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#1265

A quiet week for me, just Batman and 2000ad.

Batman continues with the focus on character led stories. This time it is Bruce and Diana. There’s a surprise ending that the mechanics of the story means makes sense.

2000ad continues with a strong lineup, I like what it happening with Dredd where we are getting separate stories but leading directly into each other, which the strip doesn’t do very often.


#1266

ice cream man # 1 is a new suburban horror anthology from Image, by a creative team I don’t know much about and can’t be bothered checking.

It’s fairly well put together and the artist’s struggle to draw mouths actually adds to the weirdness of the book which helps it be a bit more unsettling

It seems to centre round an ice cream man who will act like a host of sorts, at least some common thread as the rest of the cast changes

I read a few reviews of this and (like the reviews of Days of Hate I also read today - it is not a vital book) I have to say I disagree with pretty much all of them.
I found it to be quite predictable and I think it’s because I’ve seen this sort of thing done in 2000ad a lot of over the past 30 years - so it’s maybe new to American reviewers who have not read the irreverent black comedy horror stylings of many a 2000ad writer

This issue centres on a young boy with a poisonous spider, with the least surprising ever reveal that his parents have been bitten by the spider and are now dead - I figured this would be the case the minute he walked into the house

And an ice cream man who might be a werewolf, amoung other things

There’s some genuinely hilarious dialogue and there’s a nice effortless flow to the book

It’s not essential reading but if I’m in the mood I might pick up the next issue, as it’s anthology i’ll not stick it on the trade waiting list with the rest of the Image books i follow.


#1267

I think that can happen. I had that feeling with Matt Fraction’s Casanova, it wasn’t bad at all but was sold as something really fresh and new and seemed to me a lot like a lot of the stuff in early 90s 2000ad and Deadline type books in the UK.


#1268

Kill Or Be Killed #15

I was delighted to see Kill Or Be Killed return this week, as it’s the best series I’m buying at the moment. This issue launches a new arc, and immediately places the book’s ‘hero’, Dylan, in a new situation - a mental health hospital - before filling in some gaps between the end of the last issue and the beginning of this one, and ending on yet another killer twist that (again) makes it very difficult to guess where the book is going.

Sean Phillips’ art is lovely, and (to my eye at least) just seems to be getting better and better. Pages like this one are just beautiful, and work perfectly to offset the negativity of the accompanying words, helping us to appreciate just how severely Dylan’s mental state has deteriorated:

There are also some clever things done with the layouts too, with oppressive tight grid patterns helping to reinforce the restricted nature of Dylan’s life in his new situation. It contributes to a very uncomfortable mood that serves the story very well, especially when it comes to the sections dealing with the ‘demon’ - which, more than ever this issue, feels like a brilliantly-realised metaphor for depression that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever struggled with those feelings.

Ed Brubaker’s writing is as sharp as ever too. Not just in the clever structure, which jumps around in time a lot but manages to keep things feeling elegant and clear throughout. It’s also in the way that the narrative voice plays with the reader, sometimes joking with us and sometimes actively addressing the preconceptions or theories that we might have about how this book is going to play out.

This helps to set up a brilliant closing sequence in which the rug is pulled from under us yet again, and we’re forced to wonder what else could possibly be going on in this story that we’re not aware of yet. I have my own suspicions, but - if the previous issues are anything to go by - Brubaker and Phillips are probably going to take this somewhere completely unexpected but perfectly fitting, which as a reader is exactly what you want from an ongoing comic.


#1269

Incidentally, I also read the latest issue of Cinema Purgatorio from a couple of weeks ago (#13, I think it was) and found it a bit underwhelming. All the individual stories feel like they’re spinning their wheels a bit now, and are all largely the same from issue to issue. I still enjoy Code Pru a lot, and Moore and O’Neill are always worth a look on the title strip, but I don’t feel as excited to get the next issue as I used to. I wonder if the book has run its course.


#1270

I dropped it after that issue which reprinted one of the stories by accident.
Felt like that sorta blew the wheels off the whole thing in my eyes.

Although I think the “History of the Brothers Warner” strip was top-tier stuff, it’s a shame to hear that it’s become more mundane otherwise.


#1271

Yeah that was a cracker.

Moore has done similar strips in the same vein since, riffing off real-life screen stars and their histories, but nothing has topped that one, for me.


#1272

Image has used an ice cream man as a villain before—that issue of Spawn was probably the best single issue of early Image but it was very dark. (Speaking of early Image I thumbed through Damage and had flashbacks to the era of books like Pitt).

Just Batman for me this week. It was good, but it felt a bit thin, like it was a few pages shorter this week. The art was incredible, however. Joëlle Jones has bounced around the industry for a decade, doing covers and a Dark Horse series, but she was a real find by DC for interior work on a superhero book. Who knows what will happen but once this arc is up Marvel and DC should be competing to lock her up with an exclusive deal.

EDIT: I just did a quick google and it turns out she is the first woman to EVER draw consecutive issues of a book with Batman as the focus (meaning not JL). That is incredible.

Anyway, good stuff.


#1273

Batman #39 - This was a great issue even if it was a bit reminscent of Action Comics #761 (which I might now dig out of my longbox or repurchase if I no longer have it). I’ve loved this Super Friends storyline. Can’t wait to see how everything goes next issue.

Superman #39 - This was a fun done-in-one side story of Superman being Superman. I love that they’re doing this kind of stuff amidst longer running stories and distinct storylines.

Super Sons #12 - This issue felt a bit off. Like it was an epilogue of a story that already finished and trying to setup new directions for a couple books. Seems a bit wasted but maybe the work it did will show in the next issue.


