Hey there, been up to a lot of late. Saw Changes, The Walkmen and Smoking Popes at the Taste of Randolph street last week and saw Patton Oswalt and Janeane Garofalo last night. Nothing like good live rock and funny, I must say. I'll complete the trifecta of live-entertainment by catching some Cubs-Sox action on Sunday. Too bad I have to go to the strip-mall that is US Cellular Field. SHIT, Sammy Sosa JUST hit his 600th. I don't really hate the guy that much, but still, couldn't he have waited until the Cubs were out of town? I will say, dude's lost a lot of weight since he was on the Cubs....just sayin'.
Anyway, it was a pretty heavy week, so here's what I got:
I know this came out a few weeks ago, but I just remembered to pick it up. Nova continues trying to figure out what the hell has happened to Earth while he was out saving the rest of the Galaxy. Pretty much he seems to sum up the feelings of a lot of Marvel fans currently, "wait a minute, The Thunderbolts, a bunch of sociopaths, are heroes; Speedball is now some type of S&M hero and Captain America was the bad guy for standing up for Civil Liberties?" I totally understand why he decided to ditch this dirt ball for the rest of the cosmos. Could be worse though, George W. Bush could be president there too, but that just might be too much for the readers to swallow.
Captain America #27
Brubaker's excellent book gets back on schedule now that he doesn't have to wait for Marvel's event machinery to allow him to tell his story. It's going to be interesting how long this book can keep going now that the title character is dead. I really don't care as long as the book is this good.
It looks that the story line will now follow Winter Soldier/Bucky as he tries to get revenge for Cap on Tony Stark. We also get treated to some nice retro-active continuity as it appears that not only did WS help train Black Widow in her Soviet spy days, but they had a little thing going. I thought they had previously ret-conned BW's cold war days out of her backstory, making her more of a glasnost-era Russian, but apparently she's also led a much longer life than it looks. Once again, the story is told well enough that I'll allow it (you know, if they ask). Irregardless, this book is great and I think it may go down as the best take on Cap since Kirby.
Brave & The Bold #4
More old-school super-heroing from Mark Waid and George Perez. While this was another good issue, it felt like it slowed down the momentum as we get Lobo and Supergirl bickering their way across the cosmos as she buys a ride from him to Rann and, on the way, they run into Destiny who explains to them the macguffin they're chasing.
While this did slow down the so-far break-neck pacing of the series, we did get some very funny characterization of Supergirl, who is a character I've never really warmed up to, but here she's fun (and gets a great dig in on Lobo).
We do get some fun pages dealing with Cyborg-Batman, looks like we'll have to wait 'till next issue to get some more on that.
The Spirit #7
Note: This is not the cover for this month
So The Spirit hit its Summer Fun Special and Darwyn Cooke takes a break. Instead we are given three short stories that are all good, but I think only one really rose above to be really good. Oddly enough, it was the story by the team whose work I didn't think I'd like, Jimmy Palmiotti & Jordi Bernet. Their story is essentially an extended chase scene of The Spirit running down a small-time thief through a tenement building (which echos Will Eisner's Dropsie Avenue tenements). All of the residents of the building have their own hard-luck story and the Spirit gives each of them a solution without even realizing it. We do get some cheesecake, but hey, it is a Summer Special.
The other two stories, by Walter Simonson & Chris Sprouse and Kyler Baker are nice and fun, but they both seem to lose a little something by being so short. Baker's especially seems to want to force a 22-page story into his 7 or 8. It just doesn't work, hey DC, give the guy a whole issue for chrissakes, he'd be great. The other thing about Baker's story was that he used a scratchier linework more than his normal more cartoony look, and while that may be closer to Eisner's work, I would've liked to see the cartoony style on the Spirit. But that's my damage. Irregardless, good stuff all-around, let's just hope Cooke used the month to re-charge his batteries and get back to the excellence of the first four issues of this run.
Marvel Adventures: Avengers Vol. 3
Allright, if you like fun superheroing and you're not reading this book, well, you're hurting yourself. There's so much insanity between the pages of this digest, I can't believe that this is an all-ages book. This volume in particular includes one of the best uses of MODOK in years and the Hulk telling an amorous living planet that Earth "only wants to be friends" while beating on it. Damn is this awesome.
Anyway, this is probably the best volume yet and I really can't say anymore about it before just leading to string of expletives, which just aren't apropos for an all-ages book. Just buy it, and then send Marvel e-mails and letters requesting a "Karl: Inept Agent of AIM" mini-series.
So that's a lot of stuff. I also picked up the Phonogram trade, but hopefully I can get into a more in-depth look at that over the weekend. Have a good one and go Cubs!