It’s an interesting moment for me in my comic reading-ness. I’ve got this little list of the titles I’m enjoying a heck of a lot, and it seems that most of that list is made up of titles that weren’t around 3 months ago. How’d this suddenly happen? Did I luck out? Is it a publishing co-incidence. I had been pretty unhappy with my pull-list for the few months before this, and I kept weeding things out of it. Suddenly though, I’m more excited about going to the comic shop again. What are the titles that are pulling me back it? Read on.
Fantastic Four (Millar & Hitch version)
I was really into FF until the end of the Civil War. In fact, I thought they had some of the best issues of that whole darned Civil War thing, but then Dwayne McDuffie took over and they totally lost me. (Not to mention those horrible covers by Michael Turner. Lord!)
However, now FF is near the top of my must-read list again. It feels like a real comic book to me. It doesn’t feel written for the trade. You get a nice taste of what everyone’s doing each issue, and it’s fun. And a storyline that features a second Earth really is appropriately sized for this group. I’m not sure I agree with Millar’s assesment that Reed is the coolest guy on Earth, it’s great to see him acting like a hero and a scientist.
It’s fun every month, that’s why I’m into it.
Terry Moore is one of the all-time greats. Should we say “under-recognized”? Well, I’m going to. He’s totally under-recognized. Strangers in Paraidse was an amazing series. His ability to create full-formed fictional characters with unique personalities, quirks, and realistic fears and drives, both as a writer and an artist is probably unmatched in comics. I certainly can’t think of anyone else off-hand, and I’ve got a big o comics to look at while I think about it. Ah – the Hernandezes. Good company. But no one else comes close.
So, Echo is the story of girl who gets some odd, gooey-yet-steel-hard stuff dropped on her out of the sky. (Come to think of it, that could be one really big horrible phallo-centric metaphor. Try to put it out of your mind as you read it.)
She’s pretty, but not bizarrely so, she’s got real problems with an ex and her past (which is only alluded to at this point) and her response to having part of her torso covered in this strange substance is totally normal. She doesn’t put on a costume, she goes to the doctor.
And it’s all drawn with Moore’s usual combination of detail and clarity with fantastic inkwork.
I figure your options are pretty much 1. Buy it monthly, starting now or 2. Grab the collected editions when they begin in a year or so.
Well, I know this book is getting a lot pans, so I’m on the defensive for liking it right away. But I gotta be honest with you, I’m really into it. That first issue did kind of kick-ass.
Look on JR Jr.’s art to start with. He always does great work. One of the things I love about him is that his work looks a little unique for each title he draws and he makes an real impact whenever he takes over a title. Remember his 1990 run on Iron Man. How did he make the armor look that chunky and yet so good? And was the Manadarin ever scarier? What about his Daredevil?
So, John Romita Jr.’s art looks great, and Dean White’s colors really spice it up. It doesn’t look like this book takes place in the Marvel Universe. I’m sure that’s intentional and it’s really cool. There’s a different kind of detail, sometimes lack of it, to the look of Kick-Ass.
So, there’s that. The writing in Kick-Ass is great too. Certainly, it’s really unrealistic. But if we waited around for the kid to heal, we’d have nothing to do for a few issues. I guess the story really tapped into my pre-adolescent super-hero fantasies. I identified with the character as soon as he said, “We all planned to be a super hero at some point in our lives.” Well, I sure did.
Lastly, I’m just happy to read a super-hero book that’s not weighed down by the continuity BS in the Marvel and DC universes.
I do find it odd that they emphasize the “sickening violence” on each of the covers. That doesn’t really seem to be what the book’s about. Is it helping the sales? (As if they need it.)
Here’s another indie-spirit trailblazer putting out an exciting new work. It’s just too bad this one is only 4 issues. Maybe they’ll do a sequel.
Delano really pulls out all the stops in establishing this dystopian world and establishing its rules and patterns. The characters speak in a peculiar dialogue that often mashes worlds together (badeveil, mindcops, cleanlimbed) to make what are apparently codified and common terms in the world Narcopolis. They talk about squirtstuff and the methods their government has of keeping the populace under control, and yet Delano never panders by taking the time for exposition. What little of it he does usually happens during moral debates after sex, for example, so it’s not so unsubtle as would usually be the case.
The artwork will be familiar to anyone who’s been keeping up with Avatar’s recent releases from Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and the like. Jeremy Rock draws in the relatively stiff, not to hard, not to light way that seems to be Avatar’s house-style for these books.
It’s an intelligent story, and unusual in that it’s fun, and intriguing, and doesn’t just come-off as a harangue against TV and civic participation for people who haven’t heard of Naomi Klein (like Hickman’s highly disappointing Nightly News). I’m not sure it’ll take me any deeper into those ideas, but for two issues so far, I lease feel the comic’s engaging and teasing with those ideas, rather than preaching to my choir.
Okay, more tomorrow.