Comics Ate My Brain

June 3, 2005

New comics 6/2/05, Part 2

Filed under: batman, firestorm, hulk, seven soldiers, weekly roundups — Tom Bondurant @ 9:23 pm
Picking up the spare….

Seems like all the major bloggers reviewed Firestorm #14 (new writer Stuart Moore joins returning artists Jamal Igle and Rob Stull) last week when they got advance copies, and I can’t disagree with their largely positive analyses. However, in one fell swoop Moore eliminated most of what I thought was intriguing about Dan Jolley’s version — the notion that Jason needs to merge with someone to become Firestorm, Jason’s money troubles, and his problems with his father. (Still a slight air of tension with Dad, though.) In their place Moore gives us a not-unappealing setup — Jason works for S.T.A.R. Labs Detroit (footnoted redundantly in the same panel), is getting ready for college, and must deal with the disillusionments living on one’s own inevitably bring. Pretty even trade, and I have to say that the constant barrage of hardship could have gotten tiring fairly quickly; so welcome, Stuart Moore, and stay a while.

I wasn’t going to pick up Batman Villains Secret Files & Origins 2005 (written and drawn by various folks) until I saw the vintage Clayface origin story. Written by Steve Purcell (of Sam & Max fame) and drawn by Mike Mignola and Kevin Nowlan, it was a heartfelt, hilarious look at a simpler time — when all a man needed to become a super-criminal was to find a mysterious pool of chemicals and fall into it. Purcell writes like he’s just OD’ed on Ty Templeton’s Mad-Dog miniseries, and Mignola and Nowlan really capture the right amount of deadpan humor. The obligatory Who’s Who pages and the other actual story do their best to build up both Black Mask (okay, maybe) and Hush (uh, no). By the way, that lead story (written by Bruce Jones, with art by Eddy Barrows and Jay Leisten) has one good surprise but otherwise is an exercise in exposition. Still, the Clayface bit may well be worth your $4.99.

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #2 (written by Grant Morrison, with art by Ryan Sook and Mick Gray) features a powerless Zatanna’s fight against the Shapeless One who she conjured last issue. To do so she visits one Cassandra Craft, who I feel like I should recognize but don’t quite. Anyway, Morrison works in some old-school DC references to make me feel more at home, and together with the Gilmore Girls-like vibe I get from Zatanna and her apprentice, this is a good issue. Sook and Gray’s art also stands out. Sook seems particularly to have come a long way from The Spectre or even the Arkham Asylum miniseries.

Finally, there’s Incredible Hulk #82 (written by Peter David, art by Jae Lee, colors by June Chung), appearing only one week after #81. (House of M crossovers wait for no one!) This is a decent little tale of Bruce Banner helping a “lost” love’s spirit find rest after her death, and while the twist ending isn’t unfamiliar, the actual ending is quite effective. On the cover Lee’s Hulk looks almost like Boris Karloff, but inside he’s a real side of beef, made more mysterious by fog effects and Chung’s excellent muted color palette. If I decide not to get the HofM issues, this could tide me over pretty well.

1 Comment »

  1. The Clayface story was DEFINITELY worth it.

    Comment by Scipio — June 3, 2005 @ 10:24 pm

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