Blessed, blessed summer break.
Fight Club 1 – We were all worried and I think it looks like that worry was justified. It's not that it was bad. It's just that...well...it's hard to get lightning back into the bottle. When we were kids and we read the book, it was amazing. And then the movie changed everything. And I don't think that a comic is going to be able to continue those revelations, especially more than a decade later. Plus, there's all we've leared about Palahniuk in the interim. He's not a bad guy and the ideas aren't totally off base, but he's not a good guy, and the ideas are, to a more mature mind, juvenile. The comic in and of itself? Fine. Jack goes by Sebastian. He's married to Marla. They have a kid. There's some weirdness happening with the babysitter. And...Jack's therapist hypnotizes him, brings Tyler out, who's secretly been running the world, guerrilla style, behind the scenes, for a decade. Yeah, it's bad.
Hawkeye 3 - I liked the recurring bottom panels, where we see that great, watercolor approach to the flashbacks, but most of all, I liked that Kate and Clint are getting to have their relationship really fleshed out. I still don't totally trust the kids, but I love that Maria Hill gets a bit role, but one that's important. Also, the hook for next issue's backstory came seemingly out of nowhere, but casting a look back there were plenty of hints. That's one of the best things about this book: it's going to grow organically.
Invincible 120 - Cool. The end of the battle was perfectly appropriate. I know we all knew that Thragg had to win. I mean, as cool as Battle Beast is, it wouldn't be right for anyone who's not Mark to take him out. (I guess this could eventually fall to Nolan or Oliver, but I doubt it.) But yeah, it's finally done. Then we get a lovely litter interlude where Mark gets to play super dad. Those panels were great, man, seriously. It's cool to see such serious time devoted to just showing that he likes hanging out with his little girl. It's rarely shown in superhero comics, outside the occasional issue of Fantastic Four, and I feel like there's some real potential here. But after family play time and a walk through the park? We're reminded that Thragg was not idling his time away – he was building an army and it's damn near practically built. Also, a moment of silence for how intimidating he's going to look every time he shows up wearing Battle Beast's skin as a fur. Fuck.
Sandman: Overture 5 - This. Was. Incredible. Honestly, I don't know if I have the words to review it. Williams' art, sublime to begin with, has transcended itself. Gaimain's storytelling, still so densely layered, is starting to clarify a bit, we're beginning to see the whole picture. The overall effect? The best single comic I've read this year, easily. The thing is, with preludes, we're usually a bit turned off by knowing where it's going to end. But this is a great place for a prelude since the beginning of Sandman proper is such a weird place. (Isn't all of it?) And there's soooooooo much of it. I mean...the cat is here, "our" Sandman is with his mom, we've got a ship in Destiny's garden that's not supposed to be there, a rescue that's not a rescue, a guy who needs rescuing who won't admit it or show any gratitude for its happening, the discussion of Dream's siblings and that bizarre section on Desire and Dream's similarities... There's so much. And it's all incredible.
Ultimate End 1 - Fun, just like last week's Daredevil interlude. It feels like a chance to wrap up some loose ends, but instead, this time around, it was basically only used to make Peter Parker jokes. Which, hey, they're funny, but... It feels like a wasted opportunity, I suppose. I think I'm reconciling myself to the supposition that Ganke will not be around in less than six months' time and that's sad. So why aren't we getting some glimpses of him here. In fact, we saw nothing of Miles in this issue at all. I mean, all his buddies were here, but no panels with him at all? Weird. I like the Tony versus Tony aspect, and I like how well the Thor Corps are being used, but it felt supplemental where it could have felt like an epilogue for the universe as a whole. If we're truly going to nix the Ultimate Universe - if this is, in fact, the end - it should have something great to go out with. And while Bagley and Bendis' reunion won't make everyone happy, it did the trick for me - for one issue. I want more next time.
Book of the week goes to Sandman. The only dilemma is that if Sandman and Saga both come out in a week, will we die from too much greatness?