Comics Bought 5 March 2009

My impulses got the better of me in the shop – I decided to buy a comic book that I hadn’t planned on buying. It’s a combination of things: the recent weeks of only having one book in my weekly haul, the reaction against Marvel increasing the price of their books, and the desire to try new and different things. It was quite an exhilarating feeling – I hope to be able to do more of it.

The Boys #28
Things take a turn when Hughie decides to attend the funeral of former G-Men, against orders from Butcher, and Mother’s Milk wants answers for the questions about where the G-Men come from. Ennis writes a taut book, balancing the ludicrous nature of the G-Men with character moments and viciousness in that way he has; however, the art by John Higgins is a little weak this issue – he doesn’t have the skill of Darick Robertson to cope with both the violent realism with the colourful absurdity of superhero costumes. Still, Darick is back next issue, and things will really kick off.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23
This issue is written by Drew Greenberg, a stalwart from the Buffy television series, which means that he has the banter and characters down pat – the geek talk is very funny, as Andrew babbles on at Buffy on their road trip to Italy. However, the story doesn’t elevate above okay, mainly because you don’t really care about the villainous character of the rogue slayer. It doesn’t help that I don’t find Andrew an engaging character, and Georges Jeanty doesn’t have a good handle on the likeness to the original actor. The series has lost a lot of momentum since it first started with such fire and energy – this is a charge that could be laid at the television series, with some episodes not being as strong as the good ones in the season. I don’t know if this is to do with the variety of different writers over the past few issues or the turn of events that have somehow made vampires the victims and the slayers the oppressors, but I hope it returns to form soon.

No Hero #4
No Hero has been taking its time in coming out, which only slows the pace even more – a mini-series about somebody becoming a superhero should be fast and punchy and immediate. This issue doesn’t help by being an in-between issue – Josh is in the middle of his transformation under the FX7 drug, which has caused his skin to slough and organs to drop off, and the level of the plot against Carrick Masterson and Front Line appears to thicken (with lots of talking). Also, the story doesn’t have many of the Ellis flashes of novelty and humour that make it worth reading. Jose Juan Ryp’s art is still as madly detailed as ever, especially the violence, but it doesn’t help – perhaps this will read better in one sitting, but Ellis is usually so good at providing with value for money.

Killer of Demons #1
And so to my impulse buy. I was intrigued by this book when I first saw it back in December, enough to post the cover on my Tumblog of images, because of the great art and the intriguing premise: junior account executive Dave Sloan has been cursed with the ability to see demons – who are disguised as normal humans – and tasked with killing them by a foul-mouthed, cigar-smoking cherub. Now that’s a high concept for you. But it is the execution that turns a good idea into a good comic book, and Christopher Yost and Scott Wegener have done that. Yost has created a world that is both serious and funny – the demons are humans that cause evil, such as smoking advertisements they get approved, but the script is peppered with jokes and humorous touches that help to alleviate the blood-letting. This is helped by Wegener’s art – it is a cartoony yet dynamic style that balances the extreme violence with a deft and funny touch (such as the cherub or the sign on the toilet at the beginning). It’s a good combination and it was the book I enjoyed reading the most in this week’s haul. Have a look for yourself at the preview at Newsarama [LINK].

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