Thursday, June 29, 2006

New (and Old) Comics 6/28

Picked up the final issues to the story arcs running through both Superman and Batman books. I have to say that Busiek's story had a much more satisfying conclusion. Robinson's felt too saddled with the idea of getting everything back to the status quo, and lacked some of the sharp wit that his stories had before his sojourn from comics the last few years. I have to admit, though, that Bruce's idea of helping Robin at the end was an inspired way of bringing back an old school element and upping the ante, so to speak.

Brave New World was kind of a mixed bag. To be honest, barring the Freedom Fighters revival, none of these stories look interesting. I'm a liitle apprehensive about what the hell they're doing to J'onn... to me, he's kind of the bedrock of the DCU, the one constant. You can do what you want to the others... you can give Superman a mullet again for all I care, just leave J'onn alone. Besides, hasn't this kind of been done before. Sure feels like it.

And what's up with bringing back that guy(s) at the end? Seems a little "jump-the-shark" to all the reality realigning going on lately. Sometimes, a character should stay dead.

I ashamed to admit that I've totally missed Manhunter up til now. It was always on my "meant to pick up" list. I got the trade a few months ago and loved it. Given there probably won't be any more trades, it's back to the old school hunting down back issues. I found the four issues that came out OYL, and read them in a sitting. If it ends up cancelled, I at least hope the character lives on, perhaps through the JSA. Also, if it's cancelled, it's probably my fault...


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Yay, Comics!

Had an unexpected influx of income this week. So what did I do? Why, I blew it on some comics, naturally. I haven't read through all of it, but here is what I got:

Wonder Woman #1 I read right away. Most of it was spoiled for me already, but I usually don't mind that. Much like the other two DC trinity OYL titles, it looks like it's going to be back to basics, though this one has the twist. I think it's going to be more about the IDEA of Wonder Woman as opposed to the woman herself... if that makes sense.

Chatting with the guy at the store, he noticed I picked up the second Wolverine: Enemy of the State trade. He recommended Wolverine: Origins. I had heard the CGS guys interview Daniel Way a few weeks back and liked his attitude, plus I had the dough, so I took a chance on the first three issues. Not totally bowled over, but if next few issues pan out like I think they will, I might be in for the long haul. Getting into Logan's origin always bored me to tears, and I was horrified in the 90's when they started to jerk the readership around over it. Way seems intent on repairing the damage already done to the character's history, and creating something new.

Secret Six #1, 52 #7, Super F*ckers #277 and some issues of Detective and Batman... I may comment on those later. Also picked up a copy of Mouse Guard for my girlfriend. I may have to read it as well*

And, finally, I picked up 2nd JLA DVD. I just finished the first season and, man, that show just got better and better. I already can't wait for the Unlimited series to come out.

*My girlfriend doesn't go to comic shops as much as she used to. When she does find herself in one, she has an uncanny knack for finding strange titles that just slip beneath my radar. She's got a great intuition about these things. Back in the day, when we first started dating, I found out she had been collecting Sandman. I had picked up the first issue, but decided not to buy it again. Wanting to impress her, I tracked down the few issues I missed and got hooked. Both on the comic and her. The rest, they say, is history.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Comic Book Crushes

I've long had a thing for Carol Danvers, known also as Ms. Marvel, and Binary, or Warbird... and what? I think I lost track around there. Like an old flame, we lost touch somewhere around the time she got messed up by the Brood in the 80's. But she just wasn't the same then. She'd lost her memories, lost her sense of style.. I even heard she had a kid.

I ran into her in the pages of the Marvel Legacy: 1970's Handbook. I picked it up on a whim, and bam... there she was. It was awkward, sure, but I was glad to see her. We caught up on old times, old friends we'd seen around. We made plans to get coffee some time, but we're both busy. Between my job and my freelance, it's hard to make time, and she's got the New Avengers to worry about. If it's not some pushed up deadline on my end, then it's some alien invasion on hers... We may never see each other again, but I'll never forget her.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Short Stack

It's a small buy this week, but only in the amount of issues, and not in the quality of the work.

