More brilliance from Brian K. Vaughan. Just when I was beginning to feel that Saga was losing steam, he comes out with this gem. Being a child of theMore brilliance from Brian K. Vaughan. Just when I was beginning to feel that Saga was losing steam, he comes out with this gem. Being a child of the 80s myself, I'm a sucker for teen anything set in that era, so the setting hooked me straight away. So far this is a fun, pacy teen sci-fi adventure. A little bit Goonies, perhaps a little bit Stand by Me.
I usually avoid big glossy superhero comics but Fear Itself caught my eye at my local library because it had Matt Fraction's name on the spine. I quitI usually avoid big glossy superhero comics but Fear Itself caught my eye at my local library because it had Matt Fraction's name on the spine. I quite enjoyed his writing for Hawkeye, so I decided to give this one a shot. Boy was I disappointed.
Ed Brubaker's writing for the epilogue is awkward ("Damn them! I can give chase!") and although things pick up slightly once Fraction takes over, the dialogue and writing remains pedestrian. The book is mostly one long action sequence, full of double page spreads depicting epic battle scenes, and absurdly cliché superhero posturing. Despite the high stakes - the extinction of humanity - there is surprisingly little tension, and no real sense that the Avengers will actually be defeated. Some major characters die, but I assume they will be resurrected soon enough.
Nevertheless I can easily imagine this book being adapted for the next Avengers film. It has all the makings of a mind numbing popcorn blockbuster....more
Not sure what to think of this one. I enjoyed the gentle pace and small town setting of the first two volumes, but suddenly there are warring secret gNot sure what to think of this one. I enjoyed the gentle pace and small town setting of the first two volumes, but suddenly there are warring secret government agencies, a Russian zombie carrying a mad scientist's brain in a jar, a ghostly superhero possessing the body of a main character, side trips to Rio and a zombie apocalypse to boot. It feels like too much, too soon. Still lots of fun though....more
Roberson and Allred are having a lot of fun with iZombie. The pop culture references come thick and fast in this volume: there are panels mimicking ScRoberson and Allred are having a lot of fun with iZombie. The pop culture references come thick and fast in this volume: there are panels mimicking Scooby Doo, 50s horror comics and Casper the Friendly Ghost. I was a lukewarm about Michael and Laura Allred's art and colours in my review of iZombie #1, but they're growing on me. Gilbert Hernandez guest pencilled an issue too....more
I initially passed over iZombie when I saw it at my local library, partly because I'm suffering from zombie fatigue and partly because of the groan inI initially passed over iZombie when I saw it at my local library, partly because I'm suffering from zombie fatigue and partly because of the groan inducing name, but after reading mostly positive reviews I decided to give it a shot. I'm pleased that I did, because iZombie is a smart, fun comic.
It's really Chris Roberson's story that really makes the comic work for me. The setting he's created reminds me of True Blood - a small town that unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants is home to vampires, werewolves (a were-Terrier at any rate), ghosts, mummies and of course a zombie. Not at all the shambling zombie story I was expecting. Gwen, the titular zombie, is hip and cynical, and it's a real pleasure to hang out in her world.
Some reviewers have complained that the story moves too slowly, and if I had to wait a month between instalments I might feel the same way, but reading iZombie in a collected volume the story zips along. I actually appreciated the fact that Roberson takes some time to introduce his characters and set the scene rather than ploughing straight into the action.
Mike Allred's pencils are at times brilliant, but sometimes feel rushed. Laura Allred's colouring is solid, but nothing to rave about. Good colouring should convey the tone of a scene, in the same way color grading is used in film. JD Mettler's colors for Ex Machina are a perfect example. Allred's color treatments for iZombie don't vary much from scene to scene, so although they don't detract from the art they don't lift it to a new level either.
All in all a solid 3.5 stars, which I'm bumping up to a 4 in anticipation of the next volume.
**spoiler alert** While Batman: The Killing Joke is widely considered to be one of the greatest Batman stories, many reviewers find fault with the end**spoiler alert** While Batman: The Killing Joke is widely considered to be one of the greatest Batman stories, many reviewers find fault with the ending, where Batman and The Joker share a laugh. Tim Callahan, writing for Tor, sums up this viewpoint nicely: "The end is as phony as they come, not even in keeping with what Moore and Bolland have built."
But there is another interpretation of those final frames that is much more satisfying, and in my mind redeems Moore's story: Batman kills The Joker. Here's how Grant Morrison interprets it:
“No one gets the end, because Batman kills The Joker. That’s why it’s called The Killing Joke. The Joker tells the ‘Killing Joke’ at the end, Batman reaches out and breaks his neck, and that’s why the laughter stops and the light goes out, ’cause that was the last chance at crossing that bridge. And Alan Moore wrote the ultimate Batman/Joker story… he finished it.”
Still, The Killing Joke is not without its faults. The crippling of Batgirl by The Joker is insensitively handled, and has rightly drawn feminist criticism, and the story's parade of carnivalesque perversities may have been disruptive to the comics mainstream when the book was released, but seem adolescent today.
If you're new to Moore I wouldn't start here, and Moore himself has criticised his work on The Killing Joke, saying "I don't think it's a very good book. It's not saying anything very interesting." Nevertheless, The Killing Joke might still be considered an important, albeit flawed, masterpiece....more