The Week In Ink, 11-30-05
Yesterday's post about Superman and Batman spending the night together has broken my previous hit record by a good two hundred, which can only mean one thing:
You people love gay super-heroes.
Either that, or you just like Chad's stories more than mine. Kevin suggested that I capitalize on that fact by featuring "Gay Wednesdays" every week, but I think after I re-manlify this place with tomorrow's Profiles in Courage: The Haunted Tank, everything will get back to normal.
But for right now, there are new comics to be talked about. And just in case you were thinking of skipping this one, I assure you that the words "Star Wars," "theme," and "wedding" do appear in tonight's reviews.
Adventures of Superman #646
Amazing Fantasy #15: I was pretty surprised to see that I'd actually ordered this one, but only until I saw the title page. I have to admit, though, the whole thing's pretty darn entertaining. For your convenience, I'll break it down for each individual story.
Mastermind Excello is the most enjoyable thing I've seen Greg Pak produce in a while, and Takeshi Miyazawa's art compliments it perfectly.
Daniel Way's The Great Video struck me as typical Daniel Way, which is to say nothing much worth talking about.
Monstro wasn't the best Robert Kirkman story I've ever read, but there's nothing wrong with it--there's just not a lot of meat there. Although knowing Kirkman, who has a penchant for bringing back guys that you thought were throwaway characters, a superpowered self-loathing fireman is probably going to see print in the pages of Marvel Team-Up before long.
I'm not a big Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa fan, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy Heartbreak Kid, and that's pretty much how it played out. It's not terrible, it's just nothing I'd ever want to read in a comic book.
Positron by Sean McKeever was another that didn't do a lot for me, although the line "I eat Gamma Rays for food" did bring a smile to my face.
The real standout, though, was Dan Slott and Pete Woods' Blackjack. Instead of an eight-page story, Slott delivers four two-page gag strips about secret agents in service to an ever-changing acronym, one of whom wears a luchadore mask and a three-piece suit. It's astoundingly clever, from the mini-comic delivery to the increasingly wild punchlines, the last of which had me literally laughing so hard I dropped the comic. Woods, who's known best to me as the guy who drew a story where Robin fought biblically-themed pro wrestlers, does a great job with the characters and cramming the stories into the alloted two pages, but between Blackjack, The Guy In Spider-Man's Armpit (another two-page gag), and his Thing and She-Hulk ongoings, Slott's knocking them out of the park on a weekly basis lately.
BPRD: The Black Flame #4
JLA: Classified #14: The best of the "New Maps of Hell" storyline so far, Warren Ellis has the Justice League in top form, from Oracle on down. Batman? Awesome. Wonder Woman? Tough as nails. Superman? Not crying about alien sodomy. And the Martian Manhunter, well that guy's just a badass. So why is it that Kyle Rayner, who was told by Dream of the Endless that he'd surpass Hal Jordan as the greatest Green Lantern of all time, remains completely ineffectual and in weird power armor? Cut the guy a break, man, his girlfriend got stuffed in a fridge!
Legion of Super-Heroes #12: Pretty much every single thing about this comic is awesome, but it really doesn't get a whole lot better than Page 14. Of course, Page 18 has Ultra Boy and Karate Kid taking on ten thousand foes which, while only a tenth of what a certain favorite of mine had to deal with, is still pretty impressive, all while spouting Mark Millar-esque tough-guy dialogue that actually has some heart to it. Waid and Kitson are unquestionably two of the best in the industry, and this book proves it every single time it comes out.
The Losers #30: The word, old son, is intense. Andy Diggle and Jock are bringing the series to a close with a nail-biter with a twist around every corner. Every time I turn the page, I find myself wondering if one of the main characters is about to die in some new and horrible way, and that's a feeling that you don't get from a lot of comics. So just how intense is it? Well, this issue has three shock endings, each coming on the heels of the last, and each one genuinely elicits a gasp. Great, great stuff.
New Avengers #13: Well, here's something that redefines the word "godawful" every month. The secret's finally out, unless you happened to pick up DK's Ultimate Guide to the Avengers that came out a few weeks ago, in which case you already knew that Ronin was actually Echo. Now, I'll admit there are some nice touches, like her not being able to tell that Spider-Man and Iron Man are talking to her, but that's counterbalanced by her torso shrinking five or six sizes when she takes her mask off. Her hands, in typical Dave Finch fashion, do not. And hey, remember all that stuff that Joe Quesada told us about how it was a character with a movie franchise, back before everyone just went: "Oh, it's Elektra" and they decided to change it? Yeah, those are what we call lies. Especially because I'm pretty sure Echo doesn't know everything Daredevil knows about the Hand.
Also, as a personal note to Brian Bendis:
LUKE CAGE: Man, if we wouldn'ta shown up in his face, he'd be wearing a Hydra robe and doin' the robot.
WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2005
Plastic Man #19: I'm reasonably certain that Kyle Baker is not the God. I'm equally sure, however that he's a god, since evidence of divinity could be no clearer than being the man who has Ra's Al Ghul say that the only way to deal with super-heroes is SHIRTLESS FIGHTING. On another note, judging by the ads in this issue, which include shills for the new Aaron Carter DVD and an eight-page HeroScape insert, DC's Marketing department is apparently under the impression that this is a kid's comic. Considering that this one ends with Talia and Morgan mud-wrestling and Woozy Winks took a shot at President Lincoln last year, one can only asssume they don't actually read the comics.
Silent Dragon #5: If you can resist buying a comic that has the line "Five hundred of our android ninjas have been hijacked," then you sir are no friend of mine.
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #35: At last, we come to the main event. This issue features the conclusion of a storyline blah blah blah major turning point in the life of Tarot. That said, the real gem of this issue appears on two pages between the end of the story and the start of the letter column. It is quite possibly the best thing in the history of the universe.
It is Jim Balent's Star Wars Theme Wedding.
Words cannot describe the joy that I felt when I saw this. It's just... it's great. And to make matters EVEN BETTER, Jim is dressed as Darth Vader, and his bride-to-be Holly is clad as Slave Leia. Which means he's getting married WHILE DRESSED AS HIS BRIDE'S FATHER, thus cementing Jim Balent's reputation as a guy who doesn't miss the point, but rather aggressively avoids it. I'd be remiss, however, if I didn't point out that his best man is Boba Fett, and as even I'm forced to admit, that's kinda cool.
Trust me, it's the greatest thing you or anyone else has ever seen. But you don't have to take my word for it.
Wonder Woman #223