May 31, 2012
Since I don’t have quite as much free time anymore, I’m liking this new model of “posting clumps of short reviews every so often,” as opposed to just writing until I feel stupid every Wednesday. Other stuff I was doing will be folded back in–right now the only issue is getting the rest of my life’s schedule in tune, before I worry about, you know, blogging for fun.
America’s Got Powers #2
Image Comics. Plotted by Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch. Scripted by Jonathan Ross. Penciled by Bryan Hitch. Inked by Andrew Currie and Paul Neary. Colored by Paul Mounts.
The first line of dialogue in AGP #2 is “With a total of two fatalities and seventeen serious injuries in the first show, the all new America’s Got Powers is the most talked about and highest rated show on the planet.” Unfortunately, Ross and Hitch still haven’t found any deeper veins to mine. Hitch draws the hell out of it–his stuff’s looking better, and far more energized, than it has in years, if we’re being frank–but it’s not enough sizzle to overcome a lack of steak. Tommy Watts, mysterious figure of great power in the tradition of Final Fantasy protagonists, is still something akin to a hapless pawn surrounded by dickhead rockstar supercocks and characters about whom the descriptor ‘suits’ says everything. The stakes still feel arbitrary, and the world around Tommy is still neat details arranged without pattern or cohesion. But fuck, that Hitch art.
Self-published. Imagineered by Michel Fiffe. Acquire here.
The only good tribute to the Suicide Squad is a tribute that ends with a pie in the face. Michel Fiffe takes Ostrander, Yale, McDonnell, et al.‘s post-Crisis-DC masterpiece, Suicide Squad — from my perch, the best ongoing they ever published — and, in sixteen pages, runs breathlessly through nearly everything that made the old series fantastic. It’s not quite a cover song, so much as a band’s catalogue crammed into one five-minute medley. Government-corralled black-ops team the Suicide Squad is at war with their snarly terrorist rivals, the Jihad — until the mission goes to hell, almost literally. Fiffe eschews modern continuity-cop tactics for the terse, declarative style of 80s action movies and 8-year-olds, and spends panel after panel indulging design ideas too clever for trash pulp superheroes to really deserve. It’s handsomely-printed showboating — but what’s the point of infringing copyright if you’re not going to show off?
Icon/Marvel Comics. Plotted by Mark Millar and Nacho Vigalondo. Scripted by Mark Millar. Penciled by Leinil Yu. Inked by Gerry Alanguilan and Michael Jason Paz. Colored by Sunny Gho and Javier Tartaglia.
What’s entirely welcome about Supercrooks is how briskly it moves. The premise of this series has always been something like “Ocean’s Eleven robs Sean Connery, except they’re all assholes,” and it gets exactly as much page time as it needs. Does that mean zipping through maybe-romantic subplots with two pages of conversation, as opposed to a twenty-page Special Luke, We Need to Talk Issue? Hell yes, and praise Jesus. The characters are thin, the plot beats are familiar, and the villain is as old and tired as he claims to be (his revenge for someone ripping him off is the sort of thing Mark Millar lives to make other humans draw). Brevity is the soul of heists, though. Leinil Yu continues to elevate the entire book with his pencils, keeping his lines loose but limber in a way that entirely suits the ropey, silly material. It’s his show to steal.
love and luck and LTZ