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Comic Reviews For 27 July

For some reason, Powers #19 didn’t make it to the UK, so I will have to wait for my latest Pilgrim & Walker fix. And I decided against Jack of Fables, waiting for the inevitable trade to try it out. Which means that my haul for last week was exceedingly slim. I know I’m a cheapskate who can’t afford a lot of comics (and would rather only buy good comics where possible), but two comics in a week is not enough to satisfy my cravings. I feel bad for not having a huge pile to review, like Chris or Greg for example. However, at least the two I did get were of high quality.

New Avengers #22
Some lovely art from Yu, despite the pointless, silly cover. His sense of the real world (the background detail, such as the size and shape of an African-American woman’s arse in one panel) to the power and majesty of superheroes (as shown particularly in the powerful splash page) is bloody impressive. Yu for regular penciller anyone? The story is familiar Bendis – lots of dialogue, emotion, conflict and action – which is nice to see in this title. In fact, you know how good this issue was? It made me want to read Civil War. Exactly. The moments (the sense of long-term friendship between the heroes, the money shot, the sense of triumph through tears in Jessica’s face in the last panel) made this a very enjoyable comic.

Astro City: Samaritan Special
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t dig Anderson’s art. Reading this allows me to specify this statement: I don’t like his faces and figure work. The rest of his work is pretty damned good – the eagle on the first page, the double-page spread of the Infidel’s citadel, show how talented an artist he is. However, when it comes to people, which will be the main focus of all superhero books, I find his art rather ugly to look at. This is a shame. The story isn’t about Samaritan, as we might be led to believe, but about his nemesis, the Infidel, and how he came to be and how the treaty between them started. It is interesting and well-written, as expected from Busiek, telling the story in typical Astro City fashion – conversations and flashbacks to action that isn’t the focus of the narrative but provides history. There is some philosophical chat and mental jousting, making for a superhero story that isn’t part of the norm, and is the better for it. Not bad for a tale of a character created a decade ago for a feature on super-villains in bloody Wizard magazine.

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