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Monday, May 24, 2004
Last Weeks Comics and Other Things
Adventures of Superman #628 by Greg Rucka and Matthew Clark, published by DC Comics: One of my favorite sources for comics reviews that miss the entire point of the subject at hand pretty much dismissed this comic as having poor art and no story. Which I don't see at all, frankly. Superman is one of those characters who, like Batman, I find I have no interest in as a monthly comic, but can read in specials and mini-series. However, Rucka has given me a Superman that not only do I recognize as Superman (a rare feat for the last 10 years worth of Supes comics), but I find I actually want to read about this Superman on a monthly basis. And Clark's art is appealing. It's realistic without being over-rendered.
David and Goliath #3 by Jay Ju and Leonel Castellini, published by Image Comics: I can't quite bring myself to describe this as an all-ages book. It looks like one, with very engaging cartoon-style art, but the story feels a little...off, I guess. It doesn't quite feel like a book I can recomend to parents. And the book as a whole suffers somewhat from an over-reliance on caption boxes. As if Jay Ju, the writer, read "How to Script Comics the Chris Claremont Way."
Jane's World #13 by Paige Braddock, published by Girl Twirl Comics: Of the many comic books out there right now which exist only to republish newspaper or on-line comic strips, this, I have to say, is the best. The characters are charmingly befuddled and the art is emotive.
Demo #6 by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, published by Ait/Planet Lar: Has someone else already said that it seems like the powers the kids in this series get always seem symbolic of the emotional and social development of teens? So in this issues the narrator's feelings of impotence are expressed by having the voiceless enact his vengeance for him by proxy. Or something like that. Demo is still the best new book of the year, whether I read too much into it or not.
Seaguy #1 by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart, published by DC Comics: Everyone else is doing the in-depth textual analysis of this book that I wanted to do. So I think I'll wait until all three issues are out to go that route with my discussion. I will say two things: there's something very Freudian going on with this books symbolism, most notably in the very concept of the "anti-Dad" and in the vomiting up of Xoo. And second, I don't quite know why yet, but this seems more like a thematic follow-up on the issues raised by Flex Mentallo than those raised by Morrison's Filth or New X-Men.
Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom #4 by Ted Naifeh, published by Oni Press: Speaking of metaphors for teen angst...the appeal of this series is the use of magic and fairy lore given a contemporary, pseudo-gothic spin. And Naifeh's big-headed heroine. She's a little wench at times, but still manages to retain the reader's sympathy and identification.
I also finally got caught up on some of my manga reading, so I'll try to discuss those later.
Shrek 2 was very disapointing. But then, I wasn't a great fan of the first one, either. If you really like tired 80s refrences, the exact same jokes you saw in the first film, and needless slams against Disney, then you might like Shrek 2. The film's only saving grace was Puss In Boots, and I'm prejudiced by my fondness for the original story.
I've also joined the ranks of the damned and signed up for City of Heroes...it's interesting, suffers from the same fault all RPG-style computer games do, namely the fact that it takes forever for your character to go up in level in order to continue on with your missions, and I tend to get motion-sick if I play first-person perspective games for too long. But it's sort of fun anyway, and I've just barely gotten into it. Hell, I haven't even completed my first "real" mission.