New comics day.

§ April 29th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on New comics day.

The long-awaited Superman #204 is out, and while most people are going to go ga-ga over Jim Lee’s art (which, I suppose, is passable), the real star looks to be Brian Azzarello’s script. Drawing a connection between Superman and religious themes is something that has been tried before, but usually in terms of Supes being worshipped as a god on some alien planet, or by some kind of earth-bound cult, or something. I don’t think any relation has been made between Superman and Christianity before in the comics, so already it looks like Azzarello is attempting to try something different. This issue is all set-up, and the religious connection is only lightly made, so we’ll have to see where it goes in future issues. Should make for interesting reading, assuming it is read and not just bagged and boarded or sent to CGC.

Others: Uncle Scrooge #329 brings up a new (at least to U.S audiences) Don Rosa story, “The Dream of A Lifetime,” that takes us through Scrooge’s memories of his past, which is really Rosa’s specialty. Abadazad #3, one of Crossgen’s few remaining titles, actually made it out this week, and artist Mike Ploog is going all out on the crazy inhabitants of this imaginary land. The first issue of Steve Rude’s regular Moth series is out, and looks gorgeous as was expected. We’ll see if the story holds up. Planet of the Capes by Big Larry Young and Brandon McKinney also came out…it’s as handsome as the other AiT/Planetlar books, and looks like a good read. Heck, you know it won’t be bad.

The latest issue of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s JLA seems to suffer a little in the art department…it still looks very nice, but it looks like Ordway’s embellishment isn’t as strong as in the previous issues, to the art’s detriment. And again, I don’t care what anyone says…I love Crucifer!

The (almost) last hurrah of the good animated Batman series arrived this week in the form of Batman: Harley and Ivy by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, and yes, it looks as good as you would imagine. I’m going to miss this particular line of Bat-books, the only Batman books that I’ve bought over the last ten years.

It wasn’t just an idle threat…Antarctic Press did indeed publish their Dictators of the 20th Century: Hitler comic. I’m ashamed to admit my two first thoughts were 1) “Who’s stronger…Hitler or the Hulk?” and 2) “Me am Bizarro-Hitler #1!” — both of which are entirely unfair, and I blame the failure of my superego. It looks like it’s trying to tell a straight history of the madman, but it’s undermined slightly by its cutesy American manga-esque artwork.*

And everybody seems to be having a conniption over Joe Quesada’s Daredevil: Father…well, I poked through it, and it doesn’t look any better or worse than Daredevil usually does, except that Daredevil actually appears in it. What’s the big deal? Is it because it’s by Marvel’s current Big Cheese that it’s such an attractive target? I’m not trying to defend or attack it…I’m just curious.

I would have picked up the new Essential Tomb of Dracula volume, except that we were drastically shorted on our order. Hopefully more will be in my hands by tomorrow…but my brief glance through the one copy we did get shows it to be just as attractive a package as the first volume. I’ve mentioned before that the only Essential volumes that look good at all are the ones featuring art by Gene Colan, whose work translates beautifully to black and white.

Coming next week is Swamp Thing #3, and while it’s still entertaining and well-done, one can’t help but feel like we’re covering ground already travelled by Mark Millar at the end of the second Swamp Thing series. Swamp Thing’s too powerful for his own good, he must be stopped or humanity is doomed, Constantine is playing people against him, and so on. It’s good, but I hope the series moves in its own direction soon.

Also took a look at next week’s Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis. Well, it sure looks nice…Davis is a wonderful superhero artist, bringing a sense of whimsy to the proceedings that you rarely see in something as deadly earnest as an X-Men book. However, the writing looks like more of the same-old same-old…if you hated Morrison’s X-Men, this comic is for you. For example, one character actually uses the line (paraphrasing, maybe…don’t have it in front of me) “I have ways of making them…talk.” Had this line appeared in Morrison’s run…there would have been ironic self-awareness, or sexual tension, or some kind of other undercurrent to the dialogue. Here…this cliched line is very plainly meant to be taken at face value, as a “dramatic” revelation of this character’s skills and abilities. It looks like the X-books are well on their way to feeling once more like you’re reading someone else’s mail…you’re reading a whole bunch of names, you’re reading about what all these people are doing, but you have no connection to them whatsover.

Oh, and the White Queen, Sage, and Bishop are boring again. But you knew that.

* I can only imagine the kind of search engine referrals I’m going to get now.

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