Weekly Comic Book Discussion 1/26/2006

Hey, Candid, I’m happy to see you picked up the first Invisibles trade. I’ll mention that it’s by far the worst of the lot – if, at the end of the book you find yourself saying “I’m supposed to root for these assholes?” the answer is “Read volume 2.”


Can’t be any worse than the first volume of Preacher, I figure.

I DESPISED the first volume of Preacher when I first read it in 1996. Didn’t touch the series again for many years, until Selkie talked me into giving it another chance in 2001. She wisely recommended I start with the second book, “Until the End of the World,” which I loved. Once I got more into it, I backtracked and reread “Gone To Texas,” which still isn’t a favorite, but I had already been won over as a fan. From now on, when I recommend Preacher to people, I always tell them to start with the second book.

Interesting. IMO, Gone to Texas is the best Preacher volume, but I don’t really like the series as a whole.


Adventures of Superman 648 - Good issue, all in all. I’m liking the Superman books reaffirming Superman as a hero of late. It’s a beautiful thing to see, especially showing how he inspires others (in light of Batman’s bitchy comment in IC1).

One question, though…Who’s the giant red chick? She has a hammer, so Steel comes to mind, but…isn’t Steel normal human size?

Probably Steel’s daughter, Natasha, in the giant mecha.

New Books for 01-15-06
(Spoilers in white text, use cursor to read.)

Two of this weeks three bat-books offered solid continuations of the current storylines. This months installment of Winnick & Battle’s Batman, #649 would make a great penultimate chapter to a fast moving thriller. Unfortunately, this is not the case, for we know that the story of the Red Hood will continue on in other bat-books as “Infinite Crisis” gives way to “One Year Later”. Still, this issue pretty good (as was the last). I hope Winnick can wrest a satisfying ending from the dictates of planning for his patient readers regardless.

I like Eric Battle’s work, here and on his issues of Green Arrow. His figures and faces are expressive, and his layouts are pretty dynamic. You get the sense he often draws quite loosely and builds his figures (I could be completely off the mark to me, but that’s how they look) and his page layouts recall Neal Adam’s early work on Batman in Detective something which suits his rendering style just fine.

The art remains strong on Pfieffer & Woods’ Catwoman. As it’s been since the start of their run, issue #51 features a great Hughes cover and wonderful interior art. (Once again my hat’s off to colorist Brad Anderson’s subtle color.) Pfieffer’s tale o continues to be one of the best post-Identity Crisis spin-offs I’ve read yet, despite the fact that it Selena appears to be heading towards a pretty major change in her view of herself. That may or may not add some suspense to the story (it has plenty as is) given how much readers like myself have invested in Brubaker’s popular take on the character. We will see. I’m looking forward to things speeding up next issue.

The Black Mask figures prominently in both stories, and the way Winnick and Pfieffer write him, he makes for a great villain.

In contrast, Willingham and McDaniel Robin #146 takes us a “crisis continuity” mandated detour from the main storyline. Overall, it’s a good, fast-moving story where Tim taking the lead of a small strike team of the younger Titans to find a cure for Connor Kent’s deteriorating condition (see Infinite Crisis #4). The only problem here is, for once the logic of the story doesn’t quite hold up. we’re never given quite enough evidence not to think Robin isn’t doing little more than grasping at straws here, despite his evident self-confidence. Otherwise this was a good issue. There’s a nice foreboding bit involving the General and Batman, a nice reminder of the storyline we were following before the sudden emergency engulfed us here.

Social Commentary and Political Parody in Marvel Titles.

Like this months Robin, Hudlin, Eaton & Janson take us on a bit of a detour from the main plot thread (T’challa’s search for a queen) in Black Panther #12. Here they juggle a lot of story elements and still manage to deliver a fast moving and exciting story, squeezing in political commentary about the general failure of the Federal relief effort in New Orleans with an outbreak of vampirism.

The story also brings together the T’Challa, Luke Cage (I like the new look), Blade and the oft-ridiculed Brother Voodoo, who likely get a better treatment here than elsewhere. If possible I would like to see T’Challa with Cage in the future. They make good counterpoints for each other.

