The Dig List - 11/9/08

You know the drill - brief(ish) reactions to stuff I've read and at least marginally enjoyed lately.

Madame Mirage #s 1-6 - I appreciate how Top Cow continues to turn itself around and actually include some story with their cheesecake. A quick glance of the artwork here might lead you to believe it's yet another Boob War (tm David Campbell) book, but what you really get is a tale of revenge and redemption a la Kill Bill with superpowers. The story by Batman: The Animated Series producer Paul Dini doesn't tread much new ground, and I predicted the title character's true identity pretty early on, but there's a swerve in there I didn't see, so the "how" of the situation sorta made up for any predictability in the "who" and "why." And let's be honest, it's the art of Kenneth Rocafort that's the real star here. The man can draw himself some purty pictures, that's for sure (though his storytelling could use a bit more work). Overall, I might not have been blown away by the story in Madame Mirage, but it was enjoyable enough, especially considering I paid about 50 cents an issue, so I definitely got my money's worth. And as "turning the writer's wife into a superhero" stories go, this is probably one of the better ones you'll read.

Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty and Half a Life - I've been racking my brain to say something about this that everyone hasn't already, and I come up blank. It's honestly as good as everyone as said, and even just two storylines in, I think it's a damn shame this series didn't last longer, since the idea of a doing a 10 p.m. police drama series in comic book form, set in the Batman mythos, was a brilliant idea. But what I considered one of the book's greatest strengths - the limited interactions with the Bat himself, keeping him a presence but never going so far as to make him a full character - was probably the major drawback for people who wanted more Batman in it. Too bad, because if you like really well-written cop shows and are at least partially amenable to the idea of Batman, there's a lot here to enjoy.

Grant Morrison's Doctor Who #1 - Much as I love watching Doctor Who on television, I've never really warmed up to the comics. The bad ones that I've read just seemed hastily scrapped together for a buck, and the (few) good ones I've read don't seem to really matter one way or another, all sort of ending on a "well, that happened" kind of note. These 6th and 7th Doctor stories by His Almighty Morrisonness fall in that latter category... good, but inessential. But on the plus side, the 6th Doctor story features Frobisher, the shape-shifting companion who mostly spends his time as a penguin, who I've always had an odd fondness for (mostly because of the penguin thing), and Peri is a lot more tolerable when you don't have to listen to the ever-shifting accent of Nicola Bryant. The most Morrison-y story here is the 7th Doctor story, featuring his interactions with a race based in the bloodstream of a sick animal. Short, but interesting. So yeah, by Doctor Who comic standards, these are pretty top notch, but that's sadly not a lot to brag about.

The Age of the Sentry #2 - So here's the thing: the Sentry may very well be my least favorite Marvel character ever. He's a Superman pastiche crippled by his own fears and dementias that he's almost unable to do anything, and proof of why a Supermanesque character can't work well within the confines of the (regular) Marvel Universe. Alright. I get it. Even as the endgame of World War Hulk, I just can't ever buy into him. But use the Sentry as the main character in Silver Age Superman homage/parody stories, though, and it's a whole new ballgame. The Age of the Sentry is a fantastic book, easily the most fun comic Marvel has put out since maybe Nextwave, and I sincerely hope Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin are made kings of something - anything - as a result. I mean, c'mon... a super-powered Russian bear in a tutu! Truman Capote writing for the Daily Bugle! Heroes being standoffish to each other! Honestly, humanity, what's not to love?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Oh, man... did you ever listen to the Big Finish audio The Holy Terror?

    Frobisher's totally in it. I looove Frobisher.