Monday, 11 January 2010

Spouting guff about some comics I read last night

I read some comics last night. Here's what I thought about them...

Blackest Night #6
At this point in Blackest Night it's become clear that Geoff Johns is more focused on providing his readers with "Fuck yeah!" moments than he is with writing a character-driven story. Thus in this issue we get Barry and Hal outrunning death, a hyper-detailed double page splash of John Stewart being pursued to Earth by a gazillion Black Lanterns, Ganthet strapping on a power ring, and a bunch of established heroes and villains becoming lanterns. There's even a moment when The Atom gets to don his old Sword of The Atom costume - FUCK YEAH!

All that's fine. I can groove on Lex Luthor being an Orange Lantern as much as the next fanboy, but there comes a point where you stop whooping for joy at the cool nerdy stuff and realise that the Fuck Yeah moments have replaced the story itself. Again, that's fine, this is after all a DC event comic not a Samuel Beckett play, it just feels like things are hurtling down a very narrow path with no allowance for interesting character led diversions.

Blackest Night Wonder Woman #2
Ah, I quite enjoyed this. A nice little story that takes place between the panels of Blackest Night #6. Basically, you've got Wonder Woman (possessed again. It's becoming a habit) scrapping with Fish Queen Mera and some other chums before realising that she's all about the love (through some imaginary kiss with Batman) and becoming a Star Sapphire. All utter nonsense, but fairly enjoyable all the same.

Blackest Night Weird Western Tales #71
Not good. Tries to clobber the reader over the head with the aforementioned "Fuck Yeah!" moments, but fails because all of those moments involve characters that nobody cares about. Honestly, is there really anyone out there whooping for joy at the sight of zombie Scalphunter?

It does have a Bill Sienkiewicz cover and the artist (Renato Arlem) does a passable impression of Howard Chaykin, but that's where the good ends. One to line the cat litter tray with I'm afraid.

Jonah Hex #51
OK, so Weird Western Tales did have zombie Jonah Hex, but given that he's got his own monthly book anyway, his appearance really wasn't very exciting. The latest issue of Jonah Hex proper was very good though. I picked it up because I enjoyed the Darwyn Cooke issue so much, but after another strong standalone story I think I'll probably continue to get the book. Bonus Dick Giordano art too. It'd be easy to patronise him by saying he does a great job for a 77-year-old, so let's just say he does a great job full stop. He really does. Alright, so there's not very much to look at in his backgrounds, but he packs a lot of anguish, fear and loathing into his faces.

Sweet Tooth #5
First arc over, and if you didn't read it then I highly recommend that you pick this one up in trade. The last few pages of issue #5 bought a tear to my jaded eye. The preview image for issue #6 had me balling up my fist and wanting to hit the baddies. Now that's a proper "Fuck Yeah!" moment.

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