The Week in Ink, 12-21-05
January's issue of Previews came out yesterday, and while I was doing my monthly order this afternoon, I decided to jump on every single one of DC's "One Year Later" titles that was not a) Green Lantern or b) written by Judd Winnick.
See, when I do my order, some switch goes off in my brain and I apparently decide that I'm not getting enough comics, despite the fact that I post a veritable mountain of evidence to the contrary on this very blog every Thursday. Still, I may actually not be getting enough, since I managed to get fifteen comics this week and none of them were Christmas specials.
Attention, Publishers: You're a bunch of heathens.
Adventures of Superman #647: The cover to this issue poses the question: "Faster than a speeding bullet?" which I think is more than a little odd. I mean, that's like having a Spider-Man comic with a cover blurb like: "Bitten by a radioactive spider?" or an issue of Batman with "A witness to his parents' murder?" I mean, that's kind of his deal. At the very least, a third of it. Anyway, this issue continues with getting all that Ruin stuff knocked out before "One Year Later" hits, and while I don't feel as vehemently about it as Radical-C, I do think that having Ruin turn out to be Emil Hamilton was a bit of a copout. I liked him better when he was just a crazy new villain, and I'm not sure if it came down as an editorial mandate to go along with Hamilton's villain status on the Justice League cartoon or what. But still, the script by DeFillipis and Weir isn't bad, and Renato Guedes is a heck of a Superman artist.
Batgirl #71: Gabrych and Mahn deliver another solid issue after the minor disappointment I had with the last one, thus proving the lesson I learned from KARATE BEARFIGHTER: Big kung fu fights in the woods make everything better. I've mentioned it before, but Gabrych is doing a great job building on the last five years of Batgirl, even going so far as to throw a reference to the absolutely nonsensical Justice League Elite in there, and I'm excited as heck about Batgirl fighting the Mad Dog.
Birds of Prey #89: Secrets are revealed, but it ends up being a little anticlimactic. I'm not saying I want Gordon to have another heart attack, but really, addressing the issue would be nice. Not that this issue's bad; Savant pulling the reverse of what Anton Arcane said in Hell was pretty darn enjoyable. He's become one of the most enjoyable parts of Gail Simone's run, and makes a great foil for Black Canary.
Captain America #13
Conan #23: Another issue where Busiek drops an installment of the Young Conan Adventures, and while they're a lot less likely to feature naked serving wenches than the main story, I like them.
The Goon #15 The Goon's Christmas issue dropped two months back, which left Eric Powell free to fill this one with the hardest punch I've seen the goon throw since he knocked that cow out a year or so back. It's a fun story, but what really caught my eye was that Powell's coloring has changed to a new style. It looks beautiful, of course, but I'm not sure whether I prefer the flatter coloring of the previous issues to the newer, more painted look. Of course, when a comic book involves a slugfest in a mud pit created by zombie scab labor, commenting on a book's coloring is just quibbling.
Hellblazer #215: Mike Carey's thirty-one issue run on Hellblazer comes to an end with one of the best last pages I've ever seen. It's vastly underappreciated, but Carey made Hellblazer a solid book month after month, and now that it's finally getting collected in trade, I think it's going to stand out as one of the sharpest runs on the book.
Infinite Crisis #3: Well, that clears that up, sort of, maybe. For those of you keeping a tally at home, the score stands at Pérez: 3, Lee: 0, with no sign of that changing anytime soon. As to the actual content, I had to explain to Josh why I thought the phrase "Purple Death Ray" was awesome, but we both instinctively knew that an appearance by the Breach makes everything better. Look close, I promise he's there. I still don't know if it's as good as I want it to be, but I'll admit that big double-page spread right before the last page gets me pretty excited.
JSA: Classified #6: Huh. Looks like I forgot to read this one. Give me a sec.
Okay, there we go. I was pretty underwhelmed with the last issue, which makes me unique among most of the people I talk to. Kevin likened it to a heist movie where you get the crew together, but for me, the pacing stood out as being far too jumpy and it just didn't grab me. This issue, though, is significantly better. It's still not great, and to be honest it seems a lot like warmed-over Villains United.
Justice #3: Tug pointed out to me that in the world of Alex Ross, the Martian Manhunter seems to exist soley to be lit on fire and act totally gay with Superman, a theory that this issue bears out pretty well. I'm starting to think that I'm only going to like the even-numbered issues.
Manhunter #17: This week's Invincibly Suggestive Piece of Dialogue is brought to you by Mark Andreyko and Javier Pina:
KATE SPENCER [To Cameron Chase]: Can you believe this is our life? Not what I would've guessed in our dorm freshman year.
Rowr. No I don't, ladies... But I want to.
Robin #145: When this issue was first solicited, the cover was colored all wrong. I mean, Blue Devil was red, and he has the word "blue" in his name. Nice to see they fixed it, and that the interior reads like a clearinghouse for every wacky super-villain idea Bill Willingham had kicking around in his head. My personal favorite: The Jury, twelve vigilantes with assault rifles and masks with numbers on them. That's good stuff.
Runaways #11: Everything about this issue is awesome, from the fantastic James Jean cover to the great Spider-Man appearance that, oddly enough, does not involve Peter Parker popping boneclaws. Certain writers out there might want to take note of that fact. Adrian Alphona's art gets better with every issue, and with Craig Yeung and Christina Strain, this is the best-looking book Marvel's putting out these days. Also, the Pusher Man and his Pimp Hand? Maybe the greatest throwaway villain of all time.
Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer< #2: Even better than the first issue, as the mysteries behind Seven Soldiers #0 start to get explained--along with the events of Justice League of America #100! It also has the best piece of dialogue in the week when the Bulleteer and Helligan bust into the wedding, and while I'm more than sick of seeing super-heroes stand around posing for no Goddamn reason (And yes, I'm talking to you, New Avengers), Yannick Paquette pulls off the Bulleteer in a cheesecake pose in every panel, while everyone around her looks normal.
X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2: And now, a joke that only my friend Phil will get, and only if he's reading this series: "HOODY HOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Channel Zero: I ordered this along with the rest of the Brian Wood books I jumped on, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet, what with it coming out yesterday and all. Still, I'm pretty excited about it, and it looks pretty good from the little I saw when I flipped through, which included a page of graphics Wood designed for the sole purpose of readers copying and using for petty vandalism. Still, considering that I'm two trades, a miniseries, and an ongoing into this whole Brian Wood thing, I'm glad that he turned out awesome.
Owly vol. 3: Flying Lessons: Owly is amazing. Andy Runton has managed to create a series that manages to be sweet and honest, while at the same time staying fun and enjoyable to read. It's an All-Ages book that can actually be enjoyed by all ages--and he's done it all without words. Owly and his pals speak to each other in fun pictograms, with my personal favorite being a horseshoe and an exclamation point, the friendly raccoon shopkeep's standard "Good Luck!" Plus, it's a little known fact that Runton has in his posession a copy of the Best of the ISB I had printed up, assuming that he didn't throw it away as soon as I walked out of sight with my Owly t-shirt in tow.