The one downside to the story is that it is obviously putting Lex back on the road to being a villain. I really liked Super Lex.
That’s a shame, even if it was inevitable.
Just read issues two and three of Batman: White Knight. Good but damn there’s a lot of words in this book.
I am sure they were nothing but the best words!
Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville
This is the second special Christmas Klaus one-shot from Grant Morrison and Dan Mora, and while it’s an enjoyable enough romp, it’s not quite as good as last year’s Witch of Winter.
Set in the 1980s, there are some fun ideas explored, including the mission to commercialise Christmas by the ‘Pola-Cola’ corporation, the power of childhood imagination, and a dark mirror-image of Klaus (a sort of Bizarro Santa) that the hero has to battle.
But at the same time it all feels fairly conventional and familiar, especially as a regular reader of Morrison’s work. There’s some novelty in seeing these ideas mapped onto Christmas concepts, but at its core there’s not really much here that you haven’t seen before. Also, there’s a slight sense of plot elements being set up for future stories that aren’t brilliantly integrated into this one.
Dan Mora’s art continues to be impressive though, with a slightly looser inking style here and a more textured colouring approach that creates a nice atmosphere for the story.
At 50 pages or so, this is a substantial book that feels like a nice festive treat, and the production values of the issue are obviously quite high. But at US$7.99 it’s fairly pricey, especially when you could chuck in another couple of dollars and get a full TPB of something else.
Because of the way my Previews orders are handled, I won’t get this until January!
So I think I’m going to put it aside for next Xmas instead.
This is a big part of why I now read most comics digitally.
I just tend to buy stuff by Moore, Morrison and Ennis in physicals, although even that’s starting to change now with Ennis, in that anything new I read in digital as it comes out, then if I really like it, which is mostly the case, I buy the collection - which is what I’ve been doing with jimmys bastards and Punisher: Platoon (which are both excellent).
I really miss the experience of reading everything in physical copies, and going to the comic shop - but now I’ve started reading digitally it’s difficult to justify clogging up the house further. The lack of resale is still a bummer though.
Sorry I totally digressed there.
It was a rare physical purchase for me. With most of my favourites (eg. Moore, Morrison, Miller, Brubaker) I tend to buy single issues digitally on release day and then pick up the hardcopy collections later.
But with this being a one-shot, I don’t know if it will ever be collected further down the line, and if it is it will be a while. I think Morrison has talked about eventually collecting last year’s special with this year’s and then a third for next year, so we’ll see.
Superman #33 - 36 - “Imperius Lex” - was pretty epic. A tale of Apokolips following the death of Darkseid. Lois was badass, Jon a lot of fun, and Clark was, well, Clark. This was almost a perfect Superman story.
I was a little confused about the continuity here - is this a follow up to one of those “Darkseid War” tie in specials I didn’t read? And, the inconsistency of artwork on this title is starting to annoy - after a brilliant first year, where Gleason, Mahnke and Jiminez rotated amongst themselves, we’ve had a dozen or more artists in the last 10 issues!
Super Sons Annual #1 - was a fun, if totally inconsequential, issue. Paul Pelletier’s artwork is always great to see, and in a mostly wordless issue like this, Paul really told the story well.
Batman: Creature of the Night #1, by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon, was a haunting and melancholy read. It lingers long after you finish the book. I haven’t read a lot of Busiek’s work in recent years but, I loved Secret Identity when it came out and have been waiting for this for a long time. It is not at all what I was expecting, but it did not disappoint. I really look forward to the next issue.
Should’ve been a follow up to the Lex oneshot.
Yes, I found it especially strange as it’s written by an artist – I would expect the opposite
But he paces his words well. Loads in the static talky scenes, but few in action scenes where the art can stand alone. I really like the way he does it, and appreciate that the comic takes me a long time to read.
Well I really.liked batman 36 as well. It was pretty cool.
I’m sure this is how people felt during the lead up to the Mutant Genesis era when Magneto was pushed back into the villain category. I mean I understand. Lex and Magneto are such good villains. It’s just really interesting to play with their motivations.
Maxwell’s Demons by Camp, Astone and Bidikar (really nice to see a letterer getting cover credits!).
This certainly lived up to expectations. This is a comic that bursts at the seams with imagination, in both the writing and the art. The art, especially the colouring, is beautiful. I’ve never heard of Vittorio Astone before, but I’d be happy to see more of him.
The first page had me hooked immediately – a little boy with his stuffed toys battling alien monsters? That’s basically my entire childhood . For some time I was on the fence in deciding whether this was a “boy genius” as advertised, or just an imaginative boy saving the world in his head. Camp does make it explicit by the end of the book (and I won’t say which it is, you’ll have to read it), but to be honest I think I would have been happy with either explanation. But this book is not just aliens and monsters with no substance beyond that. There’s a father/son relationship plot at the heart of this that’s maybe a bit too obvious (it’s been done so many times) but still beautifully written, and Camp understands comics enough to make full use of parallel narratives to give the relationship a lot of emotional impact.
It’s hard to know where the story goes next – this episode was effectively self-contained and there’s no obvious direction for the book to go in other than more and different aliens each issue – but I’ll stick around for the rest of the series and find out
Looks like another good week for me with Action Comics #993, Mister Miracle #5 and Cable #152.
Youngblood #7 was a solid intermediary issue between arcs. Makes me excited about what’s to come for sure.
With the rumor that the Bat will appear on the new Titans live-action series (2019) I should think sales of comics might go up.
Ahhh, thanks so much for reading and reviewing, David!
That feeling of “not knowing where we’re going next” was just what I was hoping for – I want the next issue to be a genuine surprise. And the one after that, too. I think we get better as we go, and I think you’ll dig the next issue especially – very up your alley.
Thanks again for reading!
Action Comics #993 - It’s been a while since I’ve read a comic written and penciled by Dan Jurgens. I’m sure it is of note to some that it also features one of his creations, Booster Gold. This story treads a fairly familiar path to anyone who has read Superman for any amount of time, the return to Krypton. It’s not the type of story have has historically been into but I’m curious to see where they take it.
Cable #152 - I love that Cable is being taken back to his time travelling roots with this story. I’ll admit it has left me a little confused about the timeline but that’s kind of part of the joy. I’m going to sound like a broken record but @JonMalin’s art continues to stand out. This book is giving me my shot of 90’s nostalgia without feeling overly referential.
Mister Miracle #5 - This book is so good. The art, the story are just impeccable. I honestly feel that King and Gerads are telling a story about depression and fighting for those you love in the guise of a superhero story. The last page is incredible.