Friday, March 07, 2008

Comics Out March 5, 2008

[little rushed today. sorry.]

Punisher War Journal 17. Chaykin continues to elude my grasp (blood that looks like Ketchup? That’s good right? I will get it soon, probably). The story is a fun one-off. Captain America, Casanova and Punisher work if the main characters are barely there, or not there at all. This is an interesting little trend. It epitomizes the idea that we do not read comics for the characters but because of the creators, which I like. But maybe it is the worlds the creators have built that replace the characters. I am still thinking about it.

Casanova. I continue to love this book, obviously. Fraction’s swiftness is really refreshing to read – things just HAPPEN. Things MOVE FORWARD. None of Whedon’s little invincible clique – everyone is in danger. Fabio Moon is amazing, and he shines here with few word balloons. The real danger in the issue is the vacuum of space and Fabio really brings it home with a great use of empty space on most of the pages. And an axe. Inspiration. In the back-matter Fraction reveals his real last name I think. I do not know if that was a secret up until now, but I did not know what it was.

Buffy 12. Buffy has sex with a girl as a PR stunt, and a pretty good one: the story was carried by several newspapers, and Joss is doing interviews (including one on Newsarama), where he is making it clear that she is not now gay – sexuality is a spectrum. That’s a nice idea to put in a comic book, and I do not think the PR stunt overly cynical – I think they handled it pretty believably, and hey, are you really going to fault a book based on cute girls fighting monsters for pandering to an audience? More importantly the story here is fun – the jokes surrounding the reveal, and the ones at the end of the issue are great. We recently had a conversation about Buffy being too dark, and this looks like a little light, which is nice. I still have a hard time developing strong feelings about this book other than that I basically like it, in part because of the art. Coming up soon – Buffy vs Fray. So if you did not get that trade paperback, get it now (it is one of Whedon’s indispensable comics works).

On Newsarama they have a whole interview with Morrison – part three just came out. Apparently, we have never really seen a New God, only their manifestations. That’s the old Morrison genius – just go all the way behind the concept and rethink it.

Click the lables to read reviews of older issues of these titles.

Review, discuss and recommend in the comment thread.


Voice Of The Eagle said...

I still don't quite know what I think about the Buffy/Satsu slamdown. It's either the best decision Whedon's ever made or the biggest mistake he's ever made. Time will tell.

Either way, I NEED THIS COMIC. More than I need any other comic book (with the exception of Fables) out there.

scott s said...

The New Frontier special was great; the setup makes fun of DC in a clever way, and it includes one of the best "trinity" stories I've read.

I didn't love the New Frontier (it's in the "great, but not for me" category), but I think Darwyn Cooke's approach to superhero revision is North America's best response to the British invasion of comics

Timothy Callahan said...

I think Fraction's real name has been identified on his Wikipedia page for a while now.

Also, here's what I said about Chaykin when Chad Nevett complained about his art:

"I know his work has changed since the 1980s; his line-work has become more scratchy and he's less concerned with "realistic" anatomy, but he's easily one of the best comic book artists ever, and what he brings to his recent Marvel work (War Journal included) is a sense of the weariness of life. These characters have been through some shit. The women try to cover it up with a lot of eye-liner and lipstick, but these are some rough-looking women in this seedy underbelly of the Marvel Universe, and the men don't look much better. They're Cary Grant when the camera's not rolling and the lighting's not quite right. They are lantern-jawed mockeries of heroism, and that's what Chaykin is all about. I think the aspects of his art that you find unattractive are the very things that make him a brilliant artist."

That's my position.

James said...

I really dug the New Frontier special, and I haven't even read New Frontier. Of the two Punisher War Journal "Supporting Cast Specials", I much preferred this one. It left me with a palpable sense of dread, now that we know Stuart and Frank both have deadly secrets from one another. This won't end well.

Oh yeah, I also bought Cable. "He's a soldier. Trained for anything... except changing a diaper!" That's an actual joke from this issue. When it was first announced, I was just annoyed they'd be taking Olivetti off Punisher. When they revealed the baby angle, and the cover to issue 2, I started imagining a Hard Boiled/Sergio Leone mash-up and got excited. The reality is the above-mentioned diaper joke, and some unsuccessful hard-boiled narration. Olivetti's pretty good, but the whole thing looks TOO similar to Punisher War Journal - Cable's a time-travelling X-Guy, his arsenal needs to be way more crazy and sci-fi than Frank Castle's. I quite liked Bishop's arm, though.

Christian said...

Fraction has also mentioned his real name in a bunch of podcasts, but to be pompous, I think it's the whole "creating-an-image" thing that has led to him not using it often.

Plus Fraction sounds so much catchier. ;)

And once again we got screwed over by Diamond and didn't get any comics for wednesday. I'm seriously getting sick of it.

David Golding said...

Hey Geoff, you've said that Fray is indispensable a few times, but I don't think you've said---why? I read it as it came out and was underwhelmed to say the least. What did I miss?