Thursday, October 02, 2008

September's Box O' Love

OK, that sounds kinda dirty, but what the hell. Anyway, Since I started ordering the bulk of my big-ticket items every month from Discount Comic Book Service, each month I've been receiving a sizable box of hardcovers, trades and the occasional, severely discounted single issue. While I've long considered reviewing these boos en mass, that's proved unworkable, mostly because, I'm kind of lazy. Anyway, I'm going to attempt to at least post each month with the contents of the box, and my first impressions. This shouldn't be that hard, since most of this stuff I'm buying for the second or third time, so let's g to the box:

Gotham Central: Volume 1

Case in point, this is the third time I'm buying this content, however, I'm excited that DC is collecting this whole series now, rather than the rather piecemeal way they had done it before, leaving out random issues and story-arcs (I know it wasn't exactly random, but it still bugged me). ANYWAY, if you've talked to me about comics for more than five minutes, you'll know that this is among my top-three favorite series ever. The set-up seems simple: what does it mean to be a cop in a superhero universe. Specifically, Gotham City. The series focuses on the Detectives of the Major Crimes Unit, hand-picked by (now former) Commissioner Gordon, they are the one division of the entire department not rife with corruption. These are the best of the best, and they really don't like the fact that whenever there's a serious threat, they have to sit on the sidelines while some asshole in a bat get-up is called in to save the day. I really could go on for several hours about my love of this series (and I may in a future post), but suffice to say, this is the best superhero book for non-superhero readers and I can't recommend it enough.

A Tribute to Gene Colan

Paging through this book, I was shocked to see how much work Mr. Colan did for Marvel in the 1970's. This book, put out to help him out in his current time of need collects several stories with remembrances written by current writers (Ed Brubaker) and past collaborators (Stan Lee). There's some good stuff here, some old-school Iron Man, some Dr. Strange, some Tomb of Dracula (which reminds me, I really need to pick up that Essentials collection), and an excellent Dr. Doom story. Another great book, that helps out a great cause.

Batman: The Black Glove

Continuing Grant Morrison's run on Batman, The Black Glove kicks off with the Club of Heroes story, which is, quite simply, the best three issues of any Batman comic I've read in years. It does what Morrison does best, combines the bat-shit crazy with the f@#$-yeah awesome with a light topping of emotional resonance. It helps that J.H. Williams III drew the fuck out of it too.

Also collected in this tome is the less successful follow-up arc bringing back the three crazy replacement batmen that had previously shown up in Morrison's first arc. It's certainly not bad, but there's a bit of a let-down from the excellent preceding arc, and the fact that, while not awful, Tony Daniel isn't a very good artist.

Black Summer

And finally, I picked up Warren Ellis's Black Summer. I had picked up the first two issues of this series initially, and they were good, but nothing exceptional, but I was done in by the discount on this one. Me and my love of bargains.

Anyway, the set-up is, what happens if Superman realizes that George W. Bush's actions in Iraq are criminal and then decides to kill the President and his cabinet? Well, according to Warren Ellis, the US Government will then try to go to war with his friends. This is a fight comic writ large, and while there's not a lot here, it's still pretty cool.

So that's what I got this month, I'll try to keep up in the next few.

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