Thursday, April 05, 2007

This Week's Haul: Cowboys and Indians

I didn't get to read all my comics last night because of Grindhouse, so I'm a little late with this. I have some new additions to the weekly reviews. Most importantly, Jonah Hex, which I am now caught up on and have decided to buy monthly rather than wait for the trades because, frankly, it's pretty much my favourite comic.

This is also the week that Living Between Wednesdays reader and super-fan Mark Sable started writing Supergirl, so I checked that out.

I was hoping to be caught up on The Atom by now, but next month for sure! Same with Runaways. I'm also planning to add Blue Beetle, Birds of Prey, Green Lantern, Manhunter and Daredevil within the next month.

And there's some new Marvel junk this week. Let's get started!!

Justice League of America #7

You know, I was smiling throughout the entire three hours of Grindhouse. Then I got home and read this before bed, and damn if my face didn't get a chance to relax. This was delightful.

First of all, there's this:

Adorable! (Even cuter that he gets it framed and hangs it in the cave later).

And then there's Roy being totally great-looking in his new costume, and being all flustered and happy with being invited to join the league. And making Canary and Hal cry. And the new headquarters! With the slideways door that leads to the watchtower in space!! So rad! And the pull-out of the whole league?! That was an exciting surprise.

I really love this series. It's the little details. There are so many fun little moments like this one:

He looks at his boots!

I seriously love this line-up. It's going to be a good time.

I like Meltzer's banter. I like the things he imagines the heroes do together when they are hanging out. Like Arrow and Lantern:

All this plus a Starro story-line? Beautiful!

Midnighter #6

My boyfriend's back! And he's totally...weird. This one-shot story was set in feudal Japan. While not as fun as the rest of the Ennis run, it was certainly sexy. I actually don't have much to say about it. It was fine. Next month...Brian K Vaughan!

Superman #661

Ladies, ladies, ladies!

First of all, I just want to say that Wonder Woman's shorts looked fantastic in this comic, so nice work Eduardo Barreto! In general, I really liked the art in this book. It was cartoony and fun. This comic was mostly about women, and Superman just played a supporting role.
I really liked that Clark was magically changed into Superman in the middle of a room full of people and yet his identity remained protected because no one could remember what he looked like before he became Superman. ("Was he wearing glasses?" "No, a false mustache.")

Good-looking and fun. I liked it. Especially Lois breaking the fourth wall in the final panel.

52: Week 48

So that answers that question about where Batwoman is, one year later. Batwoman: we hardly knew ye. But you looked damn good. This issue was a lot more focussed than last week, but I have to say, the last page, being the only page not part of the Montoya/Batwoman storyline, was totally my favourite part. I guess my theory about Black Adam turning the tables on Sivana that I made last week was incorrect. He's in pretty rough shape. And Sivana saying "I finally found a way to dissolve the enamel on the Black Marvel's teeth" gets my vote for comic quote of the week. Or the year. (Think about it...he used the word "finally". That's hilarious).

Detective Comics #831

Not bad. Not bad at all. I really don't like Don Kramer's art, largely because his facial expressions are weird, but I didn't think it was too bad in this book. One thing I can say that's positive about his art is that he doesn't do cheescake. And there were a few panels in this book that were actually really nice. Like this one:

Harley is an undeniably endearing character, and Dini obviously loves writing her. It was a good little story. I really liked Harley telling Batman about meeting the Ventriloquist in Arkham and how he reached out to her. I'm a sucker for stories that humanize Bat-villains.

Superman/Batman #33

Ok, they should just change this to Superman Loves Batman and get it over with.

This ends the not-so-hot Enemies Among Us storyline. I liked this issue ok, but mainly because this really felt like it might be the one where they finally kiss. I mean...Superman taught Batman that the most powerful weapon against mind-controlling aliens Or, at least, trust. Anyway, it ends with this bit of fluffy goodness:

I am a sucker for Batman holding a cup of coffee.

And then we get a Bruce Wayne who is a changed man, Christmas Carol-style:

WHAT?! It better not! Oh Verheiden, go back to Smallville, where your sugar-coating cannot possibly make things sweeter. (I like Mark Verheiden. I'm just sayin'...)

And the last page? Well:

God that's romantic.

Do you know what would have been amazing? If Superman/Batman had, first of all, been called World's Finest, and had just been a series of one-shot stories, each time told by a different writer and artist pairing. A different set of storytellers for each issue, so everyone would have a chance to tell one story about the two biggest guns in the DC rack. Then the title would have referred to the characters and the authors/artists. Wouldn't that have been awesome?! Is it too late for that?

Supergirl #16

I said I'd read it, and I did. And...I liked it. It satisfied my nerdy love of Krypton-based stories, and it gave a really interesting and compelling backstory for Kara. It also showed us where she got her good looks, because her dad is a stone fox. See? I'm not totally against objectification.
The art is really nice, and that's refreshing. I mean, that costume is always going to suck, but the cartoon-style art makes her look a lot less gross. And the new studded belt is kinda fun and teenager-ish (it is new, isn't it?). I'll keep hoping for an issue where she matures a little and realizes that her costume is ridiculous and changes it.

The issue started with the line "You are a failure, Kara. An utter and complete failure." So right away I was enjoying myself. The book was delightfully self-aware. The theme of the whole issue was basically "Nobody likes you, let's figure out why and then do something about that." It had a great cliff-hanger ending that makes me want to read the next issue. So far so good. A definite improvement. And you know I really wanted to hate this, so this praise has weight to it.

Fallen $on: The Death of Captain America #1 featuring Wolverine

What a frigging cash-grab.

