Friday, October 10, 2008

I Bought Comics (Second Week of October 2008)

[Random thoughts that may range from coherant to not.]

I'm in London for the Thanksgiving weekend (what with me being Canadian and all), so that means stopping by the old shop to get stuff on my pull list here. This time, though, I cancelled the pull list since only two items are on it right now. In preparation for this trip, I reread a lot of the series I would be buying (especially the minis). So, let's see how things stack up...

Black Summer #7

It's not a big surprise that I would like the end of this series because Tom Noir attacks John Horus for the same thing I've recently attacked a lot of so-called progressive comics for: if you're so damn smart and progressive, why did it come down to hitting things in the end? If John Horus is so powerful and advanced, why did he only think to kill the president and his advisors? He couldn't think of something better? And Tom admits that he's not better and ends it by hitting things essentially--but not before leaving a different type of legacy. That moment when he confronts John is worth the entire series. I know, we were all "Oh look, he's killed the president for Iraq! Awesome!" (except those of us who weren't), but it really just became an attack on the type of superhero comic that The Authority inspired (and became itself after Ellis left). It gives me hope for No Hero to at least have a moment of similar transcendence--a moment where it offers something beyond the limitations of the story. I'll grant you, it's not a giant leap, but it is a leap and an unexpected one.

Crossed #1

Sadistic pervert zombies are still just zombies. Nothing here suggests anything more, but I have some trust in Ennis. I'm not a fan of the zombie story--it holds little to no appeal for me. And this isn't exactly an inventive form of that story yet. I'll probably give it another issue or two--but I'm in a less forgiving mood lately, so it may not even get that.

Doktor Sleepless #8-9

Two very different issues, one ending book one, and the other beginning book two. Issue eight is a culmination of the first seven issues in a few ways as the good Doktor reveals his endgame... namely ending the world while his ex-girlfriend focuses on the disease he released that causes a few people to see angels. It's an odd sort of conversation with the Doktor feeling that he has to explain it (if only to torture her with the knowledge) and not actually caring what she thinks. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Issue nine is sparse in its own way and could act as a decent introduction to the series for some. Much lighter on concepts and gives a fresh view of Heavenside through an entry-level character. I'm enjoying this book quite a bit.

Gødland #24-25

Solid as always. A rival conception of the universe? The Archers as champions for these rivals? Sounds good to me. Nice to see Adam more sure of himself and confident in his abilities.

Hellblazer #245-246

Decent, but not anything special. Kind of a cursory look at John's old punk band with a kind of weak magic plot. Really, this could have been one issue and the first one ends with a scene we've seen a million times before. Not bad, not that good. I expected a bit better from Jason Aaron, though.

Invincible Iron Man #6

Dropped. I'm done with this book. I'll get into more detail in this week's Splash Page, but this book isn't good enough for me to keep buying. I'm making a few cuts in the next while and since none of the issues have really impressed me since the first one, I'm done. The utterly boring manner in which this issue concluded the story was enough.

Narcopolis #4

The language games were enough to keep me entertained, and there was a glimmer of hope in this issue when Neighour is told by Officer Love that there is no big enemy, no big conspiracy and that he just wants there to be one because reality isn't exciting enough that would have made the whole thing much, much better. It didn't really contradict that, it just enforced the old safety versus freedom, and that looking at a system one way shows it to be fair and just, while another view shows corruption. Nothing revolutionary--when it suggested something a bit more interesting and more challenging. Ah well, I'd always heard Jamie Delano was a good writer and figured I'd give his latest work a shot.

The Programme #12

Stalingrad's disillusionment in this issue was the most interesting thing about it. Ultimately, this book was about two warring ideologies that weren't that different, but that's not a new point really when discussing the US and USSR. Then, there was the aftermath of the Soviet dolls' attack, but that wasn't that original either. The journey of Max throughout the series is interesting--as he's really just a pawn. As is the demonstration of how far beliefs really go as everyone abandons them at some point except for the CIA agent we don't expect to and... that's about it. Kind of interested in comparing this to Infinity, Inc. since they came out around the same time and both tackle the concept of superhumanity in a slightly off-beat manner. This series didn't really follow up on its promise, but was an interesting enough read--the manner in which Milligan told the story made it worth it much of the time.

Punisher War Journal #21-24

So fucking dropped. I really can't believe I gave this series 24 issues. I liked the first half of the first year and then much else. I kept buying it, because I was afraid that the month after I dropped it, it would turn good. But it never did. Maybe it's because I'm a big fan of Ennis's work with the character and it's hard to see them side by side without Fraction's version looking very, very lame. Also, I never really knew what Fraction's version of the character was. Who is this Frank Castle? He's part goof, part professional, part... I don't know what. I bought these four issues because the shop had them in my pull list, but this is it. I don't care that issue 24 ended on a cliffhanger. I'm done. And it shouldn't surprise anyone.

Red Mass for Mars #2

I don't think I've ever read a Jonathan Hickman-penned issue as quickly as I read this one. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but usually he's a much more wordy writer. This issue does continue his style of showing little pieces of scenes that imply other scenes and actions--it's an interesting technique and it usually works better than this. There's also a more challenging/interesting subtext to his work--but this could be his more straight-up superhero/sci-fi story and it's interesting enough. It's just not nearly as good as Pax Romana.

Young Liars #8

David Lampham is anything but boring. I will need to reread this issue along with the previous ones soon, because I'm not totally lost--but I am a little lost. And purposefully so no doubt. Different versions of the same story--the title is Young Liars... are any true? Subject views of so-called objective events? Wasn't last issue part 1 of a story? Lovely. This comic is confident and bold and apparently uses techniques used in previous Lampham works, but since I haven't read them yet, it's all new to me... I may be a little lost, but I'm liking it nonetheless. Definitely one of the books I look forward to the most each month.