Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Despite anything I might have said before, the bar is a beautiful place

GraphiContent Random Reading July 10, 2007

I bought comics. Yay.

The Immortal Iron Fist #6

With every issue of this series, I wonder why this comic isn’t selling a million copies each month. It’s got action, it brings the funny, the art is amazing and, fuck, it’s a kung-fu billionaire. Kung-fu billionaire should have people coming in droves.

This issue wraps up “The Last Iron Fist Story” and is my favourite issue yet. Never has the phrase “Hail Hydra” been used so well. I haven’t read any Heroes for Hire (the current series), but I imagine that Misty and Colleen aren’t nearly as cool there as they are here. And you can’t imagine how much I laughed when Davos is all “You’re a cheater!” What a fucking douche.

I’m actually a little annoyed that next issue is a stand-alone about the pirate queen Iron Fist. I want the motherfucking tournament. Right now.

Punisher War Journal #7-8

These issues didn’t do a whole lot for me, honestly. They’re decent, but there was none of that Fraction magic I’ve come to love. Well, except when Frank fights the bull. That was pretty cool.

Thunderbolts #115

It was all building to this. Ellis took this concept to its logical point: supervillains are no good at teamwork and, therefore, won’t function well as a team. The closest we see here to solid teamwork is between the two semi-heroic members of the group, while the crazier, more fucked up members can’t do anything. The way Ellis deals with Bullseye is genius, pointing out just how useless he is against superhumans. Too bad that next month features some one-shot by Paul Jenkins.

The Boys #7-8

The Boys are back in town, the Boys are back in town . . . please tell me someone’s made that joke before me.

Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson deliver more crude jokes about superheroes and I can see why some people are turned off. I’m rather enjoying this stuff, particularly the tension between how heroes really act and the sanitised comics of this world. There are some interesting possibilities there.

Plus, the gag at the beginning of issue eight where Hughie points out every word of dialogue in bold is pretty funny.

All-Star Superman #8

Wow, I really just diverge from the general opinion on this series, don’t I? For seven issues, I’ve been yawning and wondering how people are loving this book and then, issue eight arrives and I enjoy the hell out of it . . . and every review I read calls it a boring issue, probably the worst yet. What I read here was a clever comic where Superman used his wits to overcome a problem, while Zibarro became the hero, the good man he’s claimed he is. Slow moving? Yes. Drab art? Sure. But, this was the issue that finally showed some originality, one that took a Silver Age concept and did something interesting with it. Up until now, this series has just been a hybrid of Silver Age concepts with contemporary sensibilities, but only in the most superficial ways. This issue, though, pushed things further. I hope this is a sign of things to come.

Thor #1

Um, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, I did not just read a 22-page comic that could have, SHOULD have, only been six pages. That’s all that’s here: six pages of content. Fucking bullshit. We’ve been waiting all this time for a new Thor book and this is the first issue? Fuck you, Marvel.

Captain America #25 (Director’s Cut)

A decent comic. I’ve really liked everything I’ve read of Brubaker’s run on this book. I’ve been buying it in trades, but I’m pretty much caught up, so maybe when I’m in the store later this week, I’ve buy issues 26 and 27.

As for the death of Captain America, it’s well-done. It doesn’t feel like an “event” killing. If you’ve read everything up until this point, it makes total sense. The fact that Brubaker does this to Sharon, too, just shows how great he is. It’s one thing to kill Cap, but to put a mindfuck on Sharon like that?

Midnighter #7-9

All nice little stories, but not much more than that. We’ll see what Keith Giffen does with the book.

Gødland #18

This series keeps on going, maintaining its high level of quality, but glacier-like pace. That’s been my biggest issue with this series: it moves too damn slow. The Archers are still trapped in the Infinity Tower, but now Adam has to fight Crashman. It’s nice to see Adam get in a fight and hold his own well. Too often in the past, we’ve seen him get his ass handed to him, but this time, he uses his powers to utterly dominate Crashman. Other than that, not much here. A fun read, but I wish they’d pick up the pace.

Criminal #7

Oh, how I love this book. I especially like the narration in this story. It’s rare that third-person narration is used well in comics, but Brubaker does a fantastic job with it here. If people are paying attention, I expect to see third-person narration come back as a storytelling technique.

I also particularly liked Steven Grant’s short essay on Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye since I’ve been on a noir/detective kick lately and got it a couple of weeks ago. Couldn’t agree with him more about it being the most faithful adaptation of a Chandler work I’ve seen.


Finally picked up the collection of Ennis and Robertson’s Marvel Max Fury series. This is a really good read and fits in well with Ennis’ Punisher work. This version of Nick Fury makes a lot of sense and is more interesting than the current incarnation, the behind-the-scenes guy with his own agenda. The cold warrior with no war is a nice character and I wish we got to see more of it. This, along with Joe Casey’s Wildcats Volume 2, examines what happens after the war is over and it’s kind of funny how they both happened around the same time.

I particularly like how Ennis has Fury face three versions of himself: Dugan represents a Nick Fury who could have found peace, Li represents the modern warrior, and the Russian is a mirror of who Fury is. Fury shows disdain for all of them, but we get the idea that his disdain for the Russian is more denial of who he really is than anything else.