The Read Pile, or: So. Much. GRANT.

Hey, can there be three Grant Morrison books out every week? That'd be awesome, thanks.

Anyway, onto it! Also, there's spoilers, of course.

Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1: Steve Niles and Kelley Jones are on this one and it was one of those titles I was very much looking forward to. And hey, I totally wasn't disappointed (See: Titans). The art is great--I love this version of Batman with the big ears and super-dramatic cape. Actually, ten extra credit points for the dramatic cape that is all over the place. I love it.

Niles' writing is so sly, so very tongue in cheek and had me snickering to myself several times throughout. He writes Batman with such an affection. Niles brings the camp that is so very planted into Batman ("I'm Batman. I'm Batman. I've been poisoning myself for years, Scarecrow, and am immune to your fear gas--why yes, that is what I do on Friday nights. Why?") without making it campy at all. The story was a fun read, interesting and simplistic without being overly so. The big gems are in Batman's thoughts and his banter with Scarecrow.

I recommend a definite pick-up for Steve Niles and Batman fans.

All-Star Superman #11: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. I'm not certain how Morrison can have such well-defined Batman and Superman without his headspace sniping each other to death, but he does. Perhaps it is just sniping itself to death and he just works very well like that. One of the things I've been enjoying are the stark differences between Clark Kent and Superman. Morrison definitely loves playing in the dual personalities contained in one body and I would read entire arcs just exploring this. Gladly.

This series continues to be solidly great and I'm not sure how he can fit so much in twenty-two pages, but he does. One of my new personal favorite characters is Nasthalthia. I want to shrink her down and slip her into my pocket and listen to her plot all. Day. Long. Morrison's Luthor is as fun and well-defined as his Joker and definitely knows how to bring a party over. Well, less a party and more a world domination scheme, but in some circles that's the same thing.

Anyhow, Luthor's got the party in his temporarily super-pants and everyone's invited to subjugate themselves at his super-feet. There's a great fight scene involving the adorable sun-eater, of which I'd like one, and the ending is one where I definitely hate having to wait for the next issue. Superman's concept of mercy is fascinating, as is self-reflection.

Luthor's still my fave. Of course.

Supernatural: Rising Son #2: I have an extreme affection for this television series--especially Dean--and this book is actually a lot better than I'd been expecting it to be. Especially Dean and his unending strife. I love it. I would wish that the show could retcon Sam and have the scary demon lady run away with him forever, but I like watching Dean act off the Doom Of Sam too much.

Anyhow, seeing Dad Winchester is excellent and good times, I really like seeing into his brain and watching him deal with carting the boys(deeeean) around and oh, yes, his inner strife is delicious. Top off the interesting brainbits with some good story telling and good art and we have an Extra Delicious Winchester Sunday. YumDean.

My recommendation is that if you like the show, you should be snagging this (go Dean).

Batman R.I.P. #677: Grant again, with Tony Daniel making me extremely pleased about the art situation (aside from how Jets girls looked like they were about to completely spill out of that shirt and aside from how knotted shirts are so not couture, but whatever, right?).

In this issue, we get to see Bruce going even more nut bar delicious as he keeps unravelling at this thread that is taking him nowhere. Or, more correctly, taking him somewhere much too slowly. There's a really interesting conversation between Gordon and . . . uh, some guy? I've always secretly wanted the Wayne's to have this sort of scandal tied to their name and am now pleased that, if only on an Untrue Propoganda kind of way, Morrison's slipping it in. They'll never let him show Daddy Wayne in heels (especially since they nixed the Joker in a dress and heels here), but I kinda wish they would. Le Sigh.

My only complaint on this is that Jet is just so, so super convenient. She doesn't ring completely solid and has the whiff of Not The Best Idea Ever behind her. I know part of it is that the device of a girlfriend is not only something I find sharply annoying, but it's too easy. Besides, we all know Batman's too psychotic for a nice girl anyway. And then we also know he's a terrible judge of character for women, since all he wants is a Mommy anyway and--

And so on!

The scenes with Jet are great, the things she points out are so, so true, but I'm just not content in buying it.

This may be the most important thing: Stephanie's costume was in a memorial. Me? Super pleased. Morrison? Super awesome. This makes me very, very happy. Almost happy enough to ignore how irritated I am over her undeath. Good job, Morrison/Daniel.

And finally: OH NO ALFRED. NOT MY PSEUDO-FICTION-DADDY. (Once I had this dream where Alfred was my father, I was eight and he made me tea after I skinned my knees. Ever since, the Alfred in my imagination has been serving me tea on bad days. True story of my crazy, #3245).

My recommendation: Pick this up, because Batman is a twisted rock star.

Firebreather #1: See, a while ago, there was this really great mini. And then it ended. But lo, it is back. And it is still great. Here's all you need to know: Duncan Rosenblatt's parents are divorced. Mom is super-normal, pretty spectacular and wants him to do well in school and keep her insurance deductibles down. Duncan's dad, though, is a 300 ft monster who wants him to follow in his footsteps and be king.


