Thursday, August 13, 2009

Comics Roundup for 8/12/09

Okay, there was a lot more to get than I had anticipated. Here goes:

Echo #14 - I'm running out of stuff to say about this series, but not in a bad way. I've raved about it, and all I can do is pretty much just repeat what I've stated before. This issue did a nice job of upping the ante a bit while still continuing to focus on the characterizations that keep me coming back every six weeks.

Batman #689 - The bad news is that Judd Winick is leaving the title after this current story. The good news is that he's coming back. This issue does a nice job of continuing to show how Dick Grayson is a different sort of Batman than Bruce Wayne was. For one thing, he's seen smiling while in action. Oh, and it was also nice to get some Mark Bagley artwork.

Trojan War #4 of 5 - This series deals with all of the stories regarding the Trojan War that aren't covered by Homer's two epics. I was familiar with many of these stories, including the madness of Ajax and the coming of Philoctetes. The story where Odysseus sneaks over the wall of Troy and is recognized by Helen is a new one for me though. I guess that next issue will deal with the sack of Troy, as this one ends with the Trojan Horse coming in through the gates of the city. I wonder if an adaptation of The Aeneid is in the works?

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #5 of 8 - This one has been delayed for quite a bit, and now I don't remember what happened (for the most part, but I remember a really cool moment in the first issue). I think I'll wait until the whole series is in and then read it all in one sitting. I just flipped through it though, and even though Michael Mignola isn't doing the art, Duncan Fegredo is a pretty damn good substitute.

Amazing Spider-Man #602 - I realize that a lot of fans are still upset over the whole undoing of the marriage, but I'm still on board. Not only that, but I think that Mary Jane has once again become interesting now that she's no longer his wife. (To be fair, there were some good stories about her when they were married, but I like the happy-go-lucky version of the character better - probably because that's the one I first met in an old issue of Marvel Tales, which reprinted an even older Lee/Romita Spider-Man story.)

Blackest Night #2 of 8 - Consider the stakes officially raised. A lot happens this issue, and it seems like the Black Lanterns are pretty damn indestrutable. Also, there's a really cool moment where Green Lantern crashes down on the bat-signal. At first I worried that eight issues would be too much, and that the story would drag as a result. This issue, however, still feels like the setup to the story, as there's a hell of a lot of stuff going on. Hopefully things will move a little more forward by next issue, because although I still enjoyed this one, I'll want some more progression by then.

Blackest Night: Batman #1 of 3 - I've stated before that I'm pretty skeptical about all of the tie-ins that come about whenever there's an event. And yet again, I find myself picking up another one and being pretty darned satisfied. I realize that they're using Batman to sell this book, but this series picks up an even more interesting aspect of the whole "Blackest Night" - what about Deadman? He's already dead! It feels more like he's the main character in this, which is fine with me so long as it's interesting, but some fans might get annoyed with that.

The Walking Dead: Volume 10 - This is a series that I wait for the collected editions, and I simultaneously love it and hate it. Why do I hate it? Because I get so absorbed in the story that I wind up rushing through the entire book, and then I have to wait several months for the next one to come out. I guess if that's my reason for hating it though, I can live with that. This volume changes the direction for the series yet again, and it features the same blend of horror and character development that keeps me coming back. There's an especially poignant moment with Rick, his son Carl, and Abraham. Oh, and I read yesterday that they're planning a television series adaptation, which is exactly the right way to go for something like this. If you want a movie, watch George Romero's "Dead" films.

Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Fantastic - I actually got this several days ago in the mail, but I wanted to make some mention of it. This is one that I bought primarily for the artwork, as I'm not really that huge of a fan of Flash Gordon. While Al Williamson didn't create the character, he's probably the artist most associated with Flash next to Alex Raymond (who did create him). This reprints every Flash Gordon comic he did in black and white (for the most part), including a tw0-issue Marvel series that I already own (but the version I have is in color). Al Williamson also did the Star Wars comic strip back in the early 80s, along with the adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Anyway, it's a really nice volume, and even though the stories are a bit dated and not quite my cup of tea, I've spent a lot of time just gazing at the absolutely gorgeous characters and backgrounds of a world-class comics artist.

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