Monday, December 26, 2011

Comix Report 12/21

You know, I love comic books. But they don't always impress me. Honestly, they usually disappoint me in some way. But I don't want to dwell on that (though I will touch on it later). What I want to talk about is how much I like the comics I do like.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7
Thrizzle is just about my favorite comic coming out right now, so it's a little disappointing that it's been over a year since the last one. Granted, we did get Mark Twain's Autobiography, but...well, actually, that does pretty much make up for it. It's good to know Michael Kupperman is basically always on, and this issue is no exception. 
The book's humor is something I admire because I know it's nothing I could ever write. "Scary Bathtub Stories" sponsored by "Hubert's Shower World?" That's the kind of deadpan, random humor I love. The main thrust of this issue was a comics-within-comics Inception gag running through random Quincy, M.E., Saint Peter, and Reservoir Dogs 2 jokes. It has a commitment to random humor that can't be beat.

Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes:
Honestly, I felt Batman and Robin #13 was an appropriate way to end Grant Morrison's run on Batman, but I do appreciate how optimistic Batman Inc. is. Granted, it doesn't seem like a terribly complex plan by Batman--"let's just make a bunch of Bat-dudes across the world!"--but the real complexity lies in the machinations of Leviathan. It's a nice adventure, but I really, really dug the psychological bent of the Black Glove stories before. Maybe I just need to read it a few more times to understand what the underlying thematic story is.
(Okay, all I really want is just more Professor Pyg. There, I said it. I like that there's a "Son of Pyg," but he's no substitute.)

Justice League #4:
Another issue, another fight scene with a new member. Agh, I just get angry thinking about how much I used to love Geoff Johns. There's a quality to the comic that just isn't surprising, you know? The whole thing feels also-ran, like I heard every line somewhere else: Green Lantern sounds like Ryan Reynolds, Batman sounds like Frank Miller, Wonder Woman sounds like Jungle Princess (from Thrizzle #6), Aquaman sounds like Namor (but not from Defenders!), and Superman...has two lines? Well, I guess everyone takes their turn. I mean, it's neat that Darkseid is now their first foe, since he's a little more epic than Starro, but the whole thing is plodding along--like Meltzer's JLA run, it's concentrating on one or two characters instead of a freakin' League of Justice

The Invincible Iron Man #511:
So I do like Zeke Stane and the super-scary Mandarin. But what I've really liked about Iron Man recently is his "Dark Elf" companion, Splitlip. Of course when Tony went to Asgard drunk to make super-weapons, he would be in the company of the ultimate enablers, (drunken) Dwarves. I just didn't expect him to take one back. And it's a fresh mirror for us to look at Tony--the smithy who's gnarled and sad and drinks as a crutch isn't too far from what Tony looks like at his worst. But it's important to have someone around when you're low--someone who will give you opportunities to make yourself better.

Defenders #1:
Okay, so this comic came out a few weeks ago, but I love it so much. First: narrative voice! Few comics choose to have their own narrator, since the camera is the conceit and if we need to know something, we can just make the characters say it. But a separate narrative voice seems essential in this endeavor, since it's such a joint effort by Dodson and Fraction--it's these two story-tellers speaking to the reader in their unique ways. Every page hums with that intimacy. Every grimy detail of the art, each word uttered by the characters moves the story along briskly while never overloading with exposition. Hell, even the margins are of dire importance. I'm pretty sure I'll be sneaking "Everyone you love dies" onto the bottom of pages for years to come. It's a lovely book that actually seems designed to be a serial comic begging to be read individually every time it comes out (kinda reminding me of Nextwave in that respect). Just wonderful, and not just for cock-blocking Namor.

Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-Man #5
And now he's got his costume! You know, I started reading comics on a weekly basis because of Ultimate Spider-Man. And as interesting as the conflicts were, it was always about the little, intimate moments. I can appreciate that the moments are a little outside my own sphere of knowledge, and I figure I'll probably appreciate this comic more when I have a kid in school. But I do like Miles Morales, even though I'm not so sure what's special about him yet. I'd really like to learn, though.
Also, I like Ultimate Jessica Drew, but I wish her odd origin and mindset would be explored a little more.

Okay, that's all I got in me right now.