Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Some Comics Talk 2: Electric Boogaloo

More brief, potentially spoilery thoughts on stuff I've read.

Teen Titans Go! 38 - Chynna Clugston's art doesn't quite match the look and feel of the animated Titans themselves, but that's a minor quibble as it matches the tone of this Mad Mod spotlight story to a "T" (ugh, sorry about that; completely unintentional, I assure you). Fun story, jam packed with layer upon layer of Beatle and mod-culture references. And if you're quick, you'll find a fun cameo from the Blue Monday cast.

Jonah Hex 14 - Part 2 of the Legend of Jonah Hex, in which our hero goes poo diving (and kills a bunch of people, 'natch). I keep going back and forth on whether or not I'm going to keep reading it, and then an upswing in story quality comes along that hold my interest a while longer. This storyline is one of those high points, helped in large part by the art of Jordi Bernet, who seems to be channeling Alex Toth (this is a good thing). I'm unfamililar with Bernet's work - is it always like this, or does he adapt his style to the book/character he's working on at the time?

Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon 3 - You know, comics could use a truly excellent, globe-hopping, Republic serial-esque 1930s adventure series, and this book is trying really hard to be that book, but it falls short of the mark for me. For one thing, I think we're told how amazing the titular aviatrix is rather than being shown it. Also, there's never anything on the last page that actually indicates that it's the last page. I'll be reading along and reach the bottom of a page, then it's ad, ad, ad, letter page, sketch page, back cover. No "To Be Continued," and not even anything that could be seen as a cliffhanger. Everything just kinda... stops. That's disappointing.

Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness - A slightly quieter, and at times surprisingly introspective installment of the Canadian Video Game Streetfight Love Manga-ish series. It answers some questions from the previous volumes, fills in a little more of the back stories of various characters, and has a lot of fun at the expense of vegans. A good time should be had by all. Volume 4 can't come fast enough for me.

Marvel Adventures Avengers: Heroes Assemble - This is a magazine-sized book sold at Target, which I'm pretty sure reprints the same material as the first M.A. Avengers digest, issues 1 through 4 of the series (the digest may even have the same title, but I don't know for sure). Probably the best Avengers-related book I've read in years, and certainly the most fun. The writing by Jeff Parker is witty, fast-paced, and simple (though never dumbed down), and the artwork by Manuel Garcia is very solid in that clean, mid-80s Marvel sort of way. This book reminds me of the original run of The Batman Adventures - fun, entertaining stories, told well, and suitable reading for adults and kids alike. The best Marvel reading experience I've had in quite some time.

Invincible Vol. 6: A Different World
- I've probably mentioned this here before, so I won't continue to beat a dead horse, but for my money, this is still one of the very best superhero books on the market today (though a little more graphically violent than I'd like), and probably the current karmic successor to Spider-Man as far as both the archetype of the young hero coming into his own and the development of the supporting cast are concerned (the last book to hit those marks so well, IMHO, was Static). Also, I have to admit that naming the trades after various sitcoms makes me laugh. I'm a simple guy, what can I say? Anyhoo, decent main story, some good continuation of long-running subplots, and a few twists I legitimately didn't see coming.

AEIOU, or Any Easy Intimacy - The more or less true story of a relationship by Jeffrey Brown, this book may be WAY too emo for some folks. I liked it a quite a bit, though. But then again, I'm a sucker for diary comics, and this is very much in the vein of works by James Kochalka and Liz Prince (and, maybe a little like Jen Omand), but more downbeat.



Still to come (somewhere down the line, maybe, once I actually get to read them and if I even feel like typing about 'em at that point):

Runaways Vol. 4: True Believers

Showcase Presents: Shazam! Vol. 1 (I hope it's a Volume 1, anyway, as I'd sure like to see the rest of the series collected, along with the stuff from World's Finest)

Superman: Secret Identity (technically, this would be a re-read, so I may skip over typing about this one entirely)

Absolute DC: The New Frontier (Sweet Jebus, is this a beautiful book)

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