John, That Loveable Scamp, Buys Comics

Daytripper No. 5 (of 10)

It's kind of hard to give a recap of this comic, given the way that it's being told, but here's an approximation: Daytripper is kind of the story of the life of a man named Brás. Kind of because the story is being told out of sequence, and also because (and here's where you want to stop reading if you're planning on approaching the trade completely without knowledge) he dies at the end of each issue. There's a lot more that I could lay out for you - about his job and family and the circumstances of his birth and so on - but I think that the thing that I really want to convey is that each issue is a perfect tale of the last day of this particular man's life, with Moon and Bá providing their signature astonishing art (and my fave Dave Stewart on colours). With a bit of rewriting this could be a series about a collection of unrelated men and it would be a delight, but at the halfway mark I can tell that something excellent is going to come of all of this.

There is no question that I am missing things here. I don't even know how to locate my copies of the first four issues, so there's no question of me going back and rereading for comparison, but I have a hunch that there are slight changes occurring in Brás' life story, that it's not merely being cut off at different points along the way but that we are seeing different iterations of him, like his life has been split with a prism. As a result of this, as fantastic as this book is in monthly doses, I reckon that it's going to be incredibly rewarding to read in trade. It's definitely going to enter into my stable of books to be lent to people who get a bit sniffy about super-heroes.

Brightest Day No. 0

I have determined that my biggest mistake with Blackest Night was that I was thinking about it too much.  I guess it was kind of natural that I would ponder it from time to time, since it went on for, like, ever. I just shouldn't have tried to analyze a continuity-heavy event comic, as there is no way to come out ahead in that game. I just have to go with the flow.

And hey, I like this event better than the last one already! It looks like at least half of the characters involved are going to have interesting story arcs and Boston Brand makes a decent narrator, even as Aliveman. And this is, after all, the final act of the whole years-long Lantern story - this is the part of the thing where Geoff Johns historically shines, especially for me. I can't tell you how many times he has won me over with a good ending after making me hate a story's middle.

So I hereby resolve not to overexamine or nitpick this thing until I go crazy with nerdrage. Mr Read and Appreciate For What it is, that's me.

I will however be keeping track of the number of times that characters in [Brightest Day] say "Brightest day." So far: 2.

Doc Savage No. 1

I heard a review of First Wave No. 1 when it came out - I do believe that it was on the Awesomed by Comics podcast - that had as its main negative point the fact that upon reading the comic you had absolutely no clue who anybody involved was. And of course I was ready to scoff, because how could anyone not know Doc Savage or Renny or Monk Mayfair? But then I remembered that Doc Savage hadn't been in anything more prominent than a miniseries or D-movie for longer than my parents have been alive and that I am in fact a giant nerd, especially about this kind of thing.

So it's a good thing that Paul Malmont does such a terrific job of writing backstory and character details into the plot of this comic without breaking the flow - stuff like introducing characters as they practice their specialties or having Doc make smalltalk with two children to keep them calm while rescuing them from a burning building. It's a nice bit of writing, hampered only a little by the somewhat inconsistent art and gigantic manga eyes that everyone has. They... they make me uncomfortable.

As for the backup, well, I know a lot less about the Avenger than Doc, so I'll hold off on shooting my mouth off for a couple of issues. Dude sure does look mean though.

Kill Shakespeare No. 1

Ha ha, I'm a fool. I could have gotten a review copy of this, like two weeks ago and I didn't get around to doing anything long enough for it to slip my mind entirely. Of course, usually when I do that it's a terrible WWE comic or something and I don't care. This time, I straight-up suck.

Fool or no, I recognize a fun comic when I see (and pay cash for, damn it) one, and this is exactly that. I'm about to compare it to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but not in a damning way - there is no imitation here, no squad of the Bard's best and brightest assembled by Falstaff in order to combat the nigh-unstoppable Bowdlerization Army. Rather, this book lives in the same joyful part of the Adventure/Black Humour/Reference Spotting Venn Diagram that League or, say, Fables (and The Unwritten, more and more) does. In other words, it's the kind of book that you appreciate both for its plot and for the skill with which aspects of other stories are being incorporated into this one.

Thus far,  Hamlet has been banished from Denmark, fought pirates and met Richard III, the legendary horseless bastard and possibly my favourite character from Shakespeare. Plus: ghosts, witches, dogs and divers alarums! Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col and Andy Belanger: excellent book. I deeply regret having to pay you for it. Wait...

Turf No. 1 (of 5) - This came out last week and I missed it - so foolish. I bought a lot of damn books this week, though, so I'll wait until issue 2 to gush about it. Tiny review: vampires and aliens and gangsters in Prohibition-era New York. Looks fantastic. The kind of book that takes a long time to read and makes you wish it took longer.

Adventure Comics No. 10 - Did I accidently buy two copies of this? Damn it, I did. CURSE YOU, VARIANT COVERS! CURSE YOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

Action Comics No. 888 - I know I complain about the Project 7734 stuff in the Superman books a lot (note: this is because it is an INSANELY BORING comic book trope), but it's just one aspect of what's been going on for the last year or so, and I've really been enjoying the rest - particularly the stuff with Nightwing and Flamebird. And hey look: this comic is all about those two crazy kids and their crazy bird spirits!

Secret Six No. 20 - When I finished issue 19 of this book, I was pretty sure that the next issue would not feature Catman killing all or some of his team-mates, but I had to admit that the possibility was there. I am so happy about this! Gail Simone, how did you get me to think that maybe you would kill off a portion of your cast like that? Why are you so good at this?