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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Best of the week: Comics bought 13 January
First things first. This was originally going to be the first of a couple of posts tonight, but I moved my profile to the "new" Blogger. It looks like a couple of very minor upgrades, but I'm not about to go playing with it tonight. I'm kinda annoyed, though - it was supposed to take a couple of minutes, but instead took over an hour.

As for the week in comics, it was quite a bit smaller than last week, but the majority of it was damn good.

Previous weeks:

Cover of the week:

Justice Society of America #2 (standard edition), by Alex Ross

Quote of the week:

"Now see what you made me do. I killed every living think on Czarnia fer fun. I killed Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny an' things that don't even exist, an', so help me, I tried to follow th' triple-fold path o' peace. I tried my best... But frag me for a bastich, even I got limits!"
- Lobo, at breaking point after being called a wimp hiding behind his newfound religion, 52 Week 36

Best of the week:

Green Arrow #70
DC Comics
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens
Cover by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

After the relatively disappointing last issue, it was great to see Green Arrow back in brilliant form. This issue continues the storyline guest starring Batman, with the Red Hood making a play for Star City's underworld.

I was strongly opposed to Jason Todd's return, and the revelation of his identity as the Red Hood sickened me. He's a character that, for my money, should have stayed dead. But Judd Winick did the impossible - he made him a character that I care about, a great re-addition to the Bat-mythos. And now he's brought him in for an arc in Green Arrow (incidentally, Winick's also currently writing him in Outsiders).

So, Winick's writing a character he made his own, and has also injected the issue with a great sense of humour and fun that was largely missing from the previous issue. The interplay between the Red Hood and Brick is great, as is Winick's use of Speedy. Add a nice scene where Green Arrow tries to offer support to Batman, and it's another great issue of the series.

Justice Society of America #2
DC Comics
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham and Art Thibert
Covers by Alex Ross; and Dale Eaglesham and Art Thibert

Standard cover shown, because I can't find a copy of the variant online

Geoff Johns made his intentions for his Justice Society of America relaunch clear throughout his promotional interviews: Make it the best comic on the shelves. And with the first two issues, he's giving it a damn good shot.

The issue continues from where the last one kicked off - someone is murdering the Golden Age heroes, and the team needs to find out who, before more blood is spilled. We get some great development and humour in the form of the new Starman, as well as hints to a parallel universe... the one presented in Kingdom Come ten years ago.

Great story, with amazing art. This is the new title to watch in the months to come.

Runaways #23
Marvel Comics
Written by Brian K Vaughan
Art by Adrian Alphona and Craig Yeung
Cover by Jo Chen

Brian K Vaughan's penultimate issue of Runaways is a heart breaker. Still reeling from the death of Gert, Chase has reached a decision - he must sacrifice his life to bring back his lost love.

As the Runaways come to understand his plans, it's a race against the clock to ensure that he doesn't end his life. Brian K Vaughan handles these characters amazingly. The reader can't help but feel for them, as each character is beautifully handled.

This issue is - yet again - nothing short of amazing. Brian K Vaughan has crafted one of the best comics on the shelves, and the pay off is here.

Strange Girl #13
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Micah Farritor
Cover by Micah Farritor

Strange Girl has been suffering from a bit of a lull of late, and I've found myself wondering whether I want to continue reading the title. It had just been feeling like it had lost it's way somewhat.

This issue, however, has restored my faith in writer Rick Remender, and the title in general. Bethany's travelled to Hell, and is being tormented with visions of her past, and what may have been, had the Rapture never occured.

This issue is beautifully realised psychological horror, and still maintains the twists, turns, and above all else, the humour that has made this title so great. Micah Farritor's art is also beautiful, and hopefully we'll see far more from him.

Welcome to Tranquility #2
DC Comics / Wildstorm
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Neil Googe
Covers by Neil Googe; and Karl Kerschl

Standard cover shown, because I can't find a copy of the variant online

Gail Simone has taken her gift for humour, and really upped the ante. Set in a retirement town for former superheroes and villains, Welcome to Tranquility is a fresh take on the world of superheroics.

It's not all fun and games, however, as a former hero has been murdered, and the town sheriff has to identify the murderer. The characterisation is great - you feel for the hero's former comrades, and understand their emotion; as well as the aforementioned humour, which is hilarious.

The takes on Golden and Silver Age comics, as well as forms of advertising throughout the town of Tranquility give this comic a feel that is unlike anything else on the shelves. Great stuff.

What I missed last week, but got this week:

Only one comic, and that's Strange Girl #13. I won't go any further into it, since it's reviewed above, but I'll just mention - again - that it's a great read.

What I missed this week, and will hopefully get next week:

I missed two comics, and I'll call tomorrow to see what the deal with them is:
  • Batman & Superman vs Aliens & Predators - It should be a fun read, with Ariel Olivetti art to boot!
  • Thunderbolts - I'm keen to see where Warren Ellis takes this.

I didn't read the originals:

Fallen Angel, Volume 2: Down to Earth trade paperback
DC Comics
Written by Peter David
Art by David Lopez and Fernando Blanco
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze

Much as I am a fan of the IDW issues of Fallen Angel, I thought the first trade paperback collecting DC's run of the series left a bit to be desired. It was almost like the book was "trying" to be mature, but was hampered along the way.

The second trade paperback, Down to Earth, however, is more polished, and resembles the current issues a lot more. This trade paperback focuses predominantly on the Fallen Angel's relationship and bitter rivalry with the Black Mariah, and it's not pretty. We're also treated to a standalone issue looking at her relationship with the Magistrate of Bete Noir.

A great read, which is far more solid than the first trade. This is where the series really began to excel.

Fray trade paperback
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Joss Whedon
Art by Karl Moline and Andy Owens
Cover by Karl Moline and Andy Owens

I read a couple of issues of Fray when it was originally released, but due to unforseen circumstances at the time, I never completed the collection. And this trade paperback has been out for a long time, yet I've only just gotten around to picking it up.

And man, is it great! Joss Whedon once again proves his brilliance, this time taking his Buffy concept and flinging it hundreds of years in the future, with the new slayer, Melaka Fray.

It's a great read - action, humour, and the characters that make Whedon shine. A brilliant read.

I read the original:

Ghost Rider, Volume 1: Vicious Cycle collects the first arc in the excellent run written by Daniel Way. Fast, furious, and oddly funny, it's an excellent read.

Other bits and pieces:
  • Batman was the week's lone disappointment, but still the best issue of Ostrander and Mandrake's fill ins
  • 52 was an excellent read, featuring an important death - just not as great as the last few issues
  • Outsiders was a good read, flashing back to the lost year
  • Angel: Auld Lang Syne was very amusing

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 36
  • Angel: Auld Lang Syne #3
  • Batman #662
  • Batman Confidential #2
  • Fallen Angel, Volume 2: Down to Earth trade paperback
  • Fray trade paperback
  • Gen 13 #4
  • Green Arrow #70
  • Justice Society of America #2
  • Martian Manhunter #6
  • Outsiders #44
  • Runaways #23
  • Strange Girl #13
  • Welcome to Tranquility #2
posted by Batmite 11:56 pm  
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