Quick reviews of the comics I've been reading. Not always timely, maybe a bit SPOILERY, but at least they're brief.
Batman and Robin #1 - I was a bit apprehensive, since I had read Prodigal the first time around and hadn't read any of Morrison's recent Batman run except for the Club of Heroes 3 parter, but I loved me some All Star Superman so I felt obligated to give Morrison and Quitely a shot here, and what do ya know, I loved this, too. I got all the backstory I needed in quick, subtle ways (for instance, I know all I need to know about Damian from his short interaction with Alfred) and was able to sit back and enjoy the (Mr. Toad's wild) ride... in a fab flying Batmobile, no less. And I am alternately looking forward to and dreading seeing more of Mr. Pyg and his creepy creepy CREEPY doll-faced minions. Who cares if this isn't the "proper" Batman and Robin? It's damn fun comics, and DC needs that right now in a big way.
Doctor Who: Time Machination - IDW's Doctor Who books have been a mixed bag, but I'd have to say this was my favorite one yet. Tony Lee's story sets up an interesting set of circumstances for the Doctor, tieing in elements from the current TV series, a beloved 4th Doctor story, and almost universally loathed 6th Doctor story, and Torchwood (old school Torchwood, back when they were still hunting the Doctor). And he even manages to get in a joke about one of David Tennant's previous acting gigs, too. Funny stuff. And if Paul Grist wanted to draw every Doctor Who comic from now on, I'd be perfectly fine with that. This was something I ordered on a whim, and it ended up being a highlight of my comic-readin' month. Gotta love that.
Plan 9 From Outer Space Strikes Back - This, on the other hand, was a real low. I don't expect a sequel to an Ed Wood movie to be good in the classical sense, but I want it to be fun. This ended up being just another witless zombie comic. And the idea of intentionally putting in publishing "mistakes" to replicate Wood's, shall we say, attention to detail in his films... that got old fast, and I'm wondering if one of those mistakes was leaving out the sequences toward the end that would have made the action make sense. A truly bad comic book, and not in the way it was intended.
Love & Rockets: Free Comic Book Day 2009 - Sadly, Fantagraphics missed the boat with this one. I realize this was supposed to draw our attention to the L&R: New Stories series, but this doesn't do a particularly good job of showing potential new readers just what makes Love & Rockets the beloved cornerstone of the indie comic book world. This is certainly representative of Jaime and Gilbert's current work, but there's not much in here to give it any sort of context to either the past or the present. I haven't read all of L&R, but I've read quite a bit, and even I had a hard time following.
Captain Britain and MI13 #13 - There was a lot going down in this issue. Enough so that I think I need to re-read it to make sure I caught everything. But if everything that happened in this book actually happened, and wasn't some sort of mass illusion / delusion, then holy flurking shnit.
The Unwritten #1 - I think the basic premise - the real basis for a Harry Potter-type character feels trapped by his literary alter ego, but his life might not be what it seems - is sound, I thought the story by Mike Carey was decent (I especially appreciated that he calls himself in-story on the similarity to both Potter and Books of Magic), and the art by Peter Gross was great, but it didn't strike me as being anything other than yet another Vertigo book about magic. Maybe, like most other Vertigo titles, it'll read better in collection.
Power Girl #1 - I appreciate that folks at DC have made a concerted effort to make Power Girl more than just "the chick with the huge knockers, even by superhero standards" over the past few years, and I think writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray do a fairly good job of continuing that trend here, even if I do think they overplay the misogyny card a bit in attempting to give PG some "secret ID workplace strife." But let's be honest here, the real star of this book is Amanda Connor's artwork, which is spectacular, and I wholeheartedly believe that this book should exist for as long as she wants to draw it. She brings everything to the character she needs: action, strength, energy, fun, and yeah, a little bit of the sexy. I might not follow this monthly, but I'd consider picking up the collections.
Atomic Robo and Friends: Free Comic Book Day 2009 - There are three stories in this, but the only one that really matters is "Why Atomic Robo Hates Dr. Dinosaur," which is essentially a Bugs Bunny / Daffy Duck showdown with bigger guns. If you haven't read this, you really, really need to.
The Unknown #1 - A lot of the pre-release press about this Mark Waid book compared it to his earlier detective series, Ruse, and having read this, I can see the connections. Cat Allingham isn't quite the bastard that Simon Archard was, but both sleuths have similarities: they're generally miles ahead of everyone else in the room, they don't suffer fools gladly, and their cases have elements of the supernatural. Thankfully, though, this isn't just a reworking of Ruse, and the ending of the first issue definitely has me excited for the rest of the mini. And yeah, I realize how vague I'm being here, but I'm not spoiling the mystery for anyone. Go see (and enjoy) it for yourself.