Reading + Blogging: 1.23.08
I’ve got something to say about this stuff.
Brian Wood rocks. And he puts out of lot of stuff, really. This book doesn’t seem to lack any of the quality of DMZ or any of Wood’s other recent hits. I read somewhere that this will one of those books where different characters will get the spotlight for several issues at a time. Wood’s gonna jump around to different time periods as well, giving us lots of different perspectives on the these Northern peoples. Awesome.
Well, first-up is the story of Sven the Returned. So far, it’s Hamlet. Sven returns home to find that his Uncle Gorm is ruling the land and has most likely killed his father.
Issue one sets the story in motion, showing Sven confronting Gorm and Gorm’s less than hospitable welcoming of Sven. Issue two kicks into the action, as Sven takes out a would-be-assasin, beats-up a girl, and then (as the cover indicates) gets some well-earned nookie.
Wood is blessed to be working with another artist who seems to understand his story-telling instinctively, and provides moody landscapes and widescreen action to match each moment appropriately. Gianfelice’s pencils are sometimes as savage as his subject, but he still has humor to spare when the moment demands it.
This issue was pretty sick, and really, really good. Especially the ending. Ennis wrote a great little monologue for Frank, in which he talks about his reasons for not wanting to be a part of the child’s life. It’s because he knows that no matter what, someday something will need to be done, and he’ll have to go do it. Then, believe it or not, he talks about a sunset.
The sun slipped away behind me. The last sliver seeming to pause on the horizon. Then succumbing to the black. And I drove on through the shadows of America. Through the long, cold, dark night that I’ve made of my life.
Wow. And I should mention that Parlov’s art accompanying this monologue is really gorgeous, especially the final page, which a splash page of the Punisher’s profile, still swollen and bruised from his fight with Barracuda. (Which was disgusting. Did I mention that?)
I guess when you write a guy like Frank Castle for 70-some comics, you get some real insight into his soul. Amazingly, Ennis was able to make Frank’s soul really palpable, even at the end of this incredibly violent story.
JLA Classified #51
I’m excited and ready for another Stern n Byrne JLA. The last issue really took me back and was a lot of fun. I hope this duplicates the experience, at least.
Now I’ve read it, and I’m a little confused. Not about the story, that’s good and clear, and it’s a good tale. I like that it’s paced nicely, building with each issue, but it’s not too decompressed. There’s enough each issue to be worth my time. My confusion, though …
I hate to say it, but aren’t these continuity issues? I know that I probably don’t understand DC’s continuity anymore, but the characters in this story are acting like they barely know each other. Dinah asks Oliver about his new costume and beard, and Superman’s status clearly puts him up above the JLA somehow, as if they haven’t gotten to know him yet. Also, Aquaman demonstrates his strength to Green Arrow’s surprise, and Flash and Black Canary are talking like they’re just getting acquainted.
And yet, Clark Kent’s using a laptop. Huh?
Otherwise, another solid, bright, fun issue, with lots of my favorite people in one place. Exactly what I want from a JLA comic.
The Incredible Hercules #112, 113
Boy, oh boy, how did I miss the first 111 issues of this book? I LOVE Hercules!
Just kidding. I know the B.S. Marvel pulled here and I do think it’s ridiculous. Why couldn’t they just give Herc his own book? Oh, right. Because no one would buy it. How did they end-up needing to tell this story, though? Was this Grek Pak’s plan? Is this a limited run that will end? If gonna go back to being the Hulk’s book? Will we have some kind of convergence? The Marvel Universe is a very, very weird place these days.
Well, these stories have both been fairly enjoyable. I’m especially stoked because Wonder Man’s getting involved, and I have a thing for him. (When he’s well-written and drawn, that is. So, no, I didn’t buy his recent mini-series.)
A giant fight with Herc at the center would be pretty cool, too, so I’ll probably buy the next one as well, if I can get a better handle on where it’s all going.
Green Arrow and Black Canary #3
Actually, I’m not sure I do have anything to say about this. The artwork continues to be great, and Judd Winick maintains the very light-hearted mood of the thing. Dinah and Oliver get to be a little bit sexy in this one. Good for them.
Jason Aaron is the man, no doubt about it, and I love Scalped. I think there’s been one issue so far that’s been a bit of a let down. 12/13 is a pretty great record these days, right?
The next heart-shaking story arc starts in this issue. It’s called “Dead Mothers” and by the end of the issue it’s clear what the two dead matrons we’re talking about have to do with each other. (Or, at least one way they’re related. I’m willing to bet there might be another.)
Aaron’s writing gritty crime comics, right? So how come this book gets so emotional sometimes? It’s really great stuff, the way Aaron can balance it all out, and use the trappings of his genre to really amplify the emotional resonance he’s going for.
Another great issue. Hooray!
Now, why is Marvel planning to waste him on Ghost Rider? I understand that Wolverine is a pretty plum assignment for anyone, but Ghost Rider? Aaron’s a much better writer than a lot of the folks working at Marvel these days, is my point. I’m sure it won’t be long before we see him on Ultimates 4 or the Texas Tornado one-shot.