Into the Longbox

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #5, by Palmiotti, Gray, Arlem. Pacer issue. We get a few more distractions (which might be foreshadowing if this weren’t a limited series) and are shown that the Red Bee is really a baddie. Other than that, not much happens. Until the fellows over at Matching Dragoons pointed it out (link via Mike Sterling), I didn’t notice how much photoshop copying of panels was going on in this book. It’s pretty embarrassing to miss that, but I still like the art. It matches the characters world well and the copying seems to have reduced itself this issue.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #14, Argones, Evanier, Ploog, Farmer. First issue with the new team. I’m not delighted. I really liked Cooke’s touch with these characters, keeping their essence and updating them. Evanier and Argones’s touch doesn’t seem as light. It may just be me, but having Ebony address the Spirit as “Boss” just encapsulated how much the richness of Cooke’s characterization was peeled back by the new team. Cooke’s Ebony was capable on his own; Evanier and Argones’s whines to be taken out to lunch. Characterization that was rich in the 1940’s is not rich today.

The art is much more consciously Eisner-ish – which is good and bad – and honestly I liked the action pieces very much (which is just good).

I’ll stick around, but I have plenty of old Spirit stories I can re-read if the team remains this stiff.

Grendel: Behold the Devil #5, Matt Wagner. We’re thick in the middle of things now, and it remains enjoyable. Hunter’s always so entertaining; it must be a great delight for Wagner to get to write someone so unselfconsciously amoral and egotistical. Things happen, the art’s still good, and the plot thickens. Unlike The Badger, Grendel hasn’t lost a step since the 1980s.

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