Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Comics Out May 2, 2007

It's a Joss Whedon extravaganza today, with no less than three books out today:

Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men #21. Whedon and Cassaday continue to fire on all cylinders. Lots of great art and lots of big melodrama, twists and turns, and lots of big jokes including a joke on the first page about the amount of time that has passed since the last issue. Joss Whedon is always fun, and this is my favorite comic book by him. But that could be because I am a sucker for all things X-Men.

Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan's Runaways #26. One perhaps fair complaint you could make about Whedon is that all of his books sound like Whedon. He could not, like Grant Morrison, do All Star Superman AND the Filth -- Whedon only has the one tone. Still, Runaways is fun, and the next issue looks like a blast.

Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty's Buffy the Vampire Slayer #3. Yeah, this is why people either love or hate Whedon. He is the same on every book so if you don't like his thing, it will make you nuts, especially three times this week. Buffy is reminding me of the current JLA-JSA team up -- you just better remember who all these people he keeps bringing back are, or off you go to Wikipedia. I do remember, so it is OK for me, but it is not my favorite storytelling mode. This is a book for people that have seen all seven seasons, and I am not at all sure that is a good thing. There is a picture of Whedon in Buffy's dreamscape and one of the girls is reading Fray; Very insider baseball, if that is the expression. Still, it is fun to read, jokes, melodrama and so on -- just like on X-Men, just like on Runaways. The art is a little dodgy in places, but it is pretty good. On Buffy, on Angel, and on Firefly, and on all three comics this week, Whedon always nails that big hook for act breaks, episode breaks (if it is a cliffhanger), and issue breaks. Just throw something out of left field, and bam, you are done. Fun if you like that kind of thing. Annoying if you don't. I think this guy is a good storyteller, but I would not call Runaways or Buffy necessary reading.


Mike Mignola and Ducan Fegredo's Hellboy: Darkness Calls #1. Mignola is no longer drawing. The new guy does not suck, but I always thought Hellboy was a great design and had great art but not so great stories. The new guy is fine, but the Mignola art was always the point for me.


Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca's Sensational Spiderman Annual 2007. A Spiderman story. A sweet romantic little story, about the pleasures of marriage, with its ups and downs. Fraction must be very happy at home, and his wife must be happy with him.

Plus the last issue of 52. I am very angry at Matt Fraction right now. He wrote a whole thing on his website today, praising 52 in a way that made me want to read all of 52. I love the Matt Fraction, Matt Fraction loves 52, and he said the only thing anyone could say to get me to buy the book, which is that he was unimpressed with the first dozen or so issues but it turned around for him. I read the first dozen or so issues and then bailed, just like he did, so I was not around for this mysterious epiphany. So now I am going to have to get the trades. Ugh.

Nothing in the news jumped out at me, but you may disagree: review, recommend, discuss.


Ultimate Matt said...

On the flip side of that, I was OK with 52 for about a dozen issues and it went progressively downhill for me from there. I've been dissapointed ever since; however, like a true fanboy geek, I still bought them all.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

After hiting all three comics out of the ballpark today, (finally making me care about the Breakworld) Whedon is offically back in my good graces.

For now.

Madd_Hadder said...

I picked up all the Whedon stuff today.

This is the first Buffy I didn't love. It still entertained me and made me laugh, but something aboutit just didn't fully click with me. He does certainly only seem to be concerning himself with those who are rabid fans of the series and since I am, it works for me.

Having never heard Runaways before Whedon, I have to say I am enjoying it. I like the story and Whedon's usual brand of wit.

This is my Astonshing X-men in quite some time and am thoroughly confused, but I liked reading it. I just don't really have much of a clue as to what is going on.

hcduvall said...

I patiently await the day Marvel bothers to reprint Triumph and Torment, where Mignola draws Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom go into Hell and face Mephisto.

Marc Caputo said...

Over at my blog (, I posted some thoughts about 52; I quoted you, Geoff, so I linked to both the blog and the URL of the comments I quoted from. Love for everyone to take a look and leave a comment (I can take it!)

Waiting till later to read other stuff from this week to comment.


James said...

Geoff: Fraction's post gave me pause too - I think I bailed on the series earlier than you did. I know you've mentioned The Maxx, but have you considered doing 52 as the sequel to your New X-Men posts? Or will it have to be something you're already familiar with?

Voice Of The Eagle said...

I'm going to have to disagree with your comment about Hellboy-I think Mignola can bring the story as well as the visual. I think the Hellboy mythos is much richer than, say, the Whedonverse.

Geoff Klock said...

UMatt: I was trying very hard not to buy them all, but it is too late I think.


Marc: thanks

James: Jeeze -- an issue by issue look at 52. I think not.

VoE: mythos is one thing, story is another. I agree that the Hellboy mythos better than the Whedonverse one, but I do not read stories for mythos, I read stories to read stories. Whedon knows how to tell a great story; Mignola reads volume after volume of world mythology, then has Hellboy more or less wander from story to story without a clear intent for much of it. He just sort of observes mythology playing itself out all around the world. Very pretty book, very well designed characters, fantastically engineered tone, beautiful mythology (hellboy breaks off his horns, the dragons) but story? Pacing, reveals, character development, rising action, climaxes, acts and act breaks? not so much.

Mitch said...

Two things:

1. Astonishing and Runaways are awesome. I stopped reading Buffy cause... I don't know why, but I did. There's a great thing in AXM that epitomizes Whedon-- Colossus and Kitty are stopped by a Breakworlder who says, "Rasputin and Pryde. You will come with us." Colossus says, "It's unlikely," and the alien responds "Your translators are primitive. It is not an order. We are asking." We all talk about Whedon "cliche' busting" and this is him doing it. How many times have you heard a similar, but opposite exchange that ends with "I'm not asking. That's an order."

2. Sensational Spider-Man Annual was really good. The best Spider-Man story I've read (or watched) in a while.

Geoff Klock said...

mitch: thanks

Matt Brady said...

I'm way late in adding to this thread, but my thoughts on many of these comics can be read here. I actually was disappointed with this issue of Runaways, but maybe as a longtime fan, I'm more prone to nitpicking. But I dug Astonishing.