John Buys Comics

What a good week. This is my happiest comics-buyying week in a long time. Everything was so... satisfying.

Chris Wisnia’s Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures

This is precisely what I’m talking about.

Giant monster comics are some of Johnathan’s favourite comics of yore, and they’re kind of special in that they don’t crop up all that often any more - it's not like wanting to read comics with ninjas in them or something. And so I buy them just about any chance I get.

Happily, a lot of the time the giant monster comics I buy are like this: written by people just as font of the damn things as I am. Arguably moreso, in fact, since I've never produced a series of comics about them. I'm still kind of surprised that I managed to miss out on Doris Danger Seeks Where Giant Monsters Creep and Stomp, but I guess that that's the joy of the collection, isn't it?

This is a glorious comic, just chock full of Silver-ish Age absurdities, like Doris' increasingly unlikely camera-breaking incidents (after all, the comic would have to change if she ever brought home proof), the labyrinthine plot-upon-plot development and constant editorial callbacks to earlier issues, and of course the giant monsters. Meanwhile, no effort has been made to replicate things like the era's portrayal of other peoples (okay, there are some stereotypical-style native, but they were really robots), an aspect of Silver and Golden Age comics that you just have to overlook when you're reading the real deal but that is just plain make-you-want-to-leave-the-room when someone tries to replicate it and isn't, say, Alan Moore. And sometimes even then.

Plus! A stupid number of awesome monster pinups by Mikke Mignola, the Hernandez brothers, Mike Allred, Tony Millionaire... So many great monster pictures.

The Tick New Series No. 1

I have to admit that I was a bit worried. I have noticed, over the long, cold years, that relaunches of humourous-type comic series have an unfortunate tendency… not to be good. There was a wee little portion of my brain that was steeling itself to see a minimally-illustrated book that relied on reheated jokes from earlier series and had no discernable direction. I mean, I knew Benito Cereno was better than that, but you just start getting twitchy after you see it happen enough.

But my warning signals were misfiring - probably I just got too close to a stack of old issues of Countdown or something - this is a fun reintroduction to the Tick. I mean, it's a Christmas comic, yes, and thus doesn't really have the option of getting too deep and plot-ful, but that actually works very well, as Cereno uses the "let's see how evertone is spending the holidays" schtick as an opportunity to establish just who is going to be playing a part in the series - a very good idea, what with all of the cartoon and live-action characters that certainly aren't going  to be showing up.

Anyway: fun, suitably Tick-ish, features Man-Eating Cow. Hooray!

Green Lantern No. 48/Blackest Night No. 5 - I am officially declaring Larfleeze the Sensational Character Find of 2009. I haven’t had the urge to buy an action figure for a very long time, but now I want a little Agent Orange of my own, to help me with my coveting. Very fun. Plus, this week basically explicitly confirms that at least some Black Lanterns will be returning to life (that and the fact that currently heart-freee Damage appearing in the  ad and preview for the new JSA series. Way to keep up the suspense, guys).

Creepy No 2 - I am honestly surprised at just how successful this revival of Creepy has been. No attempt has been made to fix what wasn’t broken, and thus I can sit back and read something like “Muscle Car”. My uncle’s old copies of Creepy and Eerie did a fine job of scaring the hell out of me when I was a child and I’m just pleased as punch to know that I’ll be able to offer the same kind of opportunities to any children that I may or may not end up having.

Chew No. 6 - As much fun as the Tony Chu/Mason Savoy dynamic was, the Enigmatic Mentor archetype was never half as fun as the Cop Who Knows When to Bend the Rules, which works out nicely because Chu’s old partner John Colby is back and just as entertaining as he was before getting knifed in the face in issue 1. Plus, he’s a cyborg now, with a USB jack in his face and everything. Chew is now a psychic/cyborg cop buddy comic set in an alternate Earth where chicken is illegal and the FDA is the most powerful law-enforcement body in the US - I swear, the better this thing gets the harder it is to explain.

Beasts of Burden No. 3 - My joy at there being another issue of this is leavened somewhat by the fact that I just found out that there will only be one more. I guess I know what my Seasonal Holiday wish to Grampy Tanglebeard will be this year.

