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Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Week in Ink: 2-01-06

Yes, the comics hit the stands yesterday for the first week of February, and what better way to kick things off in this Month of Romance than with an ISB Potentially Libelous Celebrity Guest Appearance!

"Hi, I'm handsome actor David Boreanaz, star of television's Bones."

Seriously. Nice guy. Real down-to-earth. And yes, even he thinks vampires in space is a stupid, stupid idea.


ABC A-Z: Terra Obscura & Splash Brannigan: These are probably the sections of the ABC Universe that most people care the least about, and I can't say I blame them, as the Terra Obscura series aren't actually written by Alan Moore and the Splash Brannigan bits in Tomorrow Stories, while they had their moments, tend to go on too long and end up being more than a little annoying to get through. Still, though, Peter Hogan does a good job with a bunch of information that's good to have laying around, and those Terry Dodson covers sure are pretty.

Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon #1: I'll cop to ordering this solely on the strength of the Warren Ellis quote on the cover and the fact that the protagonist has a great name, but I actually ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Steve Bryant's art, along with some fantastic page layouts, manages to capture a great pulp adventure feel, and Paul Daly's story does the same. It's highly enjoyable stuff, although to be fair, I'm a sucker for a story where an adventurer races a beautiful but thoroughly evil Nazi scientist for an object of eldritch power. It's just the way I am.

Batman and the Monster Men #4: The fact that more people aren't reading this always strikes me as a surprise, especially since I find it highly reminiscent of Matt Wagner's incredibly underrated Doctor Mid-Nite, which is awesome. If that guy was half as cool in the JSA as he is in those three issues, he wouldn't be relgated to performing autopsies and patching up Ma Hunkel's stubbed toes. But I digress. As the retelling of Hugo Strange's origin continues, Batman fights three giant mutants and gives them the business. Throw in a car battery or two, and that's pretty much all I want to read about in my comics.

Captain America #14

The Flying Friar: [Note: Be advised that the following review is completely free of jokes regarding "Rich Johnston's Holed Up."] I really expected this book to be a lot more lighthearted than it actually ended up being, considering that the story's essentially a 17th-century version of Smallville, and I think it suffers a lot from its own seriousness. The story certainly drags in parts, and, for me at least, it went on far too long. It's not without its high points, though, and chief among them is Thomas Nachlik's art, which is very reminiscent of Phil Hester. Unfortunately, the story just seems to take itself too seriously for me to really enjoy.

Fury: Peacemaker #1

Hellboy: Makoma, or, a Tale Told by a Mummy in the New York City Explorers' Club on August 16, 1993: Ahem:

Yes. Yes it does.

Mike Mignola draws the opening sequence for this one, but Richard Corben does some fantastic work with the bulk of the story, getting to the heart of what I like about Hellboy: He runs across evil mythological creatures and punches them until they don't bother anybody. That is exactly what happens in this issue, and it's great.

JSA #8: I like Wildcat. I think we all do. But when Jay Garrick runs in, obviously upset, says he just hit his wife Joan, and Ted's first response is to offer to go "smooth things over" with her, he really comes off to me like the kind of guy who has a lot of experience sitting down with his friends' wives and explaining that they only hit them because they love them. It's a little disconcerting, to say the least, but I realize that that may be just me reading it like that. Wildcat being creep aside, this is an otherwise fine story, and I'm sure it'll hold me over nicely while I wait for the upcoming Walt Simonson Wildcat story, where I guarantee someone will get punched so hard the sound has three syllables.

Legion of Super-Heroes #14: Just in case you haven't been paying attention as to why this is one of the best comics DC is putting out, this issue features Karate Kid fighting an OMAC. And that's just in the letter column.

