Friday, June 15, 2007

I bought comics.

I bought comics today. Not a whole hell of a lot of comics, but comics.

Black Summer #0

"Really the first part" . . . "Simplistic politics" . . . "Wait and see" . . .

Paraphrasing other reviews I've read. And, yeah, they're right. This zero issue is actually the first part of the story, so don't wait for issue one--although, I would say that having issue one coming out in August isn't necessarily the best move. A superhero kills the president, the VP and various advisors for committing crimes. And, yeah, those politics are pretty standard/simplistic/whatever, but I get the sense that this is just a jumping off point. I really enjoyed this little teaser/first part of the story.

New Avengers: Illuminati #3


Oh, wait, I don't actually consider this revelation to actually mean much right now. Maybe it will connect up when this big story Bendis is currently rolling out actually, you know, rolls out, but I was left wondering why I should give a fuck. I'm not offended by this little retcon, because, COME ON, it's retconning a shitty z-lister who hasn't done shit-all since the fucking '80s. Who gives a fuck?

Next issue is Noh-Varr, though. I'll be more critical then.

New Avengers #31

One thing I was wondering: when did Spider-Man stop being funny? Actually, was he EVER funny? I mean, REALLY funny. Seriously, was he ever, because I can't remember anything him saying being that funny? (Well, except for the "Action is my reward, too." line from Punisher War Journal #1--that was fucking genius.) I only ask this for this issue because I read somewhere that Spider-Man's "banter" is funny in this issue. Oh, sure, it's ALMOST funny . . . for a Marvel comic. And that's something, I guess. This is the same place that publishes that Cable and Deadpool book that some people claim is funny, but I've never been able to figure out where I'm supposed to laugh. I do remember laughing a few times at the old Deadpool series, though, so I do know it's possible for these comics to be funny, but I can't remember Spider-Man ever being funny really. He's always said something that approaches funny and, I guess, would lighten the mood while fighting an army of ninjas, but . . . am I alone here?

Oh, and everything as we know it changes! I'm actually mre intrigued than I let on.

Deathblow #5

See my comments on every issue before this one. I would wait for the trade, but I always see the new issue and figure what the fuck. I'm liking it, but I'm also avoiding asking any Big Questions.

Criminal #6

This is probably the strongest issue of the series so far--which is saying a lot. The third person narration Brubaker uses works quite well, telling us what we need to know when we need to know it--but also setting the mood. The temporal jumps also work to give us what we need to know when we need to know it, and also engage us. Phillips sticks to a very straight-forward layout on these pages; all have three tiers and read in a very linear fashion. This works with the dialogue and narration for a strong sense of pacing, which both encourages a smooth reading experience, but also (somehow) causes you to slow down a little bit.

The basic plot is Tracy Lawless gets out of the army, finds out his brother died/was killed a year back and heads back to the city to find out what happened. Except, Brubaker and Phillips make it far more interesting.

Hellblazer: Reasons to be Cheerful

When I first started reading Mike Carey's run on this book in trades, I wasn't that impressed. His stuff was alright, but nothing special. But, with the final story of the previous volume and the shit he does here . . . for the first time in my experience with Constantine, I'm actually worried about and for the guy. My experience isn't that extensive, mostly limited to Ellis and Azzarello's runs--but they always gave the impression of John being in control, even when he was being fucked. Carey, though, has me convinced that John is fucked, pure and simple.

At the end of the previous volume, John lived in some dream where he fathered three children with a demon and now those kids are in the real world, killing off people near and dear to good old Johnny. And he's not exactly with it, because he's still trying to wrap his head around the forty years he spent in that little dream that was really only just a day--and the fact that he's spawned evil demon children.

Sadly, Vertigo's schedule for these trades is kind of fucked, so I already know what happens AFTER Carey's run because I've read the first one from Denise Mina's time on the book. Actally, I figured out that they could probably kill a solid year publishing one Hellblazer trade per month to catch up on all of the uncollected material.

Tomorrow: I also received in the mail today Marvel's Civil War trade and DC's Infinte Crisis hardcover, and I will tell you which seven-issue, universe-shaking event series truly is the best. I do tell you that DC is already ahead because of Marvel's price-gouging. Seriously: same US cover price, but Civil War is six bucks more in Canadian dollars. The fuck?