The List: 8/9/09 - Quick Hits Edition

Even briefer than usual reactions to comics read - if not always produced - recently.

Stuff from the last DCBS box and the local shops:

Captain Britain and MI13 #15 - The vampire war story ends a little too quickly and cleanly, but at least it gets a proper ending at all. This book was something special, and I'll miss it lots.

Wednesday Comics #s 1-4 - Everyone has analyzed this to death already, so I'll just say it's a mixed bag, to be sure, but a great and largely successful experiment thus far. Kamandi, Adam Strange, Deadman, Metamorpho, Flash, and Batman are my favorites, whereas Wonder Woman is just a muddled, torturous slog to read (if beautiful to look at), and Teen Titans and Demon/Catwoman are just really boring.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #6 - I'll be happy to see more Mike Kunkel issues down the road, but it's in terrific hands with Art Baltazar and Franco's writing right now. Stephen DeStafano's art took a little getting used to (why does Captain Marvel have Alfred E. Neuman ears?), but it grew on me by the end, thanks in no small part to the hefty doses of Kirby Krackle.

100 Bullets #1 Special Edition / Vertigo Crime Sampler - Never read any 100 Bullets before, and I do have to say that the first issue was enough to make me want to check it out from the library sometime, probably because the Wednesday Comics Batman strip has me primed for more Azzarello & Risso. Curious to scope out the Vertigo Crime stuff now, too... Filthy Rich at the very least. Dark Entries, also known as "that one with John Constantine," didn't grab me, but then again, I'm not much a Hellblazer fan, either. Your mileage etc. etc.

The Unknown #3 - Still holding my interest, I guess, but given the whole "science vs. mysticism" bent of this, I'm doubting the larger mystery at hand (Kat's quest for proof of an afterlife) will be given the sort of satisfying conclusion, especially considering they've already announced the second mini. I'm going to have to really like the end of this to continue on, though.

Archie's Pals 'n' Gals Double Digest #133 - Picked this up on a whim in the line at the market last week, and it's been a breezy, fun read, due in large part to the reprints of Reggie's first appearance and the first full issue of his solo book. Funny how I enjoy Archie books so much more now than I ever did when I was in the target demographic.

Runaways #11 - After enjoying Kathryn Immonen's Patsy Walker: Hellcat mini, it was recommended I check out what she's doing as the new writer over on Runaways. I was certainly drawn in by the story she's setting up, especially the cover blurb stating that an old character will be returning (please be Gert!), but I've been reading the series in digests all along and am conditioned to reading larger chunks of the characters' story as a result, so I'll be waiting for that. Anxiously, granted, but still waiting.

Bargain Bin Books (from the 99 Cent section of

Uncanny X-Men #s 500-503
- This sets up the whole "the X-Men move to San Francisco" thing pretty well, but it is indeed mostly set-up, so I can see why they padded out the Manifest Destiny collection with all those extra tie-in issues. Makes me want to keep reading, though.

Mighty Avengers #21 - Not following the various Avengers books, nor Dark Reign except for where it tangentially passes through the Marvel series I do read, but this caught my attention for the fact that it stars Hank Pym acting more or less like a superhero Doctor Who, right down to having a dimensionally transcendental HQ and useful handheld multi-tool. If Dan Slott's gonna pitch it right down the middle to me, I'm gonna go for it. The story was good, if all set-up, and that Khoi Pham can sure draw, so I'm curious. I'd probably look for it at the library rather than buy it, but I still wanna read it.

Kick Drum Comics #1 - Despite not having much of an ear for hip-hop, nor an eye for graffiti-style artwork, I still love Jim Mahfood's comics. Two stories here, one the bizarre tale of a reclusive genius musician and the gangwar that erupts with his most unexpected adversary, and the other a more down-to-earth piece about a slacker skater who expects great things to happen when he receives one of John Coltrane's sax reeds. In other words, it's all classic Mahfood, and it's fun to watch his style evolve over time.

Countdown Specials: Jimmy Olsen and Kamandi - I'm not made of stone here. If you present me fat reprints of 70s Kirby for cheap, I'm going to take them. The art is Jack at his best. The stories... less so, but they're great in their way. The ideas are amazing even if the dialog isn't and the character names are god-awful. But if you're a fan, that's part of the charm.

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