This issue: Orphan in love! Rats! Mystery! If there’s a better comic about talking animals battling the supernatural then I don’t know what it is.

Detective Comics No. 859 - I didn’t really notice last issue, as I was all gaga over the excellent job that J.H. Williams III was doing of differentiating past and present artistically, but Greg Rucka is putting together a really solid origin for Batwoman, one that transcends the old “bored socialite fights crime” version without discarding it. Even if this was her unspoken origin from the start (and I did miss the series in which she got stabbed through the heart, so this might be a rehash) this is some really solid storytelling. Good show!

Arkham Asylum No. 2 (of 3) - Poor Dr. Arkham. Does he ever get a break? Maybe someday there will be a one-shot or a Bizarro Tale in which he just has a nice day and nobody escapes from the Asylum and eats someone. At least this has Mr Freeze in his underwear, hitting a guy with a bag of ice. How can you argue with that?

Superman: Secret Origin No. 3 (of 6) - I reckon that this is the second-best portrayal of Clark Kent acting the oaf that I know of (the first of course being All-Star Superman). It’s good to see that Johns is keeping the businessman aspect of the Byrne Lex Luthor, if not the fat part. I also enjoy the implication that Metropolis was just a terrible town until Superman showed up, like the worst stereotype of New York.

The Last Resort No. 4 - So the zombie-style folks in this comic are infected with a modified form of the Toxoplasmosis parasite (a wee beastie that you pick up from cats and that supposedly alters your behavior, making you more aggressive)? That’s actually pretty clever, and slightly eerie as we were talking about that very parasite at supper (this is exactly the kind of dinner conversation that you get when you date a pathologist. I once learned how to do an autopsy over lunch at the Elephant and Castle). As I theorized, the horror movie tropes are starting to make themselves known and the retribution is a-coming.

Superman No. 694 - Mon-El’s back! Mitch has a secret and it's not that he's gay!! The Parasite is in, like three comics this week!

Justice League of America No. 39 - Well, I bought it for the ring. I think that it officially put Firestorm’s girlfriend on the “girlfriend in a refrigerator” list, though. So now I have.. evidence?

Science Says You're Wrong if You Think That John Can Buy Comics and Write About Them in a Timely Manner

Funny thing is, I wrote this on time. I just get distracted so easily, this time by a "games jam" which involved a lot of people who  knew a lot more about programming than me making a game over the course of a night while I made little space ships. Here: as a consolation prize, one of the designs that didn't get used:

Enough of that malarky - on to the reviews!

Victorian Undead No. 1

I do so love being the target audience for something. Sherlock Holmes vs zombies with a side order of insidious automata? Yes please!

I have just now developed a theory as to why I so enjoy reading stories about Holmes encountering the fantastic. It might be due to the Victorian setting and an assumption about people of that era being a bit more credulous, but unlike the deductive brains of tales set in the here-and-now, our man Sherlock doesn’t let a little thing like something breaking the rules of science and nature as he understands them faze him in the least.

Like, say Batman, Brainiac 5 and Sherlock Holmes met an honest-to-goodness mummy. You can bet that Holmes would spend a fraction of the time that the other two did whining about things not making sense and talking about how they hate magic and claiming that it was a puppet or a hologram or a team of trained dogs. No, Holmes would maybe take a minute, maybe be a bit surprised and then figure out how mummies work. It’s why Holmes/Lovecraft mashups are so satisfying, I reckon - there’s just something about the guy that doesn’t let something as trivial as the unexplainable get in his way.

So: Victorian Undead. Looks great, reads great, looks like it's going to feature a lot of Holmes using his massive cranium to fight the undead. And did I mention the robots?

Adventure Comics No. 4

And speaking of being a target audience… This comic features a) the best damn appearance of Superboy Prime-as-fanboy ever. b) A twenty-years-later acknowledgement of the fact that White Witch and Blok are for reals in love with each other and c) a Quislet mention (because every Quislet mention brings us closer to having him actually appear in the comic again, that’s why). Plus both the White Witch and the Black Witch have those weird eye-antennae, and I’m always happy to see them put in an appearance.

