This Week's Read Pile, or: Jay Faerber Must Be Stopped

I was partially underwhelmed, irritated and completely satisfied this week--it feels like every week for the past month has been a big week and this one . . . pretty much wasn't. As ever, there's probably spoilers about.

Birds of Prey #119, with Tony Bedard writing and Nicola Scott on pencils was a good, solid issue. Stuff actually happened while a bigger storyline got set up. Go figure. 119 opened with Huntress helping out the citizens as ever, only to find that she's as appreciated by the public and police as her ridiculous bad guy, Carface. Which is actually really cool to see--it's so usual now to have the public immediately accepting, it's kind of nice to see some vigilantes get a little shit. Even if it looks like it's a big plot--speaking of which, Chaudry is a doomed, doomed chump.

There was a page in this where Helena and Zinda are talking about what happened with Killer Shark and Helena's wondering why Zinda isn't more fuckered up about it. Zinda replies, "Killer Shark slipped me a mickey. I broke his face. That's all the "therapy" I need."

And I kinda love that. Probably a lot, because I can identify with that sort of attitude to screwed up things--maybe it's 'deal or not deal, there is no therapy'. (This isn't to say, of course, that therapy can't be perfectly suitable for you. Consult your doctor before divulging secrets.) It's nice, though, to see that issue get addressed and explained. Too often we're left never having the character say anything about a recent event. Charlie got to discuss the Black Alice revelation a little bit with Babs as well--she's wavering on where to go with it and I'm just missing Black Alice. Dammit.

I'm interested in seein
g how the Calculator situation is going to play out with Babs and reserving some judgement until we get a little further down--maybe next issue I'll have a solid feel on it.

Tony Bedard and Nicola Scott should get the Green Arrow/Black Canary book. In just one page with Mia and Ollie, they prove they've got those two down better than the current disaster writing it. And Black Canary is, as ever, awesome (I heard
a rumor that she's a leader of some big team, you know, not that we've seen that much evidence on it, but more on that later) and pissed off and her and Manhunter square off and size each other up in a way that might have annoyed me if Nicola Scott hadn't been doing the pencilling.

Seriously, can every other artist out there please stop drawing Canary in an almost-thong? I'm sorry to ruin the fantasy here guys, but high-kicks in an almost-thong are immensely uncomfortable. Trust me, there's twisting and bunching up in areas that don't need to be bunched. And gluing u
nderwear to your ass is never as glamorous as it sounds. Get a clue.

Recommendation: This might be a decent jumping on point if you're not already enjoying this series. Come on, a female ass-kicking team? Super-duper.

The Flash #241. Tom Peyer doing the writing and Freddie E. Williams on art and this book . . . okay, well, I guess there's some people out there not enjoying the Flash. Those people, clearly, have no taste. Eat it.

I, for one, am enjoying this book immensely. Beyond immensely, actually, and perhaps it's because I'm a parent and this current arc is something that I can easily identify with and don't have to do any real mental stretches to get there. Not that my kids are growing up at lightning speed (well, metaphorically they are, but literally . . . thank gods not so much), but what Wally's facing is somehting that I'm so right there with.

I think his kids are awesome--between Jai and his fears of scaring his sister and letting his dad down and Iris, who is so damned clever and already on the issue of why growing up too fast could be deadly in their cases . . .

Agh. I really love the scene where Wally is dealing with Iris' newest age jump, his thoughts and his fears and how he tables it all, like every parent has to, to give her the recognition and pleasure of it. I flailed, actually, and almost hugged the book.

That's not weird, right?

But this issue really peaked with Wally standing next to Inertia. His fury and God, where he's just debating letting Inertia burn for it and the lines, "The feeling that parenthood itself is some kind of "I don't know what to emergency" and "I don't know what to do with you, you little piece of trash" are just epic and perfect. And he doesn't let him burn, but not out of a sense of higher justice, just because he knows it isn't the retribution he wants.

Letting Inertia suf
fer is just . . . delicious. Wally's intense fury here is so completely edible.

Recommendation: Peyer is knocking it out of the park here for me and this book remains easily on my top faves for the year so far. Find the beginning of this storyline and check it out if you're not already in it.

Teen Titans: Year One, with Amy Wolfram writing and Karl Kerschl on pencils has been such a guilty-secret series for me. I'm probably enjoying it far, far too much for my own good and should attribute it to my inner thirteen year-old, but it's so not. This series is just adorable adorableness and I want to squish every one of them and have this be an ongoing.

Couldn't that be justified?

Really, this has just been a sweet run picking this up at any issue number isn't a loss.