All Star Superman #4 was a blast and I really liked the way Morrison weaves elements from different eras together. Jimmy as Doomsday was just... breaktaking in a totally geek way. They finally made Doomsday cool. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I believe that Morrison has been working to bring back the Silver Age for most of his career, and it's never been more evident on this title.

I found Eternals #1 nicely understated. I've always had that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read Gaiman back in the day, especially as he progressed on Sandman. It always felt like I was reading "literature", with all the baggage that entails. Not that it's not enjoyable, but it requires a whole different mindset when I sit down to read. To be honest, I got to this book last, figuring that the tone would be a lot different than everything else in my pile. I'm glad I was wrong. It's a comic book, like all the others. I remebered Kirby's characters from their original series, and I liked the way Gaiman sticks to conitnuity. This doesn't seem to be a whole-cloth reinvention, which I applaud. I even like the reference to events in Civil War... proving that this series doesn't exist in its own little Vertigo-like bubble. And the art... that Romita has really come into his own.

Astonishing X-Men #15... I just about, what's the term the kids today use?... lost my sh** with this issue. Whedon and Cassaday are killing me with goodness. I loved what's done to neutralize Wolverine... that reveal was probably the best comic moment of the year for me. "Terribly pretty" indeed. Also, that last panel... just awesomeness.

And Ultimates 2 #11 was good at setting the stage for big reveals/big battles for the final issue. Looks like Millar and Hitch are going out with a bang on this one.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Nexus, R.I.P.

I caught it on The Comics Reporter that the attempted resurection of one of my most favorite titles Nexus has been aborted.

Apparently scuttled by Rude, citing differences in his expectations and Mike Baron's scripts. This doesn't surprise me that much, and to be honest, it's kind of a relief. After the series left First Comics, and hopped over to Dark Horse, the tone of the stories shifted. The pre-Dark Horse had a kind of magic; both men were flexing their individual creative talents to the limit. Baron crafted serious stories that mixed morality and philosophy, while Rude provided beautiful artwork that somehow incorporated all of his influences, yet never aped them. (Which reminds me of that editorial John Byrne wrote sometime after Jack Kirby passed away, intimating that he might be the successor to the King. I remember reading that and thinking, "No way. If anyone is, it's Steve Rude.")

After they went to Dark Horse, the stories seemed to get away from the original tone. Maybe it was because it was now being published as a series of minis. Both men had spent some time working for more mainstream publishers, so I chalked it all up to them somehow losing that independent spirit. Later, as I noticed that the writing seemed to cater more and more to Rude's interests, I suspected that it was the artist.

This theory would be verified later in interviews with Rude in Comics Journal, most notably in his opinion that the comics from the 60's were far more superior than anything published since. During this time he was doing limited runs on Marvel comics, and he was doing them flat-out 60's style. It seemed that he only aspired to recreate a style from the past, and it was hard to fathom. Later he published the Moth, which I bought in support, but I just couldn't get into.

So, I'm a bit relieved. As much as I would love to have a new Nexus series, maybe this is for the best.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Catching Up

Wasn't able to get to the LCS for a few weeks. Real life, and all that.

Got caught up to Week 6 of 52, which confirms my thought that I should wait and read a month's worth in a sitting. The weekly gets a little frustrating, but reading four issues in a sitting feels a bit more rewarding. All of the stories are compelling enough, and it looks like they are going to intersect... I'm getting more of a feeling of an overarching story.

Got Civil War 2... though the spoiler had long been blown by now. It felt a little stunty to me... and others have made the observation that it should all be retconned out in short order, along with the new costume. Still, an interesting story.

Read Action 839 and Superman 653, and thought that it all looked familiar. Than I realized that I had just seen the new Supeman Returns trailer, and it seems to be the same plot (Superman vanishes for a while, returns, CONFRONTED BY WHAT APPEARS TO BE LUTHOR USING KRYPTON TECHNOLOGY, MOST NOTABLY A PIECE OF THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE)... ahem. Didn't realize I was shouting there. Was this all planned out, or some kind of creative serendipity?

I liked Green Lantern Corps 1. I always liked the concept, just never felt that it was executed right. I like the friction within the Corps. They've always been played so straight, so cardboard. It never made sense that so many alien races would serve together so seamlessly. This series kind of plays off of the different viewpoints that have always been missing.