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Sunday, December 24, 2006
Best of the week: Comics bought 22 December
It was both a big week, and a great week for comics.

Previous weeks:

Cover of the week:

Ion #9 by Kalman Andrasofszky

Quotes of the week:

"She likes to hit things with her big mega-rod"
"She seems quite fond of her mighty mega-rod"
"Oh, yeah, her mighty mega-rod looms large in her hands"
- The Huntress and Judomaster, laughing at how dirty Big Barda's mega-rod sounds, Birds of Prey #101

Best of the week:

52 Week 33
DC Comics
Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid
Art breakdowns by Keith Giffen
Art by Joe Prado, Tom Denerick, Jay Leisten, and Rodney Ramos
Back-up written by Mark Waid
Back-up art by Tom Mandrake
Cover by JG Jones

Wow. As 52 hits it's thirty third week, readers are treated to the Christmas issue. The schmaltz is happy contained to a montage, as well as a few references to the silly season, and aside from that, the issue is full of greatness.

We get to know Batwoman a bit more through her working with Nightwing to shut down Intergang's operations, as well as her alter ego Kate Kane, with her dealings with Montoya and the dying Question later in the issue. Add to this a great scene with Lex and his Infinity Inc, and a great "revelation" from Black Adam and his cohorts, this issue has a lot going on, and manages to do so with heart. Another great issue.

Civil War: War Crimes
Marvel Comics
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Staz Johnson and Tom Palmer
Cover by Sean Scoffield

I'm the first to admit that throughout Civil War and ir's multitude of tie-ins, Tony Stark has been portrayed as a dick. And I've heard a few comments from people that this issue finally cements him in the super-villain category. But, on that note, and as far as this issue is concerned, I have to disagree.

Granted, once again, Stark makes a deal with the devil. The proverbial devil being Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. He's doing what he feels needs to be done.

But more importantly, this issue is a character study of Fisk - his motivations, and what drives him to assist the pro-Registration side of the war. Add in some great plot twists, and you have an excellent story, magnificently crafted by writer Frank Tieri. It's great stuff.

Iron Man/Captain America: Casualties of War
Marvel Comics
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Jeremy Haun and Steve Epting
Covers by Jim Cheung

While I haven't been a huge fan of much of Civil War, it's interesting that two of this week's tie-ins are great comics.

It should be noted, however, that this issue is not by any means required reading for the core miniseries, and doesn't add anything to the ongoing plot. Instead, it's a look at two friends, two men who were the staunchest of allies.

It's an issue where Iron Man and Captain America meet. They talk. They both explain where they're coming from, and try to convert the other to their side. It's rare that both sides of the argument are treated equally, but this issue pulls it off nicely. For the first time, Iron Man's point of view is explained to the reader, and whether you agree or not, it makes sense. An excellent read, for fans of Civil War, or fans of the characters.

Secret Six #6
DC Comics
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti
Cover by Karl Kerschl

The sequel miniseries to Villains United, the greatest of the Infinite Crisis miniseries' by a long way, comes to a close. The Six have their final confrontation with Vandal Savage, in a battle that ends up being personal for more than just his daughter, Scandal.

Gail Simone weaves her brilliant sense of humour into the story, along with some excellent action, and brilliant characterisation. By the end of the issue, I was left wishing that the series was ongoing, and really cared for the Mad Hatter.

While much of this miniseries wasn't Simone's greatest work, the conclusion was a great pay off. Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti's art wasn't the greatest out there, but Simone's writing more than compensated.

Teen Titans #42
DC Comics
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Peter Snejbjerg
Cover by Tony Daniel

Providing readers with a break between "Titans Around the World" and the upcoming, much hyped "Titans East", Geoff Johns has written a standalone story telling the origin of Kid Devil.

The issue covers how he met Blue Devil; why he's incredibly loyal to him, but seemingly being neglected himself; why Zatara isn't the complete dick he seemed in his earlier appearances; and how a deal with Neron may have been the worst decision he's ever made.

In 22 pages, Johns has crafted a story which makes you care about this nerdy little demonic kid. You feel sorry for him, and his hard luck story. The issue also manages to buck the decompression trend, and in many ways it felt like a Wolfman and Perez issue of The New Teen Titans, with so much crammed into the page count. A great read.

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Kyle Baker
Cover by Kyle Baker

This issue is my first exposure to Kyle Baker's The Bakers, inspired by his family, so I can't attest to how well writer Paul Dini captured the spirit of them. I can attest to, however, what a great Jingle Belle tale this is. Once again, Paul Dini has presented readers with another wacky, madcap story of Santa's rebellious daughter.

This issue features Santa draggling JB out to assist with the delivery of presents, leading to her babysitting the Baker kids to escape working, thus resulting in her learning a lesson of sorts.

Baker's art is an acquired taste. Though it's vastly different to other artists working on Jingle Belle comics, it manages to fit the tone of the comic nicely. It's a wacky Christmas special, it's irreverant, but it's a load of fun.

I read the originals:
  • Superman: For Tomorrow Volume 2 collects the second half of the grossly underrated story arc by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee. The story does move slowly, but it's nonetheless an enjoyable read.

  • Daredevil: Father is an excellent read, as Daredevil takes on a case which he takes personally. The story has a few twists and turns, along with a fantastic resolution.

Other bits and pieces:
  • Birds of Prey was an excellent read, narrowly missing a spot with the week's best
  • Ion featured the entertaining return of DC's Tangent characters from years back
  • For once, New Avengers could have benefitted from more decompression, in a standalone story that could have used two issues
  • Darkman vs Army of Darkness was a silly, wacky, fun, over the top read

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 33
  • The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle
  • Birds of Prey #101
  • Catwoman #62
  • Checkmate #9
  • Civil War: Front Line #9
  • Civil War: War Crimes
  • Freshmen II: Fundamentals of Fear #2
  • Ion #9
  • Iron Man/Captain America: Casualties of War
  • John Woo's Seven Brothers #3
  • New Avengers #26
  • New Avengers: Illuminati #1
  • Omega Men #3
  • Secret Six #6
  • Shadowpact #8
  • Spike: Asylum #4
  • Teen Titans #42
posted by Batmite 11:34 pm  
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