Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Last Weeks Comics 

Swamp Thing #5 by Andy Diggle and Enrique Breccia, from DC/Vertigo:
Well, that really shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone, now should it. I'm a bit frustrated that it took five issues to get us to this point. As others are said, this is starting to look like a four- or five-issue storyline padded out to six. This issue alone I count two full-page spreads, a double-page, and 10 pages with no more than four panels on them. (Dear God, I've resorted to counting panels...I'm officially the type of person who reads Comic Buyers Guide now, calculating costs per panel and costs per page...)

Y: The Last Man #24 by Brian Vaughan and Pia Guerra, from DC/Vertigo:
Apparently the books been taking place in an approximation of "real-time" and I didn't even notice. Not much to say about this issue. It appears that Vaughan is gearing up for some thoughts on how religion works in a world without men, but all we really get in this issue is a justified slam on the Tim LeHaye books and some of Yorick's Catholic Guilt. Which doesn't stop him from getting some, naturally. And the Amazons rear their head as a sub-plot yet again, which is frustrating, as without their leader I was rather hoping they would have gone away. Frankly, they're dull, and too reminiscent of the sort of mysogynistic thinking that Vaughan usually undercuts with this title.

Milkman Murders #1 by Joe Casey and Steve Parkhouse, from Dark Horse:
I haven't had any interest in Dark Horse's "horror line" at all so far. Steve Niles looks to be writing about half of it, and as I've mentioned before I just don't see the appeal of his work. The other titles, well, unironic supernatural horror in comic books always seems just kind of campy and dumb to me. It almost never works. So, I'm really glad that Casey has gone in the opposite direction with his title. It's "Suburban Horror" if you will. All the violence and degradation lurking under the suburban veneer brought out into the light and revealed for what it is. Only question I have now is...what the heck does the milkman have to do with any of it?

Monolith #6 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Tomm Coker, from DC:
I'm really digging DC's new weird direction and I'm hoping it lasts for awhile. Coker makes an admirable fill-in artist, especially for an issue guest-starring Batman, but the murkiness/moodiness of his art makes the events of the last two pages hard to follow.

Scratch #2 by Sam Kieth, from DC:
More weirdo and mutants from Sam Kieth is always a good thing. Though with this issue it's starting to look like Kieth, who's main weakness I've always felt to be his dialogue, really needed a script-assist. Because script-wise, this read a bit like something written by Byrne or Claremont, with lots of people talking about things we're being shown by the art, and that's not a good thing.

DC Comics Presents: Batman by Geoff Johns, Len Wein, Carmine Infantino and Andy Kuhn, from DC:
While I admire the concept behind these books, neither of the stories here did much for me. They're work-man like Batman scripts, but they don't have much to recomend them. Luckily, I don't think anyone's picking up these books in the expectation of reading one of the greatest comics ever. The concept alone, writing a new story around a "theme" cover, is an artificially limiting device that hampers quality a little.

Ultimate Spider-Man #62 by Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley, from Marvel:
Oh please. Like we didn't know this was going to be the eventual fate of the character from the moment she first appeared in the book. What rock have the people complaining about this in various on-line forums been living under?

Uncanny X-Men #446 by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis, from Marvel:
At least it looks nice.

Starjammers #1 by Kevin Anderson and Ale Garza, from Marvel:
Let's explanation as to who any of these characters are or why we should care? Check. Entire issue obvious set-up/prologue to later issues? Check. Fake manga art and coloring because Marvel apparently believes that yes, manga fans are stupid enough to fall for that kind of thing? Check. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say this is the first issue of a Marvel series...

Supreme Power #11 by J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank, from Marvel:
Four pages of recapping previous issues, ten pages of boobies interrupted by more back-story, eight pages of actual plot advancement.

Also read Oz: The Comic, or Hard Time if you will, which is always good, and Birds of Prey which honestly isn't all that bad for a tongue-in-cheek super-hero romp with gratuitous cheesecake art. Haven't gotten to The Tomb or Trucker Fags in Denial yet. I'm looking forward to one of those. The other, I'm cautiously optimistic about but reserving judgement on.


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