BEST OF WEEK: CASANOVA #2 – I think last time we pretty much established that I love this thing far too much to even share the same solar system with words like “objective” or “critical” when discussing it, so let’s just accept that and barrel on, as ever.
As expected, this first double-dose was almost too much for my body to accept, the way maybe when you’ve been drinking too much all night and them some joker or, really, temptress, almost trips over you and decides to pour a bottle of whatever’s handy down into you and that maybe works out swell for about five minutes but then your body just can’t stand any more of all that good, that poison, and so just sends it right back up the hatch? Well, I was dry-heaving Ba after about 20 pages of this, see, so so close to just splashing inbred hyperdimensional espionage goodness up all over the carpet.
And THEN with the old #3 cut into three equally riveting scenes unfolding one page at a time, straight up cribbed from Minear’s fantastic “Out of Gas” episode of FIREFLY (I think you ladies know the one I’m talking about. The ladies reading these words. Ladies?)(no, wait, shit, I think I’m getting that one mixed up with Mal waking up naked in the desert because Joan gave him what for. Never mind about the ladies and Mal’s ass. But that Joan has always been a star, we knew it way back when).
So, had me and had me, and then with the Fraction/Chabon e-mails. Christ Jesus. Kind of makes you want to burn everything else without even giving it a chance. Easily the best $4 anyone can spend this month.
And, actually, writing this made me cough up this e-mail to a friend, which sums it all up much better than the preceding:
For $3.99, released this week, you get colorized versions of the original #s 2 & 3, both of which are just so tight they make my teeth hurt, 32 pages all told, then, when you can't be any more grateful, the fucking backmatter is 8 pages of Chabon/Fraction e-mails basically geeking out over Bond and really lusting after Faye Dunaway. It has to be read to be believed, but you will wish that they were your best friends, too.
THE BOYS #45 – The Female appropriating UP’s colored balloons turns out not to just be a great idea for the cover. Man, this series has never been better and Nicky B and company absolutely could not have picked a more opportune time to jack up the price, because I was just so indignant maybe eight weeks ago and am now wondering why they didn’t just jump up to $5. On the edge of my seat.
BRIGHTEST DAY #7 – And wow, Johns & Tomasi totally read my last review and cranked it right the hell up (yes, I realize that this was written a long time ago, but this flippant tone thing I’ve got going is really working for me right now, so please to let’s roll with it). I probably would have picked a cover concept that didn’t give away such a prominent plot point. And, while I’m grousing, those tight-shot ads for NBC’s THE EVENT have just about put me completely off the fucking thing, just because they derailed me about eight times in one night from enjoying stories that I had already paid money for. I mean, I’m all about the Blair Underwood, Jonathan Rollins forevah, but recycling THE MATRIX’s ad campaign 11 years later isn’t really blowing anybody away, you know? Maybe it’ll be great, but I don’t appreciate them just elbowing their way into my Wednesday night.
But the issue. Fine work. Acceleration appreciated. Looking forward to the next issue. Still not quite 52, but you know. Red sky lightning in a bottle, that.
HOUSE OF MYSTERY #28 – The page stock is not as swell as BRIGHTEST DAY. They maybe want to look into that, this one’s going to stand the test of time much better, I’m thinking. Sturges does, has always done in this title, this really amazing trick in the captions where you can totally feel him writing, trying as hard as he can, but where that will usually put me off from about everybody else, I’m always rooting for him, and he always delivers by page’s end. I can’t put it any better than that. Normally, any other time when the author’s voice just crashes into the narrative, it seems like amateur hour, but here it works for me. Maybe because of the premise of the title? I don’t know. Two years+ and going strong. Rossi is a hoss.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #608 – Love Guice’s choreography for that initial fight. Things look worse for poor ol Buck. And, in the last panel, Sam says, “We gotta go now.” That’s totally the “Louie, Louie” quote that Ennis grabbed for that interminable sidekicks arc in the 30s! Oh my head, the connections! This issue is another fine slab of serial goodness, but I can’t for the life of me, all love to McKeever, understand how the second feature got greenlit, let alone not pulled by now. I want my talking heads to be David & Tina, not Liefeld’s reboot of Bucky. I mean, that doesn’t even take math to illustrate.
AVENGERS PRIME #2 – Yeah, I’m just so glad to see Davis/Farmer knocking these pages out, think I’d be a lot more forgiving even if Bendis wasn’t again delivering top-shelf work. This is the issue when our three leads don’t even interact and it’s all still wildly compelling, at least if phrases like “the rainbow bridge across nine worlds” do anything for you. Bendis is a master of the beats. I think anyone who talks shit about him really fails to grasp that, and how important it is in this medium.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 – And the telescoping Newton issue! The five-fold understading! The Greater Science, The Hidden Arts, The Secret Alchemy, The Quiet Math, and The Silent Truth.
Say no more, right? Well, we could talk about Being Mentored by Galileo, or How Nostradamus Sees, or What Newton Knows, or How One Smites Galactus, or The Mechanics of Laying with Deviants, but all I really have left is that I probably won’t ever be able to decide if I love this one or DAYTRIPPER more, but will forever revere this calendar year for the chance it gave me to read both of them almost at the same time.