This Week's Haul: Mommy, why is that man licking Batman's skull?

Blackest Night #1

Ok, so I finish reading this week's Wednesday Comics and I am all smiles about Kyle Baker's Hawkman (that thumbs up and smile?! Seriously!). Then I read Blackest Night and...maybe I didn't read these things in the correct order.

Wednesday Comics fills me with love and happiness when I read it. I love those characters, and you can tell that everyone writing or drawing the comics loves them too. And then Blackest Night was just so...messed up.

SPOLIERZZZZZ!!! If you haven't read Blackest Night yet, and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

I have been looking forward to this since it was first announced, and that was like two years ago. I loved The Sinestro Corps War, I love Geoff Johns, I love Ivan Reis and I love Green Lantern comics. I don't want to judge too harshly after one issue, but was very reminiscent of the kind of comics I don't like. It was a lot of over-the-top, nineties-style dark sensationalism. And I know that it's silly to accuse a comic book of being sensationalist, as if they are supposed to be something else, but this just seemed like, y'know, Carnage or Spawn or Knightfall. I felt like it was aimed more at the barbed wire Superman symbol tattoo set, or those who might wear this t-shirt, or this one, than at those of us who love superheroes. I'm not against dark in my comics, or character death. That's not really my problem here. I liked Identity Crisis and Final Crisis, and I am sure that from all the darkness in Blackest Night there will be great moments of heroic triumph in future issues. But isn't there a better way of getting to it than zombie Ralph and Sue Dibny?

Also: skull-licking.

I will doubtlessly be buying and reading the entire series, but for now I am going to say that the beginning was way over-the-top and, for me, disappointing. The whole thing made me want to grab all my Showcase Presents books and hug them.

Wednesday Comics #2

Last week I declared Superman to be the winner, more or less, of the first issue of Wednesday Comics. This week it falls far behind thanks to an abrupt scene change to Superman and Batman engaging in one of their usual rooftop chats about Superman's humanity (or lack of). As much as I love those two hanging out, it was pretty unoriginal. This week I felt the strongest comics were Metamorpho, Supergirl, Hawkman, Batman and Kamandi. The Deadman page was really hot looking, too.

Super Friends #17

DC Kids tries to cash in on the Obama comics craze with a cameo that never really calls the President by name, but you know it's him. Then they go back in time to stop Chronos from turning the nation into the United States of Chronos. Oh, Chronos. It's always something with you.

Hey, the second trade collection of Super Friends came out this week too! Buy it for your kids!

All Select Comics #1

Michael Kupperman does a comic for Marvel! He wrote and drew the back-up in the 70th Anniversary comic that revisits some of Marvel's Golden Age characters. Kupperman does a hilarious short comic about Marvex the Super Robot, which is followed by a couple of Golden Age Marvex reprints (which are no less absurd than Kupperman's parody). Absolutley worth buying for the Kupperman comic alone, All Select also features a pretty neat Blonde Phantom story by Marc Guggenheim that is more like illustrated prose than a comic.

Captain America #601

This was amusingly called a very special issue of Captain America on the cover. It was very special because it is drawn by Gene Colan, but based on these first page panels, I thought it was because Bucky and Nick Fury were finally going to make out:

This issue is sure to be a hit with teen girls because it is jam packed with vampires. Man, as if WWII didn't suck enough, Cap had to fight vampires too?! There must have been times that he wished he didn't volunteer for the experimental super soldier serum.

Rasl #5

I was going to just buy the trades of this, but since the issues are only coming out three times a year I decided I couldn't wait that long. Rasl is awesome. And Jeff Smith seems to getting all of his years of writing PG comics worth of frustrations out by having the characters do it a lot in this series.

Nexus: Space Opera Conclusion

I'd say it's a rare week indeed when we get a new issue of Rasl AND a new issue of Nexus. Sadly, this is the end of the road for Nexus, at least for now. It started with a great first issue a couple of years ago...and then a reprint of Nexus's origin...and then the second issue...and then another reprint of the origin...and then a Manga-sized collection of the first issues of Nexus...and now this double issue that collects the final two issues of what has turned out to be a 4-part mini-series. Oh well. As per usual, this issue of Nexus is beautiful and fun.

Angel: After the Fall vol 4 HC

Aw man. Like it isn't embarassing enough for me to be buying these hardcovers, they go a slap this cover on the newest one. Gross. I could not get it in my shopping bag and away from judging eyes fast enough.

I haven't read this yet, I just want to point out how bad the cover is.