Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Batman and the Mad Monk # 4; Dr. Strange # 2

Dark Moon Rising: Batman and the Mad Monk
Matt Wagner

This book gets better and better with each chapter. It really is a throwback to Miller's Year One, though Batman as slightly farther a long(Year Two-ish). The interior dialouge is well done, the art is pretty good, and the overall supernatural B-movie nature of the villain is just a hoot.

In this chapter Batman actually makes it to the castle of the Mad Monk, which suprise suprise, is booby-trapped galore. I'm kind of hoping for some of those 70's Batman TV show traps in the next issue.

This issue is worth it alone just for the scene where Alfred complains about Batman melting down the silver candlesticks so he can make pure silver batarangs.

Good fun. There's a lot of great Batman work out there these days, and this is another book you can't go wrong with if you're a fan at all of the Dark Knight.

Dr. Strange: The Oath
Brian K. Vaughan-Marcos Martin

More BKV brilliance here. Probably not quite as strong as the opening chapter, but still one of the better books out there. Lots of cleverness. Dr. Strange is a lot of fun with BKV writing him. Love the Night Nurse, who doesn't? The core of this chapter is basically a window back into Dr. Strange's past, after he had the accident that took away his career as a surgeon. This story is book ended by the current search for the man who shot Dr. Strange and took his neato elixir that cures cancer that he was going to use for his trusty asian assistant Wong.

The dialoge is sharp as a scalpel. The magical action is well drawn and interesting to look at. Just in general a very good book. Definitely one you should be reading, as well as anything else Brian K. Vaughan writes.

Good art, good writing, were that every book at bare minimum this good.


Aaron said...

I also loved the dialogue, but it felt kinda weird seeing it in a Doctor Strange book. Strange historically hasn't exactly been humorless, but in the Lee/Thomas (and even in his 90's revival) the doctor wasn't as quick with a quip as he was with a spell.

That said...I almost like this Doctor (similar to the one from X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl) better.

I love reading your reviews, and I'd like to know what your thoughts are on changing a classic character's personality - even if for the better.

Mercurialblonde said...

Honestly, I feel like the characters are there to be changed. I feel like the Kirby and Lee and others, for the most part created our modern gods of olympus, and when they stop reflecting what is going on our society, or who we are, then something is wrong. I love the note perfect throwback stories as much as the next girl, but these characters need to remain relevant or they'll die.

I think BKV correctly percieved that there were some definite problems with the Dr. Strange character as he has existed in the Marvel U for some time, and I think this run, will hopefully correct some of those issues, chiefly among them is Strange as some kind of Deus Ex Machina. I hope by the end of it, BKV has grounded the character more, even if his powers are hard to reign in, his character is not. I think the Dr. Strange we see coming out of this will be a character much more amiable to future writers.

Though I probably should have led off with, I'm not really a fan of Dr. Strange to begin maybe if it was a character I had more attatchment to. But I've always thought he should be in really good books. Which I don't think he really has in my lifetime.

I dunno. So long as what you're doing makes sense, I can't begrudge any writer or artist doing it. I think what BKV's doing makes a lot of sense for the future of the character.