"Do you know why it's sometimes wise to use the bent arrow?
Becasue the straight arrow can't absorb the impact."
-Killer Princesses #1
Back to the funny stuff! Whoo hoo! But first, the serious stuff . . .
Midnight Nation #9 (Joe's Comics / Top Cow / Image Comics, $2.50) After
being gone for two months (at least -- I have a really hard time with chronology
these days), J Michael Straczynski's story of a man's battle to save his soul
is back. We're rapidly approaching the end of the story, and it looks like it
might end with a bang.
The art in the book is, as usual, one of the best selling points. Gary Frank's
high detail is perfect for this comic, matching the serious and slightly dark
tone very well. In a lot of ways, this particular issue really gives him a chance
to stretch out, as there's very little action and more exposition. Straczynski
does a nice job of building toward the finale in this issue as well. Everything
that he has set in motion seems to be coming to fruition.
With debuts like Midnight Nation and Rising Stars,
I would say that Joe's Comics is a line to keep your eyes on. (9
out of 10)
The Adventures of Superman #599 (DC Comics, $2.25) It took me a second
to figure out the point of this issue, which features little action and a lot
of interaction between Superman and someone he saves. It hit me, as it should
have immediately, that Joe Casey used this as an opportunity to explore Superman's
past, his character, and the influence his parents had on him. It borders on
maudlin at moments, but overall, Casey does a great job of reining in the expected.
Derek Aucoin does a nice job on the pencilling as well, providing a nice issue
to round out the first 599 issues of this book. It was nice to see a change
of pace from the problems with marriage and the President, and just to have
a calm look inside the heart of a hero. (8 out of
The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius vol 3 #5 (Oni Press, $2.95)
Who would ever have thought that Judd Winick would hold the laughter long enough
to make me nostalgic?
This volume of the series has been a full story, told across episodes much
like a TV show in Sweeps Week. While the others have consistent threads running
throughout, this one has a flowing storyline that has grown tighter and tighter
as this issue approached. It looks like this issue, along with the next and
the last, will form an honest to goodness three parter, and it works. I might
have thought that Barry was strongest as a series of one-shots,
but this issue proved me wrong.
I've said everything that I should ever have to say about this series. If you're
not buying it yet, you're either brain dead or dead, take your pick. I will
say, though, that this issue has a wonderfully touching look at not only Sara
(through Barry's eyes) but also Barry, through Jeremy's eyes. The definition
of these two characters in the book is proof of Winick's strength as a writer.
(10 out of 10)
Unquantified, shameless mark rant of the week: Killer Princesses #1
(Oni Press, $2.95) I want to take a moment to point something out to all of
you: this book beats out Barry Ween for the shamless mark rant
of the week. That should tell you something, because in my world, not much beats
the holy trinity of Barry, Spider, and Planetary.
Gail Simone and Lea Hernandez bring us one of the most entertaining reads in
a long, long time. The cover by Hernandez and Laura DePuy is gorgeous. You're
a fool to miss this one. A fool, damn it. Go, now.
Stop reading and go buy it! (10 out of 10)