An incomplete discussion today: also included in the purchases from the comic shop were Avengers vs Atlas #2 and Incredible Hercules #141, but they will be discussed separately (and I really must get round to doing that soon), so only two books today.
Joe the Barbarian #2
For a relatively straightforward Grant Morrison comic, this is still fun and yet plays to Morrison’s obsession with the fiction and reality. Watching our protagonist Joe (or The Dying Boy as his toys call him in his hallucination) as he traverses his house on one level of reality and the fantasy world of his hallucinations, with his mouse Jack now a 6-foot tall warrior called Chakk, is a delight especially when drawn with such flair by Sean Murphy. I’m not sure I get all the connections but I’m enjoying the journey.
The story in this issue is fairly basic: Spider-Woman fights the Thunderbolts, and Bendis decides to let Maleev do most of the work for once, keeping dialogue to a minimum. But Maleev’s strength isn’t action scenes – they don’t come off as well as the rest of his art, and everything looks over-processed. There are also splash pages that are supposed to be impressive but aren’t – the page of Jessica escaping an explosion looks like they forgot to draw a background, and the double-page spread at the end has detailed background but isn’t interesting and Jessica looks slightly off. Maleev also succumbs to the modern malaise of drawing breasts and female backsides (such as the opening double-page spread). An interesting if unsuccessful experiment.