The Legion stuff is no big deal, really, as I’d probably be happy to read a story about Cosmic Boy going grocery shopping as long as it was written in a halfway decent manner. The Threeboot Legion series ended on a fairly bleh note and everything featuring them since has been a BIG EVENT of some sort, so I can be very content with little tales that establish Johns’ version of the Legion. For now, at least.

As for the main story, well, it doesn’t get much better than Superboy Prime finding out about his impending maybe-death by reading Adventure Comics No. 4 and desperately trying to figure out what happens next. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Black Lanterns’ habit of taunting people like third graders but by god is it satisfying when Alexander Luthor takes the time to really hammer home the fact that everyone hates Superboy Prime.

Outsiders No. 24

Okay, I admit it. I bought this so I could get the ring. Just call me Larfleeze, I guess. I just found myself in a position where my regular comics-buying would have netted me 6 of 8 rings and I was way too lazy to find one on eBay or trade with someone else or something like that.

Anyway, the comic. I’m pretty sure that the last issue of  Outsiders that I bought had the Nuclear Family on the cover, so I may just be a bit behind. It’s not bad. There’s the Creeper and Killer Croc with a tiny little arm, both of which are a good time. Plus I finally learned who it is that’s always wearing that Owlman getup when the Outsiders show up in crossovers, which was bugging me but not enough, evidently, to look it up.

The Flash: Rebirth No 5 (of 6)

Blech. This series has so damned infuriating. I generally like Geoff Johns, but it seems like every second issue - hell, every second page in this issue - just strikes such a false note with me. Last issue it turned out that all the whacky stuff with speedsters dying and Barry turning into the Black Flash was down to Professor Zoom being in the Speed Force generating anti-speed or something, and that is just fine. I liked the series more because of it: it’s such a classic goofy super-villain plot that plays perfectly off of the whole Reverse Flash thing, plus it ended up bringing Max Mercury back, so hooray there. But this issue? Man, I’m going to start a new paragraph because I need a


Reverse Flash is now responsible for every bad thing that happened in Barry Allen’s life? Reverse Flash killed Barry Allen’s mother and framed his father for the crime? I am dumbfounded by how… depressing this is. I mean, the point of this series is to redefine Barry in terms of the present day DCU, right? And the murdered mother thing has been a recurring plot point from the start, yes? So the redefinition is as a victim? A guy whose parents were killed by the most poorly-motivated, over-the-top jerk that could be blown out of proportion for the purpose? Is he going to be a dark specter of vengeance with dead parents now, rather than a decent guy who does right for the sake of it?

Underground No 3 (of 5) - I missed the second issue of this somehow but now everything is right with the world again. Plus, it’s turning out to be even better than I was expecting. I thought that it was going to be all small town crime drama, and that’s definitely an element, but the real focus of the story is just how effed up things can get inside a cave, especially when there are dumb assholes who don’t know what they’re doing in there with you. And also they’re trying to kill you.

Batman Confidential No. 37 - I think that I might have enjoyed this issue more if I hadn’t been so fond of Zinda “Lady Blackhawk” Blake in Birds of Prey, because she does not come off very well here. How shall I put this… she both looks and acts like a not-very bright porn star, and she’s so much cooler than that when done well. Plus I was looking at an ad for some Authority/WildC.A.T.S. crossover in Victorian Undead and I decided to start harshing on books where the ladies don’t wear pants more. Everyone should get to wear pants, guys.

Batman Unseen No 4 (of 5) - You guys, I think that there’s going to be an invisible Batman in the next issue. All of my dreams are coming true.

Cowboy Ninja Viking No. 2 - They’re really getting into the multiple personality aspect of the characters in this series, especially during the fight scenes between Cowboy Ninja Viking and Pirate Gladiator Oceanographer.

Invincible No. 68 - Just to confirm: this comic is still great. Dinosaurus is a terrific villain name. Though Atom Eve still doesn’t get to wear pants.

