Okay, my OTHER favorite type of superhero comic came out this week.

July 9, 2009 at 3:19 am (1)

I have definitely been getting back into comics lately these days, but mostly it has been like me finding a good price of those spiderman/Carnage/Silver Surfer issues on ebay instead of ones that are interesting to blog about. An exciting situation carries an artist well versed in costume designs but little else, my review would glumly say before scans and scans of pure, Cosmic Carnage, and any detached, critical thought evaporates from my gleeful eyes.

This trend, however, changes with this week’s comics in a big way. May I introduce the best idea for a 12 issue comic event since Solo or maybe even Big Numbers:

Wednesday Comics #1

And pretty much everything about this comic is beautiful. Imagine the bat signal as the beauty signal, and Risso did a self portrait of me:

Bats Wed Comics 1especially the wrinkle lines, of course.

The best strip, to my eyes, is between the Flash, Metal Men, and Paul Popes’ which has a muted candy color color scheme, Paul Pope’s grimy inkwork, as well as a bottom middle panel that just grabs the eye inward and won’t let go:

Adam Strange wed 1

I mean, look at that panel, centered between two symmetrical long vertical panels, the baboons motioning towards and framing the centralized damsel in distress, Adam Strange even looking up at it. It’s enough to make a man believe.

Metal Men has Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez bringing a Bronze Age class to the comic aided by Nowlan’s rubbery, expressive faces (he did more than inking it, I’m guessing?). Add to that its clever use of negative space and a cliffhanger that is, effectively, the hero saving the day,

Image1

The Flash probably takes the cake for cleverest of them all, however, splitting its page into two characters’ stories, telling a tragic romance from both perspectives (can you imagine how rude Iris’ letter would seem without her narration at the start of her story?). Brandon Fletcher has a bright and poppy Flash on top of a shadow filled romance comic, with four color stipples in both.

Other strips bursting with potential less realized on the first go around include: Deadman, with its Darwyn Cooke feel aided by striking page composition. The only knock against it is the strip spent too much time setting up and rehashing its character’s identity for a potentially new audience, which may not be a bad idea for a mid 70’s Neal Adams cult favorite.

Deadman Wed Comics 1Second up, we have Kamandi, which handles a post apocalyptian scenery with elegance and absence instead of Kirbeyan energy and desperation despite having boring, boring texts and too little action until the last panel. Azarrelo and Risso’s Batman, much like their prior collaboration on the character, does nothing wrong, which will hopefully not continue to be the case. Kyle Baker’s Hawkman (as well as the Kuberts’ Sgt. Rock), on the other hand, suffers the opposite problem of doing too much right, but has no reason being a large blown-up page instead of a standard comic size. Of the two, Hawkman is assuredly better with the quirky narrator of a hawk in the hero’s legion, and it has me asking who’s the terrorist, Hawkman rushing up to an airplane with a legion of birds, or a couple misguided Arabs trying to hijack a plane? Which is a pretty astounding question to ask after 5 panels.

Wonder Woman suffers the opposite, with too much going on in its page, feeling cramped and claustrophobic one or two times more than comfortable (but using small panels very effectively in rhythm with larger panels to convey liberation). Either way, someone had to revere Little Nemo, and its elemental helpers along with a plucky young heroine makes it feel like it’ll be a great dreamytime adventure.

Supergirl, Metamorpho, Superman, and Catwoman & The Demon are all capable starts to what stories with promise, making the only clinker of the bunch The Teen Titans, which establishes the main villain as a thoroughly unlikable character not for his unjustified hatred of the Teen Titans, but for his terrible tedium expositing on such.

And today, unlike other days, I have actually objective means of determining whether or not the comic was a success, as well! Of the three comic shops I visited today (long story involving The Death of Superboy, but rest assured longboxes were wracked and the glory of a rare find at cover price was had!), the first had a couple on thr shelves before I plucked my copy, the second was completely sold out, and the third had over-ordered it by fifteen or twenty copies, so it is at least a small local success (I live on Saturn, with the rings as my highways).

Regardless if it’s a commercial success and will be done every year until fans stamp their foot down and decide they may not want the exact same thing over and over over or not (get J.H. Williams III the next time! He’d be worth buying a page from for $4 alone!), it is a successful experience. The comic just bursts with astounding art and poppy colors, all of which can be laid out in front of you to peer over, instead of smugly hold in your hands like a perfect bound book whose spine just whines every second you have to hold it open, begging to be closed and safely on your shelf! Lay down on the floor and spread the paper around, I say. Better to feel the adventure, that way.

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