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Comics I Bought 1 April 2010

Back in time, although not as far back as the film reviews from my student days of the past week: comic books I purchased back in April of this year, as I provide my limited thoughts on them in a strange quest to document my consumption of entertainment and try to get up to date.

Astro City: The Dark Age Book Four #3
I said it before about this series: I admire the craft of Kurt Busiek, although not the art of Brent Anderson, but I’ve given up caring about the Royal brothers. I’ll keep buying Astro City, but I’m looking forward to the shorter stories that will happen again soon.

Detective Comics #863
I’ve enjoyed the official introduction of Kate Kane as Batwoman to the DCU in the hands of Greg Rucka and JH Williams, but this issue will be my last. Jock was a good replacement for Williams – different but talented – but Rucka decided he didn’t want to work for DC any more, which is a decision I respect, and the Question Second Feature wasn’t enough to keep me buying the book. This issue sees a conclusion to the three-issue storyline, with some nice parallels between the Batman and Batwoman plots (and nice art influenced from 1970s detective dramas), so at least I got to see how it ended. It wasn’t the best Rucka I’ve read, but it was still solid; I look forward to his independent work in the future.

Fantastic Four #577

I’m still not sure about Jonathan Hickman’s direction with the Fantastic Four. This is a long game he’s playing, so the individual chapters can be slow. This issue moves at a languid pace, albeit told with beautiful art from Dale Eaglesham (Hickman gives him time to show off his style), which basically involves the idea of the Inhumans and their Kree-created alien cousins (this is new to me, but it was nice to see the Kymellians from the Power Pack comic in this book, along with the Badoon, Centaurians and Dire Wraiths) coming together and apparently deciding to live on Earth. But it takes a long time coming to this final page. I’m still curious, but I’m cautious.

Usagi Yojimbo #127
How does Stan Sakai keep doing it? This is yet another excellent story of the ronin rabbit, as Usagi crosses the path of a loyal retainer following his master’s last order: ‘Recover the sword.’ It is a story of honour and betrayal and redemption, with sword-fighting and the start of a friendship. It is told with skill and economy and, unlike Fantastic Four #577, you get a complete story in a single issue.

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