Monday, April 22, 2013

comics for the week of 04/17/13.

While I'm busying myself week to week with the super hero stuff, I also got a chance to read Habibi this week. It was incredible and if you haven't read it, but fancy yourself a lover of indie comics, I'd highly recommend that you do so.

Batwoman 19 - Trevor McCarthy proves himself on art again, JH Williams is writing great stories, and this book is excelling as the best DC title. When we called it one of the top five of the New 52, I don't think any of us anticipated how good it was going to be this far out, nor how drastically the rest of the books that were previously in its company would have fallen. First of all, the story is great. Williams is certifying that he can writer a solid script. He's got a great grasp on Batwoman and Kate Kane, as well as her domestic partner, Maggie. The use of dreams can come across like a cheap ploy, but it works perfectly here. Then, he shows that he's got a graph on writing the family dynamic, with dad, Kate and Bette all playing together, but in totally different ways, but once again differentiating it by not having the twist play out like last issue. (BTW, love the snark between the cousins, especially in regard to the Bat symbol and the control freak aspect of Bruce and Kate.) Take it a step further with the Bones conversation with Batwoman, his desire to unmask Bruce and the ultimate twist, which we already knew was coming, but it plays out for great effect. And, I haven't even mentioned the art yet! The breakdown of the fight, seen twice actually, once in 'real time' and once on the iPad, is glorious. It's an emulation of Williams, sure, but if you're going to emulate any artist in the comics biz these days, why not him? Shit. This is just phenomenal stuff here.

Daredevil 25 - Wow! A fantastic issue of a fantastic series! I hope Ikari sticks around for a lot longer, he's got rich potential as a new Bullseye. Every bit of this issue was great, but the panel showing Matt using his hearing, sense of smell and taste, broken up into those panels was just amazing. The reliance on his moniker, the man without fear, was appropriate, given the villains' purpose. And fight was well-done and the conclusion was truly surprising. (I mean, not the END, but the revelation.) I'm so delighted by this title. It feels like a superhero comic should, with continuing adventures month after month, but there's also that overall arc that I crave in my stories. The fact that the sub-plots are sometimes more affecting than the overall is the sign of a master writer, too. Foggy's issue still stands above the rest, but this one comes the closest. It's great, great stuff overall. Can't wait to see who's pulling the strings and how DD gets over Ikari, even while I'm hoping that his victory is only temporary, so that this great new baddie can have some staying power.

Daredevil: End of Days 7 - So, we get the super-unambiguous church at the beginning, then we go to the Church of the Hand. (In between, we have Urich's phone call to the Bugle where Suki answers. I don't know if this is new or if I just blocked it out from before, but that is some straight up racist, stupid shit. Come on, Bendis!) Then we have the opportunity for an awesome encounter between Urich and a Hand Ninja, but just when the ninja's extracting info from Urich's head via some wacky ninja mystical stuff, Urich just escapes with no explanation. Then he wanders into the apartment that he originally went to the place for, which the ninja had told he he couldn't see. Then he finds some files on a computer that freak him out so much that he doesn't notice at least 7 ninjas sneaking up on him. Then, new Daredevil takes them all out with one well-bounded billy club. New DD tackles Urich out the window and, because they wanted a cool page FULL of arrows, the next panel, where ALL those arrows somehow miss both DD and Urich, they run. They duck for cover, DD jumps out and fights the ninjas (hundreds of them, all firing arrows) and Punisher jumps into the fray, spilling automatic fire with no discretion. Somehow, despite all of this, new DD escapes without any wounds, although his costume does appear torn in several places in the final panel. And we get the reveal about who the new DD is, but I won't spoil it here. Suffice it to say that this issue, just like the rest of the series, is a hot piece of shit mess. I've stuck with it simply out of curiosity and I'll be glad to see it finish with the next issue, but damn. This could not possibly be recommended for anyone.

Fables 128 - "Through A Glass Darkly" - The battle I've been waiting for! And then...it starts to change. Death by a thousand cuts. Amplifying the spell. (And, of course, the weird wedding arrangements between Beast and the Lady of the Lake on the part of Gepetto and the Blue Fairy.) And...the ultimate reveal of Brandish's deadly weapon. So, the battle doesn't exactly go as we'd planned or hoped. But it does leave hope for the next issue with Snow White proving herself yet again. She's always been one of the strongest characters in the book, and she's proved it time and time again. She's going to get some serious revenge on Brandish next issue, but I'm curious to see the price she has to pay. She's got to live for a while still, so she's not going to die, and I don't get the feeling that she and Bigby are going to split, so it's going to be something out of left field. Meanwhile, gone unmentioned is the fact that Bigby's abandoned (albeit only temporarily, for sure) his quest for his kids, so we'll have to wait even longer to see them return to the fold. Fables continues to tell incredible stories using characters that sat in popular culture for so long, proving that there are, in fact, new stories to be told.

Wolverine and the X-Men 20 - Well. I'm torn on this issue. I had no idea that it was going to be written by Matt Kindt, who is one of my new favorites ever. Also, it was pencilled by Paco Medina, whose work is always gorgeous. On the other hand, it was typical Marvel crossover bullshit where the story that was told was one that had literally nothing to do with what came before and I'm not interested in. I'm not reading Age of Ultron. I'm not going to read Age of Ultron. There's almost nothing that could make me interested in Age of Ultron. But...I wasn't really digging the previous plots on this book anyway, right? So might as well have a well-written (but it wasn't Kindt's best work, IMO) and beautiful distraction? I'm not sure. Sue Storm as a women who's lost it all is semi-intriguing, and her interference with the past was a nice humanizing touch to see, but I didn't care very much, Likewise, it was kind of funny to see Logan help the Brood to evolve into something much more deadly than they would be all on their own, but, again, don't really care. I'm not a Previews guy, so I never really know when these writer/artist changes are coming up, and I don't know if this is going to last more than an issue, but even though I'm not enjoying it like I Have in the past, Wolverine and the X-Men is nowhere near my chopping block.

Book of the week goes to Daredevil. Batwoman was a close second with how great it is proving itself to be, but Daredevil was just pure fun, mixed with that veteran artistry on all levels.

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