New comics, ahoy!

§ February 3rd, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on New comics, ahoy!

Yeah, it’s this again. SPOILERS ahead:

Superman: Strength (2nd issue out yesterday) is turning into quite the interesting series. I know some people are turned off by the art, but like I said last time, it really does grow on you, and the series’ theme of a young Clark Kent learning to deal with moral ambiguity is compelling.

On the other hand, Superman #213 is one of those comics that I’m buying just to keep the run complete, I think. I know, I know, that’s the worst reason in the world to buy a comic. However, I’ve been a consistent reader of Superman comics longer than this guy‘s been alive, and I’m loathe to have a hole in my collection. Sad, isn’t it? Oh well, I’ve enjoyed 99% of my Superman comics, I can tough out the occasional rough spot.

Daisy Kutter: The Last Train is out in convenient paperback form, which is good since I gave up my copy of the first issue to a customer and I was never able to get any reorders in. Plus, the book is about four bucks cheaper than buying the series, and there are lots of extra sketches and pin-ups inside, so it’s quite a bargain.

I was going to say that the new issue of Concrete: The Human Dilemma (#2) takes the Concrete saga in an unexpectedly adult direction…and by “adult,” I mean “sexual,” but upon reconsideration, Concrete has always been an adult series, in every sense of the term. It takes the comics cliche of a man trapped in a monstrous body and applies a real sense of loss, alienation, melancholy, and plain ol’ sexual frustration that’s only crudely approached by the prime example of this character type, the Fantastic Four’s Thing. Even the Concrete series’ one concession to fantasy (aside from Concrete himself, of course), the origin story involving the aliens, is layered with such dread and feelings of violation that it could be read as an allegory for sexual assault (something explicitly stated at least once in the text of those stories, as I recall). Anyway, the more explicitly sexual content of this issue isn’t completely out of left field, as it does appear to be playing into this mini-series’ larger themes regarding overpopulation.

Hellblazer Special: Papa Midnite #1 – I know they’re just doing this to tie into the movie (had it been Marvel, the series would have been finished and out in paperback by now), but it’s still weird to see a character in his own series that 1) hasn’t been in Hellblazer in quite a while and 2) pretty definitively dead, I believe. Still well done, as we get a look at Midnite’s formative years.

Grimjack: Killer Instinct #1 – argh, that $3.99 price point! That’s okay, though, as it’s a pleasure and a half to finally get Grimjack back on the stands again. While I’m anxious to see the story pick up from where it left off at the end of the First Comics’ run all those years ago, I realize that’s probably not the best place to start up a new GJ series. However, this “prequel” series is a lot of fun, and beautifully drawn by Tim Truman.

Bizarro World hardcover – I enjoyed the first volume of this series, seemingly produced only to have some kind of “appropriate” outlet for the Kyle Baker’s “Letitia Lerner – Superman’s Babysitter” story that DC had to be shamed into printing. There was a lot of good work in that volume, though too many pages were devoted to that Bizarro vs. Mxyzptlk framing sequence that I think I still haven’t finished reading. Thankfully, there’s no such albatross in this book, leaving more space for offbeat renditions of classic and not-so-classic DC heroes. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but what I have read has been a hoot. Rick Altergott drawing the Legion of Super-Heroes? The Peter Bagge/Gilbert Hernandez Red Bee story? Snake ‘n’ Bacon‘s Michael Kupperman drawing the Justice League? That fabulous Jaime Hernandez cover? Oh my.

Other new releases:

There’s an ad for the Constantine movie on the back of Super Manga Blast #49. I don’t know why that amuses me.

The first volume reprinting Evan Dorkin’s Bill ‘n’ Ted’s Most Excellent Adventures is out, including a fairly frank and amusing intro by Dorkin about his initial hesitance toward the project. This was a very enjoyable series, and I’m glad it’s available again…though I’m glad I have it in the original color comics, since the greytones don’t really do it justice. Still looks good, though, don’t get me wrong.

Shanna the She-Devil #1 – I know others have commented on it before, but it’s still amusing to look through the book and see all the different ways Shanna’s nudity has been covered up for final publication. Bubbles here, blankets there….

Daredevil Redemption #1 – why do we have yet another Daredevil mini-series when there are at least two other unfinished DD mini-series still not being published?

BMW Films: The Hire #2 – for all you people who didn’t buy the first issue, here’s another chance to not buy another one! Well, I guess quarter box comics have to come from somewhere….

Legend of Grimjack Vol. 1 – we already sold out of it. Battle of the Planets: Princess #4 – also sold out.

We also received a ton of manga books that apparently comic shops in other parts of the country already received…at least, the comic shops that bothered to order them did, anyway.

And yes, there’s a new issue of Swamp Thing, but I cheated and read the preview copy we received last week. The Arcane story is wrapped up, for now, with the final piece of explanation we’re likely to get regarding his fall from “forgiven” status at the end of the Millar run.

In other news:

Scott Saavedra reveals what the old comic ads meant when they promised “life sized monsters” and “monster masks,” complete with shocking photos!

Someone’s Green Lantern computer case.

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