Some Recent Vertigo Comics

June 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm (Comic Books)

Vertigo’s getting pretty interesting these days, too. I, Zombie has some good Allred art (looking like he used a brush and ink for a lot of its blacks, as well as sporting a much heavier usage of shadows and dynamic lighting to make the comic pop even more, although I maybe should be praising Laura here. On that note, the blurriness of her colors from X-Statix Presents Dead Girl and some of the Madman comics is thankfully gone here, too). The plot is even great, tying together lots of folktales but not being as self consciously clever as Fables, and has already set up a love triangle between a zombie, ghost, and werewolf without making it seem forced.

There’s even open talk of the gay subtext inherent in lots of werewolf comics, with the werewolf chided for his monthly “secret plans” as being an actual gay lover. He, of course, remarks that he wishes that were the case, and that little line quickly casts the entirety of the reading of homoeroticism into werewolf stories as wish fulfillment, a scathing, but intriguing, critique.

And The Unknown Soldier is pretty hot, too. Dealing pretty much exclusively with the theme of the stresses of performance on identity as Morrison’s Batman hints at, it gives a lot more credit to the stress. It’s almost always a communal tragedy that impels the split personality of the unknown soldier to become the mass murderer he can, making the identity switch much more urgent than the carefully studied but distant Morrison Batman comics (big post about Batman 700 up tomorrow when I can get to a scanner, by the way note: actually expect it monday morning because the library isn’t open on Sundays) studying more the consequences instead of the causes of the inevitable superhero duality, basically. I’ve only read the last two issues, so I don’t know if they all take place in African savannahs. Its minor fault is having the two issues feel a little repetitive in function and setting when it lacks a developing instead of repeating overarching plot, but hey, that’s me going by two issues.

Interestingly, the issues almost feel like M.I.A.’s writing this comic (“I don’t participate in terrorism, I fight people who fight me”, the chanteuse has said), with its incredibly sensitive portrayal of two warring communities in Africa (so, in consideration of its sensitive contexts, it just be that M.I.A. would shake her head enthusiastically while reading this comic instead of actually write it, but let’s not turn this into a hater rag of an artist I actually like).

And we’re back to Vertigo being awesome: Hellblazer has Milligan writing a Shade and Hellblazzer crossover right now, which is absolutely exciting, although not too much has happened after the first issue, so I really can’t comment on where it’s going. It’s a surprisingly good time to be a DC fan. And this all happened after an earlier two part that portrayed Sid Vicious acolytes of blind devotion, the very insult they levy against their enemies. Conspiratorial ghosts even possess his ghost to dupe “punks” into working for the man by simply letting them fulfill their violent tendencies. Punk as the expenditure of teenage energy instead of social change.

This comic sounds like it was written by Against Me, especially their latest album’s song “I was a Teenage Anarchist”, whose second line is “but the politics were too convenient” (An otherwise boring stadium rock album, in case you’re wondering). And Simon Bisley painted that comic, too, a rare appearance from that artist.

Lots of good stuff. Daytripper’s still bombass, too, in case you’re wondering.


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