Monday, July 23, 2012

Comic review roundup

Batman The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6. Reading comics by less ambitious writers makes me appreciate Grant Morrison more. His comics may occasionally be hard to follow, but at least they're reaching for something more than super heroes punching one other. My enjoyment of these issues varied wildly depending on the artist. Issues #1 and 2 by Chris Sprouse and Frazier Irving are the best, and issue 4 by Georges Jeanty, who I'd never heard of before is the weakest. Issues 2 and 6 feature super-far-off-future Batman:

Why'd they make action figures of all the other Batman designs from the story, except for this one? If you liked Morrison's Infinite Crisis at all, then these six issues are definitely worth the $12 they're selling for at Amazon.

Marvel: Eye of the Camera on the other hand was an enormous disappointment. The first Marvels series by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross was excellent. I thought I'd like this series even more because whereas the first series documented events that occurred in comics before I was born, this series featured events that occurred in the 80's comics I loved growing up. And, I'd never heard of Jay Anacleto before, but he's certainly a talented artist:

With Kurt Busiek writing the series, it seemed like a can't miss. Unfortunately, the story is extremely tedious - - six issues of watching a man with a successful career and great family whine that his life has no meaning. And the background mentions of 80's comic landmarks just fall flat. I think there the fault lies with Anacleto. He's technically skilled. But his art is lifeless. Just compare the power of Alex Ross's X-Men cover from the first Marvels series to Anacleto's inert cover from the second:

Not worth even 99 cents an issue.

On the other hand, Scalped #1 by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guera was a pleasant surprise. "Fifteen years ago, Dash Bad Horse ran away from a life of poverty and hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. Now, he's come back home to find nothing much has changed on 'The Rez' in this gritty, gripping organized-crime drama." Like Fatale, the other noir series I sampled recently, it doesn't feel "new" so much as a very competent telling of genre staples. The art's a little off, though:

I'll be looking for more issues in the future.