The Week In Ink, 11-9-05
Before I get around to reviewing this week's comics, let's talk about Batman for a minute.
For the past few days, I've been re-pricing the back issue stock. I'm only a few boxes in, but today I was getting through Batman and found some amazing covers, including this awesome one that might've inspired the cover to Guardian #3. I don't know about you, but when I see a super-hero standing on top of the world taking on all comers, I get excited.
And that's before we even hear about the 1976 Underworld Olympics.
Eventually, I found myself looking at the first appearance of Black Mask, which has a cover blurb describing him as a new villain for the 80s that was "Crazier than the Joker!" and "Deadlier than Ra's Al-Ghul!" Well, I hate to be picky, but I'm going to have to call Shenanigans on that one, since not five minutes before, I saw this:
Sorry, Black Mask. I realize that you probably have some severe emotional problems, but the Joker is a guy who baked a giant cake in the shape of his own head, crucified four people on top of it, and set them on fire, all while wearing a three-piece purple suit. You are not going to out-crazy him.
Now let's get to the new books.
ABC A-Z: Greyshirt & Cobweb: You know what I love? Lesbians. And on that account, this book delivers. I was hoping for a little more from the Greyshirt entry, since his story in Tomorrow Stories #2 is one of my favorites of the run, but it's more than made up for by the Cobweb section. It's laid out as a pin-up calendar with Melinda Gebbie's great stylized artwork, and while it's a little hard to read sometimes with small white text on a light background, it's otherwise a real treat. It's fun, and it's all wrapped up in a nice Terry Dodson cover.
Action Comics #833: I wasn't too thrilled with this one right up until the last couple of pages, when Gail Simone starts dropping the names of Kryptonian fables. That was a very well-done touch, and it really got me interested. As far as the art goes, I stood in a freezing parking lot with Chad until a quarter to one this morning, talking about the conflicts of Superman's origin, and the fact that John Byrne drew some John Byrne-style Kryptonian clothes when that's maybe not the way it works anymore isn't helping matters. But, you know, he's John Byrne. He's probably going to reference his own continuity.
Army of Darkness #2: Now am I crazy, or did this come out last week? Either way, I'm apparently still purchasing it. Huh. Serves me right, I guess.
The Breach #11: I've been saying it for months now, but Marcos Martin's art is beautiful. That cover alone is fantastic: striking and iconic for a character that's less than a year old and that only Josh and I seem to care about. But alas, it's the cover for the last issue, which didn't tie in to the first issue's opening as much as I wanted it to. It did, however, have a great ending, and there's a teaser that the Breach will appear in Infinite Crisis. I have an elaborate theory that involves him saving the world like Barry Allen, using all of his quantum energy and leaving behind only his containment suit, but I get the feeling it's going to be more like Phil Jiminez drawing him reacting to an explosion in the corner of a panel. Still, it'll be nice to see him again.
Conan #21: Finally! Thanks to a shipping error, I've been waiting three weeks to see two guys in loincloths climb a wall! ...Well, you know what I mean. On a serious note, while Conan is one of my favorite comics with stellar writing, art, and coloring, Jim and Ruth Keegan's "Adventures of Two-Gun Bob" strips in the letter column--true stories of Robert E. Howard's life--are always immensely entertaining. I don't know if they get reprinted in the trades, but they're well worth picking up. Especially the one where Howard accidentally shoots himself in the leg with a cheap pistol.
DMZ #1: Since everybody and their mother seems to be totally in love with Brian Wood, I figured I should probably give him another shot. My previous experience with him was the six-issue Vertigo mini-series Fight For Tomorrow, which I'll just go ahead and call "probably not his best work." A shame, since it combined martial arts and Badass Panel Artist Denys "The Menys" Cowan. I like DMZ much better, although I keep expecting Donald Pleasance pop out with a submachine gun screaming "YOU'RE THE DUKE OF NEW YORK! A-NUMBER-ONE!"
Despite that, Wood and penciller Riccardo Burchielli deliver a pretty solid first issue. The premise is intriguing, but it seems like it could easily lend itself to heavy-handed political commentary, something it flirts with briefly in this one, which is a trap I hope Wood avoids. Good, entertaining stuff.
Ghost Rider #3
Gotham Central #37: Over the past few years, it's become clear to me that living in Gotham City is a lot like spending 20 years working as a fry cook for Denny's. People may wonder why the hell you stay there, but by God, everybody knows you're tough. That said, it's obvious that the GCPD was unprepared to deal with the Rock of Eternity showing up, exploding, and raining fiery death from the sky. They're undermanned and ill-equipped, and you have to wonder why FEMA wasn't called in immediately. And I think we all know the answer to that one. George W. Bush does not care about Bat-people.
Infinite Crisis #2: Yep, there it is. Remember what I said last month about the variant covers? Yeah, it still applies.
New Thunderbolts #15
Teen Titans #29: You guys may be getting tired of seeing Wonder Woman snap Max Lord's neck in every single DC comic, but me? I'm sick of seeing Jason Todd rip his clothes off, only to reveal an entirely new and different costume underneath. He's like a fucking Russian nesting doll, that guy. Yeesh.
Thor: Blood Oath #4: You know, after the all-out god-on-god slugfest that was last issue, Thor and the Warriors Three stealing a spear named Slaughter from a cauldron of boiling blood seems like a breather. Well, right up until that last page. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite mini-series in recent memory.
The Walking Dead #23
Y: The Last Man #39: You know what I love? Lesbians.
And that's how I bring it full-circle.