This actually featured everyone but Spider-Man, pretty much. It's written by Jeph Loeb, so it's full of totally natural dialogue like this:

Wolverine: That's how everybody and their grandmother remembers you. Bucky, Captain America's teenage sidekick back in World War Two. Kids all around the world dreamed of just meeting Cap -- and there you were in your dandy red-and-blues, fighting along-side the living legend. And we remember how you died.

Winter Soldier: I wasn't the only one people thought died that day. The world also lost Cap back then.

Wolverine: Exactly...And here you are. All alive and stuff. And after digging him out of a block of ice, Cap survived as well.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

And Iron Man is still hanging out next to Steve Rogers' body. Boyfriend, much?

This was pretty lame. See the movies, kids! Buy the toys! I'm surprised Silver Surfer didn't glide on in for a page or two.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to bust this out again, but:

Avengers: The Initiative #1

This is me trying to care about Marvel, post-Civil War.

I actually enjoyed this comic. It was fun. Superhero bootcamp. It had some fun characters and nice art. I have nothing else really to say about it. I'll read the next issue, though.

Jonah Hex #18

Jonah has a bad day in this one. Makes some mistakes. He also kills a bear and says some really awesome things. There have been a lot of artists on this series with a lot of different styles, and they have all been excellent. This week it's provided by Val Semeiks, and he's of the school that likes to make Hex's face extra gross. I respect that.

This series is so good. It's the first thing I recommend to anyone who asks me what comics are good. You could pick up any random issue and completely enjoy it. Plus, he's such a perfect fictional character. And everyone likes cowboys.

Scalped #4

And we've come to the Indians half of this post's title.

This series is good. It's one of those comics where you kind of forget that you're reading a comic. It feels more like I'm watching a television show or a movie. Dash is just a really compelling character, and beneath all the violence and profanity and bleak imagery there is a dark, but touching, love story. It's a really well-constructed series, and I recommend checking it out while it's still young.


ZC said...

Scalped really surprised me with how good it is. I thought The Other Side was okay, but I really wasn't prepared for being as blown away by Scalped as I was. Plus the art kicks ass.

I dunno how I feel about Phil Noto on Jonah Hex (DAMN YOU Luke Ross and your indy samurai comic with Ron Marz!!!), but I will always cheer for random "filler" issues with a Bill Sienkewicz (god that man has a complicated name) cover and an uber-evil ultra-ugly super-disturbing western crazy cannibalism story.

Planet Hulk ended this week... and the fact that I'm being suckered into buying Marvel's summer blockbuster hurts me a little. But who can resist heartbroken HULK SMASH?

This is really all I have to say about this week's comics.

(Well, two more things: Immortal Iron Fist is a damn fine book, though the decompression hurts a little; and I missed Midnighter getting released this week. I guess I have to make another trip tomorrow. @.@)

Ben said...

Funny, I just heard recently that Green Lanterns never cry. Baldercrap! Anyhow, I thoroughly loved that issue. For way too many reasons. But I'll mention one: They record their adventures on scrolls! That's class. Oh, and they got all their headquarter ideas from cartoon shows.

Barreto on Superman? I missed that. This bears further investigation . . .

Jeff said...

My god, someone else other than me loves Meltzer's JLA. Let's be BFF.

I seriously love what he's done with Roy Harper. He's a character that never really clicked with me during his Titans period, and I only really started to feel for him in that last issue of Outsiders before the whole One Year Later deal, the issue where Grace takes him to task for being too much of a boy scout. I don't know that Roy (or a few other people on the lineup) have really earned their membership card, but that's going to be half the fun. And yes, the panel where he looks at his boots is awesome.

SallyP said...

Hey Ben...I said that Green Lanterns SELDOM cry, or words to that affect! Besides, Roy was just too cute! *sniff* If it had been Superman, he'd have gone through an entire box of tissues, so I can handle Hal's eyes getting moist!

Jonah Hex was lovely wasn't it? What a cover!

rachelle said...

ZC - I actually did read this week's Planet Hulk. I liked his mopey "Nothing left to say (save?). Nothing even left to smash" line. I am looking forward to World War Hulk. I wanna see Iron Man get punched right in the face!

I have heard many good things about Iron Fist. Maybe I should check it out while it's still kinda new.

The art in Scalped really kicks ass. It suits it perfectly.

And, yes, everyone! Let's let the Meltzer JLA love-in start here! I will proudly defend that book to anyone. What's the matter with the haters? Do they hate smiling?! was nice to see Hal cry for a change. I love tears that somehow end up on top of a mask. Powerful tears.

Johnathan said...

The Red Arrow thing seriously kicks the ass out of that whole Arsenal schtick that Roy had going on for so long - what a mid-ninties yawnfest that costume/name/persona was.

I think, however, that you are overlooking the most important and exciting thing to come out this week: SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES!


Anonymous said...

I think you should post something about douchebags just to get Mark Sable's attention again.

--zyljgljk, GL of space sector

buttler said...

is that . . . kanjar ro? and do i see ultra the multi-alien in his teeth? crazy.

that's not what i meant to say, though. i'm just glad someone finally gave roy the birds and the bees talk, even if it's a little late.

Johnathan said...

Due to the third eye, I'm guessing that that's Despero.

Sure does look like everyone's favourite Multi-Alien, though.

rachelle said...

It's Despero. Or "Cupid."

Marionette said...

I'm glad to see that someone else has taken up the weighty task of calling Jeph Loeb a talentless hack now that he has stopped writing anything I have any interest in.