ACTION COMICS #3—All right, this one feels perfect all of a sudden, Morrison sliding into place and finally igniting the afterburners. Maybe it was just the opening scene-shift to Krypton with Ha, but from the top of the first page, this book was suddenly everything that I’ve been wanting it to be. Though Clark’s last page has got to be the most jarring I Give Up montage of all time. What, wait, really? That was it? You’re done? Because they threw a brick and a bottle at you? The best jarring cut was from Clark’s “Duly charmed,” (easily my favorite panel of these three issues) to the woman telling him the ghost of a white dog is watching over him. Spooky. And getting back to that white dog, does the conversation between the dog and Jor-El on Page Three indicate that Krypto was like Governor of Krypton or something? I mean, from the way that pooch is talking, he clearly outranks Jor-El and straight up comes across as the leader of the planet. The dog. From the mind of Grant Morrison! BEST OF WEEK.
OMAC #3—This is nothing less than more Kirby krackle kindling and seething up out of every page. I love that DC is putting this thing out there, surely a great offense or possibly eye-opening experience to tykes reared on the pencilers of the modern age. Maybe this will get old for me, but it’s going to take a while. Didio and Giffen continue to do a masterful job at channeling the King, more the vibe of his 60s Marvel stuff than, you know the actual series or Era of Kirby that provides this thing’s source material, but it makes no nevah mind to me. SMASH!
ANIMAL MAN #3—Yeah, and Lemire and Foreman continue to absolutely kick ass and tear it up on one of the relaunch’s breakout hits, the truly horrific latest take on the Baker family. Best panel was Mom hitting the guy with the car, scored by Mullet Cliff’s “Awesome!” Because that’s exactly how it would happen. When you’ve managed verisimilitude during the suburban mom’s sideswiping the extradimensional entity from the Red with her Prias or what have you, you done real good.
SWAMP THING #3—Snyder cranks this one up a bit, and a good thing, too, because I haven’t been blown away by the story thus far. But the way he gets into it with that kid, nice creeping EC vibe that has always suited this title. Was all impressed with Paquette on this one, then shocked to make it to the end and discover that Victor Ibanez drew most of it. Nice job, editorial, no artistic disconnect for me, whatsoever, though, yeah, I can now totally go back and tell the difference. More great times. It’s good fun that this and ANIMAL MAN come out on the same day.
STORMWATCH #3—Is that Adam guy starting to really annoy anybody else? I think it’s maybe the facial hair. Or maybe just how he showed up out of nowhere and is all the boss of these guys, suddenly. Maybe that’s how Cornell wants us to feel. This is more planetary-scale authoritarian superhero widescreen. I’m not crazy in love with it, just such a water-down of Ellis/Hitch glory, forevermore, but feel like I can hang out with it for a while, if only because I trust Cornell’s long game.
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #20—Another real interesting grab-you-by-the-throat installment. Snyder keeps zigging instead of zagging. There’s no way that Hole In The Sky just took out that ur-American Vampire in the cave offscreen, right? Snyder did such a tremendous job of dialing us into that character via a tenish-page origin (don’t have it in front of me at the moment) that the last thing I expected when the present-day scene ended was for her to suddenly be out of commission. What’s most interesting is that this is as far back as he’s taken us, I mean, Skinner Sweet had been the oldest AV we’ve seen, but obviously either the Native American girl or Hole In The Sky are going to turn him. Which, seems like we’re going to need much more of an origin for the new vampire species than what we got in the first half of this issue, but I’m pretty sure Snyder knows that and’ll just keep doing what he’s doing. Jordi Bernet is a treasure, as ever.
THE BOYS #60—Jesus, Ennis. Love that he actually worked Logan’s catchphrase in there, too hilarious. And what, that’s supposed to be Rob Liefeld’s Nineties Attack Squad who burst in at the end? This book sometimes feels like a glorious mess of a trainwreck while still managing to convey that it’s anything but. That Ennis is one sharp tack.
KIRBY: GENESIS #4—(last week’s release, but I had to track down #3 in the meantime b/c it never showed up at my LCS, so here we go): This continues to be a delightful, insane romp through the fertile abundance of Kirbyspace, all the characters he created who didn’t grow up to keep the lights on at the Big Two or turn into cartoons or movies. Busiek does fine work with the difficult task of balancing out the lunatic concept of mashing all of these folks together, giving us little bits here and there to latch on to, producing the cumulative effect of just walking in blind to a new publishing house to jump on board with their latest Big Crossover Event. Who are all these people? What’s going on? If all isn’t revealed, at least enough is to keep you on the hook for what happens next. Wish we could get more Ross pages per month, but I’ll take whatever he turns in.
UNCANNY X-MEN #1—Pretty much what I expected here, quite a few great little character beats that are the lifeblood of this title, if not franchise. It’s a really good time to be a mutant fan. The only false note, if I can make myself care about or in any way respect Sinister, which, still having trouble with, but Dr. Nemesis’s dialogue came off as totally out of character. Meaning it wasn’t Warren Ellis about to castrate me with a spoon. Fucking hell, get on it, Gillen, make those words sing and cut, my son!
FEAR ITSELF #7.1—Ah, hahahhaha! This read as inadvertently hilarious for me, and I mean it in a good way. By far, my biggest gripe about this event was the way it just tossed Bucky to the lions after all the years of fine rehabilitative character work that Brubaker had done. And all the investment that readers made in him. Just to have it all ripped away. I mean, I don’t believe I was the only reader who finished #3 and had no idea that he was supposed to be Dead dead, because we’ve seen something like that happen and reverse itself so many times. Then, it seemed to take. But then Bru drops the other shoe here, to tremendous effect, Steve trying to beat the shit out of Fury definitely made me chuckle. I don’t know if I’m on board with a WINTER SOLDIER series, however. I’m sure it will be top-notch with Brubaker/Guice at the helm, but if it’s yet another $4 single, and I have no reason to believe it won’t be, I’m reaching my breaking point with Marvel shit I’m going to plunk that down for every four weeks. Or two. Spreading Brubaker out on three Cap titles makes sense from a financial and even creative standpoint, I guess, but it’s kind of a dick move to the readers who’ve been invested in his run on a monthly basis since the beginning (or #4, anyway, close enough).