New comics day. Again.

§ November 18th, 2004 § Filed under this week's comics Comments Off on New comics day. Again.

(SPOILERS, as per usual. Don’t blame me, buddy!)

Let’s get it out of the way…Space Ghost #1 came out yesterday, and it’s selling reasonably well for us thus far. I imagine I’ll probably have to put in a reorder before too long (assuming reorders are available, of course).

As for the quality of the book…well, you can take a vacuum to the desert, and you can vacuum for hours and hours and hours, and when you’re done you’ll still have a desert.* That’s sorta like this Space Ghost comic…you can dump as much “serious” content into this comic as you’d like, but you’re still gonna end up with freakin’ Space Ghost. Say, Space Ghost has a pregnant wife? I’m sure nothing’s going to happen to her!

That said…it’s not a bad-looking comic. It’s one of those rare instances of fully-painted superhero comic art actually looking like cartooning, and not like a long series of photo references. The art, by Ariel Olivetti, has a goofy charm that’s totally in contrast to the story’s events. And I also want to note the unusual shade of blue at the bottom of front cover…looking at a scan of it online doesn’t do it justice. It’s a painfully…neon? electric? shade of blue that you need to see in person…very eyecatching.

If you’re looking for a version of Space Ghost that’s slightly more serious than the one that’s on Cartoon Network, but not quite as “grim ‘n’ gritty” as this new version, find yourself a copy of the 1987 Space Ghost one-shot from Comico. It’s just as serious as it needs to be (i.e. as serious as the original cartoons were) and it’s chock full of Steve Rude goodness.

Other new funnybook arrivals:

Adventures of Superman #634 – absolutely fantastic. Last week, when we got our preview copy of this issue, pal Dorian showed me the cover, and pointed out the very subtle (and slightly disturbing) hidden images. I may never had noticed if he hadn’t drawn my attention to it. The interior is a lot of fun, too, as Mr. Mxyzptlk gets mixed up in a battle between Superman and the Parasite Twins. As a result, Mxy ends up in the “real world,” interacting with DC Comics’ staff in some of the clearest photos I’ve ever seen used in a comic book story…we’ve come a long way from those grainy black and white photos that used to pop up in the Bullpen Bulletins every once in a while. Also appreciated is the much more sympathetic portrayal of Mxy, as opposed to the evil little S.O.B. he was following the mid-80s Superman revamp.

Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #4 – did anyone else think this issue read really fast? I got to the end of the comic and thought, “wait, is that it?”

Ex Machina #6 – there’s a discussion between a couple subway workers near the end of the book that made me blush, and I’m someone who has to hear discussions about gay porn on a fairly regular basis. So, fellow retailers…for God’s sake, don’t sell this to kids! Well, otherwise, another fine issue…I find myself really enjoying the flashback sequences that take place during Mayor Hundred’s career as a superhero…they have a “real” world Astro City-esque feel. A

JLA #108 – anyone disappointed that the first issue of Kurt Busiek’s run didn’t feature enough of the Crime Syndicate will be happy with this issue, which has the Syndicate almost to the exclusion of anything else. Well, there are some Qwardians in there, too…I wonder if this is a nod to DC’s brief attempt at retconning the original Crime Syndicate into Qwardians a few years back. Anyone else remember that? I seem to recall a giant Phil Jimenez drawing of all the Justice League villains that had those big Qwardian bug-eyes badly edited onto the faces of the Syndicate members.

Fantastic Four #520 – I love the FF, but aside from Stan ‘n’ Jack, and a couple other people since then, the book is rarely done well. I have been enjoying Mark Waid’s run on the title, and this issue had a good laugh out loud line (regarding Reed’s fear that Johnny may try Galactus’ patience)…it’s a shame that Waid’s leaving the book after this storyline, especially given the big brouhaha when he and Wieringo were temporarily forced off the book a while back.

Cosmic Guard #4 – I’ve given up on this comic. I normally enjoy Jim Starlin’s work, but I think my patience has officially run out on this particular title. It’s not bad work** by any means, but I don’t think I need to see yet another variation on the “kid gets superpowers he’s not ready for” storyline. The cosmic stuff from the first issue hasn’t made a reappearance, and the “hero corrupted by power” theme is currently being done better in Firestorm.

Green Lantern Rebirth #1 2nd printing – this cover, featuring Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, was probably the one they should have used in place of the Hal as the Spectre cover on the first printing. Oh, and we were shorted half our order on these for some reason.

Identity Crisis #1 3rd printing – just wanted to mention that this came out as well, in case anyone still needs a copy.

Plastic Man On The Lam trade paperback – it’s formatted like that Chip Kidd-designed Plastic Man book from a few years ago…you know, with the cover slightly larger than the pages inside. Oh, and hold your nose if you take it out of the plastic sleeve…the book is quite pungent. Hoo boy. Good comics, though.

In other news:

Those of you who bought the first two volumes of The Complete Peanuts as they came out, and were a little miffed that a slipcased set was released…the slipcase is now available for order from Diamond, separate from the books. It’s only $4.95, so start nagging your retailer today!

Commenter Anonymous points back to that Love Is eBay auction I mentioned the other day…it ended at $274.99. Let me repeat that…$274.99.

* Why, yes, I am master of the analogy. Why do you ask?

** Your mileage may vary, depending on your Starlin tolerance levels.

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