Two stories featuring a character who can see through the eyes of anyone he touches, but doesn't care he could find out Batman's secret ID. A bit of STwo stories featuring a character who can see through the eyes of anyone he touches, but doesn't care he could find out Batman's secret ID. A bit of Silver Age thinking, but the tone of the stories is very much modern Batman, with child kidnappers and snuff films as the villains. It makes for a bit of a jarring read, and while enjoyable, not anything special, despite being written by the usually strong McDuffie--I'm wondering if he was handicapped editorially?
Val Semekis's pencils are amazing as always. I love his broad-shouldered Batman that looks very imposing. A few of the page breakdowns are a bit awkward, though.
Overall, an okay take on Bats, but nothing special. He's very much a Live Journalist here, though, which is...cool? Odd? Bad? You make the call. ...more
Had this one forever, dug it out for baseball season. It's very much a product of its time, with an emphasis on wins and ERA for pitchers and battingHad this one forever, dug it out for baseball season. It's very much a product of its time, with an emphasis on wins and ERA for pitchers and batting average for batters. More specifically, it's so bitter about the strike, player salaries, and the player's union, that at times the prose, generally profuse in praise, is soured to far.
Most of the book's text is just so-so, but the stories (like how a team cheated to give a player an 8 for 8 day or LL Bean--yes, THAT LL Bean--trying to create a new scoring system for baseball) and the pictures of old score cards will keep this around for now. It's worth grabbing if you can find it cheap for the baseball fan in your life. ...more
As much as I dug the first two volumes, this third one felt a bit of a letdown. It's still good, but I felt like we were getting too much explanationAs much as I dug the first two volumes, this third one felt a bit of a letdown. It's still good, but I felt like we were getting too much explanation and not enough story movement. Carey picks this time to fill us in on what's going on, and now we know why the people with powers were altered, how they're being altered, and give Leo a new foe to fight, taking him further from his starting point.
It's very well constructed, I just kinda wish it had come out a bit more gradually, I think, or with more forward progress. Despite the fight scene, it seemed to me like we were held in amber.
The other issue is that because of the amount of talking, Casagrande's art has to shoulder the full burden of the storytelling, and that's not her strength. She's best when the story moves. Stopping in place means that the reader's eye also stops in place, and notices things like characters without faces, more abstract buildings, and other small things that aren't as big of a deal when the plot moves fast.
I'm still enjoying this one, but I hope Vol 4 gets back to the stronger stuff of the first two collections....more
Things really get rolling here, as Carey starts to expand out the world and takes us on a journey to the truth of what's actually happening. The reveaThings really get rolling here, as Carey starts to expand out the world and takes us on a journey to the truth of what's actually happening. The reveal here is shocking, and shows just how good Carey is at a) surprising a reader and b) being willing to take his characters into corners that others might fear to tread. There's a lot to like here, including the introduction of a world that's so much larger conceptually than we were first led to believe in volume 1.
Casagrande's art continues to be pretty strong, though again, her style that sometimes leaves details blurred may not be to everyone's taste. Still, being asked to switch on a dime from something that's very down to earth into epic, heroic danger isn't easy, and she handles it very well.
This second volume was even better than the first. ...more
A cop gets frustrated by the damage being done by superpowered individuals, so he tries to get powers himself. It unlocks a life he never knew, sendinA cop gets frustrated by the damage being done by superpowered individuals, so he tries to get powers himself. It unlocks a life he never knew, sending him on a collision course with all he knew in this series.
Mike Carey is very good at making characters live in a world where there's a ton of grey, and that's no exception here. His main character wants to do the right thing, but it all very quickly is going to fall apart. Props for keeping so many things obscured here but still fun to read and making me want to learn more.
Elena Casagrande is the primary artist on this series, and she does a good job setting up the nature of the world and making the super-powered folks feel fresh and not just "Here's your stand-in for X" that we often see in series like this. Some of the detail work is left undone, but that's an artistic choice and not the failing of the creator.
Overall, this is a good entry (so far) in the genre of hero deconstruction, and fans of those kind of stories (or Carey) should check it out. ...more
I am so grateful to DC for putting out these collections of actually good comics. While I really can't stand the New 52 Batman, I'm still a fan of theI am so grateful to DC for putting out these collections of actually good comics. While I really can't stand the New 52 Batman, I'm still a fan of the character. And when I read stories like this collection of Peter Milligan stories, which merge Bats with a bit of horror, I'm reminded of why I used to love reading Batman books. There was a depth to the characterization and storytelling that's just lost now, possibly for good. I'm not generally one for the "old was better" but in Bat's case--it's true.
In this collection, one of my favorite stories, Dark Knight, Dark City is told, where Batman and the Riddler are pawns in a recreation of an ancient cult's attempt to summon a demon. The Riddler's demented actions are notable--because, unlike now, where murders are cheap--Eddie killing people is a red flag. (How refreshing.) In the end, there's lingering questions as to whether or not the city of Gotham forged Bruce to be the Bat, and it's a nice, lingering thought.
