Matt Fraction and Ariel Olivetti's Punisher War Journal #9. This story has fun, ridiculous art and a really solid story structure. And there is a primal pleasure to watching Frank Castle beat on Nazis.
Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons's Martha Washington Dies. Let's talk stats. The original series by Miller and Gibbons came out 17 years ago. The most recent installment came out 10 years ago. This issue -- a stand alone epilogue to the whole thing -- is 17 pages long. 4 of those pages are single-page panels. 8 pages are double spread splash pages. That's not a lot of story. In fact this is not a story -- it is a speech. You do not need to know anything about the character to follow this issue. A dying Martha tells a group of soldiers in a foxhole in the ruins of New York City that we are all just dust in the big picture, dies, her warrior torch is passed to a younger woman and they all go out to fight the "Barbarians" (Miller's word). The end. I think this is Miller telling America to kill Arabs before NYC is in ruins. I know it fails for many reasons, not the least of which is how Martha Washington's "wisdom" sounds a lot like the parody of the wisdom of Socrates in Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure. Wreched stuff.
Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. vol 2. I am going to keep this brief as I think I would like to do a longer post about this series. The long and the short of it is Warren Ellis is not my favorite writer: he has written some amazing moments and stunningly good issues (the first half of Planetary, The Authority), but has written a huge number of things I have no patience for (Transmet, Fantastic Four, Ocean, that one about NASA, that one about the British space program). Nextwave has a lot of failed jokes, warmed over Monty Python stuff, but it also has some SPOT ON BRILLIANT WICKED FUNNY STUFF. And the core idea is wonderful -- a parody of a superhero book that is a parody only by virtue that it strips away anything not fundamental to the superhero genre, leaving us with poses, and explosions, and maddness. My favorite moments include a superhero team called "The Surgery" every one of whose members' names starts with "Doctor" and the tag-line: "NEXTWAVE: blatantly wasting your money since 2006."
Nothing at Newsarama jumped out at me.
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