[Sorry: this is being posted 55 minutes later than I would have liked. Usually I keep on top of this.]
Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert's Action Comics 851. You know I actually liked the 3-D glasses, I thought they were really fun. I was surprised at my own enjoyment. I would have liked to see Morrison do this for All Star -- it would have been right in the spirit of things. In Action Comics a nice decision was made to keep the 3-D effects for the phantom zone, which makes a lot of sense, since the phantom zone is a floating 2-D plane. Also it makes sense for the colors to be off in the phantom zone; the colors have to be off if you are looking at something through red and green glasses. But the story here is not good. Many publishing months went by since the cliffhanger of last issue. Superman sent into the phantom zone seemed like a big deal. It did not take him a heck of a long time, or too much trouble, to get out. I guess it is because they did not want to do too much 3-D stuff, but if you want to have a gimmick, do not let it ruin your story.
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's Captain America #25 The Director's Cut. I did not get this issue when it first came out, because I felt burned by Civil War. Also I read Sleeper, and X-Men: Deadly Genesis and felt that while they were serviceable stories, they lacked a spark necessary for me to follow a writer. With the hype, Brubaker's connection to the flawless Iron Fist, and the fact everyone keeps telling me how great he is, I picked this up. My judgement remains the same. Brubaker seems solid -- he knows how to tell a story -- but I feel a little cold. I don't hate him, I just fail to see what all the excitement is about. His work seems to me to be like Law and Order -- always watchable, but never rising to the genius of Lost, or West Wing, or something like it. Could also just be my mood, and I can try again later.
Jeph Loeb and John Cassaday's Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America: Iron Man. Like the other Fallen Son books I got this only for the art. I have not read it yet, but I think the Thing looks unintentionally silly in a suit and tie. Otherwise, at first glance, it seems to be what I wanted.
Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan's Runaways #27. Joss Whedon does what Joss Whedon does, and he is great at it, if you like that kind of thing. Jokes are sharp, dialogue is crisp, plotting is solid as a rock. And you need great plotting for a time travel story. An example of Whedon 's smarts: You know when they try to blend in to the 19 th century, they will break out soon, and Whedon knows you know this, so they blow their cover one page after they establish it. People declaim his smart stuff as pretentious -- and I can see what they mean though I think he sells it -- but this is a great unpretentious example of why he is great. The art on this book, however, is dowdy. A particular example: Karolina says "We also can't hide in an alley and do nothing" and Xavin replies "You're not even pretending to contain your excitement." Go back and look at Karolina's face when she speaks -- try to imagine that is the face of an excited person. I dare you.
Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant's All Star Superman #8. The last issue was not my favorite, in part because I find the Bizarros a little more annoying that I am supposed to. The first half of this issue left me a little bored for the same reason. Also: Morrison does a very stilted "I already explained..." followed by "And I already explained..."; this kind of clunky exposition drives me nuts. Morrison may be doing it to honor his aim to make these like old comics, as self contained as can be, but I still think it is annoying. But by the end of this issue I was back to remembering why I love this book so much. Zibarro's face when he says "There only seems to be room for one on your rocket ship" has that indefinable something that makes me look at it again and again. The issue closes with a wonderful apotheosis of this mad planet, the danger and horror Superman is in, a great Bizarro version of The Star Spangled Banner, and several perfect ending beats.
Also 52 the novelization came out today. I obviously did not get it, but I burn with a single question. Who, you know, on earth, is the target audience of this book? Are there people out there going "I wish there was a way to read 52 again, but with someone describing the panels rather than me having to look at them"? It boggles the mind.
Plus in comics news, one amazing super-exciting thing: Samurai Jack will continue as a movie. Words cannot express. Though it is sad that the voice of Aku died.
Review, recommend, and discuss this week's comics and comics news.