Friday, January 12, 2007

People who know me probably don’t think I can do it, but here it is! The All Positive Post coming directly from the Mothership, top of the Earth-K Galaxy! 500,000 keelowatts of four-color power! Giving it to you in your eye-hole!

· 100 Bullets continues on to its thrilling conclusion. I’m a trade-reader of the Bullets (so I’m exactly ¾ of the way through the story), but I can tell you that this book never does anything BUT fire on all cylinders. It has mutated from a morality/revenge tale into a noir conspiracy theory with roots in Colonial American history that guarantees a skyrocketing body count reached in unmatched style. Twists and turns abound in every arc, and even the arcs that don’t immediately make sense as part of the greater story are brought home eventually. The art is dark, dangerous and sexy as hell. The books are so gritty that even the toilet paper DC prints the trades on comes together with the art and story to be part of the experience. I’m still trying to figure out how I can need a shower after every story and yet continue to think it’s a world I wouldn’t mind living in… as long as I had a couple high-powered handguns to keep me company. Highest honors.

· My buddy and favorite cat to ring me up at my LCS, Rob Vollmar, is having some roaring success with the Bluesman Trilogy. It is sad, poignant, historical, the art (brought to you by Pablo Callejo) is beautiful and the whole reading experience should probably come with a soundtrack CD. In fact, I’m going to suggest that Rob have a playlist available to listen to while reading. Lastly, it’s been optioned for a film. Run and read the books before Hollywood spoils it with crass commercialism!

· Godland (no, I don’t know how to make that little crosshatch through the O), is like Kirby with none of the introspection or deeper themes. Or Kirby if he’d had a couple bad hits of acid. Wild ideas, crazy villains, cosmic beings; it sort of reads like early Marvel if they’d been more aware of what they were up to. Meta-Marvel you might say. I have no idea where it’s headed or what the story is really about, and when I can usually see a lot of the story beats telegraphed from six issues away, that shoots it to the head of the class for me.

· Casanova absolutely freakin’ rocks. The vibe is sort of a bizarre mix between Starlin and Steranko, a cosmic spy story with daddy issues. Gabriel Ba takes ridiculous scripts from Matt Fraction, a VERY limited palette and churns out art that seems simple at first, but then you start to notice how many details the guy CRAMS into every panel. The prose stuff in the back that explains what was going on in Fraction’s life, world and head when he wrote the book is even good. Normally that stuff bores me to absolute tears or ends up being like knowing a little too much about sausage manufacturing techniques, but here it is a bow on the special gift that is Casanova. And the whole damn thing costs two measly greenbacks. Buy it, you ingrates.

· The Black Coat: Call To Arms is the first in what I hope to be a long string of limited series. I thought it was going to be a Scarlet Pimpernel-esque thing set in the Revolutionary War…and it was. But then pirates showed up. And zombies. And Ben “The Original American Pimp” Franklin! This thing is like historical fiction by the guys responsible for Doc Savage and the Shadow. The book has so much pulp, it gets stuck in my teeth when I read it.

· Gail Simone is a Geek Goddess. All-New Atom, Secret Six and Birds of Prey are or were (Six is lamentably over) at the top of my reading stack every time they come out. Each of these is super-heroes done right, even when the book is about super-villains. BoP is in the midst of an internal shake-up and, usually, that would worry me. Status quo changes are rarely good news if the book was successful and a great read already, but Gail has earned the benefit of the doubt. More than that, she’s earned my complete trust. I have no doubt that, despite the sea change, BoP will continue to kick ass. At a DC where several of the OYL new launches have been abandoned (Sword of Atlantis) or are so crap they’re soon to be abandoned (Hawkgirl), I don’t doubt for a second that Atom will stick the longest. Lastly, while this may mean nothing to many, Gail has actually made me excited that there will be a Catman fig in the next Heroclix release; no mean feat.

· Justice Society of America is only two issues in so I can’t gush very much. I’ll be honest, though. Based on the Donner/Johns debacle and the mess Titans has become, I was worried that Johns couldn’t bring the heat anymore. I loved JSA LOTS and didn’t want to see it messed up. Well, I needn’t have worried. With two issues under its belt it is probably the best OYL launch DC has had (even though it isn’t technically an OYL launch) and it is kicking the crap out of Justice League of America. I mention the second only because of the handicap. The Justice League has all the cards in this game, but JSofA balls it out with pure chutzpah and makes the JLofA look even more boring and amateurish than it normally would.

· All Star Superman. What should I say here? If you’re reading it, you know how awesome it is. If you aren’t, you’re some kind of communist robot zombie from a totalitarian future who has been programmed not to like comics that contain too much awesome. This is a book that manages to take stuff we should all be sick of hearing about (Lois discovering Superman’s secret identity, Lex as criminal genius, Krypto) and manages to not just make them readable, but causes you to fall in love with them. Literally FALL IN LOVE between page 1 and page 22.

All that stuff from yesterday is really stupid and really pisses me off and makes me want to shake some editors/writers/Dan Didios until their necks snap, but this stuff is the reason I hang in there. This stuff, and the promise of more stuff like it, is the reason I show up every Wednesday and why I get all excited when the negative stuff happens (especially if it happens to something I was previously very positive about).

Talk back, our tiny audience! What examples of Radness and Awesomeitude would be in your All Positive Post?

1 comment:

Steve said...

Gotta disagree with you on Secret Six. Villains United featuring these same characters by Simone was great. Secret Six seemed to falter some for me. The story didn't hold together as well as the previous mini. It seemed a bit padded. Otherwise, liked what you had to say.