So I read some stuff this weekend (when I wasn't busy shoveling).

Seven Soldiers 0 – In my eyes, Grant Morrison is the Dickens of comics. The majority of his works are written for serial publication, but I think they read much better as complete stories. In smaller chunks, the stories just seem malformed to me somehow. His talent is giving birth to a wide range of disparate concepts and then bringing them together into a cohesive whole in ways most people could never conceive. But for whatever reason, watching this evolution over a matter of months or years just doesn’t work for me; I need it all in one chunk. Which is a really long-winded way of saying that I’m sure this will read great in the context of the completed storyline, but on its own, it was merely OK.

Fantastic Four 523 – It was nice to see Alicia used as an actual character again, and not merely in the context of “We gotta go to the Negative Zone, Sue, so dump the kids at the blind girl’s place, wouldja?” The sequence in the art gallery where she explains the emotional reaction she gets from art she has only ever experienced via oral descriptions and her own imagination is a surprisingly sweet moment, and in the space of about 2 pages Waid gives more depth to her character than anyone has since the Lee/Kirby days, if not ever. I’m really going to miss the Waid/Ringo team, and don’t expect I’ll be sticking around when they go.

Hembeck 4: Bah, Hembeck!Fred Hembeck’s 80s series from Fantaco was a great showcase for his talents and the variety of ways in which he’s able to bring the funny. This issue was a bit of a departure, though, as we get Fred’s Secret Origin as a comic book fan, particularly his early love of Weisinger-era Superman, the Flash and the FF. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very funny, as Fred retells some of his favorite stories of the era in his own inimitable fashion (such as the many escapes of Dr. Doom and Jimmy Olsen’s penchant for crossdressing), but he’s in total Fan Love mode here, striking some very reverent tones throughout (his 2 page tribute spread to Infantino’s Flash stories may just be the best thing he’s ever done). This series should really be collected someday (hint hint, Fred!), but until that day comes, it’d be worthwhile to track down this and all of the other issues if you already haven’t.

Legion of Super-Heroes 3 – Kitson’s artwork was a little stiff (even for him), but storywise, I really like where this is going so far, Element Lad’s awkward date conversation made me laugh out loud (“I enjoy being naked.”), and this issue actually made me give a damn about Triplicate Girl, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d be able to say, so that’s three more in the Plus column for Waid right there. This book will make my FF withdrawal much easier to take, methinks.

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