Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Good Week for Comics

Many of the titles on my pull list are addicting and most of them, it seemed, were out this week. I think this is the most I've read in one night in a l-o-o-o-n-g time.

Batman/Spirit 1
A holdover from before. I love how they number these one-shots. I'd love even more to see a sequel. This was fun, the way comics are supposed to be and once were. Art that harkened back to an earlier time. Snappy dialogue. Intrigue. Danger. A villains convention to counter a cops' conference so dastardly plots can be implemented.

Shadowpact 8
This isn't a fluff comic despite its lighthearted tone at times, and some of the flakiest good guys in the DCU. Rory learning the true nature of his Ragman's suit and finally having one of the taken find redemption was wonderful, giving the story a solid, emotional thrust beyond the whole good guy/bad guy dynamic. So, I feel really petty mentioning the itty bit that made irritated me. Rory's narration that his grandfather shortened his Jewish name to an Irish one rankled a bit, since it made it sound like there weren't and aren't Irish Jews. Which there are. But I loved learning that the suit has such a long history.

Secret 6 6
Finally. This felt rushed. And since it was so long since the issue 5, I forgot how that chapter ended. Hatter was at his loopiest best, as was Dollman. Gail's dialogue was sharp and snappy as I've come to expect from her. The art was perfect, especially for Hatter's dream. I was just a tad disappointed with how easily Savage was defeated, if it could be called that, after all that led to this. And I would love this to become a series.

Aquaman 47
Nice resolution to the story-from-the-past story. The art is well suited for a book set mostly under water. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book titled "Aquaman" this much.

Catwoman 62
I teared up when I skimmed this during my lunch hour and I teared up again when I read it on the subway ride home. And (spoiler ahead), much as I knew Sam was dead, it still got to me when Selina confirmed it. I really enjoyed him. He was far from perfect, but he was a good guy and would've been a great father to Helena. I'm glad Selina got to tell him. And I love how Selina has this family, only one (Helena) who is related to her by blood. No matter what happens in this book, no matter what Selina does, she has these people who care about her. That's a recurring theme in most of the books in today's post. The cover was stunning. In the DC Nation on the last page, DC announced a best cover poll/contest. This one is a good candidate. I'll have to think long and hard about this.

Birds of Prey 101
Another great cover. One thing Gail Simone does in her books, especially this one, is keep me hooked, eager to learn how she's going to get our heroes out of the latest mess she's gotten them in. I also like Lois' cameo appearance, reminding us of how connected the DCU is now. And Misfit promises to be a fine addition to the book. I hardly missed Dinah at all. ..... Okay, I'm lying, but still, this is a strong cast.

Checkmate 9
Another interconnected story, with Shadowpact guest-starring. I always have loved spy/espionage intrigue and this book delivers, even if it gets confusing at times. Okay, confusing for me because I keep losing track from month to month what's going on. And when books are late, oh boy. Again, great cover, solid art inside. This story has the feel of something really bad going down. I love it.

52 33
So much to love in this book, so I'll get my annoyance out of the way first. Can anyone do a bit of research and find out how many candles on a Chanukah menorrah, for pete's sake? There are eight. That's 8. Eight, plus the shamus which is used to light the others. Not 6 plus 1. This really isn't hard to check.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, the things I loved about this issue:
  • Ralph and the helmet of Fate. Talk about buddy bonding. Ralph has been stellar in this series.
  • Nightwing giving Batwoman a genuine, returning batarang and Kate being unimpressed at first, then, after he explains and demonstrates it, "Wow." Wow, indeed.
  • Just when you think Luther might actually have a heart, he proves he doesn't. The poor schlub who dares to recover is just a research project to Lex, valuable dead, not alive.
  • Infinity Inc acting like the bunch of teens, which they pretty much are, when getting their cars as gifts.
  • Renee and Charlie. This scene just about tore my heart out. Life isn't always pretty and dying never is and this book is not shying away from real life with their fictional meta realm. There are plenty of fun comics out there, and this is fun, too, but it's also very grounded in what could be real. With all the evil supervillains, it's cancer doing Charlie in.
  • Kate comforting Renee.
  • The most natural inclusion of Jewishness and a Jewish holiday I've seen in a comic, far better than the forced Batwoman story in Infinite Holiday Special.
  • The 2-page "catch-up" with characters we haven't been seeing in the book (much) as they celebrate Christmas. Obviously, GA didn't spend the entire year on that island recovering and training.
  • Black Adam and his new family and what they do in an attempt to prove he's changed, by showing their humanness. Wonderfully done. I also like the whole "a boy and his croc" aspect of this family.
  • The Suicide Squad, Waller, and the first move in explaining how Capt. Boomerang Jr ended up with the Outsiders, perhaps. I like that his hair was colored blondish, not red. He didn't look like Roy here.
Criminal 3
Yet another great cover, more a painting than comic art. Sean Phillips' interior art sometimes reaches the same level. He's been doing amazing work on this title and Ed Brubaker's story sizzles. I love these characters with all their quirks. And I'm really rooting for them because the bad guys are so sleazy, they make our good guy criminals almost seem like heroes. The noir quality is in fine form here.

The Lone Ranger 3
Another book where too much time between issues eroded my memory of the previous installment. The pacing didn't feel as smooth as the previous 2 issues, but this is still a compelling read with probably half the amount of words as the other books I read today. So much is said by the art. Great stuff here.

I'm going to really try to read and review White Tiger tomorrow. And Spirit 1. Then I'll be ready to tackle Wolverine: Origins and catch up on Manhunter and....

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