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Why comics are awesome: Odds ‘n’ sods from this week’s releases

07-03-2013 05;34;52PM

No reviews this week, just some little things that made me smile, because comics are awesome.

Batman can say stuff like this:



And comics fans just think, “Well, sure. I mean, obviously that makes sense.”

It’s rare that writers let Batman succumb to his rage, but Morrison does, and as bleak as this issue is, it really works. It’s a gut-wrenching issue, setting up what will probably be a gut-wrenching finale.

Not a good look, Bruce

Not a good look, Bruce

Joe Casey, Dan McDaid, Paul Maybury, and Ulises Farina look at something like Pacific Rim and laugh their asses off, because they can do this without spending the gross domestic product of several nations.

Oh, Nibiru, you scamp!

Oh, Nibiru, you scamp!





Dark Horse has published the third Grendel Omnibus, which finally reprints issues #20-22 of the Comico series, the ones drawn by Hannibal King in which Matt Wagner decides to turn his story into a centuries-spanning epic. If you don’t own the original issues, this is the first time they’ve ever been reprinted, and the reproduction is very nice:

Oh, Albert - you shouldn't have gotten involved with Grendel!

Oh, Albert – you shouldn’t have gotten involved with Grendel!

Grendel, of course, is a wonderful series, and it’s nice that Dark Horse is giving it a nice trade paperback treatment. Especially because they were able to reprint these issues!

In an out-of-continuity book starring a presumably one-off villain, James Gordon (and writer David Tischman) stop for a moment to remind us that, yes, there was another villain named Abattoir, because of course there was. Tischman even gives the two villains similar reasons for doing what they do. I guess he just really dug the whole concept!

You'd think Bullock would remember the other one, too!

You’d think Bullock would remember the other one, too!

Batman smiles! That’s always fun!

My eyes!  MY EYES!!!!!

My eyes! MY EYES!!!!!

(One thing that was not awesome about the issue: the death of the cop. It seemed utterly pointless. Blech.)

The first volume of Persia Blues (of 3, I think) came out this week, and it looks pretty cool. Dara Naraghi tells the story of a modern Iranian woman who also has an active fantasy life, and Brent Bowman does a nice job distinguishing the two aspects of her personality. I’ll probably have a review of this coming up, but I just thought I’d mention it in case you’re interested in reading a comic about a culture that Americans know very little about.

Where's Dwayne Johnson?

Where’s Dwayne Johnson?

I was hoping that Howard Chaykin’s art in black and white wouldn’t disappoint, and while some of his figures are still obviously Photoshopped into backgrounds, for the most part, the slickness of his color art is lacking from Satellite Sam, which means it’s the best Chaykin art I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Chaykin loves him some sexy chix!

Chaykin loves him some sexy chix!

It’s a decent first issue, too – Fraction gets the frenetic pace of live television pretty well, and the mystery is set up decently enough. Is this an ongoing? I’m not sure how that will work. We’ll see!

I don’t know much about Science Fiction by Joe Ollmann, but it sounds pretty neat. It does contain this panel, however:



Ollman’s commitment to the 9-panel grid is downright Giffen-esque, too, and that’s another reason comics are awesome: I can say something is “Giffen-esque” and 95% of the people reading this know what I mean. COMICS!!!!

Whenever Marvel or DC dives into their archives and dredges up some old stuff, I’m reminded about how many cool comics are out there by excellent creators. So this week we get Wolverine by Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri volume 1, which is mis-named a bit, but whatever. It collects 7 issues of the Wolverine ongoing, but it also collects The Jungle Adventure by Walt Simonson and Mike Mignola and Bloodlust by Alan Davis. I already own Bloodlust (it remains one of my favorite Wolverine stories) but not the rest of this, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. If only because I love Silvestri’s wacked-out Lady Deathstrike:

To know her is to love her!

To know her is to love her!

This wasn’t even a particularly brilliant week in comics, either – everything I read was solid but not spectacular. There was enough, however, to remind me that comics remain awesome. Let’s all raise a glass of Belgian Red (the best beer I’ve ever tasted) to comics!!!!


