Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Sunday Open: Second Week of May 2008 Part 1

As this was a big week, I'll be doing my usual Sunday reviews over two posts today. Most likely both done ahead of time and scheduled to be posted sometime Sunday, because Blogger lets me do that now. So, it's actually 2:37 pm on Friday right now, but this won't be posted until... oh, let's say 8:08 am Sunday. Fun.

Batman #676

That's not Tim Drake as Robin on the first page. Or, if it is, Tony Daniel is a shit artist. Since he's actually been pretty decent lately, I'll go with the former. If you want more proof, look at that Robin's face and then look at Tim's on the fifth panel of page 11. Look at those jawlines... I guess Damian gets to be Robin. A solicit for one of the "Batman RIP" tie-in issues of Robin says Tim takes up the mantle. Is that Tim as Batman? Dick? So long as it isn't Jason...

As for the actual issue, Tim has poisoned my mind and I couldn't help but read the entire Tim/Alfred scene without examining it all as if Alfred is the Black Glove. What we get here doesn't really add anything to that theory, that I can see.

Really, this is just a good set-up issue with next issue apparently ramping things up. Why must it be a month away?

The Boys #18

The conclusion of "Good for the Soul" is part advancement of character, part teaser for future plots, I think. We have Hughie killing Blarney Cock again... and doing it with his usual fuck-up style. We learn that the Boys have surveillance of the Seven's HQ, which suggests that Hughie will learn just what Annie had to do to get on the team... after he learns that, holy shit, Annie is one of the Seven! I really like Hughie and everything Ennis has done with him so far tells me that he'll be able to see past that shit. He's a good guy.

I do find it interesting that Hughie is the only member we really get any time with. We get brief bits of everyone else, mainly Butcher, but it's the Hughie show. Not that I mind, because Hughie is a great POV character, but still. This book isn't as well-rounded as other Ennis stuff. But, maybe it's not meant to be.

Captain Britain and MI13 #1

After reading many kind words regarding Paul Cornell's Wisdom (which I haven't found a copy of yet), I figured I'd check out the new ongoing by him involving Brit heroes. Strangely enough, its ties to "Secret Invasion" made me less likely to pick it up--but, I'm trying to keep it very streamlined, sticking to the Bendis-written books when possible. But, whatever, this is a good comic. It introduces the concept well and sets up the group. There are some great bits of humour and Cornell really has a handle on these characters. I'm on board, for now.

Casaova #13-14

Finally got issue 13 thanks to the Windsor shop ordering me a copy. These were the first two comics I read this week. Partly because Tim and I discussed issue 14 in the Splash Page. Partly because it's goddamn Casanova, bitches! Normally, I leave issues of Casanova until last, because I like to end with something very strong.

As for these issues... well, I said all I wanted to about #14 with Tim, really. #13 warrants some comments: it's fantastic. The flashback stuff is touching, as is everything about Kaito. I'm also very amused that Kaito is Kefong from The Intimates. Kinda. It's a shame that that book wasn't creator-owned, because just up and plunking down Kefong into Casanova would have made this Casey fan very happy. Maybe I'll do a little post comparing the two--or, at least, telling you all who Kefong was, because I think me and Joe Casey were the only two people reading The Intimates.

Oh yeah... Casanova is very, very good. And the best in a week of very, very good books.

Final Crisis Sketchbook

Yes, I bought this. Before Marvel Boy came out all those years ago, I got a preview sketchbook thing from Marvel free with an issue of Punisher and, yeah, it made me buy that book. I was already kind of going to maybe almost buy that book, but the sketchbook did the job and thank bejeezus it did, because that book changed my comic reading life (and changed my comic criticism life, too). So, we once again have Grant Morrison and JG Jones together and there's a sketchbook preview... why wouldn't I buy it?

Some interesting ideas here and I love getting insight into the creative process. Those Japanese hero names make me laugh, but that's because they're purposely absurd. They also mock superheroes themselves, not just Japan... why is Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash any more absurd and stupid than, oh, the Guardians of the Galaxy or Wonder Woman? Seriously, all superhero names are insanely stupid when you think about it... and maybe that kid is well-spoken. If the X-Men get to be uncanny, why can't this kid be well-spoken?


Guardians of the Galaxy #1

I like cosmic heroes. I wanted to see what DnA were doing with these characters. It's alright. I may pick up the second issue. I may not. Nothing here blew my mind. The writing is decent. The art is decent. I miss Jim Starlin. Other people handling Adam Warlock seems wrong. I miss Thanos. We'll see.

Infinty, Inc. #9

Okay, I was wrong to doubt Pete Woods. He can stay.

And this book continues to be weird. I read this while reading Morrison's Doom Patrol and it strikes me that, at the core, the two books are very similar, just handled much differently. This is more traditional in its approach, but also more expansive as it explores directly the psychological effects of superpowers on people. I am digging this book and hope it gets a chance to continue.

The Last Defenders #3

The evolution of the team continues from Initiative-backed group to two-man covert group to privately-funded ego-boost. Each issue has been a different type of superhero team as it tries to find the right mix of people and purpose, all with Nighthawk at the centre. A meditation on the nature of superhero teams, a commentary on the genre... what else would one expect from Joe Casey? And, damn, I missed out on my chance to ask Casey about that over at Newsarama... the place where they open up a thread for questions for, like, twenty minutes. What's up with that?