Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Brave and the Bold # 1; Action Comics # 846; Strange Girl # 14

The Brave and the Bold # 1
Mark Waid-George Perez

I was really excited about reading this book. The premise of it is a classic team up book, where each month we get to see two of our favorite DC heroes, in this months case Batman and Green Lantern(Hal Jordan version), join forces to help solve, what looks to be an ongoing problem. It's written by Mark Waid, who I thought I was beginning to like, and drawn by the legendary George Perez.

But I have say, even though I plan to keep up with the book because I really like the concept, this book was really pretty disapointing. To me sometimes Mark Waid's writing, in particular, his dialouge can start to come off very wooden, like I had that problem with his Flash run earlier in his career. I thought after reading Legion of Super-heroes that he had spiced things back up, but it's still very flat dialouge. Which...I certainly a part of the premise to this book, it's supposed to throw back to that sort of era, I understand that, but it doesn't really mean that in 2007 I really enjoy reading it, on top of given how often Waid ends up with dialouge like this, it seems kind of like a crutch.

No problems really with Perez' art. In fact I like the look of the book a lot.

It's just I was expecting to have my socks knocked off with this book, and was just completely underwhelmed. If you are a big DC fan like me, you'll probably be interested in checking this book regardless. But honestly, there are a ton of books out there that actually get it right. Especially on DC.

Action Comics #846
Geoff Johns-Richard Donner-Adam Kubert

Holy crap! I've been hearing great things about the Johns-Donner run on Action Comics. So me being me, I decided to check it out in the last issue before the group goes on hiatus. And wow what a show. I'm not a superman fan, but there are so many great books out about him right now, and this is definitely one of them. I love love love Kubert's art. The story gives Superman a great foe in General Zod. And in general does the one thing that I've always complained most superman stories don't, which is play on his humanity and put him up against impossible odds.

Even though this is a long way into a story arc, I was able to catch this on the run, and didn't have a ton of problems following what was going on in the book. Geoff Johns has seriously upped his game the last two years. He's always been a good writer, but now he's starting to string together GREAT writing.

He gives his characters pathos, without falling into the trap of a lot of post-Dark Knight/Watchmen writers, and making the characters psychotics. The shades of humanity he puts into his characters embues them with vulnerability yes, but they still have a certain goodness about them. The characters Johns writes are at their core good people, who do amazingly heroic things, but they are never perfect people. Even his General Zod is pretty sympathetic. He's mis-guided and evil, but I could understand his anger and resentment.

And one can't overlook Ricahrd Donner's contribution. This is the man who gave us the Superman movies that didn't suck, and apparently the studios should have left him to his druthers to do the whole franchise, because he's got what they'd call a real barn burner of a story cooking here.

The final page of this book will keep me excited for the continuation of the story whenever it comes. Already one of my favorite splashes of the new year.

Strange Girl # 14
Rick Remender-Nick Stakal

How should I explain this's kind of like in Buffy when the apocalypse starts to happen, but it's narrowly averted, except here, it's not averted, and so our main character goes on a mindbending trip through hell.

Rick Remender is definitely one of my favorite writers right now. I love the choices he makes in his stories, and I love the way his characterse think and speak. There's a lot of humor in it, but it's also very serious. I guess since I brought it up, he's sort of Whedon-ish in that respect, but I actually am not a big Whedon fan. I think Remender has a lot more range, particularly in comics, and this and Fear Agent are two of my most look-forward-to books each month.

I definitely have a soft spot for heavy religious iconography, and occult bends to stories, and Strange Girl really fits that bill. And does it without falling into a ton of mopey goth type cliches.

The art, I'm not quite as sold on. It's very versatile I give it that. But imagine this book with like a JH Williams working on it. It would really jump to the next level. I definitely think the ideas for the art are great, and I like how hard Remender seems to be pushing his artist. But if there's a week point to this book it's the art.

But yeah, I definitely recommend Remender to anyone. He's good stuff.

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