Friday, November 19, 2004

Some more crap I've read recently

SLEEPER vol 2 #4&5 - more none-more-black supernoir stylings from the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips team. Pure genius, and if it really is ending with this season, let Brubaker spin this off into a new WILDCATS series, focusing on the cold war between Lynch and Tao - which solves Wildstorm's ongoing problems about what to do with their erstwhile flagship title.

The first few issues of BOOKS OF MAGIC: LIFE DURING WARTIME have done very little for me, so I'm dropping it. Sure, Quitely's covers are gorgeous, and the interiors are pretty groovy too, but the story is very old-school Vertigo (that is to say, in the thrall of Neil Gaiman), with a big scoop of extra Phillip Pullman thrown in. I tried, but it's just not my bag.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #5&6 - I've been a sucker for The Whedon in the past, so I keep buying this against my better judgment (the comics biz would be a much healthier place if we all decided to give up X-Men, cold turkey). Damn, nothing much happens, but he just keeps hitting the character notes so on-the-nose that you can't help but get a little nostalgic. "Oh look, an allusion to the fastball special! Man, that reminds me of when I was eleven, this comic was still fresh, and I genuinely loved these wacky mutants. Damn you Claremont! Damn you Harras!"

IDENTITY CRISIS #5 - I wanted to dislike this story after the first issue, as it was just so friggin' manipulative. But its also a well-crafted mystery (and how often do you see those in any media these days?), making you keep reading it, even when you resent the sadistic world o' pain Brad Meltzer is inflicting on these beloved old characters (and if you loved Keith Giffen's Justice League, Sue Dibney was pretty close to your heart).

SHE-HULK #8 - being a sucker for comics about comics, I LOVE this series. Can't recommend it highly enough. If you're unsure whether you could ever love a comic called SHE-HULK, 'cus yer a big macho lad who'd never buy a comic with a female protagonist, let alone one with a dodgy spin-off history, go out and buy Dan Slott's ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL collection. Inwardly digest, then start pre-ordering SHE-HULK. As someone who feels a little grubby enjoying any Marvel comic these days, I give this a whole-hearted two-thumbs-up. Shit covers, though.

I've written about the Brian Azzarello/Jim Lee SUPERMAN experiment before, and I've just read # 209 & 210. In these issues, Lee gets to draw some of the stuff he's more familiar with, and meanwhile I'm even less sure of what the big picture really is. Is the priest with cancer about to be revealed as the big bad behind the disappearances? Wacky. Its like a Harold Pinter play adapted into film by Michael Bay.