21 September 2005

CBC Quickees: 9/14/05

Better late than never, and it's a small but mostly good batch...

All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #2 (DC Comics, $2.99): Oh, Frank, what in the hell are you doing? On first read, I groaned at how bad the scripting was, particularly Batman who sounds like a crazed Adam West auditioning to play Sin City's Marv. Then I read Fossen's take on it, and skimmed through it a second time. And I groaned again! A little bit louder. Regardless of what Miller's intent is with this story, the fact of the matter is that his writing is godawful. Considering this is DC's oblique answer to Marvel's Ultimate line, both purportedly targeted to new/lapsed readers, I can only shake my head and wonder if it isn't all just one big practical joke on Miller's part. I mean, he did make up with Wizard in order to promote it, which means its suckiness has to be purposeful! Either that, or ironic.

100 Girls #6 (Arcana Studio, $2.95): I love this series! It's over there in the left column, on my Top 10 List. This issue, Adam Gallardo and Todd Demong pull out all the stops as Sylvia and her sisters find the secret lab and a battle royale breaks out. While it's not a traditional jumping on point, in between the action, Gallardo touches several bases that will make any new reader curious enough to want to know more about what's going on. You've bought the first trade already, right?

El Arsenal: Unknown Enemy #2 (Arcana Studio, $2.95): Sometimes, in the service of a particularly entertaining story, T&A can actually work. In this case, Salvador Vazquez Mtz. (as translated by Carlos Garciá Campillo) and Daniel Peréz Sánchez pull it off, as El Aresenal is the sci-fi action movie Richard Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino would team up for if somebody gave them the right budget. Throw in the "How to Swear Like a Mexican" tutorial and it's more fun than it has any right to be!

Fell #1 (Image Comics, $1.99): Warren Ellis addresses two of the most common complaints about comics these days: cost and decompression. For $1.99, he's promising to deliver a monthly done-in-one story, free of continuity and corporate crossovers, and in this first issue, he's done exactly that, offering up a crisply told, hardboiled - yet oddly enough, not overly cynical - detective mystery starring Richard Fell and the intriguing city of Snowtown, a place that makes Gotham seem like Peoria. It's television-style setup, with a mystery presented and solved while introducing a full cast of characters and giving them just enough screentime to make a proper impression. Ben Templesmith's art, which always seemed a bit too sketchy-Sienkiewicz, is more restrained here, and sets a perfect tone for the series. I'm actually very excited about the possibilities of this series, and hope Ellis can keep it on track.

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