Putting down wood flooring doesn’t leave a lot of time to visit the comic shop and buy the weekly pile, so I had to wait for the next four books to enter my collection. Not that I had the time to read them before that; I was too tired to read anything, which is not something I ever thought would happen.
Detective Comics #854
I’ve been looking forward to this since I first read about it – a book written by Greg Rucka and drawn by JH Williams III, with a back-up feature about Renee ‘The Question’ Montoya, also written by Rucka and drawn by Cully Hamner. And it didn’t disappoint. Rucka does a great job introducing Kate Kane, the new Batwoman (and we’ve been waiting for stories about her for a couple of years now), and setting up her status quo, while giving her a focus – namely, shutting down the Religion of Crime, who previously abducted her and tried to carve out her heart; quite a reason. However, the real star is Williams – the art on this book is phenomenal, truly fantastic. The page design is stunning, directing the eye in a dynamic and exciting way but also in a visually arresting manner, with batarang-style panels, and showing the movement of the story within them. There is a sharpness and atmosphere, great camera angles and changes of focus, and the employment of the tools used in his run on Desolation Jones to show violence are also used, in a double-page spread where Batwoman takes down criminals underneath the central image of her kicking two of them in the head at the same time. Fantastic. Then, he uses another style for the story when Batwoman is just Kate Kane again, full of vibrant lights and colours and strong line work, opening up the story to let it breathe. Absolutely amazing. Hamner’s art isn’t so experimental, but he does a good solid job with his work telling the Question story, as Montoya helps a man whose sister has been taken by the gang he paid to smuggle her over the border. It’s only a few pages but it justifies the extra dollar on the price and promises good stories to come. A good package and a good start.
The Literals #3
Over at last. Everything ends happily, thanks to Deus Ex Machina (he prefers ‘Dex’) and some heroics from Jack’s son; Kevin Thorn doesn’t rewrite the universe and instead gets his own new universe to do with as he wishes – although, of course, being a writer he doesn’t like the blank page. Gary and the sisters stay in our universe, to keep the Jack of Fables character cast consistent, and the Fables characters go back to their book, where I hope they can safely ignore any ramifications of this crossover and go back to their normal quality and story lines. And maybe Bigby will stop looking so much like Wolverine, in his lumberjack shirt and hair style …
Usagi Yojimbo #121
Fortunately for Usagi Yojimbo, it doesn’t do crossovers that disrupt stories – it just keeps up the consistent quality. This story is a done-in-one adventure where Usagi helps an injured bounty hunter after a duel, who the reader doesn’t trust, only for Stan Sakai to pull the rug out from under us and reveal another truth. The only problem with the tale is that there is no reason for the bandits not to have killed Usagi when he was unconscious – it’s necessary for the resolution but it’s a tiny flaw in an otherwise excellent comic book.
This comic will always be known for that kiss in it, although the portrayal of Dr Doom – refusing to believe that he has got old – is more interesting, but it’s actually not as strong an issue as the previous couple of issues. Peter David keeps things moving, keeps the twists coming, but the dialogue and actual events of the book aren’t as sharp; it’s not bad, the art seems to be becoming more consistent, but it felt uneven compared to the strong run of comic books leading up to it.
Tomorrow, we’ll be up to date with my purchase of weekly new comic books, and I can start catching up with all the library books I’ve been reading.