Into the Longbox

Captain America #48, Brubaker, Guice, Ross, D’Armata. I wasn’t as taken with this arc as I have been with the others, but that’s because most of the arcs under Brubaker have been both significant to the characters and well done. The point of this arc seems to be to establish the new status quo. It was well done, but a little drop off in pace. Still, Brubaker’s Namor is a thing of beauty. He manages to capture the Sub-Mariner’s egotism and lust for adventure perfectly: “Finally.. something worth fighting.”

Top Ten Season 2 Special #1, Cannon and Daxiong. A little aside looking at Girl Two’s place in the world after her stint in the precinct. Cannon’s developing a real feel for writing these characters and Daxiong’s art and storytelling are well done. There’s a lot to like here.

Ignition City #1, Ellis & Pagliarani. Ellis’s distopyian sci-fi is solidly built and well executed. This issue sets up the environment and the characters well, but the big question is whether I’ll care about them come issue 3. Pagliarani’s art seems to do the job, other than one panel transition where a car door disappears, but doesn’t seem to be adding too much. I’ll stick around to find out if these characters turn into people, but this isn’t the grabber that Anna Mercury was.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #27, Uslan, DeSanto, Justinano, Wong. I’m rather enjoying the new team’s update of the Spirit. They’ve grabbed the essence of these characters in a way that the previous team didn’t (for me) while not trying to clone the Eisner characters. I find myself liking the overall picture enough to overlook some of the rough parts of the execution. And there are a non-trivial number of such flaws: the gibberish frequency and the gratuitious Wii scene to name a pair. Still there’s something about how they’ve grabbed the essence of the characters and their zest for writing and drawing that carry me through. I can’t say this is great comics, but it draws me in.

Doktor Sleepless #12, Ellis & Rodriguez. The good Doktor’s plot is beginning to emerge from the fog. Assembling it from the points of view of the characters Ellis has been introducing over the last couple issues is pretty effective. Those introductions slowed the flow somewhat, but this issue seems to be picking the momentum back up. I still have trouble determining who’s on what team in Rodriguez’s crowd shots, which can make untangling the big picture more challenging than it needs to be. At least the major female characters are all color-coded, though Rodriguez never misses a chance to pose them rather than show them as real.

Secret Six #8, Simone, Rodriguez & Bit. This is a little filler issue, but again real fun. Dave Sim once made a comment to the effect that throwing 3 of his characters into a closet and letting them interact could fill out an issue. That’s what we get here as Deadshot and Jeanette double date with Scandal and a new interest. It’s all good fun and we maybe learn a little about the Six as well. There’s some less enjoyable filler featuring Ragdoll and a preview of a Power Girl series that didn’t do much to grab me. But the front story in Secret Six remains a highlight for me every month.

Glamourpuss #3-6, Dave Sim. Apparently my comic shop didn’t pull these for me and doesn’t buy enough for me to see them on the racks. But I have my ways. And Glamourpuss is worth buying, just for the mind-blowing oddness of the thing. I still don’t think much of Dave’s fashion magazine parodies in and of themselves – a little too blunt – but there’s something about interspersing them with the detailed history of comics photorealism that makes the whole package irresistible to me. And, make no mistake, that history and analysis is absolutely fascinating. Sim’s great passion for the material, considerable research, and unique artist’s viewpoint make his insights well worth reading, even for a dilettante like myself. Go buy a couple of these for me, to keep it on the shelves.

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