John Buys Comics - Ill-Advised Edition

Yes, it's the weekly comics review by me, Johnathan. This week: I have been lured away from my post by old university friends and am, to put it euphemistically, suffering from heat exhaustion. 

Jersey Gods No. 12 - Oh, hell. I was really enjoying this series, but I guess that 12 is one of the magic "YOUR BOOK ISN'T SELLING ENOUGH" numbers. Wait, why wasn't this book selling enough? It was great! The entire population of a planet fused together into one colossal cosmic entity to destroy an asteroid! Kirby-style cosmic being had to meet Earth-style in-laws! There was a fast guy named Rushmore! Dammit, there are Philistines all around me.

Kill Shakespeare No. 2 - I may not have read quite as much Shakespeare as I convinced my English professors that I had, but I have to admit to being downright excited by some of the character dynamics in this comic. Richard III and Iago, two of the most deceitful characters in history, leading Hamlet, one of the most credulous, around by the nose? Only hijinks can ensue! And the art continues to delight! Please stifle any reverse-snobbishness that might be preventing you from picking this up: it is wonderful on any level of in-the-knowishness.

Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension No. 4 - Look, my love for Atomic Robo is a matter of public record, but independent of that, I wish to state that Dr Dinosaur is one of the greatest comic book characters of all time. In support of this, I refer you to page 3, panels 2-5. That is all. 

War of the Supermen No. 3 - I know that I have been harshing on the Superman family of books on and off all year, but ultimately I would have to say that this is how you should run an event: keep it in the pants of the character's books. In the case of superman, things have been playing out in his own book, Action, Adventure and in half a dozen miniseries like this one. Tons of other heroes appear, sure, but in supporting roles, because there's no real need for the JLA and the JSA and the Teen Titans and Simon Dark and Oberon to each have their own special in which they battle an enraged Kryptonian. You can already picture how each of those fights go, right? TAH DAAA! No need for one thousand crappy tie-in issues.

Zatanna No 1 - Oh dang, I totally bogarted this from Dave even though he had something to say about it. Sorry Dave!

Wait, I have something to say too! AHEM: this issue has about one hundred really cool ideas, tied together by so-so writing. I'm going to blame the so-so-ness on the fact that this issue is chock-full of exposition and such, because there is the core of a really cool series here. And some very cool villains, too. I just hope that things even out in subsequent issues, because I really like the idea of a war against the magical Mob, complete with bearded guys in robes as enforcers. Keep on keepin' on, Dini!

The Spirit No. 2 - A huge improvement over No. 1, even if Yvette Plaisir/Angel Smerti had a weirdly and inconsistently rendered head and neck (I'm talking disconcertingly small, here). I'll continue to reserve judgement.

Legion of Super-Heroes No. 1 - I am definitely not the right person to tell you just how accessible this is to folks who aren’t already familiar with the Legion, as well as the DCU in general. I think that this issue and by extension this series are fairly accessible, barring having to pick up the trade of that Action Comics story from a couple of years back. Basically, as someone who reads comics that were written before I was born as a hobby, this sort of thing is super-plus great. For those of you that live in the now, I reckon that it could be regular great. Trust me.

Hey, I wrote this one while I was sober! "Brightest Day No. 2 - Okay, it looks like there aren’t going to be as many people saying “Brightest Day” in this as the Number 0 issue made it look, so instead I’m going to start tracking the ratio of horrifying events symptomatic of the kind of storytelling that this series is supposedly part of a general trend away from AS COMPARED TO the total number of issues. So far: 3/3.

On a positive note, it kind of looks like Firestorm is black in this issue, like he’s a combination of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch(sp?)’s physical forms, and that would be a cool way of addressing the whole “inadvertent whitewashing” aspect of rolling back so many of the legacy heroes. In this one case, of course; it doesn’t make Ryan Choi less dead. Also, it might just be all of the weird lighting effects on Firestorm’s face because of his head being on fire."

Later Addendum: I don't really think that he looks black. I just want to. Dammit DC, THROW US A BONE HERE.

American Vampire No. 3 - THIRD ISSUE RECAP!

Pearl, an aspiring actress in 1920s Hollywood, is lured to a party and used as fodder by aristocratic European vampires. Despite being driven out into the desert and tossed into a mass grave, she manages to survive long enough for her friends to find her and get her to a doctor. She is still slowly dying, though, which prompts the enigmatic vampire Sweet to turn her and set her on the path of revenge. Bloody hijinks ensue.

Also, there is a backup story written by Stephen King and detailing exactly how Sweet came to be the only American vampire. Lots of beheadings!

Weathercraft - Came out last week, but I was lazy. It's no better this week, because I really have to go to bed soon, so in lieu of a legitimate review, here is an anecdote. 

When I used to work in a library, I abused my powers to take The Frank Book out for more than six months, in which time I read it maybe a dozen times. Jim Woodring's work is fascinating, folks, and Weathercraft is no exception. If you don't have a visceral dislike for books that are wordless and in black and white then I heartily recommend it.

And that's that. No pictures this week, unless I get really ambitious in the morning. Just the drunken truth, ayup. 

Good night, folks.