One Step Away From a Strongly-Worded Email

Okay, it’s time for me to lay down some thoughts now that this thing has been going on for a while. Why isn’t Blackest Night kicking my ass like it should be? I am enjoying it enough to keep buying it, but it’s definitely not my most anticipated comic of the week. Some theories:

1. The Anticipation Factor: I call this “The Matrix 2 Effect” because that’s when I first noticed it. Remember how hard The Matrix rocked us? And how long we waited, our little faces scrunched up, for the next episode? And how it was then decried as THE WORST MOVIE OF ALL TIME? Bushwah. It was an okay movie. The problem was that it wasn’t as good as the original, while in our head it was going to be exponentially better. Similarly, we’ve been waiting for Blackest Night for, what, a year? Year and a half? Coupled with the fact that the Green Lantern stories leading into the whole thing were pretty solid fun, Blackest Night is almost guaranteed to have a hard time being  as awesome as I, personally, was hoping for.

FIRST CONCLUSION: One Year Of Hype Is Too Much Hype.

2. The Trouble With Black Lanterns, Part 1: I started thinking about Blackest Night earlier this week after reading Chris Bird's thoughts on the current state of comics (here they are), among which was the fact that the Black Lanterns are very poorly written (edit: oh dang, he's quoting someone else, isn't he. Well, I still read the quote there). Far from being cunning emotional manipulators who wring every last drop of succulent emotion from their prey, the Black Lanterns (and here I’m going to lift the Mighty God King’s Jim Smith's analogy, because it’s the very best one to use here) sound like fourteen year olds on a message board complaining about a character that they don’t like. It’s just cheap, easy shot after cheap, easy shot. Really, the most effective Black Lanterns so far have been the resurrected villains, because they have the option of a personality and some of them actually have legitimate beefs with the heroes that they are fighting. You know what would be cool? Basically any other villainous archetype, that's what. Like, what if the Black Lanterns retained their old personalities but were compelled to attack their friends - that would be a potentially compelling roller coaster of emotion. Or hell: monosyllabic or completely silent engines of undead destruction. Just shut up Zombie Elongated Man.

Thank you.

SECOND CONCLUSION: Fourteen Year Olds On Message Boards Aren’t Evil, Just Annoying.

3. Let’s Make it a Company-Wide Event!: Remember Sinestro Corps War? Green Lantern event, lasted maybe three months, took place in two regular series and a handful of specials? What a nice little event, yes? Wouldn’t it be nice if Blackest Night had gotten the same treatment instead of sprawling all over space and time? I mean, I'm grateful that DC has stopped the old policy of having events intrude on every single ongoing series, but we don't need to see how every single super-hero deals with the return of his or her dead in excruciating detail.

THIRD CONCLUSION: If You Beat The Horse Before It’s Dead, You Might Just Kill It.

4. The Trouble With Black Lanterns, Part 2: Zombies with power rings should be cooler than these guys are. I mean, I can understand undead super-humans using their old powers, but why the hell is Sue Dibny just slouching around in the background rather than flying around and slinging death beams? Basically the only Black Lantern to do anything remotely interesting is The Ventriloquist, who has been floating along surrounded by a cloud of heavily-armed Scarfaces. GAH!

FOURTH CONCLUSION: Power Rings Ain’t Just Jewelry, Dammit.

5. That Damned Black Lantern Costume: The costume design for the Black Lanterns looks pretty good on paper (uh, I mean writing paper, not comic book paper): the character’s regular costume done up in black, grey and silver with elements of Black Hand’s costume superimposed over top. And sometimes it works, as in Sue Dibny’s simple dress-with-a-logo. Most of the time, though, it’s a recipe for extraordinarily dull and confusing fight scenes. And did you know that Batman has about three hundred dead villains who are basically generic dudes with long hair and knives? I didn’t, until I spent half an hour trying to figure out who the hell they all were.

FIFTH CONCLUSION: Maybe The Black Lantern Corps Needs Nametags, I’m Just Sayin’.

