doublearticulation

Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

Double Articulation Digest #6

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

A very grumpy Reverend over at Newsarama preached quite a sermon about the latest issue of Simone’s Wonder Woman and its “laundry list of offenses” in the Best Shots column this week. I share his irritation with the art pastiche, sorta—if I had my druthers, the Dodsons would be chained to Wonder Woman for life, along with Simone. Nevertheless, Ron Randall was a good choice to fill in the missing Dodson pages and the story of Hippolyta’s zealous personal guard and a Nazi invasion of Paradise Island continues apace. Simone is staging a confrontation between two paranoid groups with Diana caught in the middle. The Nazis and the personal Guard (led, significantly, by a skinheaded Amazon) are essentially purity fetishists, so WW’s ape army is a clever reversal of Nazi propaganda about “unclean,” “lesser” races and their supposed evolutionary handicaps. Great issue.

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I needed a comic fix a couple of nights ago, but the comic store was closed, so I hoofed it down to the nearby mall to check out the selection of comics at Coles. Unsurprisingly, it consisted of a bunch of major event trades (X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, vols. 1-18—no thanks!) some prestige projects (Superman: Red Son, etc.), and a variety of things that don’t much interest me (various “Ultimate” titles, reprints of silver age DC material). I was almost tempted by DC’s Man of Steel trades, which are reprinting the John Byrne/Marv Wolfman relaunch of all the Supertitles, in sequence. I’ve picked these up and put them down about a dozen times in my comic store. Did the same thing here. I loved this stuff at the time, but the Superman stories that I really find myself wanting to reread from that era are not in print yet: the Eradicator story in particular (Superman in space) and all the Kerry Gammill/Jon Bogdanov art that followed. I liked that so much better than the Byrne-illustrated Supes. All of which is to say, that I ended up getting Superman Batman: Absolute Power instead. Not half bad! I haven’t been reading the series, but I couldn’t resist (yet another) alternate history tale drawn by Carlos Pacheco. Seriously. Avengers Forever, the Camelot Falls epic in Superman, and now this too? The plot was fairly slight—just an excuse for Loeb to animate some of DC’s distinctive characters from various eras, but it was fun all the same. Its cast resonates nicely with current happenings in the DCU: the presence of the classic Legions (of heroes and villains), Kamandi, Darkseid, Ra’s, the revival of various Western heroes, etc. I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

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Also in the category of enjoying it more than I expected to is Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s The Incredible Hercules # 112 and 113. Tapping into Herc’s mythological roots and teaming him with bratty boy genius Amadeus (“What do you say to you and me spending our summer vacation totally destroying S.H.I.E.L.D.?”) Cho makes for a hugely entertaining read. Herc’s renaissance is superficially inspired by the Spartan success of 300, perhaps. But, in addition to being hairier than any of Sparta’s lunkheads, Herc turns out to be a more interesting lunkhead too, with a tragic past that gives the character more depth than you might expect. Along with Ellis’s Thunderbolts, this is a deeply satisfying remedy to the rest of the company’s post-Civil War, OneMoreDaygate world. The art by Khoi Pham and Stephane Peru attractively channels the styles of Oliver Copiel and John Romita Jr. Covers by comics legend Arthur Adams.


Double Articulation Digest #5

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2008 at 3:00 am

I caught the first two episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles last week. Newsarama’s Tom McLean found various things to complain about, but this is exactly the kind of TV SF I love. It perfectly captured the aesthetic of the films, and the cast is so good that I’m happy to go along with whatever character tweaking they’ve done bringing the franchise to TV. Summer Glau is much better here than she was in Firefly, as much as I loved that one too. My wife walked in as I was watching the last ten minutes of the premiere and caught the giant grin plastered all over my face. “What are you watching, Jim?” Time machine in a bank vault. Heehee!

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Countdown to Final Crisis #15 was almost readable. The sections with Pete Woods art managed to inject a little grandeur into what is otherwise a conceptually and visually flaccid war between Monarch and the Monitors. (Surprising no one, I enjoyed the Donna Troy splash page.) Less enjoyable was the climax of her fisticuffs with Wonder Girl of Earth Whatever. Sorry, but…”I’m Donna Troy, Bitch” is not something our girl would say–in any reality! The Brother Eye stuff was kind of exciting, though. A mixed bag.

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“Meet the Beetles” was a cute title for Booster Gold #6, and the issue was (as always) an enjoyable romp through DC history. Having Dan Jurgens illustrate this title is a feel-good editorial decision on many levels. It’s always nice to see a creator back on one of their own characters, but even better is the genius of having Jurgens work on a time-travel book. I literally feel transported back to the eighties and early nineties every month–in a good way!

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Birds of Prey #114 was fun, though I’ve been rereading Gail Simone’s run from the beginning, and was struck by how different the current book is from Simone’s take on it. Sean McKeever seems to be positioning this book as more of a superhero title than the mystery/detective/kung fu/action thriller-thingy that was Simone’s Black Canary epic–and that’s okay with me, though I miss the tight focus on a core team of Birds. I’m a little worried about the foregrounding of Misfit, given that she’s kind of a Danny Chase character, right down to the red hair and freckles. Nevertheless, McKeever is great at writing teens, so it’s all working well at the moment. Loved the Zinda/Killer Shark encounter, Bonus: the next issue blurb actaully made me laugh out loud; that doesn’t happen often. Nicola Scott rocks the artwork, as usual.

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My comic store missed my copy of Wonder Woman #16 this week, so I have that to look forward to next time.

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Erik Larsen has a wonderful last word on the whole One More Day debacle at CBR. I didn’t read the comics, but derived a shameful amount of pleasure from the hissing and booing they elicited.