This story has some kick-ass characterization, fun art and enough sharp, clever bits to feed you until next month.

I highly recommend you taste this series. Actually, I recommend you buy the first volume too, but if money is tight, it isn't necessary to jump in and enjoy.

Teen Titans #59: God, McKeever. Really? This whole issue, just like the past few issues, was full of bleh. Bleh. Bleh. Bleh. If there isn't inappropriate rape (see Wendy a few issues back), there's unnecessary scenes of girls being called 'whore' and I'm beyond fed up with the ass-shots, cleavage-thrusts and nonsense. This is shoddily written. The villain isn't threatening and is undermined by a wall of useless text, bad execution and a lack of ability to create tension. The conversations the Teen Titans have are redundant and uninspired. Robin looks like a jackass, because even though he can figure out the Secret Of The Clock, he can't think five seconds ahead of the game.

Oh, wait, I'm sorry--McKeever and I forgot he's a Batboy! No worries, folks, I'm sure by next month McKeever will remember the utter psycho that is Tim's adopted Daddy-O and will have some clever little Robinesque snappy line about that as The Day Is Saved. Something like: "If you think I can't think more than four seconds ahead, Mr. Clockwork Whatever, you've never met Batman!" Or maybe, "Holy Bad Plotting, Batman!"

Basically, this reads like it was plotted by a thirteen year-old, which I'm beginning to think is true, thanks to the displayed maturity level of McKeever's writing. I had to Google him to figure out what the hell else he'd written aside from Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and Birds Of Prey and wow, am I not surprised he's a Marvel guy. Psst, McKeever, go back to Marvel. You can hang out with Bendis and Ellis and discuss whores all day long.


My recommendation is to stop caring about this book until a new writer hits it. Then, maybe it'll get good again. Super-bleh, because I love teen teams.

Green Lantern #31: Good! It's solid. A lot of this is information a lot of people already know, but if you either a)don't mind the reread accompanied with great art or b)aren't all that familiar with Hal Jordan (and for the upcoming storylines you are going to need to be), you should pick this up. It's a great read, especially since I don't mind rereading and remembering things that have been laying dormant in the back of my head for a while. But yeah, totally fun and the cover has Green Lantern Crotch, so hey!

My recommendation is pick it up if a or b applies, but if it doesn't, then you're not going to miss out on anything you can't read about on message boards.

Huntress #2: I should probably just repeat Green Lantern #31 gig here. Huntress rocks and has an excellently fucked up backstory. We loves it, precious.

Recommendation: Second verse, same as the first.

1985 #1: I read it. It was good. It didn't particularly inspire me or thrill me to bits, but I can see how it could. And there is my most concise review ever, beyond:

Don't Read Titans. It is craptastic.

Final Crisis #1: So, okay. Clearly the art is solid. As is the writing. A lot of people have been a little "wtf my cheese?" in regards to what's going on and the lack of super-action and hey, I get that. Personally, I really enjoyed it. Also, I am biased as all hell. At any rate, I found Final Crisis #1 to be a solid opening to the hopefully-last Crisis DC will ever see. If it lost you, though, or if Grant's writing is something that tends to make you lose focus, here's my recommendation: Wait nine months, read them all at once together. It'll make more sense that way and you won't be frustrated. Or, reread them all together.

Other Recommendation: Pick it up, stupid.

I reorganized my bookshelf this weekend and realized I need another one. Problem: I can't find any more of the bookshelves I bought last time. So now I'll have two matching and one not matching and be slowly driven mad by the inconsistency of it all. To top it all off, I bought more books and now have three stacks of them on top of my comic book boxes towering a wee bit too high.


Vellum and Inked, by Hal Duncan: If you think Grant Morrison is obscure, confusing and overly-cerebral, you won't like these. But if you do like Grant, you'll love Hal--note: I'm beginning to think it's something Scotland is putting in their fucking water, because Hal Duncan hails from Glasgow. This series is a beautifully crafted mindfuck. Hal Duncan has taken Gods, angels, demons and humans and weaved them together mighty craftily while twisting time and history about like it was always his puppet. This is well-researched, astonishingly intricate and woven together gracefully.

Synpopsis from Publisher: It's 2017 and angels and demons walk the earth. Once they were human; now they are unkin, transformed by the ancient machine-code language of reality itself. They seek The Book of All Hours, the mythical tome within which the blueprint for all reality is transcribed, which has been lost somewhere in the Vellum — the vast realm of eternity upon which our world is a mere scratch.

The Vellum, where the unkin are gathering for war.

The Vellum, where a fallen angel and a renegade devil are about to settle an age-old feud.

The Vellum, where the past, present, and future will collide with ancient worlds and myths.

If you like a fascinating read, pick this up.

And . . . that might be it. I can't believe it took me half a week to get around to finishing this up and posting it.

Also: milkshakes and lollipops.

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