Don’t worry Mark, it appears to be a common complaint.
A couple of new arrivals today.
There’s some great stuff in that Miller omnibus - his Wolverine mini, his Spider-Man issues, and much more.
And I haven’t read “Kryptonite” in years.
I love Cooke and Sale, but found Kryptonite/Superman Confidential super-boring when I first read it. I might give it another go sometime.
I may not even have read the final part, as it came out six months after 1-5.
I remember loving Sale’s art, but finding the story only so-so. I’ve bought this as I’ve been rediscovering my love for Sale’s art recently.
Has anyone read Air? FP have 4 volumes at £2.99 each? worth a go?
Yeah, definitely worth reading at that price. It’s not as good as Wilson’s more recent work, but it’s decent.
At that price, more than worth it.
I’ve decided to operate a new book policy. 1 in, 1 out. My collection is big enough that I have too much stuff I’ll likely never reaf again. Will go through my collection and look at getting rid of 4 books to accommodate the Air volumes.
This review is brought to you by Carl, the End-of-Life bear for this book is dead. Its cause of death was a total lack of confidence by the publisher who, in the style of Boss Smiley, wanted instant success and couldn’t wait. So quick was the Carl-administered death sentence that they didn’t even remove the ‘Volume 1’ from the trade edition.
OK, forget Carl, that creepy, artificial robo-killer. That this book got axed is a damn shame but so very indicative of Vertigo 2016 - they had a set of books that could have been great but they killed every single one of them. This could have been one of the best - and probably one of the most controversial once it did get attention. (Also, get back to work, seconds have been lost by your reading of this.)
So what is this? It’s a wonderfully funny, sharp satire set in the US of 2036 where, for a joke, a 19-year-old ends up becomes President due to a political gambit gone wrong. She didn’t necessarily want the job, but as she’s got it… From there it freewheels with mad abandon and ambition, with Russell pushing it as much as he can. In the end the book only requires the one thing it didn’t get - continuation.
This was actually a “DCYou” branded book, not Vertigo.
But damn it, we were promised 12 issues.
Oh? Fuck, they only had to give it 6 more issues to render it a more complete story.
Trent: Volume 4: The Valley of Fear
These stories are compact, done-in-one tales that tend to have a melancholic bent to them. Trent is a capable lead, but is more at home in the wilderness than with people. And this story? A quiet tragedy.
Yeah, they were planning on calling it “Second Term”, if I remember right.
Around the same time they were planning on cutting short Omega Men (another DCYou book) from 12 to 6 issues as well. But fan uproar made them double back on it.
It’s a shame. And the only bit that Prez got after was some short back up in an Election Special the year after. Don’t know if that’s included in the trade.
It’s not in the digital version that I read.
I knew about it but haven’t tracked it down yet. It was a backup in a Catwoman comic or something, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was the one with Catwoman.
I’ve never read it. The wound was too raw.
I’ve read a lot of the high-end Batman stories I skipped the past few years recently. I’ve gotta say, Dark Knight: The Master Race was a lot of fun. Wiped clean my mixed memories of DKSA. Also, the best thing Miller’s been involved with in a long time.
Then I read White Knight. Damn, that was great! I heard there’s a sequel and absolutely can’t wait.
Ive read it. It’s worth a look. You can tell it’s an early work from Wilson, but it’s worth a read.
Only thing I’d say is it’s unlikely you will want to read it again - so you could hold off on shipping 4 out and just read that then ship them out again.
Wytches: Bad Egg
Longer than a regular comic but shorter than a trade, this 80-page story is I guess best summed up as a ‘graphic novella’. Having enjoyed the original Wytches as a genuinely disturbing and unsettling horror comic I was keen to check this out, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of spooky atmospherics as the original book did - it’s more of a tense build-up to an action-heavy climax, kind of an Aliens to the original’s Alien.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just different, and Snyder does some good work building the character relationships (especially between the central pair of young male friends) and then chucking in some nasty twists towards the end to rip everything apart.
Superman: Kryptonite - The Deluxe Edition HC
This one was a bit better than I remembered, possibly because I first read it in singles as it (slowly) came out, and the delays really killed its momentum back then.
Taken altogether it’s a nice story about Superman in his early years learning about just how far his powers extend and also learning (for the first time) about his Kryptonian origins.
Cooke writes a nice enough script - especially when it comes to the Smallville scenes with Ma and Pa Kent, which are handled really nicely - but it’s Sale’s art that really elevates things here. I love his clean, retro take on Metropolis and he does a fantastic job when he’s called upon to bring us a more vulnerable, human Superman. This is one of my favourite panels:
The way the plot resolves itself is a bit anticlimactic but delivers on the emotional aspects of the story even though it lacks a big bang of a conclusion. Ultimately this is a solid story from two decent creators that is particularly recommended if you like Sale’s art, which is presented very nicely in this oversized HC (including a few pages of extra sketch/pencil material and commentary).
(Also, it’s still a punch in the gut to read the creator bios on the dustjacket of this recently-published edition and remember that Cooke is no longer with us, especially as he writes the foreword that’s reused here. It feels like had a lot more yet to give and went far too soon.)
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers HC
Memories of Cooke hang over this one too, as Francesco Francavilla creates a Spirit story that feels like it owes as much to Cooke’s run as to Eisner’s work, partly due to the less compressed style (this is a single story across five issues).
It’s great if you like Francavilla’s art, as I do - there are some beautiful pages here that showcase his moody, shadowy style, with his story playing to his strengths, and I love the way he incorporates sound effects (like the constant EEEEEEEEEEE of police sirens) into his visuals. And there are all the traditional title-page splashes that you’d expect from a Spirit story, along with a healthy smattering of noir tropes - elegant silhouettes, old-fashioned cars and barely-lit scenes in dirty alleys.
But it’s hard to get away from the fact that the Spirit himself is kind of a boring, empty generic character when it comes down to it - and his stories rely completely on being imaginative and inventive with all the stuff that surrounds him. Eisner’s genius was in how he told his stories, and while Francavilla’s visual storytelling is great, the plot itself is a bit of a bland and unmemorable noir-horror yarn.
Still, I’m glad I checked it out - so thanks to Ben for the recommendation upthread.
Shit, absolutely. Air was my favorite comic two years running. I’ve been waiting for Wilson to hit those high notes again ever since, but she’s been passing time as a fangirl ever since Ms. Marvel. She’s one of the few writers I’ve come across capable of such expansive storytelling.