Crimespree on Comics: Comic Round up Part 1

Over the next two days, I will sound off on some of the comics I’ve read recently. There were some others but these are the ones that made me want speak up. I’ll be doing a roundup of trades soon.

Four issues in and I’m enjoying this. I like the way Wolverine is torn and ends up siding with the Avengers, I think Cyclops is acting like a delusional ass and I really am about ready for him to go away for a while. The thrust of this cross over event is of course The Phoenix power coming back and targeting Hope. She’s being written wonderfully and I felt that a real teenager in her position would act much the same. John Romita Jr is kicking some serious ass on the artwork. He and Hickman are a great team.

Not sure why we have an alternate Earth tale here, but who cares, it’s done great. Superman of Earth 23 has our hero as a black president of an Earth in trouble. Grant Morrison has obvious love for DC Comics, especially the 70s and that the fun vibe I get from this. I enjoyed every word and every panel he and Gene Ha did for this.

A lot of discussion of this book is about the way it has the feel of horror and almost surrealism of the Morrison run back in the day, well in this issue Buddy Baker actually talks about that time in reference to a dream. Very nice for people who have read all of Animal Man over the years. This isn’t really a book you can just pick up an issue and go with, you need to keep up. But that’s fine because the long game here is working well. And just to keep us on our toes, the last page has…John Constantine!

The A vs X has the Avengers book running a mission in space to stop
Phoenix. It’s a fun mix of characters and the interactions have been
fun. Bendis is doing a nice job with the cosmic story. I am really
enjoying seeing Walter Simonson on the art.

Anyone who doesn’t think this is a book to bring in extra cash from the movie hype is nuts, especially with the line up being identical. However it’s a fun story, and it has the old school feel of the stories from the 70s that I loved, especially fighting Zodiac. Mark Bagley is, as always great on the art.

If you haven’t been reading this book and if Gail Simone writing it
isn’t enough for you to pick it up, you just don’t really like superhero comics. Issue 9 of all the Bat books has the whole Bat family falling into the fight with the Court of Owls. Short summary, they are a secret group who have been trying to control Gotham for generations and use assassin to get what they want. Gail Simone does a great job of tying into this crossover event and yet keeping this a book that stands on it’s own. Her treatment of Batgirl/Barbara has been wonderful and insightful. This is a character you want to root for, she’s a hero, but also a human with real problems. AWESOME. Ardian Syaf is great on the art and was born to draw Batgirl, great action scenes, wonderful cityscapes and all without over doing cheesecake.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are really making Batman a book not to be missed. In this latest issue the war with the Court of Owls is A GO and they are in the cave. Alfred is in a safe room while Bats tries to keep them at bay long enough to activate a plan to lock them down. Also some really great flashback stuff with Alfred’s Dad and his exposure to the Owls back when Bruce was a kid.

I love this title and it’s a great way of being able to showcase our new psychotic Robin in a setting that shows off his relationship with dad. Tomasi is really nailing it writing about a kid who in almost always has never been a kid. In this issue Robin is trying to save Batwoman’s dad from the Court of Owls. Lots of action and Robin showing his skills at knowing how to lead a fight.

I’m not enjoying this title as much as I did when Greg Rucka was writing it. JH Williams is a great artist, but an on again off again writer. This whole story arc just feels really long to me. There is a bit too much relationship stuff and a bit too much of the story seems to be driven by the fact that our heroine is a lesbian. It should be part of the story, but not driving it. I’m still not sure what I think of the art by Trevor McCarthy, some panels are awesome, but others feel like bad stained glass. Also it is sometimes a little to stylized for my taste. I’ll keep reading for now, but this may not be on my pull list for long if things don’t pick up a bit.

Swierczynski has really been running with this title. I loved every
issue Gail Simone wrote, and while I am a huge fan of Duane I was a little concerned about a Birds book without Gail. And of course Duane is nailing it. I love the teamwork and the way the characters interact with each other. In this Court of Owls tale they really work together to take out an impossible to beat foe and it just pulses from the action. Great stuff.

Wow. I have no idea how this is all going to end but it is going to be messy! I will be sad when this series is over but I have to say this final story arc is really amping it up to 11.

Maek Waid is making me feel the buzz I got reading Daredevil in the
Frank Miller days. He’s writing the character in a way I have missed,
matt Murdock actually having some fun, the fights are great and I love the background on why he’s friends with Foggy, who so often seems like just a way to get a story arc started. Chris Samnee on art is perfect and he is on top of his game here.

Matt Fraction, I just love the way this guy’s mind works. He tells such great sweeping stories and yet they feel very contained. This latest issue has flashbacks and more on the Iron Fist’s legacy. This has always been a title that is a strange grouping of characters, but when written right it works great, and Fraction is writing it more than right. The victor Ibanez art is working for me and fits the mood of the story. I also love the Terry Dodson covers.

When I heard they were bringing this back I actually laughed out loud. I remember the original run and the subsequent appearances of this concept and for me it has never really worked. It was a fun little toss away idea from the 60’s that just really never seemed to work after that first run. This makes the fact the new book is awesome so much better for me. It’s a dark supernatural tale and it looks like this will be on my pull list. A tubby slacker who is really the furthest thing from ambitious gets the call, or rather makes the call and gets the powers when his buddy is in trouble with some bad dudes. Nelse has just gotten back from the hospital after suffering a heart attack and al he wants to do is light up a smoke and keep doing what he does, which seems to be a lot of nothing. His better nature making him go off in search of his friend is encouraging as it means he’s not completely a slacker. The person he becomes when dialing is inspired, Boy Chimney is a freaky looking spook in a top hat with smoke spewing out of it. This looks like it will be a lot of fun to read and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

EARTH 2 #1
I was excited when I saw the James Robinson would be working on this and wow did he rock issue one. The big three loose the battle for Earth2 and leave it without a Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman. Power Girl and Huntress escape through a portal and end up on Earth 1 where we normally read our hero’s exploits. We see a peak at what is to come as Mercury (the greek God) gives power to a human, Alan Scott is going to be a player and this is just getting started. I’m all in.