Monday, November 06, 2006

It's a good time to be a Superman fan.

52 Week 2652 WEEK 26: This comic is fun. We're at the halfway point of the series I considered to be a wacky experiment on DC's part and which has turned out to be one of the greatest delights for me for far this year. I like the fast movement that the weekly schedule provides, the slow but steady mysteries twisting around each other, and the examinations and growths of a core group of the DCU's second-tier heroes and villains. This one brings the beginning of a new storyline for Montoya and the Question, a faceoff between Steel and Starlight (my least favorite plotline of the series so far, but I'm still eager to see where it's goin'), a nicely Fawcetty dinner party, a Mr. Tawky Tawny analogue for the Black Marvel Family, and The Best Line of the Week: "Everyone knows you can't have a Justice League without a Manhunter from Mars!" And as tangled as Hawkman's origin has been post-Crisis, didja ever think you'd see his story as something you could sum up in two pages? Me neither. Here's to another twenty-six weeks of a world without Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman, 'coz I'm enjoyin' the DCU jus' fine without 'em.

Agents of Atlas #4AGENTS OF ATLAS #4: This comic is fun. Whoa! How's that for a psyche on this little stuffed Namora fan after last issue's startling final page! This issue is a perfect all-out action adventure following #3's lengthy recap, leading me to believe, man, this thing's gonna read great in the trade. (But don't wait for the trade, pick it up now! It's got giant crabs!) My favorite bit was a clever meta-fiction tip of the hairstyle to the problem of making characters look different: now that blonde Namora is a cast member, Venus decides to go redhead so she looks different! Thanks,'re a very thoughtful mythical being! Plus, who says comics aren't education: I learned that Venus was born of foam! Some of the pellets inside me are a foam/styrene compound, so me 'n' Venus have a lot in common. Maybe she will come over and give me little nose kisses. Nose kisses from Venus. Sigh. (And don't miss Gorilla Man's typed report on the back page listing the Atlas companies they've targeted, especially Atlas Comics: "They only had superhero books, and all those had crossover stories, so you can do buy all of them to get one damn story! Gotta be a racket. And where's all the war books?" Haw! It's funny because it's true.

She-Hulk #13SHE-HULK #13: This comic is fun...sorta. This issue wraps up the Trial of Starfox storyline which has been danglin' around since #7 (I don't blame Dan Slott for the delay; Civil War not only split the Marvel Universe in two, it split this running plotline!), and hooray hooray! Mister Starfox is not a creepy nasty naughty perv like he's been accused of being. So why is this comic only sorta fun? Well, like I said last issue, I'm less interested in the cosmic storylines of this book than I am the down-to-Earth legal matters of Marvel Manhattan, so the Trial on Titan just makes me a li'l jumpy and eager to get back to planet Earth. But my biggest complaint would be that Dan Slott basically unpacks a deus-ex-Thanos in the last handful of pages that undoes what was a kinda clever and interesting twist of last issue: turns out the real reason behind Thanos's obsession with Death wasn't Starfox after all. Hmmm, that was a lot of ado about nothing then. Still, She-Hulk has the usual clever Slott dialogue that, unlike a lot of comics, is actually funny, and next issue's got Awesome Andy in it, so that's okay by me.

Justice League Unlimited #27JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #27: This comic is fun...sorta. When JLU is good, it's really, really good. When it's not so good...well, it's just falling into a common trap for the series that there has to be a learning lesson for one of the heroes attached to the action. Black Lightning's pretty-well written in this story (Tony Isabella oughta be proud), but it's a fairly standard story of a hero doubting himself and then finding strength by believing in himself. It wouldn't be a problem if it didn't happen so very often in this series. Plus this issue contained a pretty weird-ass insert comic starring the Teen Titans and Li'l Lara Croft some character named Sara Hunter and her dramatically-overcome-at-the-last-second reading disability. For what turns out to be a PSA comic, it's not quite as in your face campy as this one, and its intents and audience are in the right place, but in putting out its "use your strengths to overcome obstacles" message, it lacks the clever quirkiness and energy of the Teen Titans cartoon and Teen Titans Go! comic book.

Fantastic Four: The End #1FANTASTIC FOUR: THE END #1: This comic is fun. I've been a fan of only a handful of Marvel's "The End" comics (The Hulk, The Punisher), so I approached this book with a little trepidation as well as a little dictionary to look up what "trepidation" means. I shouldn't'a worried: I luvs me some Alan Davis artwork somethin' fierce, and his story is every bit as colorful and dynamic as his trademark art: in the not-too-distant future, the FF is split up and each living their own lives and adventures: Reed throwing himself into his work on a space station, Johnny as a member of the Avengers, Sue exploring the undersea world with Namor, and Ben raising a happy family on Mars with Alicia and the Inhumans. Tantalizing hints of what went wrong to pull superherodom's first family apart are dropped, but the real focus is on an imminent danger that you just know is gonna bring them back together...for one last time, according to the title of this comic. It's a great fun adventure that's filled with both savvy quiet character moments and big splashy fight scenes, but the best part is seeing a logical reason that the FF might be pulled apart and how they deal with it. Published smack-dab in the middle of the highly-suspect actions of 616-Reed Richards, Alan Davis shows up the entire motivation of Civil War by remembering that the FF is, first and foremost, a family.

Superman Confidential #1SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1: This comic is fun. Between All Star Superman, Busiek on Action and Superman and the new Legion cartoon series, it's a better time than ever to be a Superman fan. Need more proof? Enter Superman Confidential! This new Superman series begins with two of my favorite artists: Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale, and even tho' Darwyn's writing rather than drawing, his love and respect for the joys of Silver Age comics is evident on every page (well, except for those with the weird Teen Titans insert. Do what I did—rip it out!). I've been a big, big little fan of Tim Sale's artwork on special projects for DC and Marvel: Superman For All Seasons, Batman: The Long Halloween, Catwoman: When in Rome and Spider-Man: Blue have been my favorites. This looks like it's shapin' up to be another one, not merely for good solid superhero action but for its portrayal of one of my very favorite elements of the Superman mythos: the Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle. There's a gorgeously-written and illustrated three-page romantic sequence where Superman and Lois share a champagne toast on top of the Eiffel Tower that is the sort of scene I'd love to see in a Superman movie. Even if the Lois and Clark dialogue is a little more Dave-and-Maddie than Tracy-and-Hepburn, this is a delight. And Kryptonite is coming! Kryptonite is coming! That's why SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1 is the most fun comic of the week!


Walaka said...

Y'know, I don't think I'd bought a Superman book since Curt Swan stopped drawing 'em, but I bought this and loved it.

I'm gonna add Superman for All Seasons to my list. And maybe get the back issues of All-Star.

MarkAndrew said...

Agents of Axis?

Then it's true what my mama told me; It's always the stuffed animals who turn out to be the Nazi Symapthizers.

Bully said...

Oh oh oh! How embarrassing! What a slip. Thanks, Mark...I'll fix it.

Still--sounds like a Roy Thomas miniseries, don't it?