I will get round to talking about the various Agents of Atlas and Atlas comic books I have bought, although not just yet. I mention this because I bought Atlas #4 as part of this haul of new books, but won’t be discussing it until later. I have to keep giving myself things to write about after I’ve caught up on my backlog of comic book purchases, especially now that I’ve completed my list of films I’ve seen in the cinema.
Buffy: Riley one-shot
I’m not one of those people who hate Riley and therefore hate the idea of a one-shot devoted to him; I never really liked Riley in season four Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but then there was a lot about season four I didn’t like (the only good things were Anya’s development in her relationship with Xander, and the mostly silent episode Hush). I don’t hold it personally against Riley. I don’t think that the character deserved an entire issue devoted to back story for the season eight comic book series, but it’s not an awful issue. Jane Espenson works hard to maintain interest in the dialogue between a husband and wife as they discuss what the husband is going to do on a secret mission for his ex-girlfriend. There’s a page of black panels with word balloons, there are some nice lines of dialogue (Whistler: ‘Torture the former cheerleader, save the world.’ Angel on Buffy and Riley: ‘I don’t get what she saw in him.’) and it all fits in nicely. However, it feels a little empty and pointless, and the art from Karl Moline is competent but not the best choice for likenesses. Not my favourite issue in the season.
Ex Machina #50
And so we reach the final issue of Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris’ comic book that was a mix of politics and superheroes and the ‘real world’ (famously having the attack on the Twin Towers as an important part of the story). It’s been an enjoyable ride, and this book tries to cram a lot into the final issue, as we find out what happened to Mayor Mitchell Hundred after he stopped being mayor of New York. There is heartache and an incident that changes how you view the character of Hundred and the joke of what happens to Mitchell eventually. It’s powerful stuff, well illustrated by Harris as always, but it seems to be too much for this final issue, everything happening fast, especially when there are splash pages and double-page spreads. I still haven’t quite absorbed it all, especially the choices Mitchell makes in his political career, but I guess I need to read the whole series again to see the connections and themes moving throughout the whole story.
Another good issue from Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham, as we see how bad Rose Red was towards her sister back in the old days, and how she now feels badly about it and wants to do something about it now, after her talk with … someone – Willingham frustratingly keeps the identity of the person who has been revealing the truth of the history of Rose and Snow; the closest we get is a splash page of Rose reacting to the revelation (‘WOW’). You evil author man. The awakening of Rose is necessary when we see Geppetto having a secret meeting involving Brock the badger and Ozma, the young-looking witch who is now in charge of the magic users in the Fable community, to discuss an alliance. Good stuff as always.