Greetings! Welcome to yet another instalment of This Week In Punchy, the comics column wherein I dispense my thoughts on the week’s comics in my own slapdash manner.
I was going to do some kind of spiel about how I’m not at Comic-Con because I actually read comics, but then I remembered that I did the same joke last year. Dammit, I just wanna be invited to San Diego for free, is it too much to ask?
Anyhoo, this is a pretty good week for comics, although most of them are being overshadowed by announcements of future comics, sigh. There’s a new creative team for Nova, the second chapter of ‘Trinity War’, both of Fraction’s Fantastic Four titles are out, there’s All-New X-Men, and Wonder Woman, and best of all, the first issue of Batman ’66, the new series that tells Batman stories set in the world of the classic Adam West TV show. No, I’m not kidding.
So, buckle up, remember to click the links to head to the forum discussions, and enjoy!
Iron Man #13– The second chapter in the epic ‘Secret Origin Of Tony Stark’ begins, and whilst this issue contains no insane flashbacks or retcons that flips everything we thought we knew upside down, it was still very interesting and a whole lot of fun.
The issue opens with the glorious return of Death’s Head. Pretty much ever British comics fan has a soft-spot for this character, and it’s clear that Kieron Gillen does too, so it’s fantastic to see him back and being written well. I love how Recorder 451’s massive cosmic game-plan almost comes unstuck because Death’s Head wants some money. It’s the mundane mixed with the insane, and it works. I really enjoyed the segments of this issue that showed the back-story of the ‘Godkiller’ armour, the scale of Gillen’s story is so huge, and it’s just getting bigger. 451 wants Tony to pilot a ship that has killed 100s of celestials!
I also thought it was cool how Gillen once again had 451 walk the narrow tightrope of heroism and villainy, is he a good guy? Is he evil? I truly don’t know, I’m leaning more towards evil, but you never know. Also fun was how Gillen tied this in with Hickman’s Avengers work, the Earth is now an ‘Avengers Earth’, with 451’s help, we could have an ‘Avengers Universe’. Added to that was the hilarious moment where 451 dubs Tony the ‘Guardian of The Avengers Galaxy’, get it, because he’s on both teams? Goofy, but cool. It’s stuff like this and the awesome shout-out to the late Iain Banks (the ‘M-Banks Class Orbital Body’) that make this book great, even though the story is so big, Gillen never forgets to keep the tone, not light, but relatable.
Greg Land returns to the artwork with this issue, and I know some people hate him, but I really don’t mind him. This book is full of robots, so it doesn’t really matter that the facial expressions are weird, since most of the characters don’t have a face! I loved the splash-page that showed the huge size of the Godkiller, that was impressive. If there’s any book that Land is great on, it’s Iron Man.
Thor: God Of Thunder #10– After #9 ended with all of the Thors defeated and Gorr triumphant, #10 shows us that the Thors weren’t really defeated, and they fight back. Only to be defeated again and for Gorr to be triumphant again. If this comic were any less awesome I’d complain about it spinning it’s wheels. But make no mistake, this was pretty awesome.
It’s no surprise by now that Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic are capable of bringing the thunder (literally) in their action scenes, and the one in this issue may be the best yet. The narration was once again a delight, the dialogue was perfect, and come on, we got to see Thor wielding two Mjolnirs at once, which is seriously, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
This issue also confronted head-on a story with Gorr that up until now, it’s only hinted at. In his desperate quest to kill all of the Gods, Gorr himself has become a God. This much was obvious to the reader, but now we see it right in the text as Gorr’s wife declares him to be her God. So what does Gorr do? He kills her, which wasn’t a surprise, but was still somewhat shocking. Because of this, Gorr’s son turns on him and saves one of the Thors, which is ultimately Gorr’s undoing. I guess? The ending wasn’t clear, the Godbomb has been set off, but was Thor’s repeated smashings of it with both hammers enough to stop it? I can’t wait for #11 to find out. I also found the ending narration from Thor to be very interesting, what if Gorr is correct? What if people would be better off without Gods? It’s a shame this idea has come right at the end of this story, because it’s a good one to think on.
