Fourteen Thoughts About Thirteen Comics: Justice League, Spider-Men, Batman Inc, Before Watchmen, Hit Girl, Supreme, Savage Dragon, Aquaman, Prophet, Incredible Hulk, Fatale, Amazing Spider-Man And Amazing Fantasy
Ah Wednesdays. Another week of comics. So what whizzes through my head after reading a batch from today?
Well in Batman Inc #2, we discover that Ra's Al Ghul met up with Mrs Al Ghul… at a Live Aid concert in London. This must be how it felt for Fantastic Four readers when Reed and Ben's time in World War II shifted to the Korean War…
There is some rather excellent origin story stuff going on here though, how the Gorgon identity came into being, the tying in with astrology and astronomy, and basically, one of the best looking books on the stand.
Though, as ever, it does rather stretch the continuity of the rest if the New 52, if Batman has been around for ten years, yet we see him as Batman with Talia Al'Ghul well before she gets pregnant… and Damian Wayne, their son, is ten… consider it the one part of the DCU where the Old DCU still holds sway. Ish.
Justice League #10 does a quite excellent trick this month. As the battle between Graves and the Justice League, set up over the last year, commences. We don't quite see what fears, what pain, what past he drags up in each of their lives, instead, during those moments, we see the pain in David Graves' life that seemingly led to this conversion from a writer and explorer into a supernatural agent of revenge.
Say, Graves couldn't become the new Spectre, could he?
Peter Parker and Miles Morales have a fight on the rooftops of Ultimate Manhattan in Ultimate Spider-Men #2 while Mysterio fiddles around trying to sort himself out. During which, Miles asks Peter the kind of question… well… you would, wouldn't you? After all with the new movie out, it's like James Cameron all over again.
Hit Girl looks like it will be the Empire Strikes Back of the Kiss Ass storyline. Just that it's being told after Return Of The Jedi. Here we have a Hit Girl, still focused and wanting to be a super, just as much as she also wants to live a normal life. And the two won't survive each other. Someone Hit Girl has to die. But better than that is the rise of Red Mist, here taking only a few panels, but stealing the book. Just as Hit Girl stole Kick Ass' book… could Red Mist do the same here?
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl gives us, well, The Boy Who Collected Nite-Owl, as well as one of the nicer and more subtle textual segues I've seen for a while, in this richly textured and laid back art style. But one thing really grated and it had nothing to do with Nite Owl, either of them.
It had to do with Rorschach.
Rorschach and Nite Owl teaming up, we know. It always felt like Rorschach accepting grudgingly the need for a partner to enable him to do what he couldn't, with Nite Owl as the one who pushed for it, needing companionship in the field, and someone who might do the things he wasn't able to so. But Rorschach as the actual instigator of this pairing? Trying to convince Nite Owl of this need? Really? Is this the Rorschach any of us know?
In Prophet, we still see the delights and designs fo this future world… and more. The future is a foreign country, they do things differently over there. Well, it seems that the future is a whole different planet. Where you an come across these kind of things.
There really is nothing quite like this book on the stands, especially in terms of hard science fiction. For those who think Saga is just too much like Love Actually.
Savage Dragon reprises the Mars Attacks days with an alien invasion that brings all sorts of people vaguely connected to the Dragon-verse, and owned by other creators, to the fore. It' a visible sign to those who say that if creators owned their creations, that this kind of shared universe could never happen. This is proof against that thesis, demonstrated by people hitting things and making exclamations from the nineteen thirties. Oh, and God comes back.
I'm not sure if the Supreme here is the same one as appearing in Supreme. He does seem a little angry.,.. and a little bit of a shock jock. It seems we have Rush Limbaugh: The Superhero. Being imprisoned from continuity for ten years will do that to a superman.
Reading Aquaman, it is telling just how far Ivan Reis has come. And how much his style suits certain types of inkers. There are two on this book, Joe Prado and Andy Lanning. Andy has a harder, thicker, more rounded style that loses subtleties, smoothing over the work in the manner of Neal Adams-by-way-of-Alan Davis approach, like Paul Neary or Mark Farmer.
Joe has more of a Neal Adams-by-way-of-Bill Sienkiewicz style, thinner, scratchier, looser lines that fits Ivan's work like a glove.
It's a clear deliniation, or so it appears to me. Of course now someone will tell me I have them the wrong way round… or that these are from the same inker… moving on swiftly. Incredible Hulk has Russian cyborg bears in space.
Isn't that enough for you. Well, if you want a more cerbral-but sinister read, that is what Fatale is for, a very nasty LA Noir, in the shade of the sun where bad things happen. And have done for decades…
The confluence of pen and photo here feels very natural, surprisingly. A side effect of the naturalistic storytelling… even when it involves mysterious stalkers, car chases, explosions and deaths…
Meanwhile, in Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker is back in town getting his own reality check.
Well, Peter, she is a super model. It happens. You're off saving the planet from Octopocalypse, she has to have something to do. Line of perfume up next.
Amazing Fantasy #15, recoloured. And look at that, I don't actually hate it. Steve Ditko's open lines and spaces seem to suit rather well, in fact.
Anyway, that's what I've been thinking today. How about you?
Comics courtsey of Orbital Comics of London.