Comics of 20 July
Fraction keeps to the page limit with this issue of Casanova, packing it full of action, funny dialogue and mad ideas. Ba’s art copes with it all with ease, drawing some sexy and cool art that serves the story. I’m not completely sold on it yet, but this definitely showed that the idea works in the format and there is great potential.
Underwhelming. A nice sleight of hand to begin with, but the actual death left me shrugging my shoulders. I can see it was heroic and tragic, but it didn’t affect me the way it should. Vaughan keeps up his pop culture credentials (‘All your base are belong to the New Pride’ and the Transformer van) and Alphona does an excellent job as usual (particularly the full-page spread of the moment the heart stops), but the book didn’t pack the emotional punch I thought it would.
Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #20
It seems like writing 52 is too much for Waid, as Bedard joins him on writing duties. This is in keeping with Kitson, who doesn’t last on solo art duties for more than an issue now, this time providing layouts for DeKraker (who does a good job with his slick superhero work, with a touch of Leonard Kirk softness to it). The story has giants trying to steal odd artefacts and the LSH going out to stop them, only for Supergirl to do all the hard work, to the annoyance of some. Meanwhile, Brainiac is still trying to bring Nura back from the dead. The book seems to be building to something, which had better be spectacular, as the instalments aren’t dazzling. I hope its worth it – I shall have to review my decision to buy this if it isn’t.
Another good issue from PAD. Pietro comes to Mutant Town to stay, the X-Men show up for a visit, and Madrox makes a decision. Calero’s art is dark and uneven but he seems to be improving. PAD handles the juggling act with aplomb and wit (‘Your Aegis! From the New Warriors. Or are they just the Old Warriors now, because of the New New Warrrors …’ and ‘He may be a slimeball. He may be an evil monster.’ ‘You know I can hear you, right?’) and references to The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, as he uses the Civil War crossover to help his storylines and keeps the X-Factor flavour.
Comics of 13 July
100 Bullets #74
The conclusion of ‘A Wake’, with lots of death, exquisitely drawn by Risso (which is necessary after the gorgeous cover by Johnson). 100 Bullets is great testosterone, hard-boiled comics with added street poetry that never fails to satisfy. I hope this finishes well.
A fun if slight tale of Cinderella running around to get the current Giant king to sign the treaty with Fabletown, bypassing the slowness of politics and indebting herself to Frau Totenkinder in the process. It’s nice to have Cindy as a tough action heroine, rather than the drippy version of the fairy tale. Shawn McManus provides nice art as guest artist, keeping the flavour but adding his natural cartoony edge.
Squadron Supreme #5
I’m still enjoying Frank’s art, which makes JMS’s stories so much easier to swallow at times. He is taking his time (as usual) but at least this is thoughtful superheroics, addressing both sides of the argument via Stan, Emil and Mark. There is more character development for Edith, as they come across an orphan girl who reminds her of herself and how she got her revenge on the people who ruined her life. Storylines are mentioned (Joe Ledger and the funny voice, Redstone is in China) and things tick on, but you still want more things to happen.
Astro City: Samaritan Special
I have always felt that the first issue of Astro City, about Samaritan, was one of the best issues, so I’m looking forward to an entire issue dedicated to the character. I’m not happy that Anderson is still providing art, as I think he’s getting sloppy, and Astro City could survive a transition to another artist, but the book was always about the writing anyway, so it isn’t as big a problem as it could be.
New Avengers #22
After the disappointing Collective storyline, Bendis seemed to be refreshed by the Civil War crossover, so this issue might see a continuation of quality, especially with the talents of Yu on art duties (even if the cover looks like Cage is getting the same treatment that Jessica got in the early issues of Alias).
Meanwhile, Powers still keeps going strong. Some think that it might have jumped the shark with Deena getting powers, but I disagree; I still find this consistently well-written and well-drawn crime superhero comics, so keep it coming.
Debating: Jack of Fables #1
I really like Fables. However, I’m not wild about spin-offs. I’m not happy that it requires a co-writer (a writer and artist together seems fine, but two writers doesn’t work for me – Robinson on Starman was always better than Robinson and Goyer, for example). I think I might wait for the inevitable trade to get it (dependent on the reviews of the rest of the blogosphere, who will kindly try it for me).