Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Random Reading: A Shitload of Books for Break Week Part 5 . . . MATT FRACTION!

See that, Bendis, Waid, Ennis and the rest of you fuckers? Fraction gets his own day. Jealous? I think so. Well, I finish off the five days of random readings for break week (which I probably should have begun on Monday, so it actually ran for the weekdays of break week, which are really the only days I get off technically) with five Matt Fraction comics. Why? Because he fucking rocks, that's why.

Civil War: Choosing Sides

Wow, first book of Fraction day and it's not really a Matt Fraction comic per se. But, considering the fact that I bought it ONLY for the Iron Fist story, which Fraction co-wrote, I'm going to say it counts.

Anyway, yeah, this wasn't worth the money. The first story, a Venom tale, does nothing really. The Ant-Man story isn't funny when it's obviously meant to be. The U.S.Agent story just reminds me that I think the character is a douche. The Howard the Duck story is kinda funny, poking fun at the whole registration thing.

That leaves only the reason why I bought the fucking thing: the Iron Fist story. The story acts as a solid prologue for the series and is good enough that had I not wanted to buy the series (and do in fact buy the series), I'd probably pick it up. Hell, it's the best story in the book. David Aja's art is typical amazing and the writing is decent. Not quite as good as what we see in the main book, but still above the other stuff here. Good news for people waiting for the Immortal Iron Fist trade is that it'll probably be in it, so don't bother hunting down this one-shot that only exists to fill the gap left by lateness on Civil War's part.

The Immortal Iron Fist #3

The last Iron Fist story continues apace and is worth buying almost exclusively for the page where Danny punches Orson Randall and the way David Aja draws Danny as he says "C'MON, OLD MAN. I'M NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT." Solid work.

The plot progresses only a little, though, which is probably my biggest concern. I wanted a little more, I dunno. We do get Danny searching for clues and trying to stave off Hydra, Hydra doing its thing, and some more of Randall's past. Plus, some cool shit where two guys with the iron fist fight.


Punisher War Journal #3-4

In his column this week, Steven Grant says: "Speaking of burying characters and as something of a Punisher expert, his goofy newfound hero worship smacks a bit of desperation..."

Ever since reading that earlier today, I've been thinking about issue three of PWJ and wondering if it does fit the character. Would the Punisher really be so respectful of Captain America?

I actually don't know, but I think it works. Which, I guess means yes. I think it works--at least here. Fraction does a good job of making the Punisher's awe and respect seem realistic. He ties it into the Punisher's military past, which gives it a bit more depth (but not much, actually). If anything happens in issue three, it's that the seeds for Captain America surrending are put in place. It's a question of whether or not he can continue when that means having to work with guys like the Punisher--and realising that the only way to keep fighting his war is to work with guys like the Punisher, because, fuck it, he IS better than everyone else there. It doesn't explain everything, but it's better than that other shit.

I don't know what I can say about issue four that hasn't already been said. It seems to be the issue that gets talked about--even if it just came out. And rightfully so. One of the few non-Grant Morrison comics that is obviously and almost transparently about comics. The old days are gone.

My only beef is seeing characters from this issue show up elsewhere when the Punisher killed them all. Rhino? Dead. Armadillo? Dead. You could argue that they didn't necessarily die, but, yeah, they did. The Punisher done blown them up.

I'm looking forward to see where Fraction takes this book now since the first few issues (and even issue four) were all heavily tied into Civil War. The solicits tells us some, but I can't wait to see it for myself.

Casanova #7

I think I'm only going to do my initial thoughts right now and come back and write about all seven issues later this week.

First off, I'm not going to comment on Fraction's closing remarks here, because that is some heavy, personal stuff. I mean, goddamn.

Second off, I dug it. I fucking loved this issue. Tied shit up well, had the usual Fraction/Ba flavour, and a cool Japanese kid who schooled Casanova.

It also had Casanova being a fucking man for once. Right on.

And that moment when Zypher sees her mom . . . shit, motherfucker.

I wish, someday, I can write a comic this cool.

That does it for the break week random reading extravaganza. Fun, fun, fun.