Thursday, April 12, 2007

This Week's Haul: "Every Super-Villain For Themselves!"

Tremble in terror, comics that aren't All-Star Superman! You have chosen a bad week to come out! Line up and let yourself be compared to the undisputed masterpiece of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely! Good luck!

All-Star Superman #7

There's a certain buzz in the comic shop when a new issue of All-Star Superman comes out. Even more so when the hardcover of the first six issues also happens to come out on the same day. This comic is the great uniter. Everyone loves it. I can barely process how awesome it is.

Let's all just take a minute to stare at these two pages, wherein Superman is setting his pet sun-eater free into space because it has grown too large for his zoo:

These are so beautiful and adorable, they melted me into a puddle of goo on my couch. No text at all, but you can see Superman doing the whole "It's ok, buddy, you're free now." And the sun-eater is grabbing him because he doesn't want him to leave! And, ohmygod, is it waving to him in the top panel on the second page?! Quitely! You're killing me!

From that page on it's non-stop Bizarro awesomeness. I love how Bizarro looks, and I love his homemade S-symbol. I love Superman jotting down the formula for an experimental Bizarro formula while listening to Jimmy's plan. I love Superman using his new powers. I love the Zibarro cliff-hanger. I love the cover for the next issue. I love this book.

Well, now that the bar has been set impossibly high, let's check out another comic.

Green Arrow #73

Connor's back! This series just got a whole lot sexier!


This is the first issue in what I understand will be the final story arc of the series. Too bad. I really do love this book. I enjoy watching Ollie struggle to be a superhero now that he's got himself tangled up in all the strings that are attached to him. He's got Connor, Mia, Roy, Dinah AND he's the damn mayor of Star City. It makes it hard to also be a vigilante, and he's had to make a lot of sacrifices to protect his loved ones and his city. I am guessing that this story is going to have Ollie listen to the wisdom of his (attractive) son and just do what he's best at, consequences be damned, to save his city from crime lords.

I like Brick as a villain. Winnick writes a good laid-back, dead-pan bad guy who will snap with little notice and kill your ass. Now we have Merlyn on deck for the next issue, which is always fun, and Black Canary. Good times!

But it's no All-Star Superman.

Grifter/Midnighter #2

Is, um, anyone else reading this? Anyone?

It looks really nice. The art, by Ryan Benjamin, is really pretty. And the colouring, by Joel Benjamin, is fantastic.

I still really don't know anything about Grifter, except that he carries two guns, does some fancy shooting, and is reasonably hot. He also likes to take cheap shots at Midnighter's sexuality. The gist of the story is that Grifter was sent to kill a member of the Saudi royal family in Paris, and Midnighter was sent to protect the very same guy from Grifter. Then they are forced to put aside some of their differences because they have bigger problems: an alien attack.

There has been a disappointing lack of heads getting kicked off, but it's an alright series so far. Aliens. Guns. Hotties. Meh. It's better than Superman/Batman.

Definitely not All-Star Superman.

Wonder Woman #7

I liked this issue, but the art was back to being cheesecakey. Other than that, the art was pretty nice.

I like how tall Wonder Woman is in this issue. Much improved from last week.

There was a lot of fun stuff in here. I really liked the super-villain bar for people who dress up like super-villains. I really liked Nemesis making a snarky comment that its patrons are really into Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, and then we get this panel a couple of pages later:

I can't remember the last time a Wonder Woman comic made me laugh out loud.

I liked the fake Catwoman busting into the bathroom. I liked that Sarge Steel bothered to shoot a net over Wonder Woman when he arrested her. And what's not to like about this panel?:

But it ain't All-Star Superman.

52 Week 49

And the only book that came close to touching Grant Morrison this week is...also by Grant Morrison.

Holy God, this was awesome. Every damn page - awesome. Will Magnus strikes back as he reveals that he's been secretly building little tiny Metal Men while the other scientists have been trying to destroy the world. Mercury is babbling about how he's actually not the only metal that's liquid at room temperature, which is great. Then he gets shot by Morrow, which is unexpected and hilarious. Magnus lets Morrow escape before the JSA bust in and arrest them all. Meanwhile, Sivana is cutting his losses and getting the hell out of dodge, leaving a very angry Black Adam trapped on the very scary operating table:

We can only imagine what Adam has been through these past few days (Thunder pliers!! HA!).

And EVERYTHING on this page is awesome:

This was so great. And the cover is amazing. One of the best. Pats on the back for everyone!

Not All-Star Superman, but surprisingly close.

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #17

Y'know, this book could change its title to Spider-Man Loves Firestar and I would be ok with that. Firestar is supercool and Spider-Man is all adorable with her.

I like the addition of Felicia Hardy, all bitchy and tough. And looking a lot more PG than usual. I don't know much about Black Cat, but I do know she has a tendency to walk around un-zipped.

I really like the fashions in this book. The kids are all so well-dressed all the time. It's better than Archie comics. And I really like this guy in the trench coat:

What do you think is going on with that guy? Baffled by the coffee shop menu? Forgot his wallet? Scared of all those punk teenagers?