6. What, no Avarice? In Blackest Night: Batman No. 2, up on the roof of the Gotham City Police Department, one of the Generic Long-Haired Undead Batman Villains (dramatically silhouetted for extra identification challenge!) says that they will eat Gotham’s inhabitants, “… savoring the distinct subtleties of the fear, rage, love, compassion and willpower coursing through their souls!” and I’m all like “What, no love for the orange light of avarice?” but then I realized that no, inciting avarice would require some subtlety on the zombies’ part, and they don’t have time for that. All the other emotions could probably be evoked through beating people up and trolling them, after all. But when Black Lantern Jade tried to sex Kyle Raynor up, that worked! That was much more interesting than if she’d moaned at him about how she died instead of him and told him that he was a sucky replacement for Hal! Nuanced behavior on the Black Lanterns’ part might actually make them interesting opponents for a company-wide event! And they have power rings! They have the capacity to create energy constructs! THEY COULD BE FANTASTICALLY EFFECTIVE TEMPTERS AND MANIPULATORS! I think that this might have just become a mashup of points 2 and 4. I don't care, though, because i just pictured a comic in which every beloved dead character in the DCU came back to life at once and everyone was really happy but peril lurked behind their eyes. Oh imagination, thanks for all your help.


SIXTH CONCLUSION: Oh hell, I don't know. Something about not living up to potential or the like. More Larfleeze needed.

Ah well. I'm still enjoying myself, though I can't be sure how much of that is just my enduring love for Where's Waldo attaching itself to my little games of Spot the Zombie. But my joy should be from more than just going "Heh heh, undead Ch'p."

Of course, Geoff Johns has showed a facility for turning a weak story around with a very satisfying ending - see Flash: Rebirth, which hasn't quite ended yet, I guess, but still counts because I want it to - but, well... that doesn't make the story as a whole good. Even if the 80-90% likely victory by Hal Jordan wearing all the different Corps rings is coupled with Sodam Yat returning from the Daxamite sun all supercharged and a possible appearance by benign "at peace" undead like Dove and it's a completely fun, nail-biting, fist-pumping, senses-shattering phantasmagoric thrill-ride, well, that's not going to make the issues that preceded it any better.

So what's the solution? I guess that the only thing that I can do is to stop anticipating anything ever, which might require me to pay even less attention to comics news  than I already do. And we could petition Geoff Johns to retire his "irritating fanboy" character now that Superboy Prime has been locked away. That would be nice.

Anyway, thanks for hanging out with me while I vented my spleen. Go read something that will bring you joy - that's what I'm going to do (if I can find my damn copy of Tales Designed to Thrizzle, that is)

Good afternoon!

Giant-Size John Buys Comics

Well, giant-size in that I bought a butt-load of 'em this week.

Hey! Have I ever mentioned Super Future Friends here? I have? Well, I'm mentioning them again beause they are awesome. They speak of the Legion of Super-Heroes with great joy and some swears and bring me delight. Seriously, it's the only podcast that I listen to multiple times, plus they just did the first appearance of matter-Eater Lad, my fav'rit!

Zeke Deadwood, Zombie Lawman

Hee hee hee! This was a terrific comic to start my weekly read-on with. I know that “disdain for zombie-based entertainment” is the new chic attitude (uh, new as in for the last year or two), but like “disdain for Jimmy Olsen” and “admiration for tapered jeans” I can’t really get behind it. A good comic is a good comic and a bad comic is a bad comic, zombies or no. And nobody looks good in tapered jeans.

Anyway: this is a fun comic. It has a good premise (a zombie would make a great lawman), a couple of good running gags (Zeke smells very bad, zombies are very slow), lots of good sight gags (as outlaws take over the town a man is seen reading a paper with the headline OUTLAWS ARRIVE) and a framing sequence that preys on my love of old-time radio. Zeke and his zombie horse look great. Zeke sings some Johnny Cash. Johnathan is delighted. Also: a Guy Davis pin-up (and did I mention that Guy Davis drew a little Hellboy for me when Rachelle saw him at HeroesCon? He totally did! Wotta guy!)

Good job, T.A. Boatwright and Ryan Rubio.

