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.