Thursday, January 25, 2007

A whole new ballgame

I demand more, Zdarsky, you magnificent bastard.

Also, I now want a pork sandwich.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Favorite Panel Friday: Wholly Spirit

You know one of the things I like about The Spirit? He gets the living hell beat out of him on a regular basis.

This is certainly true of Will Eisner's celebrated run with his best-known and oh-so-human character, and it seems as if Darwyn Cooke will continue the tradition in his updated version of The Spirit. Cooke has done a good job of capturing the happy-go-lucky figure of Denny Colt's alter-ego, and in The Spirit #2 he also shows one of the attributes that makes him a hero; he may take a beating, but he never stays down.

And holy crap, does he take a beating. What kind of hoods are these anyway, handing out moral tsk-tsks with their smackdown? That's just adding insult to multiple injuries, man.

Luckily, The Spirit's pain is our reward in what continues to be a well-written, snazzily drawn tribute that still manages to be fun and original. Cooke's work on The Spirit makes me want to go back and read the Eisner stories; believe me, I can't think of a higher compliment.

The Spirit #2: Darwyn Cooke, writer/artist

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Pull-list: 1-17-07

Is being iced in for two days going to stop this week's pull-list? Hell no (but I might be getting my comics late this week, dammit)!

52 #37: I think it's been established that, unless DC pulls a Kramer or does something idiotic like bring back Jason Todd (oops), I'll be getting this title each and every week. But c'mon, DC, would it kill you to keep up to date on your gallery? Where's this weeks' cover? There's nothing online after issue #36, and I have to admit that it makes me a little nervous. If the cover isn't ready, what kind of shape is the book in? I've got my fingers crossed that it isn't a bad sign and 52 will still be on schedule.

Conan #36: King Conan, Picts and a hot witch is really all I need to sell me on this, but it doesn't hurt that this is the second part of a storyline that started strong and managed to be in perfect tune with this series' version of the mighty barbarian. Plus, I'm preeeety sure somebody will be chopped up with a big-ass sword.

Conan and The Midnight God #1: Holy crap! I'll say this for Dark Horse - they keep the Conan comin'. I've been happy with most of the Conan minis that have been released alongside the regular run (with the exception of the mostly forgettable The Jewels of Gwahlur), so it's a safe bet that this will be worth picking up. Hell, it might be worth it for the Jason Alexander covers alone.

Desperadoes: Buffalo Dreams #1: I'm glad that Western comics - grittier and a little more conscious of history - have been enjoying a resurgence, and I'm not sure how I missed Desperadoes. Especially since the title first premiered in 1997! But Buffalo Dreams sounds interesting, and I'm willing to play catch-up for something that's had enough staying power to pop up periodically for the last 10 years. It'd almost seem rude not to.

Green Lantern #16: I've gushed over this title enough that, quite frankly, I'm a little embarrassed. But the art is great, it's the character of Hal Jordan at his Hal Jordaniest and it's a straight-up superhero comic that doesn't pretend to be anything else. And, unlike Green Lantern Corps, it's almost completely Guy Gardner free (seriously, why do people love that ... er, guy?).

The Spirit #2: This updated version of Will Eisner's legendary character works for one very simple reason: creator Darwyn Cooke gets it. In every panel and layout and line of dialogue, it's easy to see that Cooke is a fan, and that love for the character makes it seem almost as if the Spirit never left. Rebooting the Spirit could have easily been screwed up in a million different and painful ways - this book goes in the much more difficult direction by creating something new with all the heart of the original.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Favorite Panel Friday: Agents of Awesome

If that panel alone, with its dynamic artwork and compact-but-muscled writing, doesn't make you want to run out and read Agents of Atlas #6 ... seriously, I don't know what to do for you.

As I mentioned in a previous post (um, right under this one), Agents of Atlas is Marvel getting something right. The writing from Jeff Parker has been pitch-perfect from the beginning, supported well by Leonard Kirk's clean, expressive art, as well as subtly effective inking and coloring.

Aaaand ... that's about all that can be said without spoiling a clever and elegantly pulled off final issue of what has been a tight limited-series. Get out there and read it for yourselves - I promise you won't be disappointed.

Agents of Atlas #6: Writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Leonard Kirk

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Pull-List: 1-10-07

Huh ... it looks like another small week for the Post, but it promises to be chock-full of kick-assery. Without further ado (but with maybe a little zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom), here's what this week's pull is shaping up like.

