I only seem to have a couple of new comics on a weekly basis at the moment – I’m not deliberately cutting down on my purchasing of the monthly floppy pamphlet (with the exception of the Bendis-written Avengers books, which were dropped after the sour taste of the end of Secret Invasion) because of economics, although there is an element involved. With the rise of the trade paperback leading to a more satisfactory reading experience, it is only the books that I REALLY need to read in the monthly instalment that I end up buying. Two very different books this week meet this category.
The Boys #27
Garth Ennis is one of the best storytellers working in comic books at the moment – his understanding of story and what is needed to be told in the panels of a page is immaculate and he is never less that very good. The Boys continues to provide an enjoyable read in a single issue (perhaps due to cutting his teeth at 2000 AD) while still being part of a large story. This issue has Mother’s Milk progressing with his investigation (in a poignant scene), Hughie is pulled from the G-Wiz undercover operation, and Ennis beautifully mocks the Plastic Paddyism of Saint Patrick’s Day in the USA. Darick Robertson matches the precise script with his command of facial expressions and emotive moments to produce an excellent comic book. And, although I don’t know how long it will last, Dynamite only charge $2.99 for a book with only one non-in-house adverts (and that’s on the back of the book).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22
This is the first book after the world-changing story of issue 21 (where vampires have become cool and slayers are considered by the world as bad – although it wasn’t particularly essayed very well in the book itself) and we get instead a story about Satsu, the girl with whom Buffy slept, being given a lesbian chat by Kennedy (Willow’s girlfriend). The ongoing plot is covered by the Vampy Cat toys, which are being shipped all over the world but turn out to be evil demonic things. However, although the idea is cute, this idea is all there is too them, and the rest of the story suffers from not enough thought going into them (and The Swell was just silly and not in a good way). Steven DeKnight is a television writer, so he has good skills with dialogue in this issue (he has the Buffy-talk down to a tee), but the story doesn’t gel together as a complete narrative unit and the reader is left a little frustrated. Nevertheless, this series as a whole is very enjoyable, I think due to the Executive Producer status of Joss Whedon and the fact that this is the next chapter in the Buffy story (rather than the ‘fill in previous history’ of the majority of the other Buffy books). And, in another note to Marvel and DC, this book is also $2.99, albeit with advertising in the middle of story pages.