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Heart Attacks and Rock’N’Roll: Graeme digs some 3/5 books.

Graeme McMillan

There’s something to the way that your workplace reacts to someone having a heart attack in the middle of it, I think; whereas other, “lesser,” places than my dayjob would shrug off the sight of four medics asking questions of, and sticking all manner of IVs in, a near-comatose woman in the middle of the office, right now it’s like someone’s dropped a special Unnerving Bomb. Everyone here is freaked out and wondering when it’s going to be their turn.

Well, except for everyone who’s already been through that kind of thing. Not the most healthy of places, my work.

Anyway, comics?

CABLE #1: Yet another attempt by Marvel to redo Lone Wolf and Cub (Really, Nomad wasn’t enough?), this time with added cybernetics and the smallest baby in the history of the world. It’s almost as if Ariel Olivetti has never actually seen a real baby, but instead is working off some photos and a vague idea that “babies are small”. Storywise, this is pretty generic “I am in the future, it is bleak. I am a man. I have a mission.” stuff, but I’m sure that someone, somewhere, probably has never read this kind of thing before. Pretty Eh.

ECHO #1: I never read any of the Valiant comics, back in the ‘90s – There was something about them that felt as if they were the generic fill-ins for 1980s Marvel books, but that they were like that every single month – but the feeling I got from this new Terry Moore book was that it’s a Valiant revival in spirit if not name. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong about it (Well, aside from the pacing, perhaps, but I’m willing to let that slide), but more than there was absolutely nothing compelling or even that interesting about it. Sure, it’s not just another Strangers In Paradise, and therefore good for Moore, but on the other hand, Eh. Who cares about something like this?

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER SPECIAL: Now this, on the other hand… Mmmm. Visual candy from start to finish, especially the design work on the back-up “And this is how we made the movie” pages. Which is good because, storywise, this was amazingly slight. It’s understandable, really; Cooke probably said all that he wanted to say in the original series, and so there probably wasn’t much more to add beyond the mix of injokes and references that pepper the plots of the three short stories herein, but at the same time, I’d kind of been hoping for something that had a little bit more meat to it in terms of writing (My favorite of the stories, in terms of writing, was the Wonder Woman/Black Canary short, which may be because it was the most intentionally comedic and throwaway). That said, even with the lightness of the stories, it was still Very Good indeed.

LOGAN #1: Brian K. Vaughan! Eduardo Risso! And it’s still just a Wolverine comic! I don’t know why I was expecting more, really; the clichés of Wolverine tends to overwhelm so many writers, so I don’t know why I thought Vaughan would get ‘round them… He didn’t, though, and so we’re left with a moderately interesting flashback story with pretty art. It’s Okay, and if you were in the mood for a Wolverine story, you’d probably enjoy the hell out’ve it. Me? I was expecting more, which was my problem.

STEPHEN KING’S THE DARK TOWER: THE LONG ROAD HOME #1: I don’t know if it’s the overly lush art (Jae Lee’s pencils, reprinted at the back of the book, are lovely. But adding Richard Isanove’s colors over them is like Phil Spector adding his special production talents to “Across The Universe”) or the nadsat dialogue, but I just can’t read these comics. I try, but my eyes glaze over and my brain shuts off. I can’t explain it, and I almost feel guilty for having no opinion about the what may be the biggest book of the year, but still…

YOUNG LIARS #1: This, on the other hand, is kind of awesome. Fast-paced and ridiculous, it feels unlike anything else Vertigo is publishing right now just because it feels like the Stooges to the Radiohead of the rest of the line (Well, aside from the Fables books; I haven’t quite worked out which band they are, yet). It’s almost a victim of its own stylings; if it doesn’t burn out and get cancelled within a year, I’ll almost be disappointed, but at the same time, it’s a Very Good first issue.

Next week: Very little of interest whatsoever, thankfully iving me the chance to purchase and finish off the rest of Death Note, my newest addiction… But what did the rest of you think?

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