What else? I mentioned Ribic’s art briefly, but I want to give him some more props, he and colourist Ive Svorcina are amazing on this series, it’s not superhero art, it’s fantasy art, and it just works perfectly. Oh yeah, and Thor’s daughters are hilarious, how about a spin-off mini-series?
Nova #6– After being very pleasantly surprised by Loeb and McGuinness’ run on Nova, it looks like the character is in good hands with Zeb Wells and Paco Medina.
This issue brings things up to the ‘present day of Marvel’ as the events of Avengers Vs X-Men take place in between #5 and #6. So, Sam returns to Carefree Arizona, ready to ask his mother if he can join the Avengers, but nope, she’s more concerned about the Skate Park he and Titus destroyed in the last issue. I said it about Loeb’s run, but the best thing about this series is how it makes the idea of space travel, superheroics and Marvel Cosmic into something truly new and exciting, and Wells continues that here with the contrast of the exciting life of Nova and the pretty crappy life of Sam. You can get why he wants to escape. I think Wells did a fantastic job in this issue of writing Sam’s mother, she was a presence in Loeb’s run, but now I feel like she’s a full character, and she’s an interesting spin on an Aunt May-like character.
The comparisons to Spider-Man are apt, as much of this book is very much in the classic teen-superhero mould that Spidey pioneered. There’s the love interest, the school bully, etc. I suppose it’s good that we have a comic like this, because not only is the current Spider-Man not in High School, but is a villain. I suppose we have Miles Morales, but he’s atypical in a lot of ways, I’m behind on his series, but last I read, he had no love interest or bully after him.
Anyways, enough about Spider-Man! Nova! What’s that? At the end of this issue Sam flies off to New York and next issue is a Spidey guest-appearance? D’oh! I wonder if it will be an Amazing or Superior team-up? Paco Medina is a good fit for this series, his style is cartoonish like McGuinness’ and he really suits young characters.
It looks like Nova is going to continue to be a lot of fun, Wells is a slightly better writer than Loeb I think, and already the supporting characters like Sam’s mother and the love interest (Carrie) are getting more depth. There wasn’t that much action in this issue, but I have high hopes.
Avengers #16– I’m loving how Hickman is finally letting all of the various balls he threw up in the air at the start of his run drop, and how they are all dropping right on the Avengers’ heads at the same time. This issue was crazy-packed with cool moments.
The immediate threat to the Avengers is the weird Robot dude who woke up on AIM Island and flew right at them. This Robot of course kicks all of their asses. On top of this, you’ve got AIM attempting to recapture the Robot (using the same piece of kit that brought Hyperion into the Marvel Universe I think), the Space-Knights are involved somehow, and sooner or later the New Universe guys are going to get involved.
I loved the scenes between Starbrand and Nightmask, and how it slowly became clear just how powerful these characters are. It takes longer for the brain to evolve than the body, and Kevin is now gaining some kind of super intelligence, or cosmic awareness. I loved how it was revealed that they could escape at any time, that they are so much stronger than the Avengers thought. I’m guessing the fact that these scenes are set ‘weeks ago’ means that Starbrand and Nightmask will come to save the day next issue. But I’m probably wrong.
Oh yeah, and to make things even worse for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the stress of dealing with so many problems all at once causes Bruce Banner to Hulk out right there on the Helicarrier. It never rains but it pours.
My only real problem with this story is that the Avengers aren’t really characters in it, they are just there to react to insane shit and barely actually do anything. I know we already know most of these characters inside-out, but it’s hard to care about the actual team at this point. I thought Hickman was doing a lot better at balancing characterisation and plot recently, perhaps thanks to Nick Spencer’s dialogue, but this issue was not about the Avengers, it was about all the threats. Plus, what does any of this have to do with Infinity!!? Stefano Caselli’s artwork continues to be an unabashed delight though, he’s such a consummate superhero artist, I have no complaints there.
