Thursday, July 9, 2009

Comics Roundup for 7/8/09

Wednesday Comics #1 - Ever take a look at the comics section of your local Sunday paper? It's a travesty, as they try and cram as many strips on a page as possible. Once upon a time, there were strips like Prince Valiant and Little Nemo in Slumberland that would take up an entire page (or darn near close to it). The fact that they've been slicing and shrinking comics for decades now is one of the main reasons why Bill Watterson stopped doing Calvin and Hobbes.

What's that got to do with Wednesday Comics? Basically, it's DC's way of paying homage to those classic strips. It folds out to the size of your average comics page and features 15 different strips (featuring mainly superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etcetera) and each strip fills up the entire page. Of course, this would be meaningless if they had crap artists, but they have some of the best doing this particular series.

It's $3.99 an issue and it comes out every week. Considering that it's only going to last for twelve issues, you can count me in so long as they keep looking this good. My favorites? Batman, Superman, Kamandi, and Sgt. Rock.

Superman: World of New Krypton #5 - Definitely a more compelling read than the last issue, as Superman has to stand trial for treason, with General Zod as his prosecutor. It's a good example of Supes using his brains, as his strength is pretty much meaningless on an entire planet of Kryptonians.

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36 - Back when I was in college, there was a long, drawn-out storyline now known as "The Clone Saga". It started off as a compelling read, but it soon got out of hand and ridiculous. (As time has passed, fans have learned that it was supposed to be much shorter, but short-sighted bean counters took the control away from the creative team.) Anyway, when all that was finally wrapped up, the Spider-Man comics have barely made reference to the storyline - with the exception of the occasional joke or comment. Well, time heals all wounds, and that saga is once again having an impact on Spidey's world. So far, I'm intrigued, as there's a guy who has a mad-on for Peter Parker over something that his clone did. This annual doesn't resolve the storyline though, but it will be picked up in the regular series. I'm interested in what's going to happen, and I have a lot more faith in the current powers-that-be that they won't screw it up this time.

Batman #688 - Last issue, I was pleased to see that Judd Winick was the new writer on the series. This issue, it's even better because Mark Bagley is doing the art. What's the bad news? This creative team will only last a few issues, and Tony Daniel will become both the writer and artist. Honestly, I don't care much for his art - his storytelling leaves something to be desired. I haven't read anything he's written, but I have a feeling that I'll be dropping this series after the current creative team departs.

X-Men Forever #3 - Okay, I'm done. There's nothing wrong with the series, but I certainly don't like it enough to get it twice a month and pay an extra buck per issue. Besides, it all feels so inconsequential, as it doesn't take place in the same continuity as all the other Marvel books - which is a big part of the appeal of comics in general.

Green Lantern #43 - I'm only a relatively recent convert to Green Lantern fandom, so I don't know much about the villain known as The Black Hand other than what I've read in the current series. This issue sets the stage for the big crossover storyline 'The Blackest Night" and Black Hand is a big part of what's going down. Some pretty creepy stuff goes down, and I'm once again reminded of why this is one of my favorite comics. Also, it's nice having Doug Mahnke take over the pencils.

Thor: Tales of Asgard #3 (of 4) - Old Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories about what happened on Asgard before Thor came to Earth as a superhero. Fun stuff. 'Nuff said.

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