Into the longbox…

Nothing actually came in this week, but here’s what I got last week.

Badger:Bull – Mike Baron and Kevin Caron. I’m going to buy all Baron’s Badger output, and there’s not much I can do about it. For my money, Badger was one of the great 80’s indy comics, and I keep watching to see if Baron can find that magic again. I know Badger holds up, because I re-read many of my old issues after the ill-fated Image run a few years ago, and they were still great. Unlike the Image run.

To be fair, Badger is tough to do – a comic kung-fu movie starring a multiple personality that’s surreal, touching, thrilling, and drop dead funny is a hugely tall order. I wouldn’t believe one could pull it off, except that Baron did for 50+ issues in the mid-80s. I believe he’ll hit his stride again.

And to be more fair, Bull isn’t bad, really. Mostly a little rushed. There are certainly moments that come near the Badger of old.

Some of Baron’s commentary makes it sound like this was an attempt to sell the Badge as a movie property, so there’s an attempt to tie up a lot of continuity in a very short space. I think these characters need more room than that to breathe; despite the comic elements, they’re deep. But as long as Baron keeps trying, I’ll keep reading.

Grendel: Behold the Devil #1( of 8 ) – Matt Wagner. More 80s stuff. I’ll read any Wagner, and certainly any Wagner Grendel. Hunter is one of my top three Grendels, and it’s always fun to see him again. This issue just puts the players on the board and lets us see how things are starting. It’s atmospheric and interesting. At his best Wagner’s one of the best writers or artists in comics today, and this shows signs of being good stuff. Recommended.

Captain America #32 – Brubaker, Epting, Guice. I didn’t recognize Guice’s inks this issue; he did a nice job keeping the tone consistent. SHIELD and our heroes finally get to take a swing at the Skull and his men this issue, with typically mixed results. Still one of my favorite reads.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #11- Cooke, Bone, Stewart. I think this wraps up Cooke’s run on the Spirit, which makes me sad. I enjoyed his run a great deal, as he respected the material while making it his own. This issue ties up the loose El Mortez ends. It’s the least Spirit-y of his issues – which is to say plays few of the Eisner tropes, except good storytelling and string characters. (And I don’t think Eisner has a monopoly there.) Well done; the creative team goes out with a bang. Sorry to see them go.

Sig file fodder: “Ellen, I love Kimball, and there are things I don’t want him to worry about, like my youthful engagement to you. Or the Undead.” — Argonaut Bones

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