Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Comics this week.....

Every Wednesday is new comic book day.

The educated elites out there may scoff, but I figure that just shows their lack of open mindedness. Comic books are a serious medium for adults as well as kids - just like novels, films and music. I think it a shame many people feel they "outgrew" comics - but that shows their lack of education concerning what the comic medium really is. I suggest - to those who feel comics are unsophisticated kids material - read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Comics and Sequential Art by Wil Eisner before making any careless and uninformed condemnations.

That said, I sell my blood plasma twice weekly so I can afford to buy comics. Usually I get one or two a week, but the last few weeks have been pretty dry, but this week made up for it.

Here is this week's list, with mini-reviews:

From Marvel Comics:

Mega Morphs #2: Okay, this one is a kids comic book and based on a toy line. A fun little read with absolutely no significance and nothing to enlighten the human condition. But it has Ghost Rider in it, so that's all I need.

The Incredible Hulk: Destruction #2: A look into the history of the Incredible Hulk's greatest foe, The Abomination (and whose wife Bruce Banner got jiggy with a year or so ago). A decent read, it spends a lot of time clearing up contradictory histories of the Abomination (such as revealing he's been married twice, or saying that one conflicting account of his origin was government propaganda rather than the truth). I ordered this because I'm a fan of writer Peter David, who is one of the most talented writers in comics today (he also writes Star Trek novels, but those are pure hackwork).

Spellbinders #6: I'm a big fan of magic and supernatural themed comics, especially the ones that mix them with superheroes (hence my love of all things Ghost Rider and Dr. Strange). This series, however, was confusing and made little sense. It may make more sense when read straight through in the inevitable trade paperback reprint, but I spent too much time scratching my head.

Daredevil #76(#456): (re: the two issue numbers - The numbering system at Marvel comics is a little wonky right now, so just go with it). Brian Michael Bendis writes slow, character driven tales that take anywhere from 4 to 9 issues to tell. This is the opening chapter and not much happens, but it sets the stage. It's like the opening teaser of a TV show just before the credits. Of all current comics writers, he paces his comics for the inevitable trade paperback reprint, but he does it well enough I don't mind.

Fantastic Four #530: One of the few comics my wife really enjoys, probably because of the family dynamic (and that the main characters have two children). The current author is J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the TV show Babylon 5. Those who are familiar with that show will recognize the themes that JMS worked with over there. There is one funny subplot: Child protective services is trying to decide if the FF's children should be taken out of the "dangerous environment" created by having super powered parents (it makes an odd sort of sense, since Valeria was possessed by Dr. Doom and Franklin spent time in Hell a few story arcs ago), but that subplot gets little play this issue.

DC Comics:

JSA Classified #2: A fun tale for a comic geek like me, but totally inaccessible to anyone who is new to comics or hasn't read them since the 80s. If you don't know what the terms "pre-Crisis" and "post-Crisis" mean, or who Power Girl's Earth 1 counterpart was and when she died, stay away.

IDW comics:

Angel: The Curse #3: Fully approved by Joss Whedon, this Buffy/Angel spin-off series explores what happens to Angel after the cliffhanger of the series finale. It takes place some indeterminate time after the series, though apparently Whedon himself has saved the actual resolution of the cliffhanger for himself. A fun read, though it is paced like a TV show rather than a comic book. The writer needs to adapt the material to the comics form better.

Spike: Old Times #1: Also approved by the Joss man himself and Written by Peter David, this comic nails the tone and pacing of the Buffy TV series while remaining true to the comics form. The story idea seems to come from Peter David wanting to clear up a bit of unclear side mythology in the Buffyverse, but the tale itself is darkly humorous and quite entertaining.

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