Tuesday, February 27, 2007


While in Seattle last week, I was so busy-busy with work that I didn't even get a free moment to dash into the excellent Zanadu Comics, so no comics at all last week. I trotted down to Forbidden Planet off Union Square at lunchtime Monday to remedy the situation, and I just realized I missed The Spirit #3. Hey good-lookin'! I'll be back to pick you up later! But in the meantime, even though I was frugal with my dimes as all my month-end bills come due (who knew you could rack up that much credit at the Indian food delivery place?!?), there were a handful of fun comics galore this week. And none of them are Civil War #7, which I riffled through on the rack, said "Huh. That was it?" and put back on the shelf. Hah! I've run rings round you economically, Joe Quesada!

Simpsons #127SIMPSONS COMICS #127: This comic is fun. The Simpsons is comics' most consistent laugh-factory...but I came dangerously close to grading this with an amber sorta fun. How's that possible? Well, at first glance this is a bit of a déjà vu: in an attempt to bring the family together, Marge makes Homer read aloud to everyone from Swiss Family Robinson. Because it's Homer, he's reading not from the Penguin Classic but from the Classically Illustrated comic book version ("Butchering Stories by the World's Greatest Authors") and each of the Simpsons takes part in the story. I immediately ticked that off against the comic because this is the second issue in a row which recast classic tales with our favorite Springfielders. Even the show itself only does two of these a year: the annual Halloween special and a springtime trilogy of classic tales. But this one was done with such a light and clever touch I couldn't hold a sameness of theme against it: it uses an effective and clever comedy device of dry, matter-of-fact narration accompanied by the punchline of Homer doing something rock-stupid below. It spares no tropical island cliché for comedy effect: Lost, Gilligan's Island, Cast Away, Survivor, Titanic, Lord of the Flies...it's even got a Robinson Crusoe reference for H and Mag over at The Comics Treadmill to add to their catalogue of Crusoe-referencing comic books. It won't take you a "three-hour tour" to read this book, but you'll be rolling in the "isles." Tee hee.

52 Week 4252 WEEK 42: This comic is fun. Ask Douglas Adams: Good things come in packages that say "42" on them. After a quick-quick interlude where Montoya faces the face (sadly, Pete Townshend does not appear in this issue), the rest of 52 Week 42 belongs to the Stretchable Sleuth, Ralph Dibny, who proves not only that he's the Elongated Man (in a wonderfully dramatic and well-timed return to superhuman form), but that he is The Man. I didn't like the whining, suicidal, morose Ralph in the early issues of this book: I kept on lamenting aloud: "But he's a detective! He can't be this stupid!" Thankfully, the creators didn't forget that either. Ralph figured it out. He knew. And he gets his final triumph over two immortal enemies in the traditional Ralph way: he used his detective skills. Longer-time readers of this blog will know what I reference when I quote something I wrote many weeks ago: "Will Ted be there?" Well, this story probably has a "Will Sue be there?" behind the scenes. Come and see, Ralph. Come and see.

Brave and the Bold 31THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #1: This comic is fun. Moth-holed as the Bully change purse may have been this week, I couldn't pass this change to Pick Up One New Comic Title I Haven't Been Reading: the 2007 re-launch of one of my favorite DC team-up titles of all time, The Brave and the Bold. There's a wonderful moment on nearly every page: Batman and Green Lantern discussing recent movies. Actual detective skills. The boys hits Las Vegas. A fond reference to Barry Allen. A story that's basically done-in-one but whose larger ramifications continues next issue. The Best Line of the Week: "Batteries to power...turbines to speed!" And most important, the character I think needs to be recognized officially as Most Improved Post-Infinite Crisis: Batman! I'm lovin' virtually every Bat-book these days: the creators have kept the best of the nineties-soup-up of the Dark Knight (the guy who can take out the Justice League and can stare down Mongul) without the batdickery of the later nineties: Bats is still stern and serious, but he regards his partners, including this issue's Green Lantern, as bringing valuable skills that work well in conjunction with his own. Now that is a Batman I wanna read about, and throw in Bruce Wayne chatting up sexy-cute casino hostesses, and it's like we're on Earth-Haney all over again, only with fewer gorillas. I like George Perez's art, but it's in conjunction with Mark Waid's writing that this one absolutely sparkles, so as long as they're on this book I'm riding right along with them, shotgun in the Batmobile (even if Bats isn't in every issue!) That's why THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #1 is the most fun comic of the week...and I've surely got my hooves crossed that it becomes one of the most fun of the year.


Tom Mulherin said...

And this, Bully, is the most fun blog I've discovered recently. Thanks for the upbeatness.

SallyP said...

Yes, Ralph was great wasn't he? Love that Gingold.

And Brave and the Bold, was just all and out fun. Batman is NOT my favorite character, but he's certainly a lot more tolerable here. I loved the blackjack scene.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ralph, Booster and 52...This is the second time that the seemingly out of character actions everybody complained about early on in 52 (sketchy, selfish criminal Booster and gullible, unstable Ralph)have turned out to be pieces of a bigger master plan, one that has reminded me why I love these characters so much in the first place.
I love that comics still have the ability to deliver such entertaining surprises.
Also... "Moth-holed wallet"? Be careful Bully, Hungry moths aren't friends of little stuffed bulls! Stay safe 'cuz we need you!

Your Obedient Serpent said...

I've said it elsewhere, and I apologize for repeating myself, but I just can't help it:

The most recent issue of 52 defined the essential difference between Plastic Man and The Elongated Man.

Eel O'Brien is made out of rubber.

Ralph Dibny is made out of AWESOME.

Bully said...

I love everything you folks are saying (and Serpent, that's a fantastic phrase!) I was just this close to calling 52 most fun comic of the week. All your enthusiasm might swing it just over B&B if I had to re-do this week's reviews.

Serene Careaga said...

It is too bad that you missed Zanadu. It's my home away from home. Too bad I didn't catch you were coming to Seattle or else I would've bought you a bully drink. Like Red Bull and vodka?

Bully said...

I love Zanadu! I've been there several times (proof!) as I usually stay right around the corner from the University area one.

And there are so many great blog people in Seattle! I have yet to meet any in person but hope to some time. (You know, it occurs to me I should make a case to be sent out for the Emerald City Comic-Con...maybe next year!) I will be at San Diego this year...hope to maybe see you then!

I'm more a milkshake kinda bull, though!

Dave Carter said...

I agree, B&tB was five kinds of fun. The only thing that would make it even better is something that you alluded to: gorillas!

Anonymous said...

Er, shouldn't "Pick Up One New Comic Title I Haven't Been Reading" mean one that was actually being published? You couldn't have been reading this!

B&B was fun stuff, indeed. As is this blog.