Two weeks’ haul this week because I was in a foreign country on 10 September, so quite a handful of books to get through, done in chronological order.
Doom Patrol #2
Second issue in and Doom Patrol continues to intrigue. Keith Giffen is doing something a little different with the standard superhero comic book, with an interesting approach to doing a ‘supervillain’. And he does his own dialogue rather well, especially with the different voices in the book. Matt Clark has a nice line to his work, slightly angular and sharp but still mainstream superhero work, in a good way. But then the ‘Second Feature’ comes along: Metal Men is blissful superhero sitcom stuff, with silly dialogue and beautiful art from Kevin Maguire. Why wasn’t this given its own full comic?
The Unwritten #5
A complete change in tone and story from Mike Carey and Peter Gross for this issue after the first four-issue story but it really sets things up in this world of fiction and reality and the connection. This issue is about Rudyard Kipling and his induction into a secret faction that is using writers to advance their own aims … This just breathes and leaps off the page, feeling as if the history of the author has been used without the slightest change to make it fit the story of The Unwritten. This book has really got something special about it – please let it keep going.
Batman and Robin #4
I’m not going to jump on the ‘Philip Tan’s art is bad’ bandwagon, because it’s not terrible, but I couldn’t really get the sense of what was happening in those first few pages. Of course he’s going to look worse off immediately after Frank Quitely, but it’s the darkness of the art that is the biggest contrast to Quitely’s light and breezy style. Still, this issue doesn’t have quite the same feel as the first three issues, as Morrison brings back an appropriate villain for the story of Dick Grayson as Batman. It’s a bit dark, with only little bits of humour to lighten up the mood. I’ll wait and see what happens with the next issue.
Ex Machina #45
I’m really going to miss Ex Machina when it finishes. Where else can we get superhero action and discussion about the politics of abortion? And Tony Harris produces some really nice panel designs for some of the conversation pages in the middle. A great combination. And a great last line: ‘I’m going to kill everyone on the planet’.
I might be repeating myself when I talk about Fables but, when Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham are on duty, Fables is just really good. Willingham constantly keeps me interested and entertained with the story and Buckingham provides the perfect art for the world of Fables. I particularly loved the sequence with Frau Totenkinder, as she begins her plans for her travels away from the world of Fables – really good.
This issue feels like filler material – the story doesn’t progress very much. There are some nice jokes, as expected in a Peter David comic – but it’s dragging out the story. We get to see Tryp in the future, and we see some fighting, but nothing tangible happens in the events of the current storyline, and with a final page suggesting we’re going to get a flashback next issue to fill us in with even more story that is supposed to be important enough for us to know. Roll on, issue 50.