Comics I Bought 26 February 2009

Even though X-Factor #40 came out last week, I didn’t make the trip to the comic shop just to buy one book – I’m lazy like that. Fortunately, there was a book for me this week, so I had sufficient reason to drag my sorry backside out to the shop to buy both books. I’m going to have to buy more books (and I will be: Detective Comics by Greg Rucka and JH Williams III, The Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, Ignition City by Warren Ellis, the next Seaguy series) – we’ll just have to wait …

Usagi Yojimbo #118
This issue sees Usagi back in his own comic, doing what he unfortunately does best (‘I don’t bluff.’) – but he doesn’t revel in the deaths he causes, pitying the lives that have been wasted (‘Idiots.’), which is why he is who he is. The story is able to balance the outre element of the dark wizardry with humour in the banter between Usagi, Kiyoko and Kitsune about Kitsune thinking Gen might be a good husband. I think that Usagi works best when he is fighting against forces within his sphere of believability – he needs to be saved by Sasuke the demon hunter from komainu on the cover – but the fight against overwhelming odds are what makes for good comics, and Usagi Yojimbo is a peerless comic book. Thank you, Stan Sakai.

X-Factor #40
Once again Peter David requests that people do not spoil the last page of this issue – I am more than happy to oblige. David is fighting against the ‘wait for the trade’ by remembering what comic books did best to begin with: having a powerful cliffhanging ending on the last page of the individual monthly comic that grabs you and leaves you crazy for the next issue. The issue itself is a talky issue, punctuated with some action, as Jamie visits the dupe who set up as a reverend with a family – there is the usual David humour to keep you entertained, but it is chat-heavy. However, the end of the story more than compensates (even if you can sort of see it coming) – you want to see what happens next. I’m glad that David is doing this and that he’s being allowed to carve out his own little niche of the mutant universe.

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