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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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

fall funny book firsts

On Thanksgiving weekend I gave thanks for the excellent first issue of the new Superboy ongoing series by Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo. Lemire first came on to my radar with his recent work on Atom in both a special and an Action Comics backup feature.  There is much to like here. Some sentiment in the whole small town Smallville thing, a kid wearing a cape with dreams of flight, the Ma Kent thing.  But for modern times; when Phantom Stranger comes on the scene,Superboy treats him the way a good adolescent should treat Phantom Stranger. Something for the traditionalists with a classic Superman villain, Parasite, providing the fireworks. Good pacing. Quiet in parts, but when Conner Kent finds out someone knows his secret identity hardly a moment to enjoy before the battle with Parasite is underway. Krypton is well used and that ain't easy. The fight involves both brains and brawn. Not sure I like the idea of bringing Poison Ivy in, but since we seem in very good hands I will trust in where Lemire will be taking us.  And the art by Pier Gallo is awfully good. Not in the least flashy. But when we are having a quiet moment on the streets of Smallville I want to linger and look at Gallo's streetscape. When we are in a fight scene, the art is helping me to progress smoothly.  I hope there is a market for quietly excellent work such as this.

Essentially a first issue as it introduces a new team and newish era I  decided to give Teen Titans #88 a try, since I haven't read an issue in a while and have fond memories of the series from thirty years ago. I will keep going with it, certainly good enough for that.  JT Krul's script does a good job of introducing the cast and setting the team up, and there's a small-scale menace introduced. The art is OK. Nothing really great here, but solid all the way around. But with anything like this at DC -- especially for something like this that is solid but without much of a margin, I am never sure it will last long before being taken into some mega-event or other form of overcomplication that I won't want to get involved with and which will send me fleeing for the hills in short order.

Another actual first issue is Thunder Agents #1.  Which I doubt will have me back for more. There's this complicated intelligence operation that the characters in the comic have trouble understanding, let alone me. The lead characters to judge from the first issue are the sales people who sell people on the idea of taking superpowers that will end up killing them.   Do we meet any of those actual heroes?  Points for trying something different, bit the Trevor von Eeden series Thriller from many years ago ("has seven seconds to save the world" tag line in ads we found out meant seconds as in the seconds who help you in a duel instead of the implied meaning of unit of time) reminds us that it isn't always wise. The art?  Well, it illustrates the script very well but certainly doesn't provide clarity with the pictures beyond the purposely little in the script.  Nick Spencer wrote, Cafu and Bit provided the pencils and inks.

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