Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comics Roundup for 7/1/09

Whoosh! I read through this week's stack pretty quickly, which is good and bad. It's good because I was eager to read them all, bad because I'm already done. Anyway, I didn't get around to writing about them until now, so here they are:

Batman and Robin #2 - While I really liked the first issue, I loved the second one. The thing that I usually like about Grant Morrison's writing is that he tends to have a lot of wild, big ideas and he'll cram them all into one issue, whereas another writer would take just one of those and do an entire epic story out of it. Well, Morrison's certainly not short on ideas for this series, but what's even better is that it's a character-driven story. Dick Grayson's having a tough time filling his mentor's shoes, and the fact that the new Robin (who happens to be Batman's love-child with Talia, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul) doesn't respect him is making things worse. Easily my favorite read of the week, and the splash page alone captures the theme of the entire issue. Great stuff.

Captain America: Reborn #1 of 5 - The series that brings back the original Captain America is off to a good start, even though the explanation as to how he's still alive is a wee bit convoluted and makes me feel like I'm rereading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five (which isn't a bad thing, now that I think of it). My only complaint is that I don't see why this couldn't be done in the regular series, but so long as Ed Brubaker is writing this as well (and Bryan Hitch's art doesn't hurt either) I won't complain.

The Astounding Wolf-Man #17 - Robert Kirkman has really mastered the art of moving the story forward and ending on a cliffhanger each issue. That must be why I keep coming back for more. In this issue, Wolf-Man makes amends with his daughter, but he finds himself on the wrong end of the law. Sucks to be him.

Astro City: The Dark Age - Book Three #3 of 4 - I find that this particular series is much better when I read it all at once in one sitting. I read everything up to this point and enjoyed it, but now I'm getting lost again. Too many characters to keep track of, but this series never lets me down on the re-read, so I'll keep getting it and wait for the whole story to finish before I try and read it again.

Echo #13 - Speaking of people who don't let me down, this story keeps moving forward. How to explain it? Think of a woman with some pretty serious personal issues suddenly getting superpowers that she can't control. That's somewhat the gist, but it hardly does it justice. Somebody once mentioned to me that this series would look even better in color, and while I liked Terry Moore's black and white work just fine with Strangers in Paradise, I'm thinking that this particular series could use a dash of color. It would definitely suit the action scenes at least.

Trojan War #3 of 5 - Marvel Comics continues its adaptation of all the Trojan War related stories that aren't found in either of Homer's epics (or Virgil's one epic, for that matter). I knew the story of Prince Memnon being defeated by Achilles, but I didn't know that the swift-footed one also took down an Amazon Queen before meeting his maker. I'll have to work that into my Trojan War lesson plans for next year.

Fantastic Four #568 - Word on the Internets is that they're going to re-boot the Fantastic Four movie franchise. Thank goodness for that, as the first one stunk, and the second seemed like a bad Saturday Morning cartoon. This is the penultimate issue of Mark Millar's run, and while it wasn't as cool as the last issue, I'm certainly eager to see how this all gets wrapped up. Obviously, the good guys will win, but will Ben "The Thing" Grimm be able to get married? With a book like this, it's definitely a possibility, as "family" is often the theme. I'm also wondering if they're going to re-explore Johnny Storm's "music" career like they did in the first few issues of this particular run. (He wasn't really much of a musician, as it was all an opportunity for him to get his own reality show.)

Captain America Comics No. 1 - Marvel did a series of one-shot comics to celebrate their 70th Anniversary, and for some reason I missed this one when it first came out. I wasn't much interested in the other ones, so I passed them up. This one, however, had one of my favorite new artists, Marcos Martin, doing the main story. That alone was enough for me to get it, but I really liked the story, as it establishes that it's not the super-soldier serum that makes Captain America a hero, but the bravery of Steve Rogers. (Yeah, a somewhat cliched message, but it was executed well.)

Is it Wednesday yet?

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