Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Justice Society of America # 2; Phonogram # 4; Scalped # 1; Crossing Midnight # 2

Justice Society of America# 2

Geoff Johns-Dale Eaglesham-Ruy Jose

As good as Justice League of America by New York times best-selling author Brad Meltzer is--Justice Society of America is just flat out better. You don't have to know anything about the Justice Society to enjoy this.

If you enjoy superhero pathos, multi-dimensional tighted ones, especially ones that haven't had a billion bad TV shows and movies made about them, this is it for you. Honestly, this book has to be read for the Starman character alone. He's easily my favorite thing about this book. His rambles are brilliantly funny and absurd. He's completely out to lunch, and yet somehow is allowed to walk around spouting off madness left and right.

If you're going to be reading a mainstream DC comics book, or any kind of superhero team book, this is the best one out there. I really don't even have to say much in that direction. It's just accepted now. Everyone knows. This is the best superhero team book out there. Deal with it.

Art looks good too. And if you want to stay with the major DC events this year, this is a must buy book because apparently this is where it's going down.

Phonogram # 4
Kieron Gillen-Jamie Mckelvie

So my favorite book came out finally. After reading the first three issues last month, 30 days felt like a death march through all things eternity. I mean, I worried honestly. I shouldn't have. But I did. Would I still love this book at 4? The ante has been raised on every book, can I make an obvious Spinal Tap cliche here? No? Screw you too.

Anyways, Kieron Gillen broke my brain on this one. Like there was some tipping point in the book where everything I was keeping track of went in on itself one to many times, and I crashed. And what I was left with, was really freaking cool pictures by McKelvie, and really freaking cool words by Gillen. I don't mean it to sound backhanded to say that even an idiot hillbilly could enjoy this book. It's kind of a thing where...do words and pictures stimulate you at all--because this is a full on sexing.

Issue four is basically everything the book's been talking about to this point, made real. And honestly, there had to have been a ton of trepidation about that. It's fun to talk about something as an allusion to what it might be, but to actually go through, show it, and have it live up to what you've been talking around, is exceptional. If either the art or the writing had failed at any time it all would have come crumbling down in a pile of silly mash. That this didn't happen only further illistrates that the cats making this book are on the level.

It'd be silly of me after all of this time to only say buy the book you retarded tree diddler. But that's all I've got.

Jason Aaron-R.M. Guera

Jason Aaron only continues to impress. First off, you should be reading his other book The Other Side and now you should be reading his fascinating Sopranos on the reservation book Scalped.

The book follows an anti-hero named Dashiell Bad Horse who has returned to the third world apocolypse that is contemporary reservation life. The book makes no bones about the fact that native americans in this country live in a state that could easily be described as third world. And right in the heart of america no less. The adversarial tone of reservation life towards american government, makes this with The Other Side a timely book.

Honestly if I have a complaint with the book, it's that the art sometimes seems jumbeled. Sometimes it nails it, sometimes it doesn't. The color tones I think take something away from teh story making it look too much like 100 Bullets when it's really something else. The dialgoue of the book, as with his other book, is fantastic though. And the characterizations are exceptionally strong.

I actually like the writing of Scalped more than The Other Side but the artistic visioin isn't quite as strong as Cameron Stewarts. And though I know it's not fair to compare, but hey, what the heck. I am.

If like me you've always found reservation tales compelling, or like hard boiled noirish type stories, this is a good book to check out.

Crossing Midnight # 2
Mike Carey-Jim Fern-Mark Pennington

Crossing Midnight is that japanese story of two twins born on each side of midnight, one with the powers of invulnerablity granted by a japanese god, and the other...not. It's a very interesting change of pace book, in line with a kind of adult fairy tale.

It's not fast paced at all, but everytime you reach the end of an issue, you just have to read the next issue. The most intriguing thing about the book is actually the non-mythological familial disfunction that the story weaves around and through. The book has the blunted feel of a family on the skids.

It's amazing to remember this is the same guy who is writing X-men right now for Marvel, and just makes me more interested to check out Mike Carey's other books. He's not an overt stylist of dialouge like Garth Ennis. Nor are his stories playing crazy and loose with the paneling like a Bendis project. But he's definitely got his own voice. And there are some incredibly clever moments in this book.

It can sometimes feel like a lot of these books just kind of run together in pacing style, Crossing Midnight is a book that takes it's time. It's the assured narrative of a master storyteller. Mike Carey's confidence in this project is what carries it through in it's execution. He makes you believe that your patience in the book will be rewarded, and that you are in for the measured construction of something really beautiful.

In it's own way, it's unlike anything out there right now.

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