In which I continue telling you about comics I bought last year as if it was this week, because I must do this.
Batman and Robin #6
‘Batman and Robin say … Get a life!’ It seems Grant Morrison has his tongue in his cheek this issue; the Flamingo (Damian’s appraisal: ‘I was expecting scary, not gay.’) as the flamboyant ultimate hitman certainly fits into this category. He also has some fun with Jason Todd, while being serious at the same time. I’m not sure I completely enjoyed this issue, perhaps due to Phillip Tan’s art, but that won’t be a problem as of next issue.
Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle #2
I’m confused by this book: it seems to be a mix of Garth Ennis discussing the male attitude to what becoming a father from a man with a sensitive side (even if he is the Antichrist), and a horror comic of the Aussie pope from the previous Wormwood story, who is laughable in the bad sense. It’s very odd, and not the usual narrative balance one expects from Ennis. Oscar Jimenez’s art seems off, like he’s doing an impression of Gene Ha but not achieving it. I’m still undecided on this one.
Yet another quality issue of Fables from Messrs Willingham and Buckingham. A lot going on: Ozma is positioning herself to lead the Fable community magic folk after Frau Totenkinder left; Totenkinder left Cole a departing gift and an order; Gepetto talks to a tree in the forest; Bigby, Snow and Beast make plans for the future; Bufkin is still hunting Baba Yaga; and a young Totenkinder is trying to find a way to construct a box to contain the Dark Man. Still one of the most consistently enjoyable books in the market.
Poor Doctor Strange, now the sorcerer supreme no longer; is this a consolation prize for him, a mini-series by Mark Waid? There are worse fates – the man knows how to write a good story. Of course, the story can’t exactly be about Stephen himself – here he plays a mentor role to a young girl with ‘natural talent’, helping out at a baseball game where a demonic possession has occurred. It’s a well-constructed tale, and we get to see Stephen stepping up to the plate to bat, something I don’t think I’ve seen before. The only thing that I’m not too sure about is the art by Emma Rios – it’s not bad, it’s just a style I don’t particularly like. Still, a good start.
Warren Ellis continues his Avatar-housed dissection of the superhero, this time with a look at the construction of supermen by various governments and what happened afterwards. We learn about this in the form of a spoken essay, as Simon Reddin dictates what has occurred and how we got there, while sitting in the ruins of a destroyed London. This is a bit of a cheat for the sake of a typical comic book narrative, but it works well if you like Ellis’ voice (which I do). It also mixes his scientific obsession, so there’s a nice vibe to it. It’s a strange first issue, but there’s promise of something bigger and better.
This is really good – I’m enjoying the blending of reality and fiction, mining the history of books as the basis for a character who doesn’t know if he’s real or not. Especially when he meets Frankenstein’s Monster (‘You’ve got a defective brain! That’s in the book! That’s canonical!’), and when he’s saved by a cat with wings from guards in the prison trying to kill him, and the vision of Roland blowing his horn. I really like this book; Mike Carey and Peter Gross are doing a great job, and it’s a great story.