Friday, May 30, 2008

This Week's Haul: Too many awesome comics aaaaahhh I'm gonna explode!

A perfect storm of comic books.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's always exciting, and makes for a busy day at the ol' comic shop. This week was one of those weeks. Plus, I live in Canada so I actually got my comics on Wednesday!

Before I even begin, let's look at the all-star line-up of writers we had serving up the good stuff this week: Not one, not two, but three books by Grant Morrison, two by Geoff Johns, two by Ed Brubaker, plus books by Joss Whedon, Jeff Parker, Sean McKeever, Will Pfeifer, and Matt Fraction. Truly an awesome week.

Here are my thoughts on some of what I read:

Final Crisis #1

I hear people saying things like "Yeah, I don't know about Final Crisis...I guess I'll just see how the reviews are." To those people I say: guys, seriously. This is a sure thing. It's Grant Morrison and it's J.G. Jones. This is as safe as betting that I will never, ever see the Sex in the City movie.

The first issue was great. Really great. It was exciting, original, insane and laugh-out-loud funny at times.

And the art was beautiful. And most of the tie-ins are going to be written by Geoff Johns! What more do you want?!

Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1

The most eagerly anticipated book finally hit the shelves this week. This exceeded my high expectations, I don't know about you guys. Just an awesome read. And long! With no ads! I enjoyed having Joss Whedon writing some of the extended Marvel universe characters who show up in this book, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Dr Strange, and Iron Man.

I also enjoyed John Cassaday drawing them.

I don't care if that facial expression is physically impossible. I LOVE IT!

What if they teamed up for a 3-issue arc on Amazing Spider-Man?! Oh man!

Anyway, this was a very good comic. Worth the ridiculously long wait.

All-Star Superman #11

I can't believe this is almost over. I actually can't stand the thought of a world without new issues of this series. It's heartbreaking. Almost as heartbreaking as this issue was. Man, it was so good.

This series features my very favourite Lex Luthor ever. He's just perfectly written. So arrogant and so brilliant and so funny.

Really, every character is perfect. So as much as I can't wait for the next issue, it's going to be a sad day when it comes.

Batman #677

I don't know how into this event I am as a storyline with tie-ins, but I will reserve judgement. I am really liking the two issues of Batman so far in this story, though. As much as I don't care about Jet Jezebel as a character (her biggest flaw: she's not Catwoman), I did enjoy her sensible opinions about Bruce's probable insanity in this issue.

Seriously, Bruce. She has a point.

I especially loved that she mentioned witnessing the brutal murder of her own father, and how she didn't respond to it by becoming a vigilante in a bat costume.

Overall, this storyline is just really damn interesting, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Action Comics #865

Geoff Johns sets some things right in the world of Superman in this issue. Most importantly, he cleans up this whole Toyman mess that has been happening for decades. He brings Toyman back to being one guy, with one look. No more crazy interpretations. It's well done. And I appreciate it because, yeesh, that shit was getting confusing.

He also is bringing Cat Grant back to Metropolis! Yay!

This really was an awesome issue. I know it's going to get buried under all the other awesome this week, but you'd do well to pick it up.

Green Lantern #31

Geoff Johns again! I've been enjoying this Secret Origins arc because, as I've said before, I'll never get tired of reading Hal Jordan's origin story. And Johns' sense of humour really makes for a great re-telling.

Plus, y'know, gorgeous art. I can't wait until this is collected into a trade and I can sell it to people who want to be introduced to Green Lantern. Although, New Frontier is pretty much unbeatable for that too. But this brings in Sinestro, and these days that's all that new Lantern fans care about.

I loved this panel too:

Oh, Hal, honey. We know.

Daredevil #107

Dakota totally rules. She's just saying what we're all thinking.

Uncanny X-Men #498

Hey, look what I'm reading now!

I think it was the cover with Cyclops and Emma in the sixties get-up from last month that got me interested. Or maybe I was just bothered by the fact that there was a Brubaker title on the shelves that I wasn't reading. Or maybe I just needed a fix while waiting for Giant Size Astonishing. Whatever the reason, I added this title to my pull list and have been enjoying this story arc immensely so far. I also immensely enjoyed the extreme beefcake bondage cover this week. Oh Wolverine. Always getting tied up with your shirt off.

