Day 26 (30 Day Comic Book Challenge)

A comic you wish they would make into a movie.

Incognito. What do you get when you combine crime noir with superhero tropes? Incognito by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. This was recommended to me by Matt at the Comic Book Shop and it was a joy to read. I felt jazzed while reading this and still am when thinking back on it. I love stories featuring criminals who have bouts of morality. I’m no good at coming up with actors to play the characters, but someone did, though I don’t like the choice for the main character (James Franco? Too young.).

Pull List Review (3/30/11 Comics)

Incognito: Bad Influences #5: Sad that this limited series is over, but it also wasn’t as good as the first volume, but that just may be because I was so wowed by volume 1. I love this concept and the Sean Phillips art is perfect for the tone of this story and character. I guess what I was reacting to in volume 2 was that it’s a middle story. It’s still a good story, mind, but where it ends up–Wait. I got it. It ends with the protagonist in a bad spot, and I wanted him in a better place by story’s end. Of course, that runs counter to the noir aspect of Incognito, so it’s working just fine, thank you. :) Of course, I’m looking forward to the next story of Incognito.

Scarlet #5: Once again, Bendis pulls me back into caring about this girl and her story. Every issue since #2 has been, for me, do I really want to read this book? It’s an interesting concept, and visually cool (but I love Alex Maleev’s art anyway), but I was afraid the consequences of what Scarlet did when she shot several police officers was going to be a little too nonexistent, or comic booky, to be believed, but Bendis has deftly pulled it off so far. I loved the panel where Scarlet tells us she needs to go outside and address her followers, but she just sits there for a few moments because she knows everything will change once she does that. Also, and I don’t know yet if this is a good or bad thing for this comic, I really like the female detective in the story, probably more so than the title character.

Teen Titans #93: I recently quipped, “So is Solstice this Teen Titans’ Danny Chase?” Another person suggested she was more comparable to Kole. Of course, I was joking (was I?), because so far, this new character is likable and perhaps interesting (it’s too soon to tell), but this comic isn’t. I had high hopes that when J. T. Krul and Nicola Scott came on board that my once favorite superhero book would find itself again. That hasn’t been the case so far for me. The only interesting thing in this issue was the way that Raven considered Solstice and how the new girl affected Trigon’s daughter.

Wonder Woman #609: As I tweeted recently, this is the best story of the “Odyssey” storyline so far. I know many out there are thinking, “yeah, but the best is still pretty stinky…”. I enjoyed the portrayal of Dr. Psycho as Diana’s guide, and how Diana, perhaps for the first time in this storyline (my memory is short, however), rose above her angry, “I’m a warrior” attitude to achieve something. Plus, I love the cover with all of the Diana’s of the past battling each other. Have I mentioned how good the Don Kramer pencils are? There some really lovely shots of Diana in this issue. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Zatanna #11: Hmm, I love the Adam Hughes cover. As far as the content, just go read The Comics Rogue’s review of this issue–it says everything I want to say about #11 and then some.

Pull List Review (3/2/11 Comics + 1)

My god, my desk’s full of comics! So I guess I should stop being so slovenly and get some reviews done! :)

Brightest Day #21: J’onn J’onzz is the latest victim of the serial killer commonly known as Deadman. Heh. The latest chapter of J’onn’s story comes to a close as he defeats D’kay (thank god) and willingly succumbs to whatever the white light has in store for him. Instead of being burnt up or washed away (again: heh), J’onn is absorbed into the Earth. Does this mean that J’onn will be the new guardian of the White Light? I doubt it, but it would be interesting that a Martian becomes the protector of the Earth. Also, J’onn can fly really, really fast. In the space of three panels, he has taken D’kay from Mars to our Moon, and two panels later they’re at the sun! That’s a distance of 142 million miles (average) in five panels, plus, he’s talking in space! Characters in the DCU talk about Superman as if he’s the most powerful super being on Earth, but I think it’s J’onn. :)

Green Lantern #63: I have been really loving the multicolor covers of this series. Anyhoo, I don’t mind revisionism. It adds complexity to what was perhaps a boring idea or character, but sometimes it makes me go hmm. The interesting bit of this issue isn’t what Hal is doing, rather it’s the new history of Krona as revealed to Hal and the color guard. First, he and the Guardians of old are shown wearing white robes with the white lantern symbol on the chest (or maybe I’ve missed that before?). Then, when Krona is escaping his sentence for attempting to look back into the creation of the universe, he is shown wielding the green energies we are all familiar with. So, Krona invented the green power battery and gave the Guardians the idea for the Green Lantern Corps? Finally, after he is caught, Krona tells the Guardians to beware his power, the lantern’s light. Really? Now Krona is partially responsible for the green lantern oath? Mr. Johns, you have gone too far, sir! Hal came up with that oath in some ridiculous way back in the 60s and that’s how it was! Hrmph. ;) Looking forward to next issue as it appears to be focused on the Earth-based Green Lanterns.

