More old trade reading and it’s more mid-00s DC, oddly.
All-New Atom: My Life In Miniature
This is another post-Infinite Crisis launch (I think) and is the debut of Ryan Choi as the Atom. I like it, but not unreservedly so. Gail Simone writes and so it’s got a decent mix of humour and action, but there are some annoying tics in it - Ryan is always saying “weight and density powers, I love you”, which feels straight out of Stan Lee era Spider-Man. One of the groups of villains speaks in broken tenses, which gets very grating to read. Simone also decides to footnote dialogue and narration with scientific and philosophical quotes, which is just annoying clutter most of the time. Oh and the phrase “there’s a war coming” gets used loads and that’s one of my pet peeves.
There are also problems with the gradual reveal of the nature of the conflict between science and magic that’s building. For the most part, Ryan gains knowledge about it (such as the name of the Waiting) without actually learning it, he just suddenly knows enough more to advance and explain the plot.
The biggest problem is John Byrne on art though. It’s incredible to think he’s the same artist that did Iron Fist and X-Men and FF. His art is scruffy and awkward and ugly through-out.
Despite all that though, I still enjoyed this and I should get around to reading the rest of the series some time.
Doctor 13: Architecture & Morality
This is a tongue-in-cheek, metatextual story about the rebooting of DC continuity around Infinite Crisis. It has Dr 13 - the ultimate rationalist - and a bunch of other misfit characters unwanted in modern continuity getting in an extended argument with the Architects rewriting reality (barely concealed versions of Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka). You’d think that wouldn’t age well at all, but it really does. The subsequent flurry of DC reboots only makes the story more relevant and funny. Cliff Chiang’s art is superb and Azzarello’s script is both withering and full of wonderfully awful puns. This is a little gem.