Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Some Reviews 

JLA Classified #1: See, just when I start to despair of finding any fun super-hero comics, something like this comes along. Morrison blends big goofy super-hero action with pointed meta-textual commentary on the state of, well, super-hero comics. I think it's telling that the Authority/Ultimates-esque Ultramarines, who are serious and grim, are in need of rescue from the most serious member of the "light and fluffy" JLA, and that Batman goes about it in a way almost calculated to alienate all the fans of the "serious" super-hero and of the "grim" Batman: his arsenal of goofy sci-fi gadgetry. This is also some of the best art I've seen from McGuinness in, well, ever. The layouts are engaging and playful and draw you in.

WE3 #2: Quitely's art is frankly gorgeous, and Morrison's story is compelling and heart-breaking. Morrison manages to make the animal characters recognizable without resorting to humanizing their intelligence or behavior. They can speak, but they don't have the understanding of consequence or context that humans do.

Planetary #21: A place-holder issue. Some information is imparted to the reader but the larger story fails to progress. This sort of issue is necessary every once in a while, granted, but on a book that comes out as infrequently as this one it can be a bit frustrating.

Astonishing X-Men #6: I think I'm officially out of patience with this book and it's going on the pile of comics that only Pete reads. If the point of X-Treme X-Men was to reassure readers who'd rather wallow in the status quo than experience something new in Morrison's New X-Men, than the point of this book seems to celebrate the status quo. "Hey, remember 20 years ago when you really liked the X-Men? Joss Whedon does too!" And while I'm used to seeing mutation used as a metaphor for everything from race to sexuality, Whedon's use of the mutant=gay metaphor, especially in light of the politically motivated "cure," is so ham-fisted here that I find it offensive.

Y: The Last Man #28: Ah, just as questions may finally start to be answered, more plot elements are thrown into the mix...Now, see, this is how you write compelling serial entertainments.

Authority: Revolutions: Authority became a "Pete book" a long time back, but I still find some entertainment in it from time to time. Brubaker's off to a good start, and Nguyen's art is quite good here. I would have found the adversaries more compelling if they weren't so odious in their politics. There's a way to critique the notion of the Authority as benevolent fascists, but making these rebels somewhere to the right of Trent Lott politically is probably not the way to go about it.

Question #1: I may be biased, not being disinclined to dislike this solely because it isn't faithful to Ayn Rand's philosophies, but it seems to me that the play with structure that Veitch and Edwards are doing here is faithful to the spirit of Ditko's work as a whole, even if casting the Question as a shamanistic figure gives the lie to a knowable external reality independent of our senses. This was great stuff and left me insistent for more.

Blue Monday: Painted Moon #3: Ah, bowling...Clugston-Major's teen comedy is fun and twisted and just all-around good stuff.

ps238 #8: A key bit of back-story is revealed, and hints for the future are laid in the newest issue. Honestly, this is probably the best super-hero comic out there right now. It's funny, it's original, it's well-drawn and the characters are appealing. What more could you want?


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