Comics I Bought 18 March 2010

I seem to have bought more comics than I remember in the month of March so far, with three weeks of five comics each (which is rather a lot for me). Although I won’t be chatting about one of them today (Avengers vs Atlas #3), I’ve still got a lot to get through, so let’s crack on.

Fables #93
This is a typically good issue of Fables, as King Ambrose must hold the trial of the goblin who ate a squirrel in the kingdom of Haven, with all seeming outcomes ending in trouble. It’s a thoughtful story, which cleverly uses the story of the scorpion (here given the wonderful name of Gallifar Strikeswift) and the frog to illustrate the essence of nature as the basis of the defence. It’s great stuff, as usual, and I even liked David Lapham’s fill-in art this issue.

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1
And so the funeral (yeah, right) of Hercules, as heroes tell their stories, such as Thor and Namor, as well some ladies in Herc’s life (Namora, Snowbird, Black Widow and the Queen of the Dark Elves, Alflyse, who wins the best storyteller award with the caption, ‘Twenty-eight graphic minutes later’), before Athena arrives to ruin the mood. Ariel Olivetti’s art is a suitable mix of the epic and and the small, with a nice painterly feel, but it’s Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s show, as they effectively pay tribute to themselves for the great work they’ve done on the Incredible Hercules series. There is also a back-up story written by Paul Tobin, where Namora and Venus deal with Hercules’ estate and have the unfortunate task of informing people of Herc’s death. This is a very well-told little story, which feels as important as the main story.

Joe The Barbarian #3
The story of Joe’s quest continues, as he meets dwarf pirates and the fantasy world (where he is called The Dying Boy and told of a destiny) reflects the real world (a bizarre mosaic of Joe’s face becomes his reflection in the bathroom mirror), and the end of the issue sees Joe lying on the floor and otherworldly creatures are seen looking at him through a television screen, talking of ‘another world’. This is really enjoyable, made even better by Sean Murphy’s art, which is pitch-perfect for this book.

Spider-Woman #7
I’m trying to remain even-tempered when talking about this book, but I find myself getting rather angry about it. The seventh issue of what was supposed to be an ongoing series ends, basically because Alex Maleev got tired of drawing Spider-Woman (according to the afterword from Bendis). There’s something about drawing the motion comic being the equivalent of drawing 22 issues of the comic, but I’m sorry – that’s a really feeble excuse. Bendis goes on about not wanting to do it without Maleev, so that’s it – talk about leaving a bad taste in the mouth. And, to add insult to injury, Marvel charge an extra dollar for the book as well. I’m rather pissed off about this book, and want to forget about them as soon as possible.

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