Burnout Week Tie-In: This Week's Comics
Despite the fact that I'm occasionally accused of being too jaded by my work at a comic book store to actually like comics anymore, I think I've established that I do indeed love them on many an occasion. So in order to answer a few questions and easily fill column-inches as Burnout Week continues, I thought I'd give you the list of comics I bought this week.
I figured it might also help any misconceptions that my comics reading is confined to prowling the Dollar Books for the next Heist or Punisher War Journal #19.
Let's get the big stuff out of the way first:
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1: The subject of much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the shop, and not just because the logo really, really sucks. I'm the only one who doesn't actively hate it, and while I do admit to liking it, it's problematic. The main disappointments for me are that a) it's not a "new reader" (read: kid) friendly Batman book (don't get me wrong: I'm a fan of profanity, but when you drop "Goddamn" on page 4, I get a little skittish), and b) it's Ultimate Batman. Which there's nothing wrong with, per se, but They told us it wasn't going to be Ultimate Batman, and, well, it is. That said--and I know I'm going to look back on this in a month and hate myself--I think Jim Lee's art has never looked better for me, and having Vicki Vale tart around in her underwear for what, four pages is certainly pleasing to the eye. Which brings us to...
The Art of Josh Howard v.1: I've never read Dead@17. I most likely never will. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it. But I do like the way that guy draws hot teenagers in their panties and neckties, and when you've got the Wizards and Villains Sweet Employee Discount™, there's no reason not to get a book like this. Howard's pinup-style art is better than his sequential work, and I get the feeling the complete and utter lack of any pictures of guys means he knows his audience well. It's a slick-looking collection of hot punkish schoolgirls in their underwear, and that makes him my second-favorite guy named Josh Howard. Fortunately, my Trade Paperback budget allowed for a little indulgence like this, since I bought..
The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: See? You're allowed to get a stroke book if you pick up Will Eisner's last major work along with it. Seriously, though, I'm excited about this one for the simple fact that it looks awesome. But I'll eat my tennis racquet if it's as awesome as...
Seven Soldiers: The Guardian #3: Holy crap, this book is amazing. It's the most Kirby-esque comic I've ever read, and I wrote a comic that actually had Jack Kirby in it. Everything about this book, from the cover where the Guardian stands atop the world taking on all comers, to the tense emotional drama and two-fisted action inside, right on to the amazing "next issue" teaser at the end... It's just incredible. Which, since it's Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart, comes as no surprise.
And now for the rest of it, in anal-retentive alphabetical order:
Action Comics #829: "Sacrifice" starts to shape up a little bit. I read all the Superman books and I was thrown for a loop by the first part of the story, but this one I enjoyed. Gail Simone brought another nice touch of Kirby, which I enjoyed, and Byrne's pencils are pretty good. Still, I'm iffy about the storyline in general, especially the way it seems to turn out. This would also seem to be a good place to mention that I thought Villains United #3 was a piece of beautiful music handed down from the gods themselves to soothe a weary world.
Angel: The Curse #2: Shut up.
Banana Sunday #1: I've been looking forward to this for a long while, and I was very happy with the result. Colleen Coover is one of those artists whose work is just fun to look at, and the story's really enjoyable. It was nice to see her draw a guy, too, which I've never seen before. Also, and I know she's going to be getting this from everyone and I apologize in advance, but I really did kind of expect Nickels and Kirby to start making out.
The Breach #7: Why aren't more people reading this book? I mean, I know it's essentially a big Captain Atom revamp, but it might be the best new DC ongoing in years. It's well-written, and Marcos Martin's art sings. I generally follow writers, so it's strange that this is the third time already that I'm focusing on the artist, but it's just really pretty. And look, it says "Villains United Tie-In" on the cover, and it actually ties in. Good superhero stuff.
Desolation Jones #2: Warren Ellis and JH Williams. I don't have to say anything else, but I will: The scenes with Emily Crowe are just heartbreaking.
Fables #39: Top notch every month for the past three years.
The Freshmen #1: I'll admit, I'm buying this because Seth Green is one of those actors that comes off like he'd be a really cool guy. I enjoyed it, but I'm hoping it picks up a little in the second issue.
Invincible #24: Again, top notch every month. What Ultimate Spider-Man should be.
JLA #116: Not bad, but nothing to write home about just yet. I'm starting to feel like an old man in that I want superheroes to punch villains instead of each other once in a while.
Man with the Screaming Brain #3: Oy. Bruce Campbell has been my idol ever since I saw Army of Darkness when I was nine, a moment that I still maintain changed my life. He's inspired and entertained me for years, and now I'm repaying him by reading a comic full of sight gags that would be a lot funnier on film. Best issue so far, but kind of unnecessary, even wrapped in a nice Eric Powell cover.
New Avengers #7: I loathe this book, and yet I can't stop buying it. Steve McNiven is fantastic, and yet he always ends up paired with writers I can't stand (the abortive Ultimate Secret excepted). Still, he drew the hottest Sue Storm I've ever seen, and when the scantily clad teenager shows up in this one, in a scene WAY more uncomfortable than anything in the Josh Howard book, she's hot too. Like all recent Bendis comics, if it gets interesting, it's only on the last two pages. I bugged Jim about doing a parody of this one with him, so I don't want to spoil all my jokes.
New Thunderbolts #10: The best of Marvel's "new" titles. I mentioned tonight that this book has the misfortune of being roped into companywide crossovers every three issues, but it rolls with it and comes out on top the best it can. Chad's got some good theories about the Swordsman, and I'm looking forward to seeing it play out. That will, of course, have to wait until the House of M tie-in is over.
The Punisher #23: C'mon. You knew this was on here.
Rann-Thanagar War #3: As much as I hate to admit it, this one bores me. I loved the Adam Strange mini, and I think it's weird that the big event that that series leads into happens off-panel. I think it's the weakest of the Infinite Crisis tie-ins, but still, not entirely unenjoyable.
Serenity #1: The Cassaday cover, why do you ask?
Ultimate X-Men #61: Brian Vaughan's doing a good job with it, and Stuart Immonen, as they say, ain't no joke. Millar's run was all about re-doing the Claremont/Byrne stuff, but Vaughan's seems to be about taking crappy characters that were big in the '90s (read: Mr. Sinister) and doing new and different things with them, and I can get behind that.
The Walking Dead #20: Wow, I actually forgot I had this one until I was going through the stack. Still need to read it. As much as I like Kirkman and as good as it is, I'm ready for this book to end. There's only so much you can do with flesh-eating hordes of the undead, unfortunately, and introducing a new character who doesn't talk much and carries a katana is a sure sign that you might've jumped the shark.
Wildguard: Fool's Gold #1: Todd Nauck's a really nice guy, and Wildguard is a fun series. Who wouldn't like a character called Blaction Figure? Unfortunately, Blaction Figure didn't make the cut, and this becomes the third comic I bought this week with a hot schoolgirl in it, meaning I have a serious and creepy problem.
Wonder Woman: Underrated and awesome. Greg Rucka is the shizzle, fo' rizzle.
And that's it, not counting the new Marvel Mini-Mates, which I also bought.
Holy Crap I buy a lot of comics.