Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Comics: 1/14/09

Hey, imagine that? Comics are in the news these days, so let's talk about them. Fortunately, the two biggest selling comics for the big two publishers for the month were out yesterday so I figured I'd give my impressions.

First up is Amazing Spider-Man #583, which, according to one person's whose blogging I have high regard for, is bringing out classiness all over America:

Now there are three distinct things wrong with this issue, and they are all on the cover, let me break them down for you.

Problem #1:

Firstly, let me say, I don't have a problem with the fact that they are doing a "Tribute to Dating" issue. It's close to Valentine's Day, and hey, whatever you can do to shift a few more units, you go right ahead Marvel. But, it's the fact that this issue points out what a soulless, awful hell the dating world of the 21st Century is, well, it's just cruel. The whole point of the issue is for Betty Brandt to reflect on her relationship with Peter Parker while she does her best to hook him up via the time tested devices of speed-dating and getting her friends so drunk they'll sleep with anyone (except, of course, Peter Parker). The big problem is that she proves that there is not one, acceptable single woman in all of (make-believe) New York City. That's just sad.

Problem #2:

OK, though Peter's not meeting any women inside the book, outside he's hitting on promiscuous older ladies. This is disturbing to me on many levels. First of all, ever since Peter was made single by selling off his marriage to the love of his life to the devil magic, Marvel's gone to great pains to point out that this was to make him seem younger (especially because once you've got a ball and chain, you're one foot in the grave already), but this is just not the way to do it people!

Problem #3

Spider-Man's gettin' lucky tonight! That's just too much.

Anyway, once you get into the actual content of the issue, it's pretty damn good, and it's odd that this could be an issue that a lot of non-comic readers pick up, since Spider-Man only appears in about three pages.

Oh yeah, and the thing that everyone's talking about, the back-up featuring President Obama. It's OK, certainly a rush-job featuring some workmanlike art by Todd Nauk, but it's not bad and it features a pretty good Joe Biden joke. Obviously I was not one of the lucky few to get the much-vaunted Phil Jimenez Obama cover, but I think I got some good mileage out of this one.

Next up, we've got Final Crisis #6, spoiler goggles on for the rest of this one:

So let's get this out of the way, who woulda thought that the comic that features the death of Batman would be a newscycle also-ran this week? But let's begin at the beginning. I've really been enjoying Final Crisis, and so have a lot of other people, but I have a feeling that this book just isn't going to get its due for a while. Grant Morrison is making you work for it a little more than you do for other big event books. Often the big fights are left off-panel, leaving you to fill in some of the blanks. Also, something that rarely has occurred to me while reading the book is that the "big seven" of the DCU is pretty much been taken off the board ever since issue #2. This is a book, though rewarding in (somewhat) monthly reading is going to be a whole different, better beast once collected.

In this issue, we get the show down between the last remaining remnants of free humanity and Darkseid and his accursed horde. This is really where the series really rewards those of us who have read a lot of old DC books, I mean, there's a scene where Tawky Tawny disembowels Kalibak, who has been reincarnated as a tiger-man from Kamandi. That scene pushes a button that few people have, but if you have that button, like I do, it's a motherfucker.

All of this wraps up in the showdown between Batman and Darkseid, which is just as understated and as well written as anything else in this series. It's just plain good.

Anyway, we have one or maybe two (depending upon how much Superman Beyond #2 ties in) issues of this series left to go, and I can't wait to read the whole thing through sometime soon.

A quick word about the art, up until this issue, the multiple artists that they've been employing have blended pretty seamlessly through out, however this was the first time that I noticed a jarring shift. There were a few, obviously rushed pages in the middle with some sloppy inking, and the last few by Doug Mahnke didn't flow as well from the rest, just because he has such a different style from Pacheo, Jones, etal. But overall, still very nice. Hopefully the inking will be cleaned up in the collection.

So there you go, two very good books this week, I feel blessed!


x-man75 said...

Yeah, The Batman/Darkseid showdown was one of the best I've read in a while, and it only lasted 2 pages and one double page spread!

Now the real question here is how long does Bruce Wayne stay "dead"? Do you think DC is going to go through with the whole Batman is really dead routine, or do you think he'll be back as soon as FC #7?

CalvinPitt said...

Has Romita Sr. drawn a full comic recently? I know he's done some covers, and there were the last few pages of Amazing #500 (where Pete opens that odd box from Dr. Strange and gets to talk to Uncle Ben for a few minutes), but anything else?

'Cause I gotta say, his work still looks really good.

J.A. Morris said...

One problem I have with the cover is the "face it cougars" line. The women don't look much older than Parker.