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Comics I Bought 4 June 2009

Continuing my catch up with posts I should have been doing over the past two weeks, I’m condensing the time frame between the purchases of my comics and ‘reviewing’ my haul for last week the day after the haul from the week before. A lot of comics

Astro City: The Dark Ages Book Three #2
I like how the cover to this issue has been shaken so much by the punch that, in addition to the title and names being moved, even the Direct Sales bar code is misaligned. Nice touch. Royal Williams is keeping low after the raid on Pyramid by EAGLE and Charles Williams is in danger of being kept out of the loop because he no longer has Royal as an inside man. As always, Busiek tells a good story from street level, although I’m missing on the connections to the Marvel 1970s stories that he’s riffing on. I still don’t like Brent Anderson’s art style, but I can’t imagine Astro City without it.

Batman and Robin #1
I liked this: Grant Morrison doing straightforward superhero and Frank Quitely doing his usual stellar job, adds up to good comic books. The idea itself is fun: Dick Grayson taking up the position of Batman and joined by Damian, Bruce Wayne’s kid with Talia Al Ghul, as his Robin, with Alfred helping out. It’s a good set up, and a good first issue, which is then twisted at the end with some Morrison weirdness to keep us on our toes. I’m glad I decided to buy this in the singles.

The Boys #31
In which we reach a point of no return, as The Female is dealt with under orders from Voight-American. There has been an element of comfort to the series, with the ridiculing of superheroes and the burgeoning relationship between Hughie and Annie, but with the occasional burst of darkness and violence. However, Ennis has turned the road into the endgame and the beginning of everything reaching its inevitable and gruesome conclusion. This issue sees art from the 2000 AD stalwart Carlos Ezquerra; like John McCrea in Herogasm, his linework seems to have been softened for this book. Or perhaps I’m too used to his black and white art on Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Vampires
I was going to give this a miss because it wasn’t part of the Season Eight story arc; however, it was kept aside by my comic shop and I though I’d give it a try. It is based within the framework of the current storyline, where vampires are the hip new thing and accepted in society, and is the story of a boy in a small town and his dealings with local vampires and his desire for more. The art is nice and moody, not the normal slick artwork in a mainstream book, with unusual linework and colouring. I’ve never read anything by Becky Cloonan or Vasilis Lolos but it’s a nice package and I’m glad I picked it up.

Captain Britain and MI:13 Annual #1
Oh dear, what an unpleasant cover, with such disturbing connotations. Unfortunately, Mike Collins’ artwork on the interior isn’t an antidote to Greg Land’s tracing and plastic faces. The main story is about bringing back Meggan to the Marvel universe, just in time for Captain Britain to be cancelled so it won’t mean anything. It’s the first story that I haven’t particularly enjoyed from Paul Cornell; it tries to encapsulate everything about Meggan in a single little story but he doesn’t really sell it. This is a shame because I’ve always liked the character, but I can’t object to her return to the fold. The back-up story is more fun – a look at Captain Britain using a cricket match (to balance for the nauseating amount of baseball the X-comics have foisted onto us). Adrian Alphona’s art is more palatable than Collins’, with his odd angular shapes and anatomy. This is a bitter-sweet experience, an annual for a cancelled series, and with a 50-50 hit rate, but I’m glad that we at least got to have the MI:13 team playing cricket.

Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye #3
Although there are probably levels to this book that I am missing, it is still a very enjoyable and easy to follow narrative, as Seaguy saves the day and gets the girl, with a little help from said girl, She-Beard, and Doc Hero. It’s actually rather charming, and leaves you with a smile on your face. Cameron Stewart draws a beautiful comic book, with some lovely linework and exciting action (I loved the smile on Doc Hero’s face as he saves the day), meaning you have a complete package.

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