This was a light week this week as I only picked up four comics. In the weeks to come I will be picking up some books I normally don’t, just to try out some new things. There are some great books scheduled for 2008 and I’m looking forward to them. For now, here’s what I bought this week:
Justice League of America #18
This is probably the biggest disappointment for me this week and I’ve been liking this title less and less. Once again the issue is broken up into a fifteen page main story and a seven page backup spotlighting one of the members of the League. However, I read a JLA book to see the full roster as a whole in adventures against overwhelming foes that require them all to act together to succeed. The main story does that as the team faces up to a group of villains that…has surrendered to them. Then they face another group of villains, the Suicide Squad, who work for the government. Not a very exciting story by Alan Burnett, especially since this story has been dragging on for, what, two or three issues? I feel like if he’d had the whole twenty-two pages this would have done in one.
The back-up focuses on the Red Tornado and is an enjoyable enough story by Dwayne McDuffie, but seems to retread old ground, namely torturing poor Reddy. Brad Metzler did this in a more interesting way during the first year of this tittle and at this point it just seems to be cruel and unusual punishment.
The art by Ed Benes and Jon Boy Meyers is pretty good, so no real complaints there. I think the previous JLA series, particularly the stories by Grant Morrison have raised the bar as to what JLA stories could be and maybe I’m just being too harsh here. Give me high-concept cosmic stories with the group all together and leave the spotlights to solo series and mini-series. I’m willing to see out this storyline, but may be dropping this book soon.
The Brave and the Bold #10
It doesn’t get much better than a book by Mark Waid and George Perez. This issue continues the Book of Destiny/Megistus thread that has slowly been percolating since the first issue. Waid has given us some great team-ups since this book began and having a loosely unifying mystery running in the background has only added a wonderful flourish each issue. This is issue we get more of an idea of how much of history has been invaded by Megistus, from the present day with the Challengers of the Unknown, to the medieval England of the Silent Knight, who here teams up with a Superman on a mission from Merlin. We also get a glimpse of the formation of the Teen Titans during the preparations for the wedding of Aquaman and Mera after dealing with a threat from the aforementioned Megistus. Sound crazy? You bet, and that’s a good thing.
The story by Waid is entertaining and the characterizations are dead-on and keeps this book one of the most consistently enjoyable reads each month. Perez’s art is amazingly sharp and detailed and proves he is a master storyteller. This being Geroge’s last issue of this tittle makes reading it just a little bittersweet, but his successor next issue couldn’t be more perfect. All in all, this is a great book that should be on everyone’s list.
Countdown to Final Crisis #10
Admittedly, this tittle hasn’t been the most consistent week in and week out, but all is forgiven not that it has kicked into overdrive. All the stories that have been running for the last forty-some weeks are now all colliding into one another as the race is on to the final issue and the next great crisis. I’m going to do one big review of the series once it’s complete and I read it again as a whole. That made 52 much more enjoyable and I suspect that to be the case here as well. Check back at the end of April for a discussion of this series.
Angel: After the Fall
Now we come to my favorite book of the week, what we Whedonites like to call the sixth season of Angel. I can’t say enough good things about this book as it really does feel like a continuation of the series. Although overseen by Joss Whedon, Bryan Lynch does a stellar job of telling this story with a mixture of his own voice, the flavor of the television series and dead-on characterizations. The radical changes for each of our beloved characters makes me mourn the loss of the TV series even more, but I’m very glad we get to see the further evolution of Angel’s world. I admit I was initially disapointed to hear that Joss wouldn’t be doing any scripts for this series, but Brian Lynch has dispelled that. Add Franco Urru’s outstanding art and the only way this could be improved upon would be to actually film it. If you haven’t already, buy and read this book and the previous three issues. Now!
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