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Comics Reviews (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learnt to Respect Don & Randy)

Call myself a comics blogger without any comics reviews? What’s the name of your blog again, David? Hmm? Here’s some quick reviews on last week’s purchases:

303 #3
It’s nice seeing Garth Ennis writing something with a bit more ‘oomph’ to it than just pumping out Punisher scripts (and for the video game, apparently). The dialogue and story make you realise that he does war stuff like nobody else, and he’s matched perfectly with Jacen Burrows, whose art looks really good in colour.

100 Bullets #58
Well, I wasn’t expecting that to happen, even in a book like this. Sometimes I think about getting 100 Bullets in trade form, as the longer stories read better that way, then along comes an issue like this one, which has me eager for the next part of the story, and I know I can’t wait.

Authority: Revolution #5
The issue itself, while well illustrated and well written, didn’t do too much for me until the last page, where the villain is revealed. Being an Ellis fan, it’s got me hooked for the rest of the series.

Daredevil #70
The ending might be a little abrupt for some (what, only Don Corleone can have a weak heart?), but I liked it. Alex Maleev does some nice work on the Daredevil–White Tiger fight, capturing snapshots rather than excessive dynamism, and the dialogue matches the work perfectly. Brian Bendis is trying to do some interesting things with his Daredevil stories, and I for one am enjoying what he’s doing.

Ex Machina #8
I’m really going to have to get Y: The Last Man, aren’t I? Brian Vaughan writes intelligent and funny and interesting stuff here, and Runaways is great, so I’d be pretty stupid not to avail myself of good comics. I love the idea of a former superhero as mayor, and Tony Harris’ art hasn’t looked so good since the first time I saw it in Starman. This is definitely one of the best debuts of the last year.

Jack Staff #7
Is the long delay between issues killing this title for me? I was already feeling bad for passing on Burglar Bill, but I’m not enjoying this as I once did. Is it the colour? Is it the feeling that the story seems to be taking a long time to get anywhere, without giving us enough to hold onto in between? Or perhaps it’s that I didn’t read any of the British comics that this references (and soon to be restarted by Moore & Gibbons in Albion)? I mean, yes, I get the Steptoe & Son reference (Sanford & Son to Americans, I believe), which always makes me laugh, but is that reason enough to continue buying a comic series?

Ocean #4
This is another one of those great combinations; Warren Ellis writing intelligent sci-fi (and knocking Microsoft at the same time) and Chris Sprouse doing some fantastic work on the art, from small to big scale. Nicely paced, allowing the story and characters to breathe, with some zippy Ellis dialogue to keep you smiling.

PVP #14
Even in the world of comics, some things are subjective; you either get them, or you don’t. I get PvP – I like penmanship of Scott Kurtz and the life he brings to his characters, and I like the pop culture riffing and geeking out that brings the funny. This is another issue with more of the same, and while the Robert Kirkman stuff doesn’t work as well as the rest, in my opinion, there’s still plenty of laughs to be had along the way. Which is more than can be said for the letter pages, where Kurtz tries a little hard.

Queen & Country Declassified Vol 2 #1
Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett, back together again after the Batman/Huntress mini-series, and this look at how Tom Wallace joined SIS is great stuff. This filling-in of history for the ongoing series really complements the dense tapestry that Rucka is creating in the best (only?) spy title on the stands, and Burchett does a great job of capturing the right atmosphere for the story.

Runaways Vol 2 #1
They’re back – the best new team in the Marvel Universe. Vaughan writes great dialogue (and I love the teen superhero rehabilitation group, Excelsior) and Adrian Alphona’s art creates the perfect mood for the story. Lots of strands and a jumpstart to the series in the final few pages with ‘a visitor form the future’ plotline, to which I am particularly partial. Long live the second series.

(Promethea #32 has yet to be read, partly because it can be so daunting, and partly because I don’t want the series to end, so I’m almost considering rereading the whole series prior to taking in #32, which is even more daunting.)

Phew, that was exhausting. And I didn’t even do the other six comics from two weeks back. I think I’ve had enough for today. Proper reviews soon, as well as my 100 Things I Love About Comics list.

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