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Hibbs’ 2/15 comics

Brian Hibbs

I’m just crazy busy these days — getting ready to go to NY for the con out there, too (Yeah: 2 cos in the shortest month of the year, good plan!) — but I feel so lame that I’m not getting reviews up, so here are a few…

First off, scroll down a smidge and read Graeme’s review of Eddie Campbell’s FATE OF THE ARTIST. I very much agree with what he said there, and it is really a terrific, terrific book that you’ll want for your shelves.

ACTION COMICS #836: Yeah, I don’t know about this, really. A big part of it reads like “Oh, hey, we’re counted wrong and need another month of SUperman comics during Crisis” — but, even in the context of Crisis, I’m wholly unsure where this is set, or what it is meant to be. I guess it is somewhat interesting to see how the “Earth 2” Superman would have reacted to the post-MAN OF STEEL story beats of “our” Superman, but it doesn’t really jibe well with Crisis. We have the multiple earths back, for the moment at least, but the multiple earths have always had multiple versions of characters — Wally AND Jay, for the Flash-y example. If it doesn’t, then “Earth 1″…. well, there’s not much there is there? No “big 3” yields a lot of other changes — no Titans, for example, and so on and so forth. There’s, what, maybe a dozen viable characters left? On the other hand, this *can’t* be what happened to e2-Supes, because we already “know” several of these beats — that’s clearly not how Clark & Bruce met for the first time on e2. So is this some sort of an “amalgam”-style character, then? It hurts my wittle head, is all I know. Having said that, I basically enjoyed this issue (though the last-page(s) beats were pretty jarring and off) — but it seems to me this is largely impenetrable unless you’ve been following Superman pretty closely over the last 20 (!) years. EH.

ANGRY YOUTH COMIX #10: I really liked Ivan Brunetti’s HAW — it was just sick and wrong and uncomfortable to read. I didn’t have that same reaction to Brunetti’s HEE — don’t know if it was the postage stamp size, or the relatively cleaner and more confident line working against the jarring content, or, maybe, it was just “Been there, done that”. This issue of ANGRY YOUTH reads more like “HAW II” (Hm… “Oh, yes, there will be blood…. in your farts”?) than HEE ever did, and I really enjoyed it. Well, “enjoyed”, you know what I mean. There’s a good density of filth and wrongness here that can only be achieved by single panel gags, and that Ryan is usually unable to sustain when doing a regular narrative. I’ll give it a GOOD, though I know I’m going STRAIGHT TO HELL for saying that.

BATGIRL #73: It’s funny that both of the 2 BatBooks ending, end this week (Gotham Central was only sorta a BatBook) — what’s even funnier is that there are STILL so many BatBooks, that no one really noticed that they’ve ganked two of them… Batgirl was always one of those titles I never understood getting greenlit in the first place. She was a purely manufactured character, coming out of left field during a crossover, not organically, or thematically fitting with the rest of the Bat-stuff. There was never any real “fan clamoring” for the character to get her own book, and, by and large, no one ever seemed to be able to provide a real reason or motivation for the character that was, to this reader at least, especially compelling. Much more “High Concept Logline” than “This Is Interesting To Read” — “she’s the superhero who can’t read”! stuff like that, you know? And, so, this ending is well overdue. Problem is, and has been with the character, that it plays the “She is SO awesome!” card — “She’s SO awesome…. she beats Lady Shiva!” Which I, personally, think largely devalues Shiva at the expense of the Company trying to sell you on a character. Oddly (see below), with a more ambiguous ending, this could have, possibly, added some threads to the DCU, but with her ending heroically, I feel that it has just taken from the bat-mythos, and didn’t replace it with anything BETTER. So….. EH.

BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHTS #74: The second “Why didn’t you kill this five years ago?” BatBook ending this week, and, owie wowie, what a terrible ending it is! “Resolving” the Hush storyline as a kind of a “Lady or the Tiger” ending is sloppy, lame, and, generally as misguided as the previous editorial reign on the BatBooks have been. I mean, the whole issue underlines that, for right or wrong, Batman doesn’t kill — making the ending illogical, to put it mildly. Absolute CRAP.

BATMAN YEAR ONE HUNDRED #1: A good, solid thriller that rocketed along, with style and panache. Too bad it is Prestige format, because the economics of those books make them very hard to reprint. This’ll make a good TP come September, or so… VERY GOOD.

DAREDEVIL #82: See, I can’t buy that the fiction of the blind man in jail would hold up for more than 48 hours, maybe. Matt gives it away, what, 3 times this issue alone? So, really, the whole premise of the story pretty much betrays the execution in my mind. Having said that, this wasn’t bad or anything… just preposterous, and preposterism gives me the EHs.

NEW AVENGERS #16: All of the Energy of All of the Ex-Mutants inanely comes down to earth and one man, who proceeds to have a lot of full page shots of shit ‘sploding, and he apparently kills Alpha Flight. *shrug* To me, this is just leaping off the rails — rails it was barely on to begin with. Yet it sells like a monster, go figure. I say: EH

PLANETARY BRIGADE #1: I like me some bwah-ha-ha, is all I can say. GOOD.

SUPERMARKET #1: Terrific little book, I found the setup and the world to be a hundred times more convincing than DMZ. Gorgeous art, too. VERY GOOD.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #27: I like a good, stupid, time-travel-changes-everything story as the next man, but given the perceived time-line of the Ultimate U (I’d say that no more than 2 years have passed, maximum?), the ending gag seemed like a pretty insane reach, really. So… OK, I guess.

X-MEN DEADLY GENESIS #4: That seems like such an odd continuity implant to make, but it sorta works OK — the last two parts of this are really going to have to sell me the motivations, though. A lowish GOOD.

Yeah, that’s short, I know — but Ben should be back from the zoo in like 15 minutes, and I still haven’t started my normal Monday morning work yet, ay yi yi!

PICK OF THE WEEK: I think I’ll go with SUPERMARKET #1 — sure hope my reorder goes through, though.

PICK OF THE WEAK: Easy choice: BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHTS #74 was really really bad.

BOOK/TP OF THE WEEK: Sure, I could take the obvious path and say the finally-back-in-print KID ETERNITY, but, instead I will continue to recommend the simply-drawn, but very deep, KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE BUNDLE OF TROUBLE v15.

What did YOU think this week?


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