Friday, November 30, 2007

Comics Out November 30, 2007

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.


Jason Powell said...

I like Mr. Sinister's absurd look too, always have. For the record, his look was designed by Marc Silvestri.

You may or may not know this, Geoff: The original conception of Mr. Sinister by Claremont was that he sprang from a little kid's imagination, hence the somewhat silly (but catchy) rhyming name and the absurd (but still kind of scary) look. I think Silvestri's design nails it perfectly. He was so good back in the '80s! (I'll address this when we get to his original run on X-Men in my reviews -- sometime in 2011 or so ...)

Chad Nevett said...

Luckily for you, the Batman crossover seems designed so you CAN just pick up Morrison's issues and follow along fine. Like a sucker, I picked up the other titles so as to have the complete story and... not much actually happens. Big surprise, I know.

Marc Caputo said...

Don't forget this little tidbit, which shows that both Miller and Morrison are competing for Papa Adams' admiration - the Wizard interview. Adams acknowledges the attraction of the Miller DKR Batman, but ultimately goes for his (and Morrison's) version.

The Batman x-over is pretty lame so far, but I don't see how Fabian Nicieza, Peter Milligan and Don Kramer (to name a few) qualify as "lesser talents". As for the X-books Ed Brubaker's Uncanny X-Men and Mike Carey's X-Men have been fantastic - and NO WAY do they qualify as lesser talents. Brubaker is proving to be the best writer either company has and his Daredevil may finally succeed in making people realize that it all doesn't hang on Miller.

I always liked Angel better than Buffy too - season for season, it definitely wins out. Also, this book seems good, if only for the fact that the art doesn't seem to ape the TV actors as much as Buffy.

Jason Powell said...

"I don't see how Fabian Nicieza ... qualif[ies] as 'lesser talent'."

I'd recommend he original X-Force comic, issues 1-18. That should clear it right on up. :)

Geoff Klock said...

JP: I did not know that. Thanks.

Chad: glad to see someone who read them agrees with me.

Marc: the Wizard interview, thanks. And I suppose when I say letter talents, you have to keep in mind I consider Bachalo one of my top five comics guys ever, along with Fraction, Miller, Morrison, and Quitely. Lesser in comparison there.

JP: Oh! SNAP! :)

Marc Caputo said...

Yeah, I knew I was asking for it on the Nicieza comment - it's just that I've liked some of the stuff he's done lately.

James said...

[b]X-Men:[/b] Bachalo is awesome. He even made the lame-every-other-time-I've-seen-him rock-guy from New X-Kids look cool.

[b]Casanova:[/b] Awesome!

[b]Ultimate Spider-Man:[/b] is REALLY good again. Stuart Immonen is a big part of this.

[b]All-Star Batman:[/b] Great issue. It seems like you forgot Geoff, but Swastika-Boobs is part of Joker's gang in DKR.

[b]Sensational Spider-Man (One More Day pt. 3):[/b] How embarrassing. This is going exactly (and I mean to the LETTER) where everyone guessed it would 6 months ago. An editorial mandate draped in the gossamer veil of a four-part crossover. Awful, but happily everything else this week was so good I didn't care.

James said...

(Oh man, with the BBcode when I mean html. It's late.)

Voice Of The Eagle said...

Angel: Geoff, what do you think on Whedon and Lynch bringing back Wes (sort of)? Glad to see him or feel his death is deminished by this return?

Cassanova: The one thing this comic was missing was Hot! Lesbian! Action! And Fraction brought it, with a lot of heart as well. Best issue yet, and that's saying a hell of a lot.

Geoff Klock said...

James: oh! yeah! I remember that now. I knew I knew her from a Miller book but somehow I thought it was something non-batman.

VoE: maybe I should have disliked it, but the truth is it makes sense (given Lyla) and also Wes is my single favorite character because of the hugeness of his character arc. Think about how much, how slowly, and how persuasively he changes from his first appearance in Buffy season 3 (where he was a throwaway character) to the end of Angel. And that is really saying something considering how many people had a hand in writing him. So I guess I am happy he is back because I am glad to see his arc continue.

As for Cass, it was how much more heart there was than "action" (all of which is implied) that made that scene so wonderful. As in the final "fight" in Kill Bill v 2 I thought I wanted one thing, but I was shown I really wanted something else.

Streebo said...

This is very off topic - but I had to share this with you guys. I've almost choked to death while laughing over this.

Rob Liefeld's 40 Worst Drawings.