Joe Rice Media Review 10/18/06
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Didn't have time to write one of these in a while. I am very sorry. DO NOT HATE ME THOUGH! Because I write again now! I didn't get a whole lot of comics today, but by damn were most of them really good. Oh, hey, there's last week's comics. Might as well write them up, too!
I was not a regular reader of Dorkin its heyday. Eastern Kentucky was crap for carrying any comics without guys in tights hitting each other. So I think the latest issue may be my first. But it's certainly not my last. It's a gag-filled issue with actual humor found. It's got some "adult" content (less than Angry Youth, of course) but it's well worth most folks' three bucks. Very funny.
I got Pirates of Coney Island because I thought it might be a fun local-ish book. Oh, man. This was horrible. If there's anyone still out there that thinks I hate all superhero books and love everything else, let this book be an example. Completely terrible. The art is like, "What if Jaime Hewlett, instead of being awesome, really was awful! And couldn't tell a coherent story!" We have tired punk rock cliches stabbing each other's eyes out, spider-kissing, a scary death car, and BOY DO I NOT CARE. Avoid, folks.
If you want a comic set in a recognizable New York, make it DMZ. Odd that a comic set in a near-future American civil war in which Manhattan is a, well, DMZ, would be so much more recognizable than most comics that pretend to really know what NY is about. It's the feeling of the place and its inhabitants that Wood knows so well. This issue also features art/design by Mr. Wood and it's off the charts. Really, really recommended as the main character's news pieces and notes about Manhattan are displayed. Comments on past issues and perhaps future developments abound.
I knew something bad had to happen in The Escapists. It couldn't just be lollipops and awesome writing. But the "bad thing" feels real, feels legitimately threatening, and makes for some good reading. The characters' relationships also move in real/interesting ways that you wouldn't necessarily predict. Some of the jokes are a little to "in" for me, but I guess they'd kind of have to be. Very good mix of the super and the real in comics.
The Punisher is really good comics.
I almost forgot about 7 Brothers. John Woo's concept, Garth Ennis writing, beautiful cover, nice art inside . . .and it's interesting. Supposedly Chinese explorers secretly traversed the world six hundred years ago or so. I'm guessing the seven men of various racial backgrounds gathered by crazy kung-fu girl are descendents of explorer-bastards. They all seem to have a power, but more in the "7 Chinese Brother" style than Superman and company. It's a great set-up and I'm interested.
I got this week's 52 for the Bulleteer and Ambush Bug bits. They're pretty small. This book is pretty stupid and packed to the gills with poorly-defined characters who do weird things slowly. I guess the Bug was pretty funny. eh.
Runaways. .a great cross between a nice wrap-up and creepy possible forshadowing. God, this is really good young superhero comics. Gonna see if some of the kids at school can get into this. You all know it's good, though, right? That it's the comics that people seem to think Teen Titans or the X-Men were. Finally fully realized, here they are. And they're worth the wait.
I'm glad GI Joe Declassified is over so I can stop buying it and not enjoying it.
This week Grant Morrison's two relaunched Wildstorm titles hit the stands. ("Hit the stands" is a stupid phrase. I hate myself.) Interviews and early talk made them sound uncharacteristic for recent Morrison: Authority as "superheroes in the real world" and Wildcats as "adult superheroes." I was weary. And Jim Lee on the Wildcats art made me a bit wearier. Stupid me. I should have realized that, with Morrison, the phrase to add onto the quoted bits there was "done right." And those ideas aren't subtext, they are the text of the book. Its all there in the Wildcats dialogue: "But all these widescreen battles and public displays of stupidity: it's vulgar and frightening. Adolescent. How would truly adult superheroes behave?" I look forward to this. Yes, there's sex and violence, but they don't read as gratuitous. And they don't class with the villains and the action and the heroics. It's an interesting concept that's been done wrong a million times. How to age the superhero past adolescence. It's a ride I'm interested in.
The Authorty also seems to literally be taking the "superheroes in the real world" idea. The issue is about a government agent looking into a downed sub and, well, SPOILER, finding the Authority's carrier in the ocean. By all accounts, the world is basically our own, not a superhero universe one. The excitement comes from the muted tones and realistic Ha art being soon challenged by this larger-than-life four-color characters. It's the kind of story I'd trust to few writers. Morrison is one of them. Show 'em, Grant. Show those hacks what "adult" and "real world" really mean.