Posted by: Graeme McMillan on March 31, 2007
Is it just me, or did everyone else feel as if we’d never get to the weekend this week? God knows why, but the last five days seemed to go on forever… Luckily, there’s always comics to make things go quickly, even as the work sometimes looks as if things have gone too quickly for the creators involved…
GREEN LANTERN #18: There’s one good thing, and one good thing only about this issue, and I say that as a fan of Green Lantern in general and someone who’s semi-enjoyed this series in particular (It’s always nice enough, but seemingly directionless for the most part – The stretch between the first three issues and One Year Later was especially bad). It’s not the story, however; Geoff Johns phones this one in two different ways – Firstly, the plot is pretty much non-descript beyond “An old villain returns to threaten Green Lantern,” which feels like almost every arc from this series so far (First arc – Manhunters, Second arc – The Shark, Third arc – Mongul and those plants from the Alan Moore Superman annual, Fourth arc – Cyborg Superman, Fifth arc – Abin Sur’s kid). More to the point, there’s nothing else to the writing in the main story – Maybe because it’s only sixteen pages long? – that we haven’t seen before. Hal Jordan is irresistible to women, yeah, we get that. But the idea of the Star Sapphire – which is another anti-Green Lantern ring, like the Sinestro ring that gives us our back-up strip this time out, jumping between Hal’s girlfriends is just kind of retarded, and not helped at all by the amount of full-page splashes and dialogue like “Tell me, Hal… Do ya want this body instead? It’s awfully yummy.”
The one good thing about this issue isn’t the back-up strip, either. It’s fine enough, but the presence of Dave Gibbons on art makes it feel even more like a 2000AD Future Shock than anything else, especially with the twist ending (which is, admittedly, cute).
No, the good thing about this issue is the art. Daniel Acuna has shown his chops before, whether it be his covers for the DC books around Infinite Crisis or his Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters series, but there’s something less polished about it, something rushed, that makes it even more attractive than before; the wonderful use of color and texture is still there, but the rougher edge gives it a more approachable quality that I’d like to see again. That’s not enough to make this any more than an Eh comic, though.
SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #4: Again with the strangely rougher looking art, as Tim Sale seems to be either working with thicker brushes or on a smaller scale than usual – the fight scene in the first half of the book looks particularly blocky compared with Sale’s usual linework – which may be something to do with Sale’s extra-curricular duties on Heroes taking up more time than expected. Writingwise, Darwyn Cooke’s story continues to be light on plot but filled with unexpected moments that save the book; Superman’s dream while unconscious, or the long-running nostalgia trip of the kryptonite explaining the secret origin of the story’s second villain. As the series continues, this story seems to be losing steam, but still enjoyable – a high Okay to low Good depending on your love for Jimmy Olsen – but who knows? If the other Superman titles weren’t as strong as they are right now, I may be more forgiving.
And am I the only one really really curious about Hibbs’ both potential and exciting (in whatever permutation works for him) news that he hints at below? You big tease, Brian.