Random thoughts about some recent (if not very new) comics

Infinite Crisis #2 - You get out of this book what you put into it. Personally, I like big, dumb superhero mash-up/cosmic menace stories, and I'm a DC continuity junkie from way back, so I'm digging this series a lot. A whole lot. Enough that I'm too impatient to wait for the trade. This issue moved things along nicely, I thought, recapping the back story, setting some subplots into motion and generally nudging the narrative along a bit. And I loved the Perez/Ordway recap of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Some pretty artwork, there. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the issue, but Andy Lanning is drowning Phil Jiminez's pencils in thick, ugly, pitch-black ink. Andy, buddy, sometimes less is more.

New Excalibur #1 - This book? It didn't suck! It was, in fact, quite good. I picked it up out of curiosity - the cast in intrigued me (how did Nocturne end up in the regular Marvel U?), I enjoy the character of Captain Britain, and I read the original Excalibur once upon a time ago - but I had very low expectations. The ol' Chris Clare(mont), he ain't what he used to be, you know? The events of the story and the characterization of everyone really drew me in, though, and I'm legitimately curious to see where this is going. I'll probably wait for the trade, though.

She Hulk 2 #1 - Ah, smell the meta-commentary! So, if I read this right, people who wait for the trades are bad, and yet those very same people saved the book. Oh Dan Slott, you fantastic irony-pointing-out bastard! Seriously, though, Slott's She-Hulk is hands down the best version ever of the character, the stories are consistently fun, and the art of Juan Bobillo really stands out from the crowd. I'm really glad this book is back. I'm still waiting for the trades, though. Sorry, Mr. Slott.

Marvel Team-Up 1-14 - The guys on the Comic Geek Speak podcast have talked this book up in the past, and it sounded really fun, so I tracked down the issues for cheap on eBay (from Nik at the Spatula Forum, as it turned out) and gave it a try. And honestly, this is the best Marvel book I've read in a long time. It's like a 1980s Marvel comic in all the best ways possible - you get to experience the interconnectedness of the shared Marvel Universe, the stories have a great mix of adventure and fun, and the characters aren't all so relentlessly grim. There's a lot about this title to love, and I'll probably go into more detail about it some time when I'm not so tired. For now, I'll just say that if you grew up on 70s and 80s Marvel, or like superheroes at all, you really should be reading this book.

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