Avengers Assemble #17– It’s the penultimate chapter of the ‘Enemy Within’ crossover and once again Kelly Sue DeConnick delivers a very enjoyable ride with some awesome dialogue that really shows why she’s writing the Avengers title geared towards movie-fans. If I had a little more cash I’d probably carry on picking up this title once the crossover ends, but alas.
The focus here is of course on Captain Marvel, but DeConnick makes sure to give most of the other Avengers something to do. I continue to love her take on Thor, he’s just so funny. The current Thor title is kind of grim, which is not a bad thing, and Aaron does have a dark sense of humour, but it’s good to read a funny Thor, because really, he’s pretty silly. I also really liked Wolverine in this issue, and it was a nice surprise to see Sersi from The Eternals show up again. I’ve been a fan of those characters since Gaiman and JRjr’s run, so it’s cool to see them. Ikari should join the Avengers! You know it makes sense.
In the end, it looks like it’s the two Caps standing together to face down Yon-Rogg. America and Marvel, ooh yeah. I was a little confused by the ending, are we meant to think that Yon-Rogg is behind Carol’s brain lesion? I guess we’ll find out in Captain Marvel. The artwork here was very strong, Matteo Buffagni is great, and Pepe Larraz really impressed me here, a big step up from the stuff he did Mighty Thor. I especially liked the depiction of the Cap-Cycle in this issue, it’ll be a shame if Carol stops using it once she regains her flight powers, it’s a pretty awesome vehicle, much better than the Spider-Mobile.
Fantastic Four #10– The FF continue their journey throughout time and space, and in this instance, it’s time, as they travel back to 1776 and meet the American Founding Fathers.
But this issue was about more than just the cool concept of superheroes meeting Thomas Jefferson and there being a Skrull Ben Franklin, no, this issue brought a lot of what Matt Fraction has been building to a head, as the truth about the mysterious sickness affecting the team comes out. This was a great scene, especially Johnny Storm’s reaction. He was being treated like a kid and being made to sit with them and not finding out. This was strong character stuff for Johnny, who is often written like he’s still a dumb teenager. I liked that he called back to his ‘death’ in Hickman’s run. I also liked how these revelations effected Val, who is seriously pissed off. I like it when the Fantastic Four are a happy family, but it’s also great when there’s a bit of discord.
The 1776 stuff was a lot of fun, it’s always cool to see real-life historical figures show up in comics, and I really liked how Fraction didn’t shy away from showing how complicated Thomas Jefferson was as a person. He didn’t white-wash the hypocrisy. Reed’s speech about how people want pure heroes but the real-world doesn’t work out like that was very well-done, and very telling about how important shades of grey characters are. I know a lot of people think Reed Richards is a dick, but, like Jefferson, there’s more to it.
I of course loved seeing The Skrulls again, they are classic FF villains and have really been left off the table ever since Secret Invasion, so it was great to see them again, especially since it looks like they are the major villains of this storyline. One thing I’m noticing in this run is the importance of the name ‘Franklin’. Benjamin Franklin was being impersonated by a Skrull in this issue, and the FF’s original plan was to visit Dr. Rosalind Franklin, and of course, Reed and Sue’s son is called Franklin. What does it all mean?
Mark Bagley’s artwork was his usual consistent excellence, I particularly liked the way he drew Sue’s malfunctioning powers, very creepy. This was probably the best issue of Fraction’s run so far, it tied everything together and set up some very exciting new character developments. Plus, Skrull Ben Franklin, you have to love it.
FF #9– Another hilarious and fun issue of the secondary Fantastic Four title. I just love the wacky tone Fraction and Allred have struck for this series, and even though this issue has a fill-in artist, it’s still great. The best thing about this issue was the story with the kids. I felt in #8 that the kid’s stuff was a little tacked on, but here, it was pure awesomeness.
