - Well, that was different. After the story of the wolf cubs and the land of misfit toys, and last month's all-Oz finale, I'd forgotten what it was like to get a purely Fabletown type of story. Bigby leaves with Stinky to find his kids, Briar Rose is annoying, but willing to splurge on her friends, and we get a grand reveal at the end off the issue in regards to Snow White. We also have a new narrator (the older wolf cub from the two-parter?) who's prone to giving some things away in the best kind of tempting way for storytelling. Bigby's plan of flying through worlds until he catches the scent of his kids gets a laugh, especially when it comes to Stinky's rejoinder. Another solid issue of Fables all the way around, especially with the threat of Leigh lurking.

Green Lantern 16 - Yeah, Baz is a Green Lantern and B'dg is one too, he looks like a Squirrel and shows up to help Baz figure out things like the lantern, the messages that Hal and Sinestro left him, and to take him on a quest to find Guy Gardener. But...there's nothing here to care about. Baz's revolutionary use of the ring at the end of the issue felt so fake, and I don't care about him as a character, and the Epilogue is stretching even further and further out and Geoff Johns is just kind of...done with for me. I told Dave that I was going to give this book two more issues, but this'll do it for me. I don't really know why I was reading Green Lantern in the first place, much less why I've stuck with it for this long while it's been this bad, but this issue seems just as good as any other one to go out on. Sometime in the future, Johns will tell another story that's worth reading. But while he's padding his stats here, just killing time, I'm not going to be wasting mine reading this lackluster material.

Mind MGMT 7 - Matt Kindt continues to spin a masterpiece. There are some books that, even while you're reading them, you can tell they're going to be classics. Saga and Locke & Key belong to this category and so does the latest greatness from Dark Horse. Heere we have the start to a new story arc, with Meru reconnecting with Henry Lyme, the uncovering of something called an Assassination Letter, the death of an agent named Brinks and many, many more references to the past of the agency. The Immortals are still on the trail and we've got a new player, who's calling herself the Eraser. The references around the pages have been doubled, and they pay off in just as great a fashion as they did in the first arc. I love the sideline peeks at Meru's new book, and you know it's going to come into play as something super valuable. All that plus the artwork is incredibly gorgeous; owning a Matt Kindt page is a new life goal.

Wolverine and the X-Men 24 - Rachel uses her psychic powers well in this issue and we get to see Storm's re-introduction to the school. Wolverine is a universally hated character, perhaps, but he's also uniformly feared. Idie is making nice with Broo while Kitty is on a date with Bobby (that's realllllly weird, no matter how sweetly it ended) and Beast is still in his pseudo-relationship with the head of SWORD. The All New X-Men get some play in this book, too, which is incredibly refreshing, to see that this shared universe is in fact actually shared. Quentin's moves with Jean Grey seem to be a great tack to take, too. The cover will be the story that everyone's going to talk about, though. Sure, it's a kiss. I don't think it's going to be much more, if anything at all. The last page was fantastic, but it also brings me to the worst part of this issue, which I avoided talking about the whole time: the art was awful. Way too cartoony and a real dropoff insofar as this book's been for most of its run.

Book of the week goes to Batwoman. There was some tough competition this week, as Mind MGMT probably always deserves the honor & Minutemen finished up, but I've gotta go with Batwoman's pure excitement. The penultimate chapter helps its case with the anticipation, and JH Williams' art puts it over the top.

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