Morrison’s Batman lives. It runs, it hurts, it gets sick, it heals. You can see the birth there, in those bits of 52. You can find it learning how to breath, death becoming a second motion – little deaths becoming a pattern of the world they live in. Batman is dying again and again, little deaths until the end with the 13th issue of Inc. But Batman never dies. Batman and Robin never die. We’ve been graced with an unkillable mortal and he has graced up with his son and so we look at the future before us.
Happy could have been amazing. Teaming up a cartoonish sprite with a hardboiled killer can be good comics. Having a symbol of innocence floating around a hardened kill in a brutally dark setting – I’d like to see it done well and I say I’d like to see it done because in Happy, the series becomes so heavily mired with black despair and grime that it never recovers and ultimately reads like someone’s poorly conceived Sin City spinoff.
This week’s Graceland is late because there was a weekend sale at the LCS, and since I’m broke what with the holiday spirit, I had to pick my books up on Saturday. But whatever, you’re not paying to read this, and I’m not paid to write this. Read on chumps!
This week, AvX ends, finally, with three words. “No more Bullshit [tie-ins, shoddy writing, and largely rushed art, and a plot that makes sense only if you’re a brain-damaged incontinent with a massive cocaine addiction]”. Ok, I might be paraphrasing that last part. Here’s some comic reviews up in your face.
I have been busy preparing for a vacation, so this is part 1 of the reviews, and I’ll do part 2 later.
AvX #9 Written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Adam Kubert, colored by Laura Martin
-“I think I… might have helped a bit. Did I…?” –Spider-Man.
Really, it’s about time we had another good issue; despite some little bits of nice writing and mostly great art, this event has been pretty mediocre. Luckily for us, we get the first actually good issue since #6, as Jason Aaron takes us back to something just about every Marvel fan can appreciate: Spider-Man outclassed completely, and then triumphing through force of will. Sure, it’s not as good as #33, but then again, what could be? Anyway, Spider-Man is awesome, and the nice Adam Kubert art helps make this pretty good. I’m just excited that this stupid event is almost over, and we can get to such exciting titles as: Avenging X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Avenging X-Force, X-Avengers, and The Avengers and the X-Men Team Up.
Action Comics #12 Written by Grant Morrsion, drawn by Rags Morales, CAFU, Brad Walker, Colored by Brad Anderson, Gabe Eltaeb
-“This gun shoots psychic bullets- a guilt that will consume your mind! A fear that will never let you rest!” –Adam Blake, the first Superman
I’m really enjoying the crazy ideas Grant Morrison is packing into almost every page, but I don’t think I’ll be missing him when he leaves the title after #16. It’s not exactly high criticism to say that comics are better when the art is on par or better than the writer, and while Batman Inc has Chris Burnham, Action gets… three artists. In one issue. One 20 page issue. And 4 inkers. This was a rush job, and it shows, but despite all of that, Morrison writes incredible dialogue (I had so much trouble choosing the above quote) and brilliant story arcs; the last few pages had me grinning like an idiot. My point, anyway, is that I’m looking forward to a Morrison less contained by the rigid Nu52 monthly schedule, working with a great artist that doesn’t feel rushed to deliver pages at the expense of quality.
Animal Man #12 Written by Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, drawn by Steve Pugh, colored by Lovern Kindzierski
“Then it possessed my body, but I grew a new one and I killed it.” –Animal Man
I guess I’m cooling on the Lemire’s non-self drawn work; I was considering dropping Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E, before the writer switch, and now even Animal Man has started to feel stale. Maybe it’s that the whole Rotworld arc and accompanying build-up has just felt overlong instead of the epic adventure it seems to be trying for. Maybe it’s that even though we’ve seen Buddy Baker in almost every issue, I haven’t felt like he’s really having a character arc. Regardless, I guess I’ll give it till the end of the Swamp Thing crossover, seeing as how the art for both titles is really good.
Space Jam of the Week
Daredevil #16 written by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez
“We really underestimate that guy. The pain and fear he had to overcome just to function…”- Ant Man
Now this is EXACTLY what I want from a comic. Mark Waid, in TWELVE PAGES, has gotten me to like Ant-Man more than 30 years of comics. That is incredible. Add in some of the best Matt and Foggy interaction with phonemonal art from Chris Samnee, and you’ve got one hell of a comic. The only problem? There’s still no appearance of Mike Murdock. I know Waid has read DD #25. It’s impossible not to be reminded of it when reading the new series, so every issue I keep waiting for him to show up. Still an amazing comic, even without Matt’s twin brother who wears sunglasses and calls ladies “dolls”.
Defenders #9 Written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton, colored by Dommo Aymara
“THE AMERICAN WAR PIG IS DEAD BENEATH THE HEEL OF AGENT PUSSYCAT OF HYDRA!” –Agent Pussycat of HYDRA
Dial H #4: written by China Mieville, drawn by Mateus Santolouco, colored by Tanya & Richard Horie
“She’s a mage of nothing. She coulda helped me with this. But she said she needed to conserve her energies. So she did nothing.”
This reminds me a lot of the Grant Morrison/Richard Case Doom Patrol, which is high praise coming from me, as that is my favorite Morrison comic ever. Like Doom Patrol, Dial H has a huge density of ideas; crazy talking villains that we only learn about months after they’re introduced, fantastic phrases and names that make you wish you thought of them, and an artist willing to draw all manner of crazy things. Like Doom Patrol, I don’t understand half of the comic, and probably won’t until about 6 more issues down the line, but I am enjoying the flow of it.
I’ve been reading a lot of Grant Morrison – All Star Superman, Doom Patrol and I’ll be working on reading everything else. Morrison has this great ability, almost comparable to Kirby, to just toss out these intensely understandable but dark ideas. I am currently reading through Doom Patrol and he’s had three otherworldly armies invade the planet with forces that man is not meant to deal with from the Scissor Men to the Cult of the Unwritten Book and probably more after that. (I know there are but I’ll avoid spoilers and I’m honestly in a rush to get an article for today.