Also collected are a few other tales, with Batman trying to save a crook's life--only to have it be ended in Florida's electric chair, haunted grass that recreates horrific moments when "planted" in tragic spots, and a two-part story where Bats faces off with a Golem, created by a Jewish collaborator's guilt. The depth and moral questions here are a lot of fun to digest.
The artists are great, too--Kieron Dwyer's Breyfogle-like Bats works well for the cult story, Jim Aparo's Batman is so emotional and expressive, and Tom Mandrake comes in at the end for a psychological piece that questions sanity and makes his slightly whimsical linework mesh perfectly.
A great collection you should grab if you like pre-New 52 Batman. Those who enjoy the current version? Unlikely you'll dig this. Too few dead people! Too little brooding! Bruce is actually smart! ...more
The first comics of the New Doctor Who era from Doctor Who Magazine start off with what it might be like if Eckleston's Doctor had acted more like theThe first comics of the New Doctor Who era from Doctor Who Magazine start off with what it might be like if Eckleston's Doctor had acted more like the old Doctor Who instead of being more James Bond-like in his portrayal. It's a lot of fun, actually. These stories share a lot in common with 2000AD in terms of plot and pacing, most running just a bit longer than an issue of a traditional American comic book. They are far more British than the TV show, which was fascinating to me.
The plots are definitely in keeping with Who. An alien tries to prevent war by going back in time to make humanity happy, but at the cost of their free will, so the Doctor intervenes. In another, rich jerks are trying to take over Mars, and Mars doesn't take too kindly to that. That kind of stuff. The art, mostly by Mike Collins, is quite strong, with likenesses that are close, but not perfectly on model, meaning they live and breathe, rather than be stiff photo-reference.
oh and Rose is the companion, if that matters to you.
It was fun to read, a good fit for Dr. Who fans, if you can find it....more
So happy to get this in a real version, not "Chip Kidd taking credit for other artists' hard work" edition. These are stories with the Adam West BatmaSo happy to get this in a real version, not "Chip Kidd taking credit for other artists' hard work" edition. These are stories with the Adam West Batman in mind, filtered through the lens of a time period of Tezuka and company. They're sometimes a bit on the silly side, but the villains, like the death-defying Mr. Death Man and an intelligent gorilla that has nothing to do with Grodd are extremely well thought out. Kuwata doesn't quite know what to do with Robin, however. The art style reminds me strongly of Tezuka, and the pacing/plotting works very well for a superhero comic. Great fun and highly recommended....more
Since James handled the main review, I didn't give this a complete read until very recently. It's every bit as good as everyone said, and deserves allSince James handled the main review, I didn't give this a complete read until very recently. It's every bit as good as everyone said, and deserves all positive comments it's already gotten.
Box levels up here as a creator, using his geometric style to great effect, lending visual complexity to a biographical tale, and making the scale of Andre's size really show, especially in contrast to the other wrestlers. His likenesses are great, and I love that he discusses the realities of pro wrestling with its images and myths.
He also is very honest--Andre's not always shown in the best light--but doesn't condemn him for heavy drinking or having a rough side because of always being stared at, no matter where he went.
A stunning graphic biography that's a must-read for anyone who had just a bit of wrestling in their soul, or who still quotes from Princess Bride. ...more
Decided to give this a re-read and very glad I did. It holds up extremely well, reminding of that wonderful time when Vertigo had a great dark universDecided to give this a re-read and very glad I did. It holds up extremely well, reminding of that wonderful time when Vertigo had a great dark universe going before the bean counters at Warner Brothers got into the comics side and said everything had to be TV/movie ready.
This picks up where Gaiman left off, finding that the devil does not have idle hands at all. He's still got schemes up his sleeve, many of which involve showing he's not about to let that feud with heaven go to rest.
Some great script work here, if a bit narration-heavy, and some of the concepts, like a person possessed by a tarot deck, are amazing. The art is mostly realistic, which makes the demons and angels extremely creepy, and once Ryan Kelly is doing finishes, it gets even better.
Highly recommended for anyone who didn't get to this yet and is looking for good dark fantasy/horror comics. Especially if you're coming in from the Constantine Show. Wait till you read the comics that world's built on......more
Another great collection from Fantagraphics. I love that the art really shines through when portrayed in black and white, even if that's not true to tAnother great collection from Fantagraphics. I love that the art really shines through when portrayed in black and white, even if that's not true to the original floppy comics.
Joe Orlando is really underrated as an artist, I think, after reading this collection. He's positively amazing here, drawing intricate details, strongly emotional faces, and handling anything the plotters of the stories throw at him, whether it's otherworldly planets, gotcha stories, or just revenge tales with an outer space twist. Highly recommended, and make sure you worry less about the words and concentrate on the art. It stands alone!...more