Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Comix Report 1/4: Double Size Edition!

Okay okay okay so because I didn't get last week's comix until late (Diamond took a day off for Christmas), I'm doing a little double-dip with the comix I picked up today. So, starting with:

Witch Doctor: The Resuscitation
I'm a fan of Witch Doctor, and I'm a little pleased to say I've been there more or less since the beginning (I read the original b&w comic they prototyped a couple years ago online--I think through Warren Ellis's website?). The creators are doing something very smart and very dense, and they work very well together. Vincent Morrow is a fascinating character and his support members add the perfect balance of light and dark to the story. I'm so happy to see these guys grow in their storytelling ability because the only faults I see are the parts where the storytelling is unclear or they slip out of voice or form (momentarily, mind you!). 
In any case, this Sherlock Holmes meets House, M.D. meets Lovecraft story is great--if only for the titular Dr. Vincent Morrow, whose willingness to believe anything is offset by his complete unwillingness to take anything at face value. This story, involving his encounter with a magical pathologist (aka a necromancer) is a nice done-in-one and I eagerly await the beginning of the next series!

Kick-Ass 2 #6
I haven't been thrilled with Kick-Ass recently, mostly because it seemed to have adopted a nihilistic attitude regarding its characters. I think its attempts at realism have been pretty depressing more than anything, but this issue brings Hit-Girl back in--and frankly, she's the star of the show anyways, because she's the one that gives Kick-Ass the ability to fight his enemies. Kick-Ass's power is basically not doing until Hit-Girl shows up. As sad and painful as the previous issues were, I am looking forward to the next one, where I'm sure Hit-Girl is going to annihilate Mother Russia.
Mostly, I just want more Nemesis from Mark Millar. 

Annihilators Earthfall #4
The only reason I pick up Annihilators is because of Rocket Raccoon. So maybe I should only review the last part of this book?
It's fun stuff, but I just want to say that I need more Rocket Raccoon. Real stuff. I mean, he's a prime character! Look at that guy! He was in Marvel vs. Capcom 3! He's gonna be in the Avengers cartoon!

The Ultimates #5
This book is interesting, though there's something about Hickman books that makes them difficult to get into. FF, Secret Warriors, Ultimate Hawkeye--I don't know why, but I just can't sustain myself on them. It's a little frustrating, because I want to like them--I like his cold science aesthetic, but there's something very dry about the books that I can't latch onto. Though I am probably going to stick around on this book for a while, because I'm digging a real gameplan in the Ultimate U. But I'm just gonna touch on a couple characters.
Once again, we get a little bit of Ultimate Spider-Woman, but barely any characterization. I know it's hard to give everyone the same amount of time, but here we are.
Now the stuff with the Falcon is what I like. I really, really dug the Falcon in Ultimate Extinction. He was an intelligent gentleman with a worldview that made him an excellent contemporary counterpart to Captain America. It's nice to see this great character picked up again, and he really hits the ground running this time. Hickman nailed his voice, too, which is nice. Looking forward to having him on a real book again.

Aaaaaaaand 1/4!

Defenders #2
Aaah, well, you know I already love this book. So I'm just going to take some time and read this again. I'm gonna get more Hop Czar beer and tell you all about it.
Like I said last time (I think) this book has two distinct flavors (Fraction and Dodson) that are not competing, which means they're working together in such a lovely way. Dodson's animal-human hybrids are fascinating (especially the long-necked snake-dude), the Concordance Engine bristles with activity and each character has a distinct set of expressions perfect for them. But I'm more of a writer, so that's what I'm in for.
The narrator is a little more epic this time, spinning grand stories of combat and letting us into the minds of the characters. But it's also a clever way to time out the action and the beats on each page; similarly, it works with the other captions and word balloons set up reversal gags that make the whole story fun to read. And yeah, the bottom-of-the-page captions are still great: "Story interrupted previous page", "Why are there so many bite wounds in her E.R.? The answer will surprise WEREWOLF BY NIGHT NURSE!", and my personal favorite (after a one-page Marvel ad) "THAT WAS A GOOD AD".
And hey, the story is moving briskly as we find out that the Black Hulk is after the frickin' Heart of the Universe. So that's cool, too. Still and always looking forward to this book.

The Goon #37
I got into The Goon earlier this year, and I was not disappointed by it--it has an ability to transition seamlessly from comedy to horror to noir, often in a single issue. This issue sees the return of the EC-style comics with a story of a factory burned down with its workers trapped inside. Of course, being The Goon, it means magic and mobsters are going to be involved and somebody's going to get their comeuppance. Actually chilling with that dose of absurdism the series is famous for.
Sidenote thought--The Goon is actually pretty close to Top Ten in how it sets itself up. They both have a strong deadpan tone where the characters rarely laugh at themselves (except for Franky, of course), so it allows them to move easily between silliness and seriousness. 

I was gonna review Fatale #1, but I think I need to read it a few more times. I am digging the tone, though--I liked Criminal by Brubaker and Phillips, I just didn't follow through on subsequent story arcs. So I'm getting in on it this time, I think!

Everyone you love dies,

1 comment:

  1. Nice review of Witch Doctor: The Resuscitation. I also enjoyed that book. Your description of Dr. Morrow's credulity/incredulity made me chuckle.