Back to the weekly comic book purchases. Three comic books that came out on time, and a second printing of a book that came out in early August – I mistakenly thought that I would be able to pick up a copy of the first printing from Gosh! or another central London comic book shop, but it seems it was as under-ordered as reports had suggested. On to my thoughts.
Astro City: Silver Agent #2
The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover: particularly, what looks like a double space between the words ‘eternal’ and ‘shame’ on the plaque beneath the status of the Silver Agent. It seems an odd thing to notice, but that’s what my day job has done to me. Anyway, that’s got nothing to do with the story, which brings the adventures of Alan Craig, Silver Agent, full circle – at least, I think that is what is implied by the final page. When I read it first time, I didn’t think it added much to the Silver Agent story, but reading it again brought out an emotional resonance I missed the first time, as Craig starts to understand what is being asked of him by his 43rd-century rescuers and his resolution at the moment of his execution. Kurt Busiek made me realise again why I read Astro City.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #36
‘Hey! Balls!’ and ‘How d’ya like me know, y’wankers!?!’ – the dialogue alone is an indicator that Joss Whedon is back writing Buffy again for the season finale; there are some small scenes from ‘some time ago’ about Angel and Spike, and Spike provides transport for our band of heroes (and what the hell is up with having a spaceship driven by giant bugs?). The ‘Seed of Wonder’ sounds very stupid indeed, but the reveal on the last page more than makes up for it. I want to see how this all ends, but I’m still not sure if I’ll keep reading the individual issues of the next ‘season’.
Morning Glories #1
I wasn’t sufficiently sure about Morning Glories when I first read about it to preorder it (perhaps because I hadn’t read anything by the authors before), but I was intrigued enough when I read an interview about it and saw a preview to give it a try – I enjoy stories about superpowered individuals in a non-spandex setting, so this seemed to be appropriate for me. Morning Glories is about Morning Glory Academy, one of the most respected preparatory academies in the US. The story introduces us to six new brilliant entrants – Casey, Zoe, Jade, Hunter, Ike and Jun – who discover that they all have the same birthday on the day they arrive. Earlier the same day, there was an incident at the school with some other students that shows that the school is up to something sinister and controlling. And so the story is set for mystery, intrigue and conspiracy. Nick Spencer does a very good job of introducing his new characters as well as providing enough hooks to keep you wanting to come back for more. Joe Eisma does a good job on art (although I would have preferred the more exquisite stylings of cover artist Rodin Esquejo) with a straightforward storytelling technique and a clear slightly angular style that is appealing. I’ll be back for the next issue – how can you not want to read a series with a title that is slang for erections?
It may have taken a long time for this issue to arrive but it was worth the wait – Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth do a great job on the finale of the first storyline of our heroine, Dex Parios. Rucka has created a fascinating central character and has put her through a well-plotted crime tale, with genuine threat, real violence and a satisfying resolution. I really like the character of Dex, who is both intelligent and street-smart but being a bit of a mess at the same time. Southworth provides the perfectly suited atmospheric art for the book, although the climactic scene set at night doesn’t quite work out as well as the rest of the scenes. I look forward to seeing further stories of Dex Parios.