How long is this series going to last? Forever? Please say forever.

Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four #1

A double-shot of fun Marvel comics! And, man, I needed this. Marvel has been very busy lately pumping out the various one-shots, and mini-series, and tie-ins, and new series, and front lines, and casualties, and war journals, and fallen sons, and whatever the hell else. None of it is fun. I needed some laid-back, Ben-pranking-Johnny, Spider-Man being nerdy, non-continuity Marvel silliness. And Marvel has delivered. Check it out:

Fun! And what do you think Ben has done to the pancakes? Definitely something...

I love the contrast in the crowd reactions to Spider-Man and Impossible Man showing up, and later when the Fantastic Four show up:

I'm looking forward to more of this!

Madman #1

I live in one of those loser parts of the continent where Madman didn't ship until this week.

This basically serves as a madcap summary of all previous Madman comics, which I have taken some time in the past week to re-read in preparation. Well, it turns out none of them are important because this issue tells us that none of it actually happened.
It's great to have some new Madman stuff. I look forward to the next issue when the content is truly brand new. I love Madman. He's got such a great attitude!


Senath said...

I just want to say that you have impeccable taste in comics.

Also, the reason that I am not reading Grifter/Midnighter is because I have no idea who Grifter is. Well, that and I really don't like Chuck Dixon.

Johnathan said...

Dammit, you're adding to my comics-related expenses.

SallyP said...

It WAS a very nice week,wasn't it?
You forgot Green Lantern Corps #11, which was fantabulous, but I forgive you.

And I'm dying for the nest All-Star Superman. It has the funniest cover I think that I've ever seen.

rachelle said...

I am in the process of getting caught up on Green Lantern Corps. I'm hoping to add it to my monthly reading starting next month. Green Lantern as well.

The next All-Star Superman is amazing-looking. I wish it came out today.

chrishaley said...

Spot on.

GLC is indeed great.

RAB said...

The idea that when faced with an alien invader, New Yorkers stick around to cheer on the FF is just so utterly right.

Mory said...

I've tried All-Star Superman a few times already (after hearing the near-unanimous praise), and I don't get it. Maybe you can explain to me what you see in this series? Because myself, I find the whole thing to be, well.. confusing. Take those two pages you scanned. I can't make heads or tails of it. Superman's out in space with some sort of weird creature, and they're doing.. something, and then he flies off with some heroic pose. This is so unclear to me it's sad. But it's not just the art- the plots and the characterizations also strike me as either nonsensical or just plain impossible to understand. Now, I read a lot of comics and don't have trouble like this. But here I can only make out little bits and pieces of what's going on, and those bits and pieces don't seem particularly impressive. And yet everyone here on the internet is acting like it's affected them in some profound way.

I don't get it.

rachelle said...

Those two pages I posted aren't really explained until later in the issue when Superman tells Lois (and the readers) that he is late because he was freeing his pet sun-eater. So, to be fair, I had no idea what was going on on those two pages either until later.

I think All-Star Superman rewards the uber-nerds. The die-hard Superman lovers are treated to lots of semi-obscure, quirky references and throw-backs. Plus, Grant Morrison has a tendency to be confusing, and he likes to assume his readers can keep up, rather than explain things to them. I can see how all of this would leave some readers cold.

Basically the over-arching story is that Superman is dying. That sounds like it should be really dramatic, but the beauty of the series is that it isn't. It's barely mentioned, in fact. Superman has accepted the fact and is just trying to quietly take care of things in his life while he continues being a super hero. I think that alone is what makes the series so great for me. It defines the essence of Superman by offering such an extreme example of his selflessness.

Plus, the series has a great sense of humour. There are lots of Silver Age tribute moments, like Superman's various science experiments, and Jimmy's crazy side adventures. It's definitely an unusual comic book, but it's a really interesting exploration of the character of Superman.

That's all I got. I don't know if any of that helps, but I hope so!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another batch of reviews- you rock!

I think some of the appeal of AS:Supes is that he looks like such a friggin dork. His costume does look like something his mom made for him, but he's such a swell guy that he doesn't care.

Reminds me of my favorite Superman look of all time from "Superman For All Seasons". Although I'm not sure what your opinion would be on that book thanks to the Loeb factor.


rachelle said...

Oh I love Superman for All Seasons. I really don't hate Jeph Loeb, I just hate how ridiculous his writing has been lately. Say...since Superman/Batman started. I even liked Hush (though I do realize its many flaws).

jim treacher said...

Zibarro. ZIBARRO!!!

I loved that Steve Lombard was immune to the Bizarro virus because he's on Viagra. And "Olsen! Explain!" And "I'll come back to you, Lois, as soon as I've knocked some sense into that planet up there." And...

Viagra said...

The Spider-man and Fantastic 4 issues are very good, i would have expected more of them but they do the trick. It's pretty fun to read, the art is not as good as other comics that where out but amnot that picky on Spider-man