The story is basically that Bentley 23 is making a documentary about Vil and Wu, the weird fish kids. This documentary is brilliantly funny, Bentley’s character is so pompous, it’s great. I love how dark he is, how does a small child know what Fitzcarraldo is? I don’t even want to know. But I suppose this story does serve a function other than making me chuckle, Vil and Wu are mysterious, and I liked finding out a little bit more about them. I also liked seeing more of Ahura, and how Fraction subverted your expectations about him being an evil dick, you think he’s going to unleash his powers, but nope CAAAAANNNNOOONNBALLLL!
Yes, this issue was set at a pool-party, and it was great. Who was hosting this pool-party? Well, none other than Julius Caesar himself! OK, not really Julius Caesar, but the alien who pretended to be Caesar in the recent Fantastic Four #5. I’m really liking how Fraction is connecting these two books, and I’m glad it’s coming to the fore a little more. Caesar wants to help the FF go and rescue, well the other FF, which is going to be exciting.
As I said, the art here is a fill-in, but it’s Joe Fucking Quinones, who is awesome, so it doesn’t suffer at all. Quinones’ cartoon-style is similar to Mike Allred’s so it doesn’t miss a beat, and it really adds to the fun tone of this series. Plus, and I know this is going to sound skeezy, but Medusa, She-Hulk and Ms. Thing in bikinis… they looked pretty good (and I’m sure Scott Lang did too for any female or otherwise readers, and Dragon Man for any perverts out there).
This was just a top-notch comic, a really funny done-in-one plotline, and some very interesting set-up for the future. If the only Fraction you’re reading is Hawkguy, you should check this one out too Bro.
All-New X-Men #14– This was probably the worst issue of All-New X-Men so far, but it was still pretty damn good.
Obviously, the ending of the last issue, where Jean Grey went full-on Phoenix was a fake-out, but interestingly, it wasn’t the fake-out most of us thought it would be. Lady Mastermind wasn’t behind nope, it was Jean herself, trying to use her powers to scare the villains. Only she messed up and her fellow X-Men were able to see it too. I liked this, yeah, it’s a bit of a let-down that it wasn’t actually Phoenix, but it was cool to see that Jean’s powers have developed a lot, just not as much as she’d like. And that last page? It was ominous as shit.
The rest of this issue was pretty much one big fight between the X-Men and the Brotherhood. It was a good fight, and it was good to see the OG Team really get to show how good they are, and it had plenty of awesome Bendis quippy dialogue, but it was just a fight. I did feel that, with Mystique and Lady Mastermind and Jean, there were too many characters there casting illusions or changing things up, which made it confusing. I did like the real Uncanny Avengers showing up right after the fake Uncanny Avengers at the end, that was funny. Plus, Iceman throwing a snowball in Thor’s face to see if he was real, that was great. I don’t know why Bendis writes Iceman as such a dumb-ass, but I love it.
So yeah, this was just an action-issue, but it was still good, I just love this book, especially with Stuart Immonen really firing on all cylinders art-wise, this book looks so good, he nails the harder, superhero stuff, as well as the more comedic elements. As I said, the ending was certainly ominous, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Bendis has really returned the soap opera elements to the X-Men universe, it’s exciting.
Cable & X-Force #11– In #10, Cable split X-Force up into a bunch of separate teams to deal with different crises. This was a great move by Hopeless, as up until now, this book has been pretty much dominated by two characters, Cable and Hope. Yes, everyone else has had a presence, but with the team split up, we can find out more about what’s going on with them. First up? Domino and Boom Boom.