Poe No. 1 No. 1 (of 4)

Oh man. There was a preview for this in the back of something I read last week and it didn’t look very appealing, mainly because whoever put it together chose pages that focused on Edgar Allen Poe as a crazy dude mourning his dead child bride and possibly seeing through time, instead of the far more awesome Edgar Allen Poe who does all of that stuff and also solves mysteries like an insane Sherlock Holmes.

This is a great story. Poe is the grand-daddy of detective fiction and also the godfather of the American horror tradition and also a crypto buff and general crazy genius, so casting him in an investigative role is a natural - if this is the first time that it’s been done then I’m surprised. He has this terrific nervous energy that is accentuated by the art of Dean Kotz so that you can almost hear him blurting out all of his deductions in one long blather, all talking with his hands and pacing around.

On top of that, this is shaping up to be an interesting mystery that I actually care about and try to figure out, which doesn’t happen often in the comic books. And the villains look terrific.

Oh, and also the magic in this book appears to have been cribbed from D&D, which is awesome.

Last Resort No. 1

Dang it, this looks like a candidate for the SECOND ISSUE OF JUDGEMENT treatment, as this issue was all setup and that could be a good thing or a bad thing.

See, this comic can be summarized as follows: plane heading for Aruba is forced by a storm to land on an island that is probably covered in zombies. Between the first couple of pages (zombie-esque dude washes up on resort beach) and the last couple (the plane lands at the resort) this issue is basically concerned with establishing the cast of characters: the angry lesbian, the fornicating couple, the nerd, the old lady, etc. They’re okay character sketches, so the really key thing that will make or break the series for me is going to happen in the second issue. Will the characters that I like get horribly killed after making an optimistic prediction? Will the irritating characters get killed in spiteful and ironic ways? This is the axis of judgment for a character-driven zombie book. I’d love to see everyone with a personality survive for once, while nameless extras are mown down around them.

Two further things strike me as worth mentioning. First, that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray need to run the script for the second issue past a proofreader one extra time if they don’t want people like me to be rendered sad by the punctuation and spelling errors. Editors read comics too, guys. And weep.

Second, either the script contains three separate art directions that read “the girl’s shirt is hiked up over one boob so that you can see her nipple ring” or Giancarlo Caracuzzo loves drawing girls with their shirt hiked up over one boob so that you can see their nipple rings. Either way, I think that someone is letting their freak flag fly a bit. “I LOVE BOOOOOOBS!”, they are saying.

Creepy No. 1

Ah, good old Creepy. I’m glad to see this title out and about again. And it’s good! Someone at Dark Horse understood exactly what magazines like Creepy and Eerie and so forth were good at: telling stories with a twist at the end, some of which were clever and some of which were amusing and some of which were a little scary. The only really important stipulation was that they should all be as interesting as possible and look good in black and white.

And in the back: a story that manages to be the other thing that a good horror comic tale can be: touching in a weird way. It's called "Daddy and the Pie" and just touched my tiny heart, I swear. Much more than the racists earlier, I swear.

The Brave and the Bold No. 25

This issue continues the merging of the Milestone and DC universes, as well as the theme of pairing up guys with something in common, with an all-armour team-up between Blue Beetle and a dude named Hardware, of whom I know little since my Milestone reading has only progressed by about five issues since B&B No.24 (and how odd is it that I feel disappointed in myself for letting my having a life get in the way of reading comics?). His created-in-the-Nineties roots are really showing here, though, as he spends a lot of the issue acting like a mistrustful dick who HAS TO DO IT FOR HIMSELF!

There’s also a villainous team-up in this issue, as Hardware’s enemy the System (or possibly SYSTEM) hires a shadowy, bald technologist to consult on their battlesuit designs. I spent the issue figuring that it was Luthor and then at the end - POOF - it turns out to be Gizmo, only not the zombie Gizmo from Birds of Prey but rather a full-sized guy in the Gizmo costume who implies that he’s the original’s… son? Brother? What really matters is that the costume looked stupid on him.

Oh, and this was a pretty good comic! It may be recovering!

Domino Lady No. 1

I bought this comic because I love pulpy stuff and detectives and so forth, so a masked detective in an evening gown should have been right up my alley. Man, I shoulda bought that Blonde Phantom book instead.