Incognito: Bad Influences #4: Sigh. One more issue and it’s all over for a while. The theme of the issue is that Zack realizes that he isn’t just an amoral guy trapped on the side of good, he’s actually changing, which is the whole reason I’ve been invested in this series and its predecessor. I love the idea of bad turning to good, of redemption. Can’t wait to see how this latest chapter of Incognito ends.

Irredeemable #23: Not much to talk about here (and is there ever?). I guess that means I should give it up after next issue.

Powers #7: Yeah! This is my pick of the week. I found myself chuckling out loud a few times as I read this issue. The best part of this series is always the dialog. (I wonder if Bendis’s writing is one of those things that you just either love or hate.) The opening bit between Walker and Pilgrim was just gold to me. I like the latest murder plot involving powers who think (or maybe they are?) gods among humans, and the body count of these supposed immortals is rising. But it is the characters that makes this series. It’s not all about Bendis, though. I love how Oeming shows what a character is thinking or feeling with a slight change in the face, such as slitted eyes, or a quick, mischievous smile. Good stuff.

Secret Six #31: Umm, ok. Not having read a whole lot of Secret Six, I don’t know how to take the opening scene of the issue where they’re making a commercial. On one hand, I love the idea; on the other, huh? Would they really do that? I just don’t know yet if this is in character for these characters. But I like it. Also what I like: King Shark’s dialog (it appeals to the 12-year-old in me), and Ragdoll, so I hope this latest plot point doesn’t mean that Ragdoll is leaving the book! Looking forward to what’s to come.

Teen Titans #92: What a waste of time. The one thing that amused me about this title was the inclusion of Damien (Robin), but that appears to be over, and Tim Drake is back in. Now, I don’t mind that Tim is back with Conner, Bart, and Cassie, but at least Damien brought some life to the comic, and he played well off of Ravager. I think I may be dropping this soon.

Pull List Review (2/9/11 Comics)

Adventure Comics #523: What does it say when I enjoy this companion book more than the main book (LSH)? They’re both done by the same writer. And it’s really not the artist so much (I think), though I absolutely LOVE Phil Jimenez’s work (have you read Otherworld, hmm? You should.), and while Yildiray Cinar is not a bad artist, there’s something in his style that I find a bit grating, but not enough to make me dislike LSH as a whole. Maybe I’m responding better with this story (so far) because Paul Levitz has a bunch of new characters to play with in this title? I’ve felt since the beginning of LSH that Levitz seemed hamstrung by the continuity of the current LSH characters (post “Superman and…”, the “Lightning Saga”, and Legion of Three Worlds), and he doesn’t really have that here. Speaking of Jimenez’s art, my god, Night Girl has NEVER looked so hot! :) Plus, I bet he enjoys drawing Dragonwing.

Of note is that Glorith, whom long-time fans of the Legion in general know, but of the 5YL run in the 90s especially, joins the Academy as a new, overwhelmed recruit. Also, Comet Queen is back (huh?) and Power Boy and Lamprey seem to be a couple now. It looks promising, at least.

Batgirl #18: What is it with Bryan Q. Miller and holiday themed stories? I originally got into this comic because of the Halloween issue guest-starring Supergirl, and now we have a Valentine’s Day story. While I really do dislike Valentine’s Day as a whole (don’t get me started on manufactured “holidays”), I did enjoy this little tale of love and jealousy.

I prefer the art of Lee Garbett on this series over Dustin Nguyen (again, like Cinar, Nguyen isn’t a bad artist), but I did enjoy the painted sequences of this issue, and it fits very nicely with the Klarion, the Witch Boy, sequences. I love how Miller portrays Batgirl as matter of fact when she realizes she’s dealing with magic, and a situation where she’s really in over her head–but then, that’s what this series has been about since issue 1. I loved, too, how, after Stephanie kisses Klarion to prevent him from turning someone into a frog, he tells her, “You taste like Christmas.” Stephanie: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Klarion: “I hate Christmas.” Of course he does. And I just bet she does!

