The Boys #8: 🙂 I read some superhero comics. I enjoy some superhero comics. But I have to admit, Ennis does some pretty deft skewering of a couple of familiar tropes that the genre loves to cart around. Hughie and Butcher’s conversation at the beginning of the issue addresses something that has always anoyed me: the seemingly random bolding of words in comic book dialogue. And Butcher goes on to deride the tendency of super hero comics to attempt some sort of social relevance by address complex issues in a ham-fisted, laughable way. Super hero comics are great at action and mad science and grand, epic sort of tales, but when it comes to enything requiring subtlety, I’d say the genre falls a bit short.
Immortal Iron Fist #6: 🙂 I could go on about the imaginative action sequences, the wonderful dialogue, and the pitch-perfect art, but this panel should really tell you everything you need to know:
Spoiler alert: the bad guy does not snap the good guy’s neck, because the good guy’s kung fu is better.
Amazons Attack #3: 😦 You know its Bad News Bears when there are two “See Such-and-such # 10, in stores now!” editorial notes on the same page, directing you elsewhere for crucial plot points. Far, far too much of this story is being told in other books, so much so that the plot of the main series is cluttered and virtually unreadable.
Criminal #7: 🙂 As I lay napping on the couch after coming home from my local shop, my girlfriend nudged me awake and asked why I had a comic with Michael Jackson on the cover. In my semi-catatonic state, I couldn’t tell if she was joking. This creepy resemblance notwithstanding, Criminal #7 is yet another great issue from the Brubaker/Phillips team, and the second issue in a row that seems to pack about three issues worth of story into 22 pages.
I’m enjoying this arc a bit more than the first one, truth be told. Not that Coward was weak in any particular way, I’m just more interested in the story Lawless is telling. If you’re a fan of crime comics, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not picking this title up. I’m hoping that Criminal will become popular enough for Marvel/Icon to consider publishing more titles outside of the superhero genre.
World War Hulk Frontline #1: 😐 I read an issue or two of Civil War Frontline, and was not impressed. I think that story suffered from the disjointed nature of the title. There were too many stories being weaved through the book, and it felt weak. Also, the comparison of the Battle of the Somme to the Green Goblin killing Atlanteans left me with a decidedly weak impression. This one works a lot better, mostly because it tells one story. This is The Hulk’s invasion from a man-on-the-street perspective, just as the title promises. It’s not essential reading, but it is amusing. If you really enjoyed the first issue of the main title, you will want to pick this up.
Hellboy: Darkness Calls #3: 🙂 Duncan Fegredo’s artwork continues to impress me, as he mashes his natural style so organically with Mignolas. The story line is a welcome change of pace from the rather slow and surreal tales told in The Island and The Third Wish. What is the storyline, you ask? Well, Hellboy does a nice job of summing it up while sharing a cigar with a Russian house spirit:
How can you not love Hellboy?