The Week In Ink, 9/22/05
Not even the fact that I've apparently contracted the Clench (#2 on my countdown of the Five Best Diseases In Comics) can stop me from clawing my way out of my deathbed to review this week's comics.
I'm an unstoppable machine.
Batgirl #68: I wasn't a big fan of Anderson Gabrych when he was writing Detective Comics a while back, but except for one rough issue a few months back, his run on Batgirl's been almost as enjoyable as the Kelly Puckett/Daimon Scott issues that started the series off. I like Cassandra Cain as a character a lot, and while her internal monologues come off as a little wonky, they're fun to read--especially when she was fighting Deathstroke and the Ravager a couple issues ago. And let's be honest, Ale Garza and Pop Mhan are pretty much the perfect guys to draw this book. Very enjoyable. Although I'm still not sure how I feel about having a character named "Krunk."
Birds of Prey #86: I think we all know by this point how I feel about Gail Simone, but my intense crush on her is nothing next to the reverence I hold for Bruce Timm. It's no surprise, then, that I really enjoyed the second of three stories in this book, wherin Timm draws Black Canary fighting the Prankster and a bunch of henchwenches in faux-Aztec garb. Not that the rest of the book's a slouch, either. I like the Mafia storyline with Huntress quite a bit, and Gail really manages to make a book that's all womany and full of feelings that still has people getting kicked in the face. I really hope that ends up as a pull-quote on the trade.
Captain America #10: It's a fine issue and all, don't get me wrong, but House of M has kept me from this for a month longer than I want to wait. Holy crap that cover's awesome.
Conan #20: "Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the rise of the Sons of Aryas, that there were a bunch of dudes that liked to wear tiny, tiny loincloths. Fortunately they also cut off darn near everybody's head, so it remained a very manly time." --The Nemedian Chroniciles
Day of Vengeance #6: The first Infinite Crisis tie-in ends, and as much as I liked it, I was actually pretty surprised that something actually happens at the end. I was thoroughly pleased with this series entire. Like I said before, it very pleasantly reminded me of Suicide Squad, and while I'm not too keen on the name "Shadowpact," the fact that it's a team with Detective Chimp, Ragman, and the fucking Night-Master teaming up to fight the Wrath of God makes it pretty much okay for them to call themselves whatever they want. Also, I still have the vague hope that Infinite Crisis is going to have forty-nine super-heroes (seven teams of seven) fighting the Sheeda Queen, and since the Shadowpact has seven members if you count Black Alice, well...
It's not going to happen, is it?
The Goon #14: I like this book so much that I'm getting a fifty-dollar hardcover of issues I already have. I mean, not only does this one have four stories, but there's a picture of a girl eating hot wings off a stripper's ass in the letter column. I DEFY YOU to ask for more!
Hellblazer #212: Mike Carey's run on Hellblazer is great, despite the fact that I don't think anybody's actually reading it. The first trade just came out, and it's well worth picking up, and this issue has Carey's best "deal with Satan" scene since My Faith in Frankie, the romantic comedy he wrote about a girl and her own personal god.
JSA Classified #3: I've talked about how Geoff Johns writes for the last page, and it's true: You can get all you need to know about this issue from the cover and the last two panels. Now, that's not to say that the rest of the issue doesn't have a lot of good stuff in it (minus most of the melodrama of the past couple issues, like Power Girl explaining why she likes to show off her cash 'n' prizes), and that the last page isn't intriguing. Plus, it's got all those pretty Amanda Connor pictures, and the cover made me laugh aloud, so it's worth a read. One thing though: Is Ultraman the Earth-2 Jack Knight? That might be kinda awesome.
New Avengers #10: "Hi, I'm Steve McNiven, and I draw pretty, pretty pictures of pretty, pretty people, including Paul Jenkins." "Hi, I'm Brian Bendis, and in order to keep up with my busy writing schedule, I write characters with no discernable voice other than my own, meaning that the usually adroit and classy Emma Frost says things like 'it's going to feel like you took the biggest dump of your life' in my comics." "Hi, I'm Chris, and I'm pretty sure this story doesn't make any frigg'n sense."
Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #1: While this one doesn't grab me as much as Guardian did, the concept alone is incredible and the last page screams "Jack Kirby" while simultaneously smacking me in the face with a generous serving of awesome sauce. And it's got the Black Racer. I like Pasqual Ferry's artwork a lot, too--Adam Strange was a darn fine looking book--but he's not going to be finishing out the series now that he's gone Marvel Exclusive. That makes me wary about the rest of the series, if for no other reason than I don't want an awesome Grant Morrison script to suffer from rushed art.
Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2005
Temporary #4: I'm not sure why, but I really like this series. "Quirky" seems to be the right word for it, and I get the feeling in certain parts that the creators are shooting for that goal a little too hard, but when they've created a character as phenomenally self-destructive as kleptomaniac schizophrenic Envy Saint-Claire, it's an easy goal to reach. This one's my favorite issue of the series so far.
Ultimates 2 #8
Wonder Woman, Volume 3: Beauty and the Beasts: When I needed something to cleanse the palate after reading the first four issues of Terror, Inc today, I turned to the first ten issues of George Perez's Wonder Woman run. It's good stuff.
Essential Ghost Rider, Volume 1: I've found that you can pretty much judge the quality of an Essential by opening it up to a random page and reading the first panel that catches your eye. I tried it with this one, and got the splash page for Ghost Rider #8, with the Ghost Rider facing off against a thirty-foot tall horned demon, with copy reading: "Too long have you defied my power, Johnny Blaze--far too long. And though you have bested two of my servants, your fate is sealed, for this time you face... SATAN HIMSELF!"
Holy crap that is awesome. And not only that, but the back cover has Ghost Rider tearing ass past Spider-Man and Hercules while blasting the Thing with fire from the pits of hell itself. DON'T ASK! JUST BUY IT!