There's No Escape From the All-Seeing John Buys Comics!

Adventure Comics No. 12

There have been a few different reimaginings of the relationship between Superboy/man and the Legion of Super-Heroes over the years, but I think that the take on the whole thing that started in the cartoon - that the Legion functions as Superboy's much-needed peer group and place to learn about himself - is definitely my favourite. Young Clark Kent has always been portrayed as someone who had to be aggressively normal all the time, and since his career as Superboy in the Twentieth Century has been reduced to something between few and no adventures, it makes sense that he'd have to have had somewhere to cut loose in order to have ended up as well-adjusted as he seems to be. 

All in all, a fun issue - the kissing scene was cute (and laser-beam kisses, those are a new power, aren't they?) and Superboy's list-making tied in nicely with Johns' run on the series. According to the Internet, Levitz' whole first arc on this book is going to deal with Superboy and the Legion, which is just ducky.

Invincible No. 72

Good holy crap, Kirkman. Every time Conquest shows up I have this incredibly visceral reaction to something he does and I love it. I wish I could quantify why the things that happen in this book are different than, say, the things I complain about inBrightest Day... I guess that it's because the characters in this book were created with this sort of thing in mind - Conquest is a killer from a race of killers, and his gutting Atom Eve or doing what he did in this issue are appropriate means to his end of being a herald of the Viltrumite doom. By contrast, Black Manta carving up a store full of people or (Dr Light/Black Hand/Max Lord) retroactively becoming a (serial rapist/murderous necrophiliac/megalomaniacal sociopath) in order that they be able to fill that role in the story du jour has the stink of the shoehorn about it.

So good job, Invincible, for having characters with defined roles and who change and grow in a believable if over-the-top manner. And thanks for all of the guts, too.

Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler

I have no idea how I missed the original Joker's Asylum comics, or indeed why I haven't read all of them yet. I think that I shall call myself a fool for having done so. Judging from this and the Penguin story in the first series, I'm going to declare these some of the best looks I've had at the members of Batman's rogues gallery in years.

Even if I'm wrong about the issues that I haven't read, then this is still an incredibly satisfying Riddler story, one with a couple of different levels of enjoyment. Firstly, it's a pretty fun look at how Edward Nigma goes about wooing a lady, and why he does so. And then you get to the end **SPOILERS** and you find out that appropriately enough the Joker has set the story up as a riddle for you to solve - not the hardest-to-figure-out riddle, I'll admit, but going back and figuring out how all of the clues were incorporated into the story is fascinating. This is exactly the kind of comic that I want to be reading: Calloway, Guinaldo and Fernandez win... comics. For this week.

The Bulletproof Coffin No. 1

I was pretty much sold on this comic as soon as I saw that the werewolf-masked kid on the cover was in the Jack Kirby hunched-over-with-your-arms-hanging-straight-down pose, and I was definitely sold once I noticed that the fake comic in this book referenced the Eye of Ka-Bala, one of my favourite Silver Age ad subjects. Indeed, this book is filled with references to the Silver Age, in the best possible way. Fake-but-familiar tchotchkes and comics that never were act as hooks for what looks to be a satisfyingly surreal mystery. Shaky Kane's nice clean art only accentuates this.

The main character, Steve Newman, is one of those protagonists that is entirely ripe for involvement in a story: strange job (he hauls away dead people's stuff), obsession with the past (leading him to steal a lot of dead people's stuff), disconnected from his family. This issue was largely set-up - including a pretty great horror comic-style morality tale called The Unforgiving Eye - but I'm betting that hijinks will shortly ensue.

Sweet Tooth No. 10 - Ha haaaa! Now that Dave's on the Sweet Tooth train, the whole LBW crew can get together and be alternately delighted and depressed! Will Gus ever find a home, or will he be messily eviscerated before this is done? I'd put the odds of each at about fifty percent.

I, Zombie No. 2 - I maintain everything that I said about the last issue, but geez. One of you could have told me that I was making an ass out of myself calling it izombie. I had to look in the indicia, for heaven's sake.

Chimichanga No. 2 - Holy crap, there was a second issue of Chimichanga!