I read an unprecedented number of X-Men books this week, I think. And they were all really good. Besides the ones I'm writing about here, I also enjoyed Wolverine First Class and, as always X-Men First Class (complete with yet another adorable Colleen Coover back-up!).

Blue Beetle #27

Will Pfeifer steps in to guest write this issue and does a great job. It's a fun, wacky story that perfectly suits the title. Plus, there's lots of Traci Thirteen, which I am pleased about. Will Pfeifer rules.

And the cover, by Rafael Albuquerque, is really beautiful too.

Man, how is next week going to live up to this week?! It's just not possible!


mike abbott said...

The only thing better than a great new batch of comics is a great new batch of comics and Rachelle back blogging about them!

rachelle said...

Aw, thanks!

I would have had this post up yesterday, even, but I wanted to give the Americans a chance to read their comics. Memorial Day messed everything up.

hasan said...

Jezebel Jet is connected to the black glove, and trying to destroy Batman. It's all in the name: "In the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament), Jezebel is a queen of ancient Israel. Her story is told in 1st and 2nd Kings. She is introduced as a Phoenician princess, the daughter of King Ithobaal I of Sidon, who marries King Ahab. She turns Ahab away from the God of the Israelites and of the Jews (being the inhabitants of Judah in this context) and toward the worship of Phoenician god, Baal. Ahab and Jezebel let temples of Baal operate in Israel, and the pagan religion receives royal patronage. Furthermore, the queen uses her control over Ahab to lead the Hebrews into sin and subject them to tyranny."

From Wikipidea natch. Not the most reliable source, but i first learned of this biblical character from Asimov's "Caves of Steel." I'm surprised that more people on the Batman message boards haven't picked up on this.

FlatlineJack said...

I was really enjoying Wolverine: First Class for issues one and two. Thought they were refreshing and funny (taking out Wolvie with a snoot-full of wasabi? GENIUS!) Then this issue came out, and if you'd handed it to me 10, 20 years ago, I probably would have loved it, but it's official: The Internet Ruins Everything.
The more anthropomorphic animals that showed up, the more I couldn't help thinking about the... wrong type of people that are probably going to start blogging about this particular issue. Then I got to the last page and literally dropped the book like it was on fire. AGAIN, as a kid, I would have thought this was AWESOME, but as a jaded adult that has seen too much of the internet underbelly, it left an icky feeling in my stomach.

rachelle said...

Flatline Jack - yeah, I actually had the exact same thought. That's why I didn't blog about it this week. Like...I enjoyed it, anthropomorphic animals just give me the jeeblies.

Hasan - Yeah...I figured that Jezebel Jet (Jet Jezebel? I guess that's what I called her) is up to no good. I'm looking forward to when it all falls apart. I can't believe Batman told her his secret identity.

Thanks for posting that, though!

SallyP said...

Great Guardians, there were some exceptional comics this week! I find that I am bitterly torn about All-Star Superman, I want to read the final issue, but I'm sad that it will BE the final issue. But Lex certainly is a scene stealer.

Green Lantern was lovely of course, the thought of Hal being a clueless rookie is just delightful.

Astonishing X-Men was very good, although it comes out so infrequently that it is hard to remember exactly what happened in the last issue. Too bad about Kitty though. But GOSH, the art was gorgeous.

And yes, Wolverine does seem to be shirtless an awful lot.

Blue Beetle was good, but didn't quite have the snappy banter that I have become accustomed to.

Anonymous said...

no comment on last robin?

Robby Reed said...

If Morrison is such a "sure thing," why didn't you drool over every page of BATMAN? He wrote that you know. How dare you dislike a "sure thing." FINAL CRISIS read like a dark and ugly string of ads for other books. It was in comprehensible. The art was totally mundane. I have no doubt fans will reject this awful series en masse. I'll watch gleefully as they do! I predict issues 2-7 will fall waaaaaay out of the top ten, and fast. Why? The series is a trainwreck.

rachelle said...

Actually, I'm glad you asked about the last issue of Robin, anonymous stranger! I did want to comment on it.

I have been enjoying the Dixon run on Robin so far. And I wasn't surprised about the mystery Spoiler turning out to actually be Stephanie. And, y'know, that's cool because I like Stephanie. But the issue was incredibly heavy-handed with they way they brought her back and she's like "I faked my death! Leslie helped! Everything that sucked about that storyline didn't happen!" and Batman is all "And that's why there's no memorial in the Batcave! So please stop asking about it at conventions!"

