Clever Titles are for Better Writers Comic Round-Up 01/16/13

This is a short week, ’cause I try to only review books I buy, ’cause hell, that’s fair, isn’t it? I paid my 4 bucks, so I can say when someone shit the bed on something. Anyway, I didn’t buy much. What’s up with the Joker? He still has his face cut off? Comics are weird, you guys.

Captain America #3 written by Rick Remender, penciled by John Romita Jr., inked by Klaus Janson, colored by Dean White and Lee Loughridge, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna:

“All the strength I have – – It did nothing.”

Gosh, this comic is a tough one. On one hand, it’s got Rick Remender doing “Weird Kirby” style Cap stories as drawn by John Romita Jr., which is great. On the other hand, it is relentlessly depressing. Remender’s arc of Cap flashing back to his childhood in the Depression is just… over the top. Steve Rogers’ early life is so completely dreadful that it actually breaks the suspension of disbelief. Instead of marveling at the change that Cap has made, how he’s risen out of squalor to become a man of purpose and resolve, we’re overcome by his misery. The scenes in the present only compound that feeling; rather than showing any sort of contrast between the past and the present, Cap’s depression makes him seem stunted and unable to change as a person. Maybe that’s what Remender is going for, but it’s not fun to read. And while I love Romita with a kind of nostalgically unreasonable reverence, child faces have never been his strong suit, which Remender hasn’t quite caught onto yet. The alien-things do look great, though.

SPACE JAM OF THE WEEK

Daredevil #22 written by Mark Waid, drawn by Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez, lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna:

“Thank God for Stilt-Man.”

It’s far from a divisive statement  to call Mark Waid a great writer, but damn, he really gets it, doesn’t he? He’s got a love for the characters, and the skill to weave his knowledge and nostalgia into something great that works within the bounds of a shared universe. Here, Doc Ock’s possession of Spider-Man makes for a great twist on a classic Spidey and DD team-up. Waid takes an idea that, well… let’s just say it’s “controversial” and leave it at that, and makes it work brilliantly. Samnee takes a fight scene that would be messy in the hands of just about any artist, and makes it a thing of beauty. I’d happily read a series about Doc Ock learning to be a hero if Waid and Samnee were making it. And you guys. Stilt-Man. Stilt-Man is the best. He’s just one of those great one-issue villains that exist as a joke that everyone’s in on, and that’s fantastic. I love Stilt-Man so much.

Indestructible Hulk #3 written by Mark Waid, penciled by Lenil Yu, inked by Gerry Alanguilan, colored by Sunny Gho, lettered by Chris Eliopoulos:

“Not today, Colin Thirty-Three!”

It’s nice to see Waid and Yu  hit that collaboration sweet spot where the writer knows what the artist can draw well, and the artist knows what to sell. Yu’s strong suit has always been action and excessively detailed destruction, not so much faces and conversations. Now that they’ve introduced the characters and mission statement, Waid and Yu can smash some shit up. Still, oh man, I cannot friggin’ wait for Walt Simonson to jump on this title. Sorry Yu, but Simonson wins art fights he’s not even in.

Saga #9 written by Brian K. Vaughn, drawn by Fiona Staples, lettered by Fonografiks:

“How have you not murdered this creature by now?”

I really enjoy Saga a lot, but for some reason I don’t look forward to the next issue every month, and I usually forget that I read it when I’m not in the process of actually reading it. Does that makes sense? It’s an enjoyable book, and I always like seeing Staples’ designs and reading Vaughn’s dialogue, but for some reason it just doesn’t stick with me. Regardless, I like it enough to buy it every month, but I always feel like I’m just missing something that seems to make pretty much everyone else love the comic. Ah well. C’est La Vie, I guess.

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