Travis Pelkie

July 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Not only is Batman smiling there, but he’s SITTING!!! OMFG!!!

That issue (Legends of the Dark Knight 10, for those not in the know) was pretty good. Awfully gory/creepy/disturbing in parts, and I agree that the cop’s death was utterly pointless. Batman shouldn’t smile when he didn’t win ‘em all! I did like that Bruce Wayne was really the hero there, too.

Um, spoilers.

I only got the chance to flip through Satellite Sam, but if you like his art here, it was pretty much of that quality in Black Kiss 2. What I looked at of that. And with BK2, you get the added bonus of being able to ask “how does she fit all that in her mouth?”. hee hee hee

This was a pretty awesome week. Besides the awesome of the stuff above (and Daredevil: Dark Nights 2 — seriously, get that in singles if you can find it, or get the trade when it comes out!), I also confirmed that the couple of things I dropped recently were worth dropping (Uber, which isn’t bad, just doesn’t interest me as much as I thought it might; and the Movement, which is lacking a word between “the” and “Movement”. Not very good stuff.).

Bruce Wayne+ Suit of Sorrows+ Man-Bat Serum+ Powered Exoskeleton= any sum over 9000!

Batman smiles, and he’s sitting down. Clearly that writer knows nothing about Batman.

(Damn you, Pelkie!)

Mecha-/Mystic Armor Frank Miller Batman vs Jetpacking-wearing Evil Damian Clone Batman

Comic books, ya’ll

Travis: Well, I’m not that big a fan of Howard Chaykin, writer, so I just wasn’t that interested in Black Kiss 2 (or 1, for that matter). The fact that Fraction is writing this means I get to enjoy Chaykin’s art without dealing with Chaykin’s writing!

Yeah, Batman sits and smiles. I imagine DC Editorial had a conniption!

Greg Burgas is not a fan of American Flagg!

You are now judging him quite differently from this point forward

I just think it’s cool that that Grendel comic is drawn by a vampire detective!

Yep, it’s still the 90s.

Jeremy: American Flagg was 30 years ago – I don’t love it, but it’s a lot better than recent stuff that Chaykin has written. I don’t have anything against his 1980s work, but in this millennium, his writing is not very good.

buttler: When I first saw that, I wondered if Hannibal King was a pseudonym, but I guess it’s not that uncommon a name.

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Poor Chaykin. He really doesn’t get ANY respect. Nosiree, he does not.

Has anyone ever saw that Batman movie from the 60’s with Adam West and Burt Ward? Batman’s flying a helicopter (I think) and Robin asks for the Bat-Shark repellent. And what do you know? There’s a container with “Bat-Shark repellent” right on the label!

Of course, Batman would HAVE that handy! ;-)

Of course he would have Bat-Shark repellent handy, he’s the Motherfuckin’ Batman!

Greg, thanks for the nod towards Persia Blues. You are correct that this is book 1 of a trilogy. I’m looking forward to your review of the book.

Does anybody know if there is any plan to do a standalone reprint of “Grendel: The Incubation Years” for those of us who have the rest of the series in trades?

I have the issues, but I wouldn’t mind a slim hardcover to bridge the gap on the shelf.

Tom: I was always under the impression that Chaykin got a lot of respect. Doesn’t he?

Dara: No problem. I will definitely review it – I hope to get to it soon!

sean: Man, that would be a tough sell. I don’t know if Dark Horse is letting the earlier trades go out of print because they’re replacing them with the Omnibus versions, but if they are, I’ll bet the chances of just getting those issues in a trade are slim to none. You can always call Dark Horse and ask them about it!

Greg B., for about the last twenty years I’ve thought Chaykin is pretty much a parody of himself. Do others agree? Don’t know.

In the second panel, I was wondering who else could say that, and it came to me: Reed Richards.

To which which Ben Grimm would reply, “Yeah, Stretch, whatever you say. Jeesh.’

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