Marvel Romance Redux: But He Said He Loved Me! #1: $2.99 gets you in the door on what is (and this may come as a surprise) my favorite comic of the week. The Wiz got a preview copy, and on Saturday I was laughing so hard reading it that a customer stopped prowling through the back issues and demanded to know what was so funny. Taking a page out of Truer Than True Romance, some fine folks like Keith Giffen and Roger Landrige remix old romance stories, the originals of which are handily reprinted in this week's Marvel Romance trade paperback--and in the case of "I Mustn't Love You, My Darling," only manage to be slightly stranger. There's even a Kirby story involved!

Marvel Team-Up #17: Take a close look at the roll call on page one for this issue. Genius.

Perhapanauts #3

The Punisher #30

Rann-Thanagar War Special: This comic actually bored me to sleep. Intellectually, I know that Adam Strange and some other guys teaming up and fighting Giant Evil Space Hands should be exciting, but the dialogue in this book has no flow to it whatsoever, and after struggling through page after page where each panel seems to exist in its own little isolated universe, only tangentally related to the panels around it, and only then because they show the same characters. I don't get it: I like Dave Gibbons a lot, both as an artist and a writer, but this book just ends up dense, hard to get through, and pretty much full of characters that I don't care about at all. And it was a dollar more than the Day of Vengeance Special.

Red Sonja #5

Rex Libris #3

Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3

X-Factor #3

Y - The Last Man #42

Trade Paperbacks

Marvel Romance: This thing is a gold mine. The trade dress has a beautiful design, and it features work by the likes of Jack Kirby, Gene Colan, Al Hartley, John Buscema, John Romita Sr. and Jim Frigg'n Steranko, and it offers a glimpse into a world where every single woman is completely bat-shit insane and proving your love for a girl by completely sabotaging her career is not only a perfectly logical choice, but always 100% succesful. And it even features a selection of hairstyles for Patsy Walker from before she started hanging out with the Defenders. I'm not just going to read it, I'm going to study it. Look out, ladies.


Blogger Ragnell said...

Wow, you managed to convince me to pick up Batman and the Monster Men with just one line.

I think I'll reread Dr. Midnite this weekend.

2/03/2006 4:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally hear you on the JSA Classified and the Rann-Thanagar War Special.

2/03/2006 5:27 AM

Blogger Jason said...

I read the Hellboy. Excellent stuff. The Punisher was good too.

2/03/2006 6:42 AM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

I'm waiting for the Batman and the Monster Men trade.

2/03/2006 8:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Marvel Team-Up issue made me weep with uncontrollable joy. when Terror said that "this armor crap comes in handy." Why can't The Walking Dead be this good?

Also, the first Kirkman book I remember reading in a while where someone's girlfriend/wife didn't come off like an insufferable nag.

Ted Grant doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would go and talk to Jay's wife. Not without making sure Jay's picking some of his teeth up off the floor while he's doing it.

2/03/2006 10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the romance stuff.

My boss at Ye Olde Comic Shoppe is mad about romance books. The more psychedelic the cover, the better. He even spent cold, hard cash buying original artwork of some of the covers. Gah. We refer to it as "Walt's Vault of Love". I always think somehow we got our tastes mixed up, what with me being a girl and liking the EC stuff, and him with the romance. And it's not like you guys can learn anything about women from these comics... except that women are nuts and have unlimited crying capabilities.

If he ever posts his collection up on the website, I'll let you know.

2/03/2006 11:50 AM

Blogger Gary said...

Steranko drew Romance comics?

2/03/2006 10:34 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

He did, and it is beautiful. There's an acting coach with a dramatic ascot and the way it's colored, it looks like Nick Fury could kick through the wall any minute and haul him off for being an agent of Hydra. That trade is the bomb.

2/04/2006 12:19 PM

Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

...where I guarantee someone will get punched so hard the sound has three syllables.

Man, someday I hope to clock someone hard enough to do just that. I'm stuck at the two syllable smackdown. It's cool and all, but you gotta reach for the dream of three.

"WHA-BOOM? Dang it. I was hoping for a WHA-KRA-KOOOOOOM! Okay, more follow-through next time. Gotta remember that."

2/06/2006 4:02 PM


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