But whatever. Anything to erase that storyline is fine by me. Even though I don't care one way or the other about a memorial in the Batcave for Stephanie Brown, I do really hate that Wargames storyline. So anything that undermines it is great.

On a related note, I noticed in this week's issue of Batman, there was one panel where we could clearly see a memorial case for Stephanie Brown in the Batcave. Sigh.

rachelle said...

Ha! Fair enough. Calling a series a train wreck that just started may be premature.

Well, as you are gleefully watching I'll be gleefully enjoying a well-crafted comic event created by the greatest talents in the industry.

And I did drool over every page of Batman. I always drool over every page of Batman.

Johnathan said...

Jet Jezebel would be a great name for a comic.

Robby Reed said...

Great! There's enough glee for everyone.

Sea_of_Green said...

Aw, geez, it sounds like I may have to go check out X-men comics again. I HAD been avoiding them ...

grendel25 said...

I've heard grumblings that Final Crisis was too slow, and while it didn't have the first issue impact that Infinite Crisis had, I'm curious to see where it's going. Everyone wants the first issue to be a home run but then the rest of the series is a letdown (Civil War anyone). I like that Morrison seems to be building to a climax.

Anonymous said...

grendel25: I feel the same way. I went into it expecting to read a swing-for-the-fences home run and was surprised when I read a base hit, instead.

And it hit me: Great!

I expect more men on base in the next couple of issues, so we can be reeling when the Grand Slam comes later.

Which considering every other event lately has been petering out after strong openings, this might bode VERY well for Final Crisis.

Also, I seriously don't know where all these baseball analogies are coming from. I hate baseball.

Robby Reed said...

A "Single"?And you find that pleasing?!?!? Are you nuts? Yes, it's SO pleasing to expect a good, well-drawn story, then get a horrible story, badly drawn story... but WAIT, we must "give it more time."

Ye Gods, you people will buy anything! I hope a vacuum cleaner salesman never comes to your houses, becUSE you will each buy 10 vacuum cleaners, working or not. If they are all broken, and you are told, "Give it more time!" You will all be totally satisfied, gleeful even. Not me. I paid good money for FINAL CRISIS, and the comic was AWFUL. The excuses being presented here are weak indeed.

Johnathan said...

Good lord, I liked Final Crisis # 1. I just compared it to Infinite Crisis #1 and the latter had its ass kicked. They're both intent on tying together elements of a great big event, sure, but I'm a hell of a lot more interested in the stuff going on during this one. And the art's better, and Morrison managed to get Anthro on page one. Plus, the Mister Miracle part of Seven Soldiers now makes in-continuity sense.

Basically, reading Infinite Crisis was an exercise in finding the parts of the giant crossover monster that had any appeal, whereas Final Crisis left me interested in the whole damn event, which is rare. No guarantee that it'll be any good, but you never know...

caesar said...

Final Crisis wasn't terrible, but I am EXTREMELY ANGRY that Morrison killed off one of my favourite DC characters ever over the course of two panels. TWO. PANELS. What the hell was that?? Not only is my guy DEAD, his death was a throwaway event that meant NOTHING. I'm quite livid about it could say embarrassingly so.

And Batman, I didn't like that at all. Nothing about Jezebel Jet seems authentic. The way it was presented it was like, oh, Bruce Wayne meets this girl and BAM he's in love and BAM she knows his secret identity and BAM c'mon over to the Batcave and psychologically dissect me with a skill and accuracy that even my closest and oldest friends haven't been able to manage. Morrison's entire arc in Batman just seems so fake and inauthentic.

Also, I suspect that Alfred will be killed, and if that's the case I'll be pretty annoyed about that, too.

Anyway, I like your blog.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous stranger... I like it. It sounds like the phantom strangers more laid back sidekick. He'll show up but he's not to keen on really getting involved.

I hafta say I felt the comeback was kinda rushed. The world's greatest detective only suspected that steph was still alive? I'm guessing he woulda been able to noodle out "hey, that's someone totally different" pretty easy. I guess it could have been worse

-Steph mugs for audience
"looks like it's a Brand New Day for Spoiler!"
-enter Barbara
"I've been totally faking my injuryies too!"