The plot here involves Domino and Boom having to kidnap a comatose kid who’s about to manifest his mutant powers, because if he does so in a crowded area, a lot of people will die. This should have been a simple plan, but Boom Boom’s character wouldn’t allow for that and a Police Chase ensued. I really liked how this story contrasted the characters of Domino and Boom Boom. Domino is a master strategist, planning for every contingency, whereas Boom Boom doesn’t really care, she does things on the spur of the moment. Also great was how Hopeless didn’t really come down on one side or the other, both character’s approaches have their merits. After this issue I feel like Domino and Boom Boom are more well realised characters, and I look forward to seeing what Hopeless will do with the other characters, especially Dr Nemesis and Colossus. Dennis Hopeless has used this character-specific issue technique to great effect in Avengers Arena, and it was cool to see it here.
Salvador Larrocca’s artwork was great as usual, I’m really liking his slightly looser style at the moment, everything in Iron Man was so hyper-detailed, but here, he’s cutting loose. And in case you think I forgot, the Hope subplot in this issue was very interesting, Blaquesmith has taken her to a possible future, where she fights off what look like Phalanx, and is then saved by… a woman in Stryfe’s costume! What the? Is this Hope herself? A clone? What a great ending.
Thanos Rising #4(of 5)– With this issue, Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi finally got to the fireworks factory, as the truth behind Thanos’ mysterious girl is revealed. Yep, it was obvious, she’s Death, but it was still a pretty awesome moment when Thanos had the rug swept out from under him.
I don’t have much else to say about this issue, the art from Bianchi was great, and the opening scene was nice and violent, but really, this issue was all about the big reveal and then the ending, as Thanos decides to destroy his home planet, Titan. I suppose this is to be expected when a series reaches what was inevitable, but it’s still very well-told, and even then, finds a way to be surprising, as Thanos attempts to commit suicide. Man, this is a dark series.
I still find it odd how this series has completely avoided showing Thanos’ brother, Starfox on screen. I guess his lameness doesn’t really fit in with the tone of the book, or perhaps they don’t want to confuse things for the Avengers movie sequel. I don’t mind really, since, as I said, Starfox is kind of dumb, but I think if anyone could have made him work, it would have been Jason Aaron.
I’m very interested to see what #5 is like, and just how bloody it can get. I never much cared for Thanos before this series, considering him to be a Darkseid rip-off, but now that I know his back-story, I think he’s a great, interesting villain.
Wonder Woman #22– Another excellent issue of Wonder Woman, this title is just so consistently good. I did roll my eyes a bit towards the end, when it looked like Baby Zeke was going to be kidnapped yet again, for the umpteenth time. But thankfully, Azzarello did the right thing and had Orion return the baby to his mother.
The bulk of this issue was set on New Genesis, and I found this visit there to be very interesting. I haven’t been reading Earth 2, so I’ve missed most of the other New Gods stuff in the New 52, but it’s always good to see these classic characters, and it was great to see Jack Kirby get a credit in this issue. I think it’s been a stroke of genius from Azzarello to have a book all about ancient Gods also feature the New Gods, and this just continued here, I really liked the scene with Orion, where you see his true face. Orion is such a great character and Chiang draws him so well. But then, Chiang draws everything well, this book looks beautiful, from the Soviet-style cover, to the sci-fi world of New Genesis. This is DC’s best looking comic right now, no arguments.
The ending was also very tantalising, I want the next one now. Wonder Woman returns to a London in ruins, with the First Born sat on the throne in Westminster Abbey with an army of Jackal-Men. Not only is an epic battle about to commence, but we get the sad confirmation of Lennox’s death, as the First Born throws his head at Diana’s feet. I was very shocked by this, not by the fact that he was dead, but by the graphic depiction of his head, it was disturbing. So, bring on #23, it’s going to be brutal.
Animal Man #22– Jeff Lemire continues to tell two separate, but two very interesting stories in the pages of Animal Man.
