Monday, June 2, 2008

What I Read This Week

Well, it seems that the links below didn't work as well as I thought via email, so hopefully these will work out better!

Action Comics #865 -- After Lex Luthor and Brainiac, Superman's rogues gallery has traditionally not been the strongest.  A change to that staus quo starts here as Geoff Johns and Jesus Merino pull a "Rogue Profile" on Toyman.  Who is Winslow Schott?  Is he the gentle toymaker who was pushed into a life of crime?  Or the cold, monsterous child murderer?  Johns made these types of tales on of his trademarks on Flash, and it works equally well here, as we feel some sympathy for Toyman while at the same time not too much sympathy.  I really liked Merino's rendition of the grotesque "classic" Prankster as well.  About the only complaint I have from this issue is the cover by Kevin Maguire, which looks nothing like any version of the Toyman seen within.  Worth picking up if you like the classic Superman foes.

Justice League of America #21 -- I picked this one up on a recommendation from several people, including Lilbones.  And, I must admit, as a prelude to Final Crisis (see below), this is a pretty enjoyable comic book.  The talky bits with the "Big Three" were a little tedious, and somewhat hard to follow, but the balance of the issue, dealing with the Human Flame and Libra, were very well done; I'd have taken that part of the issue as a sort of Final Crisis #0.  McDuffie's script meanders a bit at first, but settles down in the second half, while Pacheo's style is well suited to the action elements.  Still not really an issue of Justice League, but otherwise worthwhile reading.

Final Crisis #1 -- Or, Grant Morrison and JG Jones Destroy The DC Universe.  Well, honestly it doesn't come to all that in the first issue, but as far as first issues of such things go, this one is quite good.  Beginning with Metron giving Anthro the gift of Knowledge (in the form of fire) and then following "Terrible" Dan Turpin hunting down some missing kids, and seguing into Libra demonstrating a sample of his power, I thought that this issue crammed a lot into it's page count and made me hungry for more.  And that's pretty much all I asked of it.  Two points.  First, the death which we have all known about for such a long time happened in such an unusual way that I was unsure what to feel about it, and still am.  I mean, I know it's comic book death, but the handling of it was a little... odd.  And secondly, DC is using the "low gloss" paper which has shown up on a few other projects I have seen from them lately, including House of Mystery.  This paper rocks!

Futurama Comics #37 -- Stuck on a farming plnet inhabited by giant robots called the (wait for it) Transfarmers, Fry and Leela, along with super-stud Zap Branigan, must find a way to escape or else end up as victims of a pest-control protocol.  Meanwhile, back on Earth, Bender has a few magnetic problems of his own.  Any comic which opens with a whole planet acting like Pac-Man, features a barn turning into a giant robot, and a plan by Zap Branigan to build an army though "making it" with the women is pure gold.  

Dead, She Said #1 -- Another pickup thanks to Lilbones' suggestion, this pairing of Steve Niles and Bernie Wightson seems pretty obvious after the fact.  Following gumeshoe Coogan, who seemingly had a very bad night, as he tries to find the guy who shot him, leads down a lot of weird alleys in the big city, as well as out in the coutry.  Some nice hard-boiled stuff, with big heaping helping of strange mystery on top of that.  So far, this one has a lot of potential for awesomeness.

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough call, mainly between Final Crisis and Dead, She Said.  I am going to give it to Final Crisis just because of the anticipation that I have had for it, which the issue itself did nothing to deflate.  Dead, She Said was quite cool as well, and a very welcome surprise since I knew nothing about it going in.

So what did YOU read this week?


Diabolu Frank said...

I happened to be at Bedrock City last week, in one of those rare instances I set foot in a comic shop these days. I decided to buy Justice League of America #21 (and cross fingers it didn't turn up in the mail.) I enjoyed it quite a bit, mostly because of the dialogue between the Trinity you found tedious. Diff'rent strokes. My only real issue was out of McDuffie's hands-- this "Red Arrow" crap-- but I suppose Roy's got to step up if he's League now. I'll never forgive Roy beating Dick to the punch, though...

Mister Bones said...

Wow, I'm not used to people actually paying attention to what I'm babbling on about over in the Batcave. I'm suddenly feeling some unfamiliar pressure, heh. Glad you liked Dead, She Said though, that's awesome. You have some fine tastes in funny books.

I really liked both Action Comics and All-Star Superman this week. Kelley Jones's art will probably make or break people on Gotham at Midnight, which I thought was pretty good, and Rucka and Brubaker together should rock on Daredevil.

I do want to say that I agree with your thoughts on Final Crisis completely, from the handling of the death all the way to the wonderful paper. It definitely left me anxiously awaiting the next issue.

And to end the longest comment ever, I decided that since you obviously know your stuff, you were more than likely right about Futurama so I added it to the pull list. I'm also going to do some back issue hunting which is always fun. Thanks for that recommendation.