John Buys Comics

What a week!I mean, I ended up buying a shockingly small number of comics for me, but the quality in evidence was sky-high. I am suffused with so much joy that I am emitting an entirely new subatomic particle which the scientists who are now studying me have begun referring to as a "gleeon". Hooray!

But enough about me - did you know that there was a new issue of Usagi Yojimbo this week, and that it was the second half of an incredible story that featured Usagi helping to defend some villagers from bandits?

"But Johnathan," you say, "all Usagi Yojimbo stories are incredible, and a great deal of them involve the destruction of bandits via the medium of the blade. What's so special about this yarn?" And you would be right, up to a point, but it is a rare issue of anything, ever, that features Stan Sakai drawing dudes whaling on an enormous drum. I think that I could read a whole comic devoted to the subject  - it's mesmerizing.

Also out this week: Action Comics No. 895, which follows up on the Vandal Savage setup in 894 in just the best possible way. The Lex Luthor in this book is written precisely to my tastes - he has a robot girlfriend because the only person he can really trust is one he builds himself, and she looks like Lois Lane becausewho else would she look like? He goes toe-to-to with super-villains who could grind him into powder and just plain out-thinks them. Hell, he dies and makes a decent go of thinking his way out of that before the issue becomes moot - to the extent that the Jimmy Olsen backup is almost wasted on me. Not that I'm not enjoying it, very much to the contrary, but by the time I get to it I'm already happy enough that there's nothing to do but plateau for a while. Jimmy should be at the back of Superman, as a reward for slogging through the main story's tedious pap.

And speaking of good things that came out of Blackest Night, Justice League: Generation Lost No. 14 hit me with one of my very favourite things this week, a decent alternate-future story. This is a terrific use of Captain Atom, who has always been one of those take-him-or-leave-him characters for me. Blowing him up every few issues to expand on the mysterious designs of Max Lord via glimpses of the past and the futureis both clever and entertaining, and hey, that's what I like. I also like Future Plastic Man.

And of course:

Batman, Batman, Batman. (and thanks to Andrew for that amazing if completely mystifying link) The Batmanification of my weekly comics stack continues! Tell the truth, though, it was pretty Batmannish already. This week saw the end of the Batman Beyond mini and the continuation of the increasingly-perplexing Batman: Odyssey, but more importantly it brought some sweet, sweet ongoings.

Paul Cornell did a fine job on Batman and Robin No. 17, which is a huge relief - not that I doubted his competency, but it's always a downer when a comic changes hands and immediately spirals out of control. But no, this was a solid issue that introduces an interesting new villain, and possibly an even more interesting new convention. If I read this right, the lasting legacy of Grant Morrison on this book might just be that this is the one where Dick Batman ends up encountering the really weird stuff, which is terrific. After all, if you're going to have seventeen Batbooks on the shelves, you might as well explore the character's potential for telling different kinds of stories instead of seventeen variations of gritty street-level crime yarn.


So what is Detective Comics going to be in this new Bat-verse? If my little fluttering heart is right then it's looking to be something similar to Gotham Central, a police procedural set in a superhero universe. Or maybe I started reading too much into things when they mentioned that comic's corrupt cop Jim Corrigan. In any case, the GCPD and Jim Gordon are going to be playing big roles in the next two issues and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

And of course this week saw the arrival of Batwoman No. 0, and since this was a proper recaps-and-sets-up-the-upcoming-series issue zero there's no real way to tell how the ongoing is going to turn out, except that it will look frigging fantastic. I hadn't troubled myself to look it up and so was worried that JH Williams III wouldn't be on the project, but all is in fact right with the universe.

Okay! My supper is almost done and my scotch is so tasty, so I am going to take my leave of you all. Have a night!