I'm procrastinating doing any work for school, so I'm going to sit down and write some reviews on most of the comics I've read over the last couple weeks.

Fables 87-89
Vertigo Comics
Willingham, Buckingham, Pepoy, Leialoha

The winds are changing once again in what was once called Fabletown. In the wreckage of city hall, our story focuses on Bufkin the Flying Monkey, the dismembered head of Frankenstein's Monster, and the magical mirror. Only a book like Fables can hold entire issues of mostly-unseen characters and make them every bit as enjoyable as the ones featuring Bigby Wolf and Snow White. It's a storyline called "Witches", and it's basically about a war between the magical forces of Frau Totenkinder, the Genii, Baba Yaga, and Gepetto. We also get to know some new characters like a black cat, one of the 101 Dalmatians, and we're also visited once again by the heads of the Wooden Soldiers and the Barleycorn Brides. There is a lot to love about this series. It never seems cluttered, but all the things I just listed are there in full force, and I didn't even name them all.

Simpsons Comics #158
Bongo Comics
Dixon, Ortiz, and DeCarlo

Homer becomes president of the homeowner's association and goes power-mad. Hilarity ensues. Honestly, Bongo's Simpsons comics are just some of the most consistently well-written and well-drawn books on the shelves. I recently rediscovered them, and man, they're awesome. I have a problem trying to remember which ones I've seen on TV and which one's I've read. And they're really dense, too. They take longer to read than most issues, and they're so well-worth it.

Batman and Robin #5
DC Comics
Morrison, Tan, and Glapion

I'm a big fan of Morrison, as everyone knows, and I'm becoming somewhat a fan of Philip Tan as well. He's much better than he used to be when he first came onto the scene, and he serves Red Hood (not to be confused with Red Robin) and his crazy chickadee very well. I like that Damien is shown not to be all-powerful as he gets hurt in this issue and he's shown to be very human. There is one horrific, grisly scene that kind of turned my stomach. The Flamingo, revealed on the last page, seems to be kind of a badass.

More later. Guilt is driving me to do work.

Views: 82

Comment by Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man on October 18, 2009 at 11:00pm
Okay, here's more:

Justice Society of America #31
DC Comics
Willingham, Sturges, and Merino

A lot of the group dynamics and logistics that make writer BIll Willingham's Fables so entertaining are at play in this issue. Like Fables, this book has a large cast, which was doubled when you throw in interviews with just as many villains. But the art remains strong and it's easy to tell everyone apart, so that makes me interested in this book once again. I've also always been a big fan of Willingham's ability to throw in some great twists into his stories, and that is very much present here. I think I'm going to like this run on the series.

Justice League Cry for Justice #4
DC Comics
Robinson and Cascioli

I bought this one despite the previous issue because of a review I read online which said that this is where Oliver Queen is back in character, at least. And it is true, he does come down on Hal, and we start to get the sense that these guys aren't going to come off as particularly heroic for these actions they've taken over the last couple issues. Despite the advertised cast, the big star here is Jay Garrick, who shows off what a hero he really is. I could read this series only for the text pieces in the back, and I so badly wish other comics from DC would follow suit. Beautifully done. I used to love to read the text pieces in the back of comics, and it's time those were brought back. They add a lot to the issues.

Adventure Comics #505-506
DC Comics
Johns and Manapul

Who would have thought that Superboy, who Geoff Johns turned from Karl Kesel's lovable but impetuous teenager into a prototypical football jock jerkwad, would become (at the hand of the very guy who ruined him) a really nice guy who is now looking at the world with the wide-eyed innocence that makes him very sympathetic? First off, that is a huge run-on sentence, but I digress. He also made Wonder Girl likable somehow, which is quite a feat. He was very good about honoring Kesel's run by Krypto bringing back all of Superboy's bad guys and dumping them in front of him (Silversword, King Shark, Scavenger, and Stinger). The best part of this book is how he showed that Superboy is the good guy now and that [Red] Robin is the jerk. But when called on it, Robin folds and seems to be more himself.

Batman #691
DC Comics
Winick, Bagley, and Hunter

MAN, Bagley's art here is more beautiful and detailed than I've ever seen it. Can't wait to see what he does with the JLA. Anyway, power plays are all around as the villains fight for control of Gotham. Alfred and Dick realize that they are going to need to disassemble the Batcave if they're not going to use it anymore, and in that process Dick makes an interesting discovery. I'm a fan of Winick's work, and an even greater appreciator of Bagley's art now, and this book had not only a lot of action scenes, but also moved the overall story along very well. Bravo to this team! Too bad you're only on for six issues. :(

The Shield #1
DC Comics
Trautman, Rudy, and Gray

I am a big fan of how this book is being treated so far. Trautman gives us a hero who is different from Captain America, and that's exactly what we needed. The way his suit is a part of him and that he needs to focus in order to use only one part of it at a time is very interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the politics thrown into this issue. Not "our" politics, but the political scene between the United States and the Middle Easterners. It doesn't defend either side, it just lays out how they feel about the U.S. as a fact, not to say, "These guys are evil" nor to say "We totally deserve their hatred!" It was patriotic, but sympathetic to the way the other side feels. I just hope the guest-star who showed up on the last page makes just as brief an appearance in the next issue, because I'm sick of this guy already.

Simpsons Comics #131
Bongo Comics
Dixon, Lloyd, and Rote

This is a very interesting and entertaining issue of Simpsons. Three different art styles are used on a book which is normally monogamous with its art style. An intern at Bongo leads us through the faux "around the world" versions of the Simpsons. First is a spoof on Japanese comics, done in black and white with manga versions of the denizens of Springfield, all somehow recognizable. Next is a Belgian version by Ty Templeton in the style of TinTin, and this one is my favorite by far. The wording is perfectly done in a way that is entertaining to fans of TinTin (I've only read one issue of that book...not for me, but I'm glad it's there). The art style is gorgeously perfect for the style represented. The last story is done in a Mexican style that was marginally funny. A great issue, if only for the first two stories of three.

Simpsons Super Spectacular #5
Bongo Comics
Mike W. Barr, Batton Lash, James Lloyd, and Ramona Fradon (!)

This issue starts off with a Pie Man and Muffin Boy story (Homer and Bart, respectively) where they fight Professor F(r)ink and Snake, in particular one of Frink's inventions which was actually pretty inventive. Mike W. Barr turned in a great story that I read mostly just to get to the second story, but it was actually a little bit more entertaining. The second story was DEFINITELY nothing to sneeze at, though. Batton Lash writes a send-up of Metamorpho called "Mufelatto the Aliment Man" with art by Ramona Freakin' Fradon. The only thing that would have made this more perfect would have been if Mr. Burns would have been the stand-in for Simon Stagg, but nonetheless, this was an awesome story of a guy who can turn his body into any foodstuff instead of any element. It's a Radioactive Man story, and it's a really good one.


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