#1274

Agree with most of what you wrote on these books. Superman is the perfect mainstream comic that I can read to my daughter, which puts it top of the pile this week.

I think I might be done with Justice League. This story is entirely too disjointed. I just don’t “get” it. At least JLA remains a lot of fun.

I got all the way to the end of Trinity, which I’ve been of a mind to drop since the first arc, and decided to stay on after the last-page reveal, a character I’ve thought was cool since I was a kid but admittedly know very little about. I’ll hang around.

Star Wars was fantastic, but the crazy info dumps about Rogue One - which put words in mouths I didn’t realize knew that much - was a little jarring. Overall, this arc has been a good start to Gillen’s run on the primary title.

And of course Star Wars Adventures 5 and 6 - it’s a kids book by IDW, but my daughter loves it, so I’ll keep buying! 5 concluded a Leia story that was a great twist on A New Hope; Soph gave it four thumbs up (her and her baby doll). 6 is scheduled for tonight’s bedtime, but focuses on Rose, so since Soph hasn’t seen Last Jedi, we’ll see how it goes.


#1275

Isn’t it great? I can’t remember a time since I’ve been reading that the Superman books were this consistently good.

I dropped this one after @bryanhitch left. Nothing against the new team. I was just picking it up because I loved what he was doing. I know he just did the art on Hawkman Found which ties in to Dark Nights: Metal but I hope he has something (writing and/or art) in the pipeline.

Can you spoiler who the reveal was? I left this book once Manapul was off.


#1276

Warlord


#1277

Quite recently I read two, now famous, books, both written by JM De Matteis - Kraven’s Last Hunt and JLI vol1.

The first one blew me away! DeMatteis gave the book much serious tone by mixing classic literature with the world of Spiderman. DeMatteis is known for his brooding style and he doesn’t shy away from that here, resolving the story around such themes like death, identity and duality. This has to be the darkest Spiderman story I ever read. Even that CCA seal is a joke.
Mike Zeck’s art is simply put, perfect, in a way it suites DeMatteis writing to the letter. Gritty and I dare to say nightmarish, NY is reimagined as cold and callous place where rain constantly beating the city hard and where trouble is literally at every corner.

On the other, JLI is somewhat a mixed bag to me. It’s far from bad, but I expected more. Contrary to Kraven, which is released the same year as this, this is one more lighthearted and humorous in tone. But never campy. Still, what bugs me is that same humor that the book is known for. While I admit I find few moments funny (such us Mr. Miracle talking with his wife Barda), most of the gags are dated by today’s standards. I mean, Batman knocking out Guy Gardner in one punch? Speaking of the latter, most of the gags revolve around him and I find the dude irritating. Next, there are few loose ends, Who and what is Maxwell Lord? What are his intentions? Why he pushed Booster Gold into the League? Who sent the satelity that shot death ray beam? And who and what is Gray Man? The whole plot is constantly shrouded by some mystery, giving the narrative unnecessary vague feel. Also, I felt that League exploits are greatly trivialized here. That opening terrorist-hostage sequence seems something that Batman is able to deal alone. They proved to be useless next to dr. Fate and Gray Man, as well as stopping nuclear factory problem in Russia.
What I like about is that the group is really portrayed as a team, regardless all mutual quarrels. In fact, IMO, it gives them the much human feel, rather than being superheroes beyond everything. And writers manged to keep Batman serious and gritty as always, but in the same time, soften and lampooning him up, which was no small feat.


#1278

Kraven’s Last Hunt is very good. I need to reread it sometime. It’s getting yet another new edition this year I think.


#1279

Keeping up with Bats, Supes, Aquaman, WW, Moon Knight, Black Panther, Thor…the new Barbarella series has exceeded my expectations thus far… King is KILLING IT on Mister Miracle. I tweeted him with this message: RE: Mister Miracle 6: Forget “The Great Escape,” this was the GREATEST escape (almost) I’ve seen in a long time. Feeling like Brian Wilson when he heard Sgt. Peppers for the first time…WOW


#1280

I remember leafing through his book as a kid waiting for my turn at the barber shop and thinking he’s the coolest thing ever. Grell’s art was fantastic.


#1281

It always is, a proper comics legend.


#1282

Do I smell a new Halloween costume for you? :wink:


#1283

I’m now up to date on Priest’s Justice League, having read parts 3 & 4 of his first arc.

I think this book will surprise a lot of people if they give it a chance. It takes a few episodes to find it’s rhythm but it most definitely has done so now.

I know there was some reluctance to the concept, but I’d say you need to trust the intelligence of Priest as a writer. From the solcits it seems like this has been done before, but actually reading the issues it really hasn’t, not in this manner.

He’s also doing a great job of using the team in this book and there’s quite a lot going on although it isn’t hard to follow.

The main premise really delves into, raising a lot of philosophical questions about the nature of superheroes and he handles it in a really adult fashion, makes a lot really good points - and crucially he looks at both sides of the argument, which for me is the real selling point of that plot element. He treats it like a real grey area and the level of analysis is to somewhat of the extent you’d see in balanced opinion pieces in the media.

It’s also a lot of fun, with the introduction of a really interesting new antagonist, and a real interesting slant on him in terms of his motivations.

Really strong start. With this and Deathstroke, Priest has been great, I hope he’s around at DC long term this time round.


#1284

Doomsday Clock #3: This series is a madman’s ride to oblivion. It’s both intentionally hilarious and unintentionally hilarious and most of that takes up the entirety of the issue and honestly takes the foundation of wherever this is going to go. Johns really has nowhere to go but down or horizontal now…and I’ll still be sticking with it to see what other lunacy it brings out.