It was a cold day today, and I was really tired. I laid in bed this morning and read two trades instead of getting up and doing yard work and laundry, not to mention grading the 67,349,309 papers that need to be graded. I'm sure you'll all forgive me.

Here are the two trades I read today, and my humble critiques:

Batman Cacophony HC
DC Comics
Smith and Flanagan

I had read a review of this one online that said the first two issues weren't that great, but that the last issue totally saves the series as a whole, and is totally worth getting for that very reason. I found my experience to be the complete opposite. The last issue was awful. The first few chapters weren't that bad; in fact, they were pretty darn good. The art by Walt Flanagan wasn't great. As an art guy, this really bothered me. I didn't mind Kevin Smith's wordiness in this book, as it read pretty smoothly. The Joker's (guh) dialog was pretty entertaining, and it was good to see Onomatopoeia again, if you can believe that. I also liked Batman adapting one of Deadshot's ideas for himself. It was pretty predictable, but nonetheless fun. It's just too bad that the ending--a bad interpretation of the ending of The Killing Joke, had to be tacked on. I'd either get it from the library or wait for the trade, or just skip it.

Superman Brainiac HC
DC Comics
Johns, Frank, Sibal

This modern-day take on Brainiac as he ties in to the current goings-on in the Super-books was really nice. The artwork was superb, and the writing gave a chill to the formerly-just-annoying villain of Brainiac. The fact that all of the various incarnations of Brainiac have just been extensions of him makes perfect sense, and the fact that he was able to take out someone so personal to Clark just makes it that much more effective. This read pretty breezily, but I have to say that is actually somewhat refreshing in a trade. The reintroduction of Steve Lombard (who brings back echoes of my main problem with Joe Kelly--longtime members know what that is as it applies to Superman) and Cat Grant would be nice if they were more three-dimensional. Instead, they come off as "the popular kids", and in turn, part of the problem. I'm hoping that we'll see more human sides of them sometime.

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Comment by John Dunbar on October 9, 2009 at 11:55pm
I really enjoyed the Brainiac storyline. "Formerly-just-annoying" is a good description, now Brainiac is a chilling and horrific foe. I really could have done without the re-intro of Lombard. To shoehorn this unnecessary addition to the cast, we get back 70's Clark Kent - blecch! Why do I feel the writers are getting back at the jocks they didn't like in high school?

I would applaud the re-intro of Cat Grant, if it was the Cat Grant I remember from the late 80's. Again, I could do with this Girls Gone Wild makeover. Why not just give the readers a new character?

I've lost interest in Kevin Smith's work. I'd read it if I got it from the library, but that's as far as I would go.
Comment by Figserello on October 10, 2009 at 3:19am
Why not just give the readers a new character?

Because if the new character is used in the movies, the cartoons, the tv show etc, then the writer who went to the bother of coming up with her wouldn't get a brass farthing!

Equally, they don't get anything if they re-use an old character, but in this case there is no bitterness and long-term recriminations.

Who needs bitterness and long-term recriminations?


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