Week 2 of April comics, and we have five to talk about, so let’s get to it.
Batman and Robin #11
Dick Grayson being attacked by a Robin being controlled by his mother through his spine, 99 Fiends attacking in a graveyard, mysteries under Wayne Manor, and Sexton doesn’t seem to be who he appears to be (although Damian chancing on it because of his fake English accent is one of those things that don’t work very well in comic books); this and some very good art from Andy Clarke make for a good comic.
The Boys #41
I’m still not sure about the easy jokes at the expense of the Legion of Super-Heroes analogues and the evil Metamorpho, but Ennis is still able to keep me interested in this book – Hughie’s relationship with Annie, Mother’s Milk finding out stuff about Butcher, the background details when Hughie saves Black Hole: he really is very good at this. Plus, Darick Robertson is drawing the book, which means that everything is just about right for The Boys.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #34
‘Them F#©%ing (Plus the True History of the Universe)’ is the name of this issue and it sums things up without necessarily explaining things. It can’t be too sexy with rating level the book is aiming at, and reading the rest of it as Giles tries to give a reason for what is going on is quite nonsensical; it makes for a strange comic. Still, at least Buffy and Angel have themselves a nice time shagging all around the world …
It might seem an unusual choice to buy a Jonathan Hickman comic book when I’ve started wavering on my enjoyment of his Fantastic Four run, but at least it is apparent that this book is about the big idea straight away instead of having to build up to is very, very slowly. The concept: there has been a society calling themselves The Shield protecting the world from the known and the unknown since Imhotep fought off a Brood invasion in 2620 BC (which was pretty cool). A Celestial in China in 114 AD, Leonardo Da Vinci in 1495 building a device to help him fly to the sun, Galileo seeing off Galactus in 1582: this is the way to grab attention. We are introduced to this via a young man called Leonid being taken to The Immortal City under Rome in 1953, where he meets the High Council of the Shield. We also meet his father, who was apparently dead, Agents Richards and Stark, and Leonardo Da Vinci seemingly in the 1950s. This is a good comic. And the art is simply gorgeous – Dustin Weaver draws stunningly good art; it’s beautiful and I can’t wait to see more.
Reading US-based sites talking about this book was fun to see them have no idea about Jonathan Ross; honestly, he is quite famous here in the UK. We’ve always known that he was interested in his comic books (his money has bought him lots of Silver Age Marvel books, and I used to buy my comics from a comic shop he and Paul Gambaccini used to own in Soho), so it was interesting to see him turn to writing one, especially when he isn’t known for writing anything creative previously. It is an interesting mix of genres: gangsters in 1929 New York, vampires, and a cameo from aliens. Talk about throwing everything into the pot. There is a lot going on and Ross uses a lot of words to tell all the story – a LOT of words; I love John Workman’s lettering but his skills are worked hard in this book (and he does have slightly large letters). The shame of it is that it covers up Tommy Lee Edwards’ lovely art; speech balloons and narrative captions are splattered all over page after page of his moody, gorgeous artwork. Still, this is a good start and is intriguing enough to bring me back for more.