About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Funny Books

After reading the third issue of the new Paul Leviz run on Legion of Superheroes... good first issue, awkward second issue, now with the third the series seems to be settling in to something I might like very much. I'm not the biggest fan of e DCU tendency to drown everything in crossover but there is some interesting Green Lantern stuff here that doesn't require a doctorate to follow and which has a nice portent to it. One subplot that seemed incomprehensible in the second issue has a comprehensible conclusion here. There is another page promising some interesting subplot and then we've got Darkseid in the final page. And Paul Levitz has always done good Darkseid. I also like the art by Yildiray Cinar and Francis Portela on pencils and Wayne Faucher and Portela on inks. The Legion are teenagers and in most instances the art looks like strapping teens in spandex, Earth-Man and Colossal Boy maybe not so much but most of the others most of the time. Which is kind of settling but the state of giving any real life teenage quality to teenagers on comics is so low that even the half approximation here is a pleasant surprise. But as this shows signs of settling into a groove why is the Adventure part of the new Legion so not doing it for me?

More happy news on Wonder Woman 601. The special issue 600 was godawful so it is indeed a pleasant surprise to report that new series writer J. Michael Straczynski has come up with a winning relaunch here. Quick origin recap going back to bare basics of the story with WW the sole remaining Amazon with a mission to save pockets of survivors and keep ahead of the bad guys long enough to realize her own potential. Stripped down even more with no invisible jet though she can hang on to the outside of a plane. Don Kramer and Michael Babinski chip in with art to match. Nothing flashy. But good storytelling and a down to earth feel that matches the story. Sweet!

Quick bad news: As with the TV show the weakest issues of The Simpsons comic are the dress up ones where the Simpsons characters are inserted into some other fictional story or historical epic. Ragnorak, Superman etc. get the treatment in the highly disposable #168. Time Masters: Vanishing Point is a one-and-out. iZombie written by sf/ f writer Chris Roberson is like too many other new Vertigo series. Lots of interesting ideas to fill a first issue but then the story doesn't cohere and goes hither and yon. Nicely stylized art by Michael Allred but it's too everywhere and nowhere. Unwritten, Air, I could say this same thing for too many of these. Vertigo editor Shelly Bond maybe has a talent for finding ideas but if can't get more of these books to a 25th issue...

Happier tidings on Futurama 50. Always better as a comic than as a series. This issue is not only a pleasant romp thrall things Futurama but comes with a nifty poster.

And issue #3 of DCU: Legacies covers the Silver Age. This era for DC isn't as intrinsically interesting as that covered in the first two issues but is interesting enough and the pitch perfect art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez makes for a nice backup story. Even good art by Dave Gibbons can't help the backup story about the Challengers of the Unknown and Sea Devils who are comic book footnotes dragged out often as trademark laws require.

The 3rd issue of Red Hood: The Lost Years came out this week. It's digressive, but thoroughly entertaining. Since this was a light week, I also decided to get the new issue of Red Robin, which I'd read for a few issues several months ago, then not. Issue #15 was fine. Even though it was the third part of a story, I was able to pick it up in midstream without any trouble. Red Robin, who's kind of the 3rd Robin, or is it the 4th Robin, as a grown-up calling himself Red Robin, devises a plan to put off a reporter who thinks she's discovered the secret identities of the entire Batman clan. The mechanics of the deception are nicely done in a kind of Mission Impossible way. The art is OK other than for one panel on page 5 of the current Robin "Robin" that looks really weird. Maybe I'll try again next week.

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