Comics I Bought 8 October 2009

Eight comics? In one week? It’s almost as if they want me to keep buying more and more comic books … I don’t know how Chris Sims did it, even when he was working in a comic book shop. I’ll try to keep this brief.

Batman and Robin #5
A lovely Frank Quitely cover. Some very ugly Philip Tan art in places. But an interesting Grant Morrison story, with some lovely lines: ‘Backstory. Not interested.’ I enjoy the way that Morrison packs his current books with information to speed the story along – a lot happens in this issue, which would have been served better by a more capable artist.

The Boys #35
Darick Robertson back on art duties. Garth Ennis telling the ‘origin’ story of Mother’s Milk. This is more like it. After Herogasm last week, this reminds me why I read The Boys. This is really good: Ennis tells a great story, and it’s an interesting one at that. The connection to Voight-American, his father, the days in the army, meeting Butcher (and Mallory, whose face is kept in the shadows; the promise of his story is also mentioned). Good stuff.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #29
Things I don’t want to read Buffy for: non-powered slayers fighting men in tanks or with guns. I hope this silly diversion ends soon because it’s really rather boring. The only positive was a dialogue exchange that reminded me of the old days: Buffy – ‘I need your big secret weapon.’ Xander – ‘Well, that sounds like a come-on if ever I heard one. Erm. Sorry. Joking in the facing of death. I do that. It used to amuse you.’

Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle #1
I wish I didn’t have the wraparound cover – an ugly thing. I rather enjoyed the first Chronicles of Wormwood series, but I never thought that it would warrant further stories. The one-off special wasn’t that special, and neither is this so far. Ennis throws in some fun bits, but it’s less mature than some of his other work and doesn’t gel together very well. A case of wait and see with this, although it’s interesting to see Oscar Jiminez on art duties – I haven’t seen his work in a long time.

Criminal: The Sinners #1
Brubaker and Phillips, back on Criminal – life is good. Incognito was great, Criminal is great – all other commentary is redundant. This is sublime stuff, and the story of Tracy Lawless working as ‘the worst hitman in the world’ for Mr Hyde looks like it’s going to be a doozy.

Doom Patrol #3
The double feature continues to work for me: Giffen has a really good handle on the characters in Doom Patrol – the banter between Cliff, Larry and Rita zings and tells of years of knowing each other – and he has some nice insight into Rita’s ex-husband, Steve, aka Mento, who wears a silly purple helmet when he’s using his mental powers because he doesn’t want people to know he can use his powers all the time. And the Metal Men second feature is still as charming as ever, with the delightfully expressive art of Kevin Maguire being the highlight.

Planetary #27
It may have taken its sweet time turning up (to quote the book itself: ‘We thought it’d be funnier if I waited. Sorry.’), but it was worth it: I loved this. It may not add to the story, being effectively an extended epilogue, but it was great to see Warren Ellis writing and John Cassaday drawing the Planetary team again. And that’s a fantastic cover, as always. Seeing that most of the story is conversation about time travel theory and uncertainty principles and other gobbledegook, it’s a powerful and emotional tale that brought a huge smile to my face.

War Heroes #3
A year between issues two and three of a six-issue series? That’s taking the piss, even for a glorified movie pitch. At least the reason I buy this comic is still there: the marvelous art of Tony Harris. This issue is a squad of American soldiers being taken apart by a super-powered Arab, and it looks amazing. It doesn’t make up for the wait, though …

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