Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Pull List (11-19-08): Eisner's Spirit and Miller's Sins

It looks as if it's going to be a light week for me, but it also looks like there's going to be some solid stuff in this Wednesday's pile.

A happy surprise is The Spirit Special #1. This is supposed to be DC's way of whipping up interest in the Frank Miller-directed movie, but it seems like a dicey gamble to me. The special is a reprint of four Will Eisner stories — "Sign of the Octopus," "Black Alley," "Sand Seref" and "Bring in Sand Seref" — and from I've seen of the previews, you couldn't find anything less like the upcoming movie. This is a good thing if you're a fan of comics since Eisner's stories are acknowledged as groundbreaking classics, and the early word on Miller's film boils down to a stylish but shallow Sin City rehash. The difference is hardly a surprise to regular comic book readers, but I think if someone picks up the comic to see what the fuss is about, and then goes to see the movie in December ... well, it's going to be a lot different than what they might be expecting.

But at least they'll have picked up a good comic. I'm glad DC went with reprints of stories that made the Spirit such an iconic character rather than releasing some Millerized movie adaptation. A sample issue like The Spirit Special #1 is a good way to introduce the curious to comics, and who knows, maybe it will even spark some new interest in the old Eisner stories. You can never have too much Spirit in your collection, and this is a good way to start.

Also getting ...

Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #4

The Brave and The Bold #19

Supergirl #35 (yeeeah ... they got me with their shiny "New Krypton.")

Maybe ...

The Age of the Sentry #3: In spite of my all-consuming hatred for the Sentry, I have heard good things about this comic. A fun, Silver Age version of Marvel's Superman analogue is probably what they should have done with this character in the first place, and seriously, there's a good chance that someday I'll end up buying everything with Jeff Parker's name on it anyway. Plus, this issue features a hillbilly bad guy called Mountain Man, Manoo and Millie the Model! Sigh ... I am weak.

Crogan's Vengeance: The loose, cartoony art is strangely fitting and impressively expressive, and the promise of future chapters chronicling different branches of the Crogan family tree sounds like an interesting premise. Besides, it's hard to go wrong when you start out with pirates. Oni has a 29-page (!) preview online, so go check it out and see what you think.

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

Ambush Bug: Year None #4

Ex Machina #39

Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces (trade paperback)

So what are you picking up this week? Let me know in the comments!


Khairul H. said...

I'm also surprised to hear good things with Age of Sentry. Then I found out Jeff Parker was writing. Figures. I'll be picking this up when it comes out in trade not because of the Sentry who does nothing for me but Parker is writing it. The man can write next year's Yellow Pages and I'll buy it.

Maxo said...

Yeah, I joined the Cult of Parker after the Agents of Atlas limited series. Believe me, after the overwrought original and the annoyingly emo use of the character ever since, I never thought I'd be looking forward to a Sentry comic.

But, y'know ... Jeff Parker.

Sea_of_Green said...

That Spirit movie really scares me. I like Sin City, but the Spirit is NOT Sin City, darnit! Also, though I adore Samuel L., the Octopus' face is NOT supposed to be seen! That's the whole point behind the Octopus -- he's a mysterious figure who's face has never been seen!

Grrrrrrr ...

Maxo said...

Miller's made a lot of strange choices for The Spirit, and most of them boil down to, "I want to do it the way I did it last time. And the time before that." It's disappointing because it's not that he's making changes to the source material, but more as if he's just completely disregarding it.

And I'm with you on the Octopus - if anything, Miller went big and obnoxious with the "look-at-me" element, which makes it a completely different character.