Batman. Part four of a seven part crossover where I only have the "prelude" and this issue. I follow creators, and am not going to be suckered into buying comics by lesser talents to complete a story. I did that for like five years in the mid-90s with the X-Men and I am done with that now. Morrison's Batman continues to leave me cold. At its best it is an awesome episode of Batman Animated. I can see that he has pulled an interesting switch-er-oo with the villain, but this is not enough in my opinion. Before David Aja and Iron Fist I also would have liked the art in this issue more, but alas, no one does a kung-fu fight like David Aja.
X-Men. Part five of a thirteen part story where I only have the "prelude" and this issue. I follow creators, and am not going to be suckered into buying comics by lesser talents to complete a story. I did that for like five years in the mid-90s with the X-Men and I am done with that now, as I may have already mentioned. I get this book because I LOVE Chris Bachalo, who does what a superhero comic book artist should do: he does great iconic images of individual characters and teams, where everyone looks beautiful and fun and cool. His Wolverine looks like a bad-ass cartoon, Mr. Sinister (a faintly absurd villain I always liked) looks eeeeevil, and Storm and Cable get great poster-style full page shots. I care a lot less when iconic characters are sidelined. As for the plot, I get the feeling that the issues I missed were just filler, cause this plot has advanced virtually nowhere in four issues.
Casanova. The palindrome title sets up an issue that divides in the middle and gives symmetrical layouts on either side -- just like Alan Moore did in that "Fearful Symmetry" issue of Watchmen. The art and story are great -- I especially liked the big text panels, and when Zephyr says "page eight -- but I am rapidly running out of ways to praise this awesome awesome book. There is some smart stuff in the back on sex and comics that might make it to a commonplace book entry one day.
All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. I am putting up a separate post about this issue in a few minutes. For now, let me just reiterate that I love this book because Miller is audacious, and I love this issue for the same reason. As Casanova is praised for having wild ideas on every page, I want to praise Miller for being audacious on every page -- there is almost always something NUTZ on every page, even when it is offensive or close to offensive. Like the absurdly sexy successful attorney who would have a one night stand with a guy with white skin and green hair. Or the swastika emblems on the chest of the Joker's companion, not referred to again or explained in this issue, which I LIKE. (Frank Miller always goes for absurd Nazis for bad guys because they are the ultimate evil in the pulps). Or Hal Jordan looking like an idiot with a hot-dog. (The only people Miller hates almost as much as Nazi's are cops -- and Hall Jordan is a super space cop, so there you go). Here is William Blake one more time for those who missed it: Exuberance is Beauty.
Angel: After the Fall. I got this a week late, because my comic book store under-ordered. Whedon plots but does not script. The art here is weak, but the writing is pretty good, especially because Lynch does not go crazy, as Vaughan does on Buffy, to do cute-speak with every line. Our main characters are introduced in new and persuasive formations and roles (though it took me a minute to think of Lyla to figure out why one character looked like a hologram). And Whedon solves his big problem -- this issue gives a narrative explanation, rather than one having to do with what comic book company was sold the rights to what characters -- why the Buffy and the Angel characters will remain in separate spheres. Generally I preferred Angel to Buffy, and now it looks like I might go the same direction with the comics. I do wish both books would find artists with some more flair.
In Comics News Newsarama had a report this week on Mark Millar's new project with John Romita Jr -- Kick Ass (that's the title of the comic book and not my reaction to it). It takes place in the "real world" and is about a kid who reads comics all the time and decides to put on a mask and fight crime with a baseball bat. Millar claims this premise will not be played for laughs, though the wording of the solicit (which concludes with the words "Miss out and you're an idiot") suggests otherwise. Millar on his own does not sell me on a comic, but in combination with Romita I might check it out.
Remember you can click the labels at the bottom of thus post to read my reviews of past issues of the comics that came out today. In the comments talk about your own haul this week.