I read the latest restart of Project Superpowers #1 Both the writing and art were solid. Rob Williams does a good job with the new setup. For those unfamiliar with the story, the heroes are a group of WWII supers who fought the Nazis and sacrificed themselves to stop some unstoppable evil. It turns out that they were in a some form of stasis and reawaken in modern times. its like Captain America only a whole group rather than just one. The heroes involved are ones who actually had their own comics books during the 40s.
Batman#52 as good as the last one, which is very good, continuing to use the jury trial to look at Batman’s state of mind.
There’s a ‘making of the page’ bit in DC Nation (the free DC mag) that really shows how much Lee Weeks brings. King gives him almost exactly the same description for 5 consecutive panels ‘Batman is on top of Mr Freeze punching him, crazy’. This is the end result:
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #5: A great end to a stellar miniseries. While it’s not as focused as 300, it gets what it needs to right. Feeling more encompassing and sweeping and it hits that groove repeatedly. Fantastic and immensely entertaining read, from start to finish.
Immortal Hulk #4: Still great. I love expositional issues if they feel like they have a purpose within the story and fit into eventual re-reads. Ewing’s use of continuity and mythos still continues to shine through. Can’t wait for the next issue.
Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses #37: A great issue, no doubt about it. But damn this arc is starting to feel its length again. I really enjoy this issue but at 37…wow. Still, Lapham is a master and issues like this are the defining strokes in his art.
Mister Miracle #10: Same old, same old.
By that, you mean still the best book on sale, right? I didn’t get a chance to read it last night. I saved it so I could savor it.
Yes. It was brilliant again.
The Seeds #1
Enigmatic. Compelling. Ambitious.
These are the three words that I’d use to describe the first issue of The Seeds, a book I’ve been looking forward to for some time based on the pedigree of its creators.
Enigmatic because it drops you straight into its story and doesn’t give you a huge amount of grounding in its world, requiring you to put things together as best you can along the way. The somewhat apocalyptic state of the planet in this book is given scant backstory, and it’s only once you get towards the end of this first issue that you really start to understand what’s been going on from the start.
Compelling because despite this, you get involved in the story and the characters even when their setting and situation aren’t 100% clear. Aja’s art is a big part of this - he makes his faces and body language very expressive, and his human beings feel like realistic people rather than cartoon characters. There’s a lot of life here, a sense of things ringing true even when the characters are dealing with outlandish ideas and experiences, and it really helps you to invest in the story.
Ambitious because there’s a lot going on in this series, and at just four issues I already feel like I don’t know how the story will find the time to pull it all together. A luddite revolution, the philosophy of journalistic ethics, extra-terrestrial interference, inter-species romance and the looming end of the world all fight for attention here, and it’s all brought to life with layers of symbolism from Aja - symbolism that occasionally gets quite abstract, but still meshes well with his stark, monochrome visuals.
This isn’t a first issue that’s going to immediately blow people away. It’s too quiet and elusive for that, with the story only really feeling like it gets going at the end of the chapter. But it sets a lot of pieces in place for what looks like it’s going to be a thoughtful, original comic, and I already know I’ll be on board for all four issues.
Oh, and this design element made me laugh given the running joke in this thread.
(Yes, that’s printed on.)
I’m really intrigued by this book. My review from a blog I write for:
“While I’m not entirely sure what to make of it after this first issue, I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I’m not going to talk about the book too much beyond the initial premise, as the process of discovering just what’s going on, and the way that Aja and Nocenti progressively reveal bits of information is one of the book’s greatest strengths. In a nutshell, we’ve fucked up the planet, and people are responding in one of two ways. On one side of the Wall are those of us clinging to our technology, our sex, and our drugs as, effectively, the three opiates of the masses. On the other side are the Luddites, who have eschewed all forms of technology in the hopes that turning backwards will, if not fix the problems, at least not make them any worse. And then there is something with bees and strange men in full-body contamination suits.”
After I read the issue I found this interview (a CBR article that isn’t a Top Ten list!) that sheds a little light - but not too much that it spoils future issues.
Crap, I forgot all about this book and I’m trying to support all things Berger Books, for a time anyway, and I’m a big Nocenti stan.
Sounds like maybe one to wait for trade though—both because of the slow build and because it will ultimately look nice up on the shelf.
Definitely feels that way so far. Like you say though, I wanted to support the book in singles (and I also wanted to get this one in hardcopy rather than digitally as it’s such a nicely-designed book).
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #5
I have to confess to feeling like this series slightly lost its way in the final couple of issues. They were still well-written and well-drawn comics, but in going for the big epic historical sweep I feel like Miller lost the sense of personality and the strong core narrative that helped make 300 so enjoyable.
The overall story of this series is right there in the title, but you never felt like you really got close to the big players in this historical yarn. And the smaller characters, while often well-sketched, cycled in and out of the story without having a real story of their own.
Still, it’s a book that had some interesting things to say about history and which featured some great individual sequences of both art and writing. It’s good to know that Miller’s still got it - even if this won’t go down as one of his classics - and I’ll be interested to see if it reads better in trade than in the sometimes slightly disjointed-feeling individual issues.
The Quantum Age #2
This latest Black Hammer spinoff hasn’t grabbed me quite as much as the others, and I think that’s for a couple of reasons. The central characters don’t quite have the same instantly-relatable family/relationship issues; the art isn’t quite as dazzling, lacking detail in places even though it’s solid enough; and the homage elements don’t mean quite so much to me (because - and whisper this so David doesn’t hear it - I’ve never read a Legion of Super-Heroes comic in my life).
All that said, there are still some good hooks to the story that make it very readable. The grim state of intergalactic race-relations in this story is coveyed very effectively through scenes like the opening journey through spaceport security and its aftermath (with more than a slight nod to current world events). The different timeframes at play help add a bit of complexity to the story, as well as an unintrusive link to the main Black Hammer series. And there are some good twists towards the end of this issue that add a bit more of a personal element to the overall plot.
On previous form I expect Lemire to bring it all to a strong conclusion.
Over been trying to cut down on my weekly purchases, so seeing that The Seeds was a 4 issue mini I held off for the trade rather than read the first issue and then decide to buy the trade as well.
I’ll keep an eye on your reviews for the next 3, but it sounds like I need to pick the book up.
And again, like the previous post, because I’ve been cutting back I’ve decided to pick up the quantum age in a comixology sale
I read the first issue and whilst I enjoyed it I wasn’t desperate to read on. I’ve been getting all the black hammer books as they come out but I feel I can hold off on this one until it appears in the next comixology sale and pick it up for 69p and issue and read it whenever.
I tell a lie, I read that Final Crisis tie-in one with Superboy Prime that had George Perez art.
It wasn’t very good.
Which was a damn shame as it should have been epic but Johns just couldn’t finally have the chickens come home to roost for his psychopath creation of Superboy Prime.
Epic art though.
I have mixed feelings about that one. On the one hand, George Perez! On the other… Geoff Johns
Yeah, the art was good, shame about the story.
Have you tried the Abnett/ Lanning/ Copiel stuff, Dave? I really enjoyed that run; and I too have/ had little prior exposure with the LoSH.