52 #36: I just realized 52 is about two-thirds of the way through. If my math is correct - and it almost never is - then this maxi-series should be just about in the last part of the traditional three-part story arch. Try to contain your excitement! Basically what I hope this means is that 52 will now start picking up the pace, putting pieces together and unveiling the big reveals that have been sat on for 36 weeks. Oh, and I know I cased on the interior art last week, but the covers? Gorgeous and iconic.

Agents of Atlas #6: Marvel has only deepend my antipathy for its stuff with the Civil War hullabaloo (now with added delays!), but somehow the publisher has discovered a secret elixer or sacrified a virginal goat because a lot of its recent limited series have been hitting it out of the park. Agents of Atlas wraps it up with this issue, and I've been waiting for it like it was four-color crack; it's a fun, modern adventure yarn with a wry string of retro threaded in, with characters that speak to the best of what Marvel used to be. Previous issues have really, really made me want to know what happens next, and isn't that what comics are supposed to do? If you haven't been buying the singles, be sure to pick up the trade when it comes out.

Justice Society of America #2: A friend of mine from the comic shop I used to work at turned me on to the JSA, and after reading all the trades in stock I was pretty much in love. I loyally started getting the single issues. I recommended it to anyone who was interested. And then that fickle bitch turned on me. For some reason, the title started sucking hard and I had to drop it. Luckily, they launched this new JSA title and it's just kooky enough to work. Please, JSA - don't break my heart again. Oh, and I was going to post a link to the preview, but it's actually a preview for Outsiders - and nobody needs that.

Utopiates: When I heard the name "Utopiates," my first thought was, "Urgh." I was prepared all the way down to the cockles to hate this book, expecting to find art that thought "indie" meant it was OK to be "crappy," and text that went through the same cyberpunk motions a million other writers have already exhausted. Utopiates, I owe you an apology. After checking out the preview I'm cautiously jazzed (yes, jazzed, damn you!) about this title. The art is obviously lovingly and thoughtfully rendered, and the gritty, near-future sci-fi plot - while familiar - is intriguing. If it doesn't fall apart halfway through, I can see this becoming a regular on the list.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Favorite Panel Friday: A job for ... wha'?!?

What's going on?!? I'll tell you what's going on - Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely continue to deliver their love letter to the Silver Age with All Star Superman #6, thickly laying on the wacky adventure with sharp spikes of poignancy and character development usually missing from that iconic time. This series is all of the fun, updated and minus the silly.

Plus, this is an issue that features a young Clark Kent, time travel, a couple of twists and turns, the above-mentioned Superman Squad and (are you ready?) Krypto the Superdog.


This panel is only one of an easy handful I could've posted, so do yourself a favor and go pick up All Star Superman and get all the Silvery-Superman goodness you're missing.

All Star Superman #6: Grant Morrison, writer; Frank Quitely, artist

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Pull-List: 1-3-06

Wow - is this week small or what? Let's kick this midget, shall we?

52 #35: I might as well tell you now; this is going to be on the list until we reach #52. It's almost out of spite at this point, and I'll be damned if this mostly-entertaining-but-sometimes-slipshod title is going to beat me. You hear that, 52? Your stapled ass is mine. But can someone get some consistent art going in this thing? I haven't picked up 52 #34 yet (let's hear it for the holidays), but #33 started strong and then slid into artwork that made me laugh - and not in a good way.

All Star Superman #6: If it seems like you've been waiting forever for this issue of All Star Superman, it's not just the anticipation that comes from waiting for a well-written and creatively drawn superhero comic. It's because the last issue came out THREE MONTHS AGO! All Star Superman is supposed to be a bimonthly, but c'mon! Is it really going to be worth the wait? Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is.

Manhunter #27: I've got a pretty solid geek-crush going for Manhunter, and I like the way they've been drawing the character deeper into the DC universe. This title has been on my list since it started, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Polished Silver

Well, this trailer for the second Fantastic Four movie (Rise of the Silver Surfer) looks kinda cool. It even looks as if they got the Surfer right - though I'd be willing to bet that when he talks he'll sound vaguely British.

But I still can't get past Jessica Alba as Sue. It just takes me right out of it.

Sorry, Thing.