Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Comics for 9 March 2005

I seem to be going through a blah phase of comics reading - everything's okay, but nothing's blowing me away (that includes Morrison's stuff, even though I like it). I like getting things from the way back of Previews, but if it doesn't knock my socks off, I feel more let down than if I spent the same money for a mainstream book. That's weird. Maybe it's because I can easily drop a mainstream book, but an indie, I feel, NEEDS my support and I would feel guilty about not getting it. It's a conundrum.

This week's batch:

Atomika #1 by Andrew Dabb, Sal Abbinanti, and Buzz (I'm not kidding)
$2.99, Speakeasy Comics

This is one of those indie books I'm talking about. I'm on the hook for the first three issues, and that's not a bad thing, because this is intriguing and gorgeous to look at, but ... it didn't overwhelm me with comic goodness. The art reminds me of Brett Blevins (whatever happened to him?), which isn't a bad thing, as his art usually works, and Abbinanti's style is powerful and majestic and slightly grotesque and horrific, all at the same time. The story is mostly set-up, which again, isn't a bad thing, although it got a little confusing at times. The story is about a superhero created by the Soviets in the 1930s (starting, actually, in 1929). It's an intriguing concept that, one hopes, delves a little more into the consequences to the world of a Communist Superman than Red Son did (I liked that mini-series, but it didn't do what I wanted). Dabb uses Russian folklore and Soviet propaganda to nice effect, although, again, I was a little confused about where the little boy was going when he wandered around "under the earth." Is it real? Is it metaphorical? His mother seems to know what's going on, but why is she Mother Russia? Is the boy real at all? And why does a small Russian boy know French? These things bugged me. I recommend this because it's something different and the art is beautiful and the story is intriguing, but we'll see.

Fables #35 by Bill Willingham and David Hahn
$2.50, DC/Vertigo

Jack's little adventure in Hollywood comes to an end, and we learn why exactly he wanted to be a producer in the first place. It's actually a nifty idea. I'm not sure how significant a story it really was, but we'll see if Willingham ever returns to the character (at the end of the issue, he tells us that Jack was never seen in Fabletown again, but he does say he had adventures). If we see Jack again, it will be nice. If we don't - well, it's a decent story, but I'm not sure what purpose it serves. Except we learn that five years have passed since Beast took over as sheriff, and next issue, we fill in the blanks. A fine enough issue, but not up to this title's usual standards.

Samurai: Heaven and Earth #3 by Ron Marz and Luke Ross
$2.99, Dark Horse

Gosh oh gee, this is a gorgeous book. Ross is really brilliant - his women are beautiful (and some are ugly - this takes place in France in 1704, after all), his men are beautiful (it's comics, after all, and the men are idealized as much as the women), his costumes are spot on, his backgrounds are meticulously drawn and fabulously realized - it's amazing. The story continues to be strong, as Shiro has made his way to Paris, where Lady Yoshiko has been taken. He gets into a fight with the Musketeers (not those, they would be dead by now), gets thrown into the Bastille, but then is rescued by the Spanish ambassador, who wants a bodyguard. Of course, we have to check in one Yoshiko, who of course has been sold to ... King Louis XIV. Who could have guessed?

I'm kidding - sure, it's not the greatest twist, but it had to happen, because Shiro has to overcome even greater odds to get his lady back. It's excellent. Buy it now!

Shining Knight #1 by Grant Morrison and Simone Bianchi
$2.99, DC

Well, the Seven Soldiers madness begins in earnest with this title (after last week's zero issue), and it's a good start. Lots of Morrison craziness, including the by-now-ubiquitous Vampire Sun and its apparent ambassador, Neh-Buh-Loh (good to see the big guy; he's looking well after slaughtering the Seven Soldiers last week); the Castle Revolving (about which the Queen of Terror says, "You don't know what [it] is!" - well, tell us, Grant!); the inexhaustible cauldron; some chick in a bikini shouting "Gloriana Tenebrae" (I saw a play in Portland once called, I believe, "Night Comes To Tenebrae," about Henry IV of France - a really good play); Caliburn (not Excalibur, because why would Grant be normal?); and Sir Justin of Camelot and his winged horse Vanguard. Sir Justin is present at the fall of Camelot, then he gets to the Castle Revolving, which is apparently a time machine, because he ends up in modern-day Los Angeles and gets arrested. And his horse dies. How sad. It's wacky, but I am willing to let Morrison take me for a ride and trust him. He lets you down sometimes, but he's also willing to go further than a hell of a lot of other writers, and when he delivers, it's magic.

The art is brilliant. Absolutely stunning. It makes the madness easier to deal with, because it complements it so well. Really excellent art.

Shiver in the Dark by Stuart Sayger
$2.95, Singing Ink

This is another comic I had high hopes for, and I still will probably get issue #2 and 3 (#1 came out a year ago; this is a reprint), even though it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. It's a weird little story about a possessed book (I'm not kidding). A demon shows up to find the book, but it's already been shoplifted by a snotty college student named Grace, who isn't sure what she's going to with this possessed book. Weird. The story is okay, but the art is amazing. Really spectacular - sort of Sienkiewicz-like, but not necessarily a rip-off. It really sells the book, and makes me want to find the next two issues. Okay, the narration is a little hokey, but the story does intrigue me, and I want to like this book, because it's such a small press. I recommend it (go to the web site to buy the issues), but I'm not sure it's going to last on my list of things to buy. We'll see.

Vimanarama #2 by Grant Morrison and Philip Bond
$2.99, DC/Vertigo

The second issue of this mini-series was a little disappointing, because we got away from what I liked about the first issue, and that is the love story between Ali and Sofia. Here we get the bad guys doing bad guy things and the Ultrahadeen coming to save the world, and it's all very grand and goofy and Silver-Agey with a touch of Vertigo (the bad guys rip heads off, after all), but it was just okay, not excellent. The scene where Sofia tells Prince Rama that she doesn't love him and he instantly becomes powerless is nicely done, and the page where Ali tells Sofia how he's beginning to feel about her but she doesn't hear because a weird temple with legs is clanking by is fun and sweet, and the twist at the end is, well, a bit unexpected, but all in all, it was just an okay issue. Since it's only three issues, I understand that Morrison needs to pack a lot in, but it feels like too much. Bond's art is excellent, though - good art in all my purchases this week.

I also bought Planet of the Capes by Larry Young and Brandon McKinney. Unlike Scurvy Dogs (buy it here!), this is not recommended reading. It's okay, I guess, but I don't get it. What's the bleedin' point, ultimately? And if it doesn't have a point, why am I spending 13 dollars on it? Please, Larry Young, I know you visit other blogs! Come to mine and enlighten me, because I honestly don't know why you wrote this!


Post a Comment

<< Home