Batman & Robin #20: Now that this title is (ahem) absent of the previous storyline, we now have the Peter Tomasi three-parter (followed by a Judd Winick three-parter–is this how this comic is going to be now? And is that a bad thing?). It opens with the Batmen sitting down to watch the Mark of Zorro together as a family. Is anyone else creeped out by how Bruce is being, like, all nice and fatherly? Is Bruce Wayne now scarier than the god-damn Batman?! *shudder* I liked the interaction between Commissioner Gordon and Damian (I have trouble referring to him as Robin for some reason). Damian is such a little brat! So, what is up with all the white, liquidy bats? Batman (Dick) says at the end of the issue, “This isn’t good”, and I hope it isn’t portentous for this storyline.

Birds of Prey #9: Well, you get a nice romp through the dark recesses of Black Canary’s brain this issue. I thought the resolution to her predicament was a little pat, however, but it does show that despite all of her issues in her past, she’s a strong person and can get past them. But haven’t we seen that all before? I miss how much I enjoyed this comic at the beginning. I have to wonder how much editorial edict is affecting this series. I get the feeling that when left to her own devices, Gail Simone can write the hell out of this title.

I read a tweet about the poor art of this issue, but I didn’t think it was that bad.  A little cartoony maybe, but Inaki Miranda wasn’t bad (though I can’t stand how Batman is drawn–it’s too much like the movie version of Batman for my taste). I am looking forward to Jesus Saiz coming on to the book starting with #12.

DC Universe: Legacies #9: The penultimate issue. When I first started getting this series, it was out of a love for DCU history. Since the events of Infinite/Final Crisis essentially recreated the DCU, I wanted to know what was changed. I was expecting something like the great History of the DC Universe that we got after Crisis on Infinite Earths, but this series isn’t that. While I appreciate the summary history lesson to some degree, it’s just been a “yeah, I remember that event” feeling for me. However, at least with this issue I got to see some events summarized that I’m not all that familiar with, namely, Final Night and Day of Judgement. Funny how Hal Jordan plays a significant role (or seemingly so) in both, despte that the series were three years apart. After reading this issue, I want to read those original stories, plus, DoJ was written by Geoff Johns!

Incognito: Bad Influences #3: I am loving the hell out of this book. It’s my new Batgirl! :) It’s everything that Incorruptible wasn’t for me (which is not necessarily the fault of Mark Waid or his series–I just had expectations for the series that never bore fruit and I was disappointed): moral ambiguity on both sides of the good/bad fence, the struggle with that ambiguity, and a more “real” setting, I guess (which does say more about the writer’s style, I suppose). I’m so glad Matt at my LCS recommended the original series (in trade now), and then got me the first two issues right before this issue came out. I will be checking out the Brubaker/Phillips Criminal trades.

Superman #709: Setting aside that J. Michael Straczynski is no longer actively writing this or Wonder Woman, I am liking this story less and less, the WW story more and more, but it wasn’t always that way. Here, as you can tell by the cover, Superman meets up with the “new” Diana. But what an anticlimactic pairing. I did like the Superman Squad stuff in the issue. I love those splash pages that show alternate versions of the heroes we all know and love. Mostly for me it’s the different costume designs that the artists design, not to mention any homages or Easter Eggs that might be included (though, sadly, there’s nothing I saw in the latter group). Basically, I find myself wanting this particular storyline to be over with, while I don’t feel that way with Wonder Woman. I do continue to like the Eddie Barrows art, though I could do with fewer pouty Superman faces–I get it!

Unwritten #22: I really have nothing to say about this, except, I enjoyed it as I do every month. And the covers never cease to amaze me. Yuko Shimizu gets my vote for best cover artist (now that Buffy, Season 8 is over and Jo Chen isn’t doing those covers anymore).

New Comics Wednesday (2/9/11)

Here are the comics I’m getting this week (it’s a lot!):

  • Adventure Comics #523–Phil Jimenez on a Legion book? SOLD!
  • Batgirl #18–OMG, the awesomeness continues!!!
  • Batman & Robin #20–I’m putting that Absence nonsense behind me….
  • Birds of Prey #9
  • DC Universe: Legacies #9
  • Incognito: Bad Influences #3–Really, you should go read the first trade and then read this.
  • Superman #708
  • Unwritten #22

Also out this week is the first (HC) trade of the Justice League: Generation Lost year-long, bi-weekly series. I’m kind of mad at DC for not better hyping this book. If I’d known more about it and the schedule, I might have picked it up in floppies, but now I guess I’ll have to settle for the trades.