§ October 20th, 2004 § Filed under this week's comics Comments Off on

New funnybook day! Spoilers may be afoot, so watch your step (or, um, something like that):

  • Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 3 – man, this is a fat, fat book. It’s gonna take me forever to plow through this thing…given I just finished the Essential Monster of Frankenstein, I’m not sure I’m ready to start another marathon Marvel monster session. Yeah, I know, “boo hoo, I’ve got too many comics to read!” But it looks good, like the previous volumes…one of the stories from the Tomb of Dracula magazines reprinted herein is by Steve Ditko, so you Ditko fans take note!
  • Ocean #1 – this is the first of the mini-series by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse which, while it had my interest, I had pondered waiting for the eventual book release (because that’s just the kind of killing-the-comic-industry guy I am). Pal Dorian had a compelling argument for not waiting, in that it’s a six issue series and bimonthly, so it’s well over a year wait for a trade…thus convinced, I went ahead and grabbed it. And it’s good — all set-up (Inspector Kane is a prototypical Ellis bastard/hero on his way to investigate shenanigans on Europa), and it got a nice cynical chuckle out of me regarding a reaction to a book Kane is carrying.
  • Plastic Man #11 – Didn’t spot Plas on the cover right away, which made me feel very silly a little later when I did notice him. Which is okay, since this is a very silly issue…DC continuity freaks stay away, as this issue will give you heart palpatations. Baker gets in some good jokes regarding the whole Luthor-as-President storyline, Smallville, and our own real-life President. Edwina, the vampire’s daughter from last issue, is surprisingly still around. The art style is slightly different as well, it seems to me…a little simpler, with machine-lettering instead of Baker’s hand-lettering. Anyway, another great issue, and I hope Plastic Man sticks around for a while longer. (EDIT: I’m told that Baker does all his lettering by “machine” – or, rather, computer…which makes sense…so let me amend my statement to “machine-like lettering.” I still like its look.)
  • Identity Crisis #5 and Firestorm #6 – okay, read Firestorm after IC. Not that there are any major spoilers or anything, but it’s probably better for both stories if you do so. In IC, a lot of theories some of us had about the identity of the killer(s) may be thrown out after this issue, and…well, I want to say more, but I really don’t want to spoil anything. And Firestorm is still quite interesting, as the “hero” of the book continues his apparent moral decline. He goes through some of the superhero motions, but keeps makng increasingly selfish decisions…he gets called on it by a couple of superhero Big Guns, but one gets the feeling the new Firestorm doesn’t really take the hint.
  • Madrox #2 – Peter David’s mutant-detective comic continues, with some revelations about the nature of Madrox’s duplicating powers, particularly the slight personalities differences among his duplicates. (I’m not a regular X-comic reader, so I could be wrong that this is new.)
  • Other new arrivals: Luba #9 (more goodness from Beto, with a shock ending!), JSA: Strange Adventures #3 (Johnny Thunder proves why he gets to hang out with the Justice Society — it’s a scene we’ve all seen a hundred times before, but still effective), Fantastic Four #519 (I’m a sucker for Galactus stories; the only reason this is an Avengers: Disassembled crossover is apparently to explain why the Avengers aren’t also facing this threat to New York, it appears), 1000 Steps to World Domination (trade collection of Rob Osborne’s mini-comics…I particularly like when Rob reveals to his wife that he’s making a list of things to do in order to dominate the world, and her response is “I don’t want anything like that in the house”), and Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #10 (the Pat Boone-scripted story is hysterical!).
  • That new printing of Identity Crisis #1, the one with the original Turner pencils printed in a “negative”-style reversed black and white, is terribly unappealing. Not that the image was all that great to begin with, in my opinion, but doing this to it didn’t do it any favors.
  • Jimmy Olsen Adventures Vol. 2 by Jack Kirby – another fine full-color trade paperback reprinting Kirby’s nuttiest DC work. If only we could get a good color reprinting of the other Fourth World comics (those black and white volumes just didn’t do it for me).

  • Dorian pointed this one out to me: Neferu the Cat, a hardcover album from Safcomics…didn’t get much of a chance to flip through it, but the cartooning is top-notch from what I’ve seen, and the plot (Neferu and his cat-friends stuggle to protect themselves from the encroaching dominion of the dogs) may not sound like much, but it really looks entertaining.
  • Archie #552 – am I the only person who saw this particular word balloon (located to the right), and pictured Archie keeping Dilton Doiley in a pit, telling him to rub its lotion on its skin? No cover gag Archie Comics could come up with could compare, surely.

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