Maybe the giant breast implants on the cover should have tipped me off, but some part of me said “Nah, they must have had fake boobs in the Twenties or Thirties or whenever. Probably made ‘em out of wood or something.” And so I blundered on, into a comic that started badly and then went downhill.

The Domino Lady! Makes a big deal about how rare it is for someone to know her secret identity but wears a domino mask, the mask that does nothing to conceal your identity! The artist forgot to draw the mask for a page and I thought that it was on purpose!

The Domino Lady! Featuring a pointless appearance by Sherlock Holmes! He disguises himself as a clown!

The Domino Lady! There are lots of shots of her in her underwear! She puts her evening gown on over top and the underwear disappears! Oops!

I could go on. This is bad. This is… this is Alan Moore’s Cobweb as written by, well, not Alan Moore. It’s T&A (which I have no objection to, in theory) with nothing to back it up, story-wise (this I object to). Booooo.

Blackest Night No. 1

Okay, here it comes. Blackest Night, the War of Lights, etc. Black Hand is tongue-kissing Bruce Wayne’s skull and there are zombies everywhere. This is probably going to awesome if it doesn’t suck.

You know what I liked best about this comic? At the beginning there’s a sequence showing people celebrating the holiday that started in memory of Superman and then became a general costumed hero memorial day once he came back. Everybody’s visiting graves and remembering their pals and it’s all so nice. I know that it was just setup for when all of those pals come back as awful creatures of the night, but I kind of wished that the comic could just be fun all the way through. Hey look, the Rogues have their own secret cemetery! Hey look, Barry Allen is more interesting in this book than Rebirth, even though they’re written by the same guy!

ZOMBIE WATCH (there will be spoilers in the ZOMBIE WATCH): Every dead member of the Green Lantern Corps (including Ch’p!), Martian Manhunter (and who didn’t expect that), Sue and Ralph Dibny (and who wasn’t dreading that). I’m sure that future ZOMBIE WATCH installments will be more action-packed.

R13 No. 1

This actually came out last week and I somehow missed it, which is weird because it's directly up my alley. Check it: a fishing boat hauls up a crazy-cool robot with a dome head. Inside that dome is a skull. The robot fights a tentacled beast of the sea and also there is a giant lobster. There is a mystery.

How could I resist any of that, let alone all of it? It's like these people (these people = Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford) are hiding in my house and taking notes. And it looks really nice, too - the art lives in the same neighbourhood as Mike Mignola and Guy Davis' and maybe picks up their mail while they're away. There is some inconsistancy in the resolution of the panels but looking at Blacklist Studios' website I think that a) It's their first comic and b) it's just these two guys, so I'm willing to forgive some minor loss of crispness in exchange for more robot vs. mollusc action, delivered quarterly.

Edward Grey, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels No. 1

Speaking of Mignola...

This comic has been a long time coming - Edward Grey has been lurking around the edges of the Hellboy universe for many, many years now. Heck, he even had a little solo adventure in the prequel to the recent Abe Sapien miniseries.

Now, I know that I might not be the most unbiased person on this subject, but this is a great comic. Edward Grey is a Victorian occult investigator looking into a series of murders that are all connected to an archeological expedition and there are crazy skeletons and pre-human societies and things in jars... It's just distilled joy for me.

Actually, now that I think about it, this might be a good jumping-on point for someone who wants to check out the Heellboy family of comics but is daunted by the interconnectivity of the whole thing. Sure there are a few references to earlier series here (Hyperboreans, eeeee!) but they aren't in the least bit essential to the story. And how can you resist Victorians versus pre-human ape-guys?

And it's pretty much bedtime. Quick reviews!

Buck Rogers No 2 - Passes the SECOND ISSUE OF JUDGEMENT! Good fun here!

Wednesday Comics No. 2 - More of the same, the same being goodness!

The Unknown No. 3 - What? Insane monk? Hooray!

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape No. 3 - I am so confused.  This is going to be great!

Sherlock Holmes No. 3 - Mycroft: not fat enough. Otherwise terrific.

Good night everyone!