Favorite scene? Batman visiting their HQ, Aqualad calling him Mr. Batman and then Batman telling them to clean the place up. Super-love.

Recommendation: If you like silly adorableness, this is a good pair with Tiny Titans.

Trinity #3. Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley handle the main story and . . . god DAMMIT. Can they please be consistent? Kurt, stop WOOING me with lines like, "Ahh, Enigma, you are swift to protest when your beloved Batman is slighted" so I'll ignore the inconsistent moods/tempo of the series thus far! I'm easily defeated by a man-crush, dammit.

This one isn't te
rrible, but it didn't live up to last week's issue. I'm not sure how I feel about it and the second story completely lost my interest.

Actually, I'm getting kind of sick of the second story--this is a series that maybe needs to be every other week so we can get 22 pages. The whole project is super-ambitious as it is and at this point, scaling it back to give Busiek and Bagley a chance to deliver on the awesomeness I know is lurking here wouldn't be a terrible thing. In fact, it'd probably be the best thing someone could do for this book.

Anyone at DC paying attention here?

Recommendation: I AM SO CONFLICTED.

JLA #22. Mm. I'm getting really, really fed up with Black Canary being pseudo-JLA leader. I completely understand that The Big Three will always over-shadow anyone leading the JLA. That's natural, they're them. What I'm consistently not okay with is Black Canary not getting written where they're not interfering. Even if she shuts them all down this issue in regards to what's going on with Vixen. Which I feel she handled really, really well. On a boss level, she did what needed to be done with a situation that volatile and unknown and dangerous and then on a personal level, she opened the door to her friend and said, "Jerk, you should've known better. Let's figure this out."

But as for the rest . . . meh. I don't know, I'm terribly lost as far as JLA is concerned right now and unsure if this is my terrible reading skills, too many books I'm reading or what. But for the whole, this book just hasn't
grabbed my attention or focus.

Recommendation: Conflicted again. I know there's people who're enjoying this, so if you could drop a comment and let me know why, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I'm living in lost-ville.

I'm finishing off the week with my absolute favorite title. I picked up other books, but none of them . . . well. I just didn't like most of the books this week. Including Batman and The Outsiders. Not even Batgirl could save the book for me.

Gemini #2. Goddamn Jay Faerber and Jon Sommariva. Didn't Faerber just suck me into Dynamo Five (Volume Two of the trade is out, by the way, and I'd recommend you pick it up, but Faerber might destroy you too)? Hasn't he taken enough from me between that and Noble Causes? And what's this damned Urban Myths business I'm hearing about? I'm not sure if I'm glad Gemini is only five issues or if I'm going to be heart-broken that this is only five issues. I'm not sure if I'm happy for Jay Faerber, or plotting to steal his talent via a brain-sucker-gun. (Anyone have one of those I can borrow?)

The art here is awesome. This is one of my favorite styles of all time, it's so dynamic and engaging on the pages and the colors (FCO Plascencia) are beautiful and it's really just . . . it's really just too awesome. Astonishingly so.

And goddamn them all. This story is great. The pacing is so on and they utilize their twenty-two pages really well. A lot happens and story is actually told and are other certain writers paying attention here? The story is actually told. Go figure. Maybe more books need to be chopped down to a mini so they're good, because I feel like when a number limit is given, the writer uses the pages so much better.

So, the story. There's this guy, Average Joe Dan Johnson who has absolutely no clue that he's a superhero, Gemini. And Gemini, in turn, has no idea he's Dan Johnson. An agency uses triggers to activate and control them and . . . and that's totally all I'm saying, actually, because you should pick this one and #1 up from The Stop or your local store. Assuredly. Really, I mean it. Now.

Go on, I'll still be here when you get back.

. . .

Isn't the fight between Gemini, Luna and Lynx delicious? Could anyone make me a Lynx plush? Isn't the dialogue funny and great and annoyingly Just. Right? Isn't the art excellent?

Seriously, where's that brain gun? Faerber must be stopped.

1 comment:

themaimedman said...

Im gonna go in tomorrow and pick up, BoP and Gemini tomorrow.

I remember Nicola Scott from a Wizard article a few years ago (the random things I remember) so I'll give it a shot. Also Jay should be stopped, but he can't stop, he won't stop, he doesn't even know how to stop... like a cockroach.

Also Wednesday will be really exciting, I got my ecostim money so you can take a large portion of it away from me. hooray!

P.S. We were talking about how you should read Nextwave, we'll I've loaned my trades out to just about everyone I know, so if you would like to borrow them just let me know before Wed. peace out.