Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What I Got - 6.3.09

Fuck it, I'm bored, let's talk comics.

Batman and Robin #1

So begins Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely's rebirth of Batman, etal. I have to admit, I wanted to like this book, no, I wanted to love this book and rarely does that lead to good things, but, as of right now, I gotta say I love it. While it's probably an understatement to say that Morrison often over-complicates his plots, this is a straightforward, very quickly* told story. He gives us an introduction to the new status quo and introduces the new threat to Gotham City in a very elegant way.

I must say, though I liked the idea of [SPOILER] Dick taking over as Batman, I wasn't exactly sold on Damien. He's always been a little shit and just couldn't see how they could make him into a likable character. But here, he seems to have turned a corner, though still arrogant, he's lost some of the asshole-ish edge that he had to him. It is an interesting dynamic (no pun indended) to switch up the personalities involved with the duo. You have Batman, who doesn't really want to be Batman, and a Robin who would only be too glad to take over.

Morrison's work on Batman has shown flashes of brilliance (the Club of Heroes story), but has also been a bit of a mess, but now you get the feeling that this was the story he signed on to tell. I look forward to see where this is going.

A note about the art, I realize that Quitely's art is not to everyone's taste, but he does some pretty great work here. There's one page that I just fell in love with:

I've always loved those cut-away shots that they did to show off the heroes' or villains' lairs and this one is no different. Plus, Wayne Tower even has bat-ears!

Agents of Atlas #6

This book has been another one that I've wanted to love so bad, but up till now, it just hasn't fired on all cylinders. I absolutely loved the original mini-series, but the on-going just has missed that certain verve the original had. Up till now at least, though I'm hesitant to say that it's made the leap back to where it was, it's building up. Part of it could be that this is the first issue of the series that's not dividing the narrative between the past and the present, allowing Jeff Parker to tell a more coherent story. Plus removing the team from the Mora's of the current Dark Reign crossoverclusterfuck makes it that much more enjoyable for the rest of us not following along.

I do like that they're following up on the Namorra/Namor romance brought up in Hercules recently, complete with an exhaustive explanation that their relationship is not incest**. It's also nice to see the return of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Derek Kahnata, who figured in tot he original series greatly.

Also, special mention has to go to artist Gabriel Hardman, his work is very reminiscent to Michael Lark and Sean Phillips stuff and it's really grown on me. Hopefully they can keep him on this book for a while because I look forward to where it is going.

OK, looks like I only got two reviews in me for the night, but that's what I really loved this week.

*Very quickly, if there's one big criticism of this book is that it reads way too fast.

**"Ken Hale's, "I guess they even got hillbillys under the sea." is definitely the line of the week.


Bill said...

You're damn straight about the story reading too fast but I guess that's just a testament to how good it is. And the artwork is a thing of beauty. One of those rare issues that really took me back to my childhood in that I was completely submerged in the story; reminded me of those first issues of Astonishing X-Men. I will definitely be keeping up with this while the ride is exciting.

Nikki said...

I'll third the "reads too fast" and "rockin' art" sentiments of AoA. My only complaint for the issue is why did the cover artist(s) (Lenil Yu/Laura Martin) show Ken with a bouffant?
I realize that they're underwater & all, but that's some 60s hair-do going on there. But having Ken call himself "Spoozy McGasbag" when meeting Namor kinda made up for it.