A subtler form of social commentary is implicit in Bendis and Maleev’s portrayal of the FBI Director and the criminal justice system in Daredevil #81. This might sound odd to those who read a lot of Bendis’ current work but I wish Bendis had stretched out the events of Daredevil #81 over two issues. I found the first half of the story choppy, even frustrating. Both the the Widow’s farewell, and Milla and Matt in Paris a few more panels. The rest of the issue was engrossing, and better paced, though I have to say, leaving our hero in this state (and readers in this kind of suspense) just before handing off to another writer must amount to a kind of sadism on Bendis’ part. It’s just odd to see a lauded creative team exit on such an inconclusive note. Still Bendis does leave Brubaker with an exciting set-up, with Matt, Fisk and other crime lords stuck together in the same prison.

Ellis combines his trademark style of super-team action with a hilarious parody of Marvel Universe tropes in Nextwave #1. I love his Haliburton-inspired take on the relationship between his parody of Fury and the new military industrial complex. Refreshing fun from a writer who usually produces intriguing drama. The versatile Immomen provides a fun rendering style that fits this tale almost as well as Amanda Connor’s fit John’s humorous Power Girl story in the first JSA Classfied story arc. I’m in.

Bye Plastic Man: Hello Back Issue Racks.

I almost regret picking up Plastic Man #20 this week, the conclusion of a marvelous parody, perfectly timed for this “Crisis Season” at DC. It was so funny I’m tempted to backtrack and buy the rest of the run.

(Like I need the extra expense right now.) There are pages here that recall the best of Donald Simpson’s 70’s-Marvel inspired issues of Megaton Man (back when it was good) from the 80’s. I’ll try to get to Books of Doom #3, and Local #3 before the end of the week. I also have to look for the Godland trade-paper back. It sold out at my LCS. (Hopefully that’s a good sign for this title.)

Adventures of Superman #647: Pretty good. I still don’t think that Mxy is gone for good.

All-Star Superman #2: Mmm, vaguely Hispanic Lois fanservice. I’m loving this series so far.

The Flash #230: Vandal Savage goes all Sephiroth (Vanhiroth?) on us. Great arc. I can totally picture Jay and Bart watching the Incredibles together.

GL Corps: Recharge #4: They had better continue this series after this arc. There’s so much potential here. I hope Kyle doesn’t try to merge with the power battery to repulse the invasion as it didn’t work out so well in the long-term for Hal. Then again he is due for a power change (boost?).

JSA Classified #7: Very cool antihero story. Can’t wait to see the Unjustice Society again.

Legion of Super-Heroes #13: I love this series. I thought Kitson was the artist too. “Someone finally got my damn name right!” Heh.

Wolfian : We are due for a GL Corps ongoing after the Crisis, as well as an ‘Ion’ series, with Kyle.

I read the Invisibles TPB - it’s not bad, but Grant suffers from the fact that he often lives in the utopia in his own head, making communication between him and the reader muddled, at nest.

I went out Saturday, all-special-like, and bought the first Starman TPB.

Its’ been confirmed? Woo hoo!

I was refering to Kyle’s new series when I mentioned that he’s due for a power change and/or boost. I’m excited and glad that they’re finding something to do with the character rather than sticking him on the shelf now that Hal’s back. I like both characters equally (well, if pushed I’d go with Kyle) and happy to see there’s room in the DC universe for both.

Just hope the new series doesn’t suck…

Ron Marz is writing. IMHO, he’s the reason why they eventually had to bring Hal back. Then again, I suppose Kyle’s fans would be his fans…

I’m still waiting for Gardner to get his own solo title. Hmph. But I do loves me some Green Lantern! I came back to collecting last year, after some time away, and was very happy to see some brand new GL series. Unfortunately, my time away from collecting was just enough to completely miss out on the Kyle years. So I’m just kind of getting to know him. I like him so far :slight_smile:

I’ve read a lot of Marz’s work since he left GL. I think he’s actually quite a good writer, but his work on GL hasn’t been as good as on, say, Scion or Samurai: Heaven and Earth. I choose to believe that this is largely the result of editorial influence, which he may have less of now that Kyle is no longer going to be deep in the thick of things and also is no longer the one and only Green Lantern.