June 12, 2010 2 Comments
This week’s comic reviews ahead. Again only a couple, though there were a lot of maybe’s that I didn’t pick up. Instead of getting Fables vol 3, I picked up The Immortal Iron Fist vol 1 on a whim so we’ll see how that flies.
Pick of the Week: Secret Six #22 –
Intense and unapologetic conclusion to Catman’s story of family and revenge. Everything is explained and a resolution is reached, if a not all too happy (perhaps bittersweet) one, and on the Six’s side of things some unrelated yet similar drama unfolds. The action is not the focus, but rather highlights the raw character drama. I know we get a lot of that grim stuff in comics these days, but Secret Six executes it well, without being ham-fisted. Calafiore and co’s art continues to deliver. Even if it isn’t my favourite style it tells the story very well. Perhaps not high praise there, but this book still beats out all of DC’s other mainstream stuff (that I’m currently reading). This issue made me feel like rereading the whole arc again, so it must be doing something right.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 –
Fairly similar to the first issue. Weaver continues to deliver nice art and different styles, but on the writing side again we get a lot of vague mystical stuff that only hints at an explanation. Thankfully in the last few pages it seems like the plot is going forward, but I am starting to get annoyed by this book. I enjoy high-concept comic writing as much as anyone (capes stuff is best at spectacle, after all, like ye olde mythology) but I’d like to see some actual characterisation and other aspects important to a story to make it engaging, rather than mostly incomprehensible. I’m also not sure I even like the sort of mystical and religious way S.H.I.E.L.D. is being portrayed. If it’s been membered by some of the greatest scientific minds of history, when and why did it suddenly become so tangled in the mystic mumbo-jumbo? Sticking to a scientific grounding would make the story more comprehensible too, maybe. Still, something’s bound to happen next issue, so I’ll stick around.
Batman #700 –
A good enough standalone issue that has some fun moments. Morrison gives us a look at the Batman of yesterday, today and tomorrow (Bruce, Dick and Damian), following his whole history-spanning Bats theme, and ties them together with a time traveller. The three individual stories are all fun, and have their merits, with the highlight probably being the second story with Dick and (little) Damian (I liked the montage, including that panel where Dick and Damian are just chillin’). It’s not a particularly memorable tale, but it gets across the idea that Batman will always be around (especially with a couple of pages at the very end), which was, in the end, its intention. We get some bonus material at the end, and while the art in the gallery was very good, I would have preferred more pages of story over the Batcave guide with the oddly sterile and inappropriate art. We get a bevy of artists, with Kubert’s in the third story probably being the highlight. It was jarring to see Quitely’s story change art halfway through, and to stuff that didn’t really suit it. I guess the artists were on a tight deadline and rushing to get these pages out or something. In the end, it’s a decent issue but a bit lacking for a centennial anniversary. It marks Morrison’s return to Batman, and while this was nowhere near as annoying as Return of Bruce Wayne, I’m not particularly motivated to stick around for #701.