Into the longbox

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #20, Aragones, Evanier, Smith, Wong.  As critical as I’ve been of these guys, I have to admit this issue was enjoyable.  It’s a nice, quirky mystery featuring the Spirit cast in all their likable glory.  Not a world changing story, but a fun way to pass some time.  Nicely done.

Gravel #3 & #4, Ellis, Wolfer, Jimenez.  I thought I’d talked about issue 3, but I don’t see the comments.  This probably isn’t for me.  I’m just not drawn into the world and so the limitations seem more apparent.  There’s a lot of gore and violence that are for their own sake, and the art’s not dynamic enough to make it visceral for me.  I did like the spooky tone in issue 3, but issue 4 is just a fight scene.  I’ll see how the first arc turns out.

Captain America #41, Brubaker, Epting, Magyar, D’Armata.  Continued high quality.  Hard to believe that Brubaker killed the title character 15 issues ago, and that there’s so much excitement in the book that one hardly notices he’s missing.  Well, that’s not quite true; I would like to see Cap back, but this book is continually solid.

Doktor Sleepless #8, Ellis & Rodriguez.  As the first book ends, there are revelations galore, not all of which can be taken at face value.  Still, there’s plenty going on; some mysteries explained (though perhaps not resolved) and some new angles revealed.  Lots of words this issue, but perhaps a telling image or two.  I think that Rodriguez’s clean art could be used to greater effect.  The images seem drawn to spec rather than being a result of collaboration, but that may be my poor vision.

Lots of interesting ideas here about what’s sane and what’s real.  Fun stuff.

Secret Six #1, Simone, Scott, Hazlewood.  Whee-ha this was fun: it’s everything Gravel isn’t.  A cast of dysfunctional but strangely likable villains stumbling toward some kind of team/family bond, an eerie opponent, and an impossible jailbreak on the horizon.  These are genuinely broken people, but you can’t help but root for them as they feel their way through life (and perhaps toward each other).  It helps that the dialog is whip-smart and that the images reveal the minds behind the words. The words and pictures make these people sympathetic and real, even though they’re not admirable. I’ll be back to see how they do.

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