Let’s start with the titular hero, and in this issue, Buddy continues his conflict with not only the creepy-ass Splinterfolk, but also the media. I find these new villains incredibly creepy, and most of that is down to Steve Pugh’s artwork, these things are true grotesques, it’s actually quite hard to look at them, which is actually a good thing. The motivation behind these guys is pretty interesting too, they were animal activists who wanted to be more like the animals, and wanted the same powers that Animal Man has. There’s a cool irony here in that the people who are claiming to love animals and want to be like them are experimenting on and killing a load of animals to get what they want. The end of this issue reveals that the Splinterfolk are actually working alongside a more familiar supervillain, and that’s Brother Blood. I haven’t been reading Teen Titans, so I don’t know if he’s been appearing there, but he’s a pretty cool villain at times, and it’s always good to see characters normally very closely associated with one particular hero or team, fight someone new.
I also liked how Lemire continued the media intrusion plotline, and sort of twisted it around, because at the end, the Paparazzi following Buddy is what saves his life. See, they aren’t all bad!
The other plotline here is Francine, who whilst inside the Red, finds a ‘Field Of Organs’ and tries to bring her brother back to life, with predictably disturbing results. She can bring Cliff’s physical body back to life, as a creepy husk, but she can’t bring back his soul. This is really dark stuff, especially since it involves a little kid, and it’s very well done.
Once again, the two artists are very well-suited to their segments, both can handle the weird body-horror stuff, but Portela’s style is lighter and more cartoonish, so it suits the adventures of a kid in a magical, albeit disgusting realm very well. My only problem with this comic is the cover, which whilst rather effective, looks like an unfinished sketch from Jae Lee, rather than some actual art.
Justice League Of America #6– Trinity War continues to be much better than I expected it to be. It seems a lot of people are hating on this crossover, probably just because it’s a crossover, but it’s actually pretty good. But then, I mostly enjoyed Age Of Ultron, so maybe there’s something wrong with me. Naaah.
This issue begins with the much awaited fight between the Justice Leagues, but I really liked how Johns and Lemire actually cut the fight short by Superman demanding to be arrested for ‘killing’ Doctor Light. Even though I’m not opposed to Superman killing (opens up the Man Of Steel Pandora’s Box…), that was a great moment, that Superman is so honourable that he demands to be taken in. Superman’s reaction to these events is fascinating in many ways, not least because he seems to be ill. Is this due to guilt? Is it psychosomatic? Or has been effected by Pandora’s Box?
The scene where Wonder Woman goes to interrogate Hephaestus (and man, it’s kind of weird seeing Azzarello and Chiang’s reinterpretations outside of their own book) was very interesting, as it revealed that there are forces at play here that go beyond the Greek Gods. Could it be the Judeo-Christian God? I find it fascinating how this event has the Justice Leagues being attacked by two seemingly separate threats, the Secret Society, and whatever’s going on with Pandora. Crazy shit is happening, and we don’t know who’s causing them, and whether they are linked or not.
One man who may know if they are is The Question, who makes a great appearance here. I’m a big fan of the classic Question, and think the idea of an immortal, mystical version of the character is kind of dumb, but his scenes here worked well, the ending especially. In amongst all of this madness, Johns and Lemire find room for some interesting character moments, like the conversation between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, or finding out more about Vibe.
This issue also brings in the Justice League Dark properly, they are investigating the explosion at Madame Xanadu’s, and Wonder Woman asks them for help with the Pandora’s Box mystery. I liked John Constantine instantly being wary of Wonder Woman, he’s such a great character. I’ve never read any JLD, but I’m picking it up for the crossover, I hope it’s good.
The art for this issue is from Doug Mahnke, who is not only a great superhero artist, but has experience of drawing the JLA and of drawing big epic crossover stuff, like Final Crisis. Even through a myriad of inkers, his style shines through. Even if you don’t like this story, you have to admit it looks good.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #22– I think it’s very daring of the new Green Lantern writers to debut the big new villain not in the main title, but in what is probably the 3rd or 4th biggest book in the franchise. Relic is here, and you need to be reading this title now to find out what’s going on with Hal and the rest. Justin Jordan may have walked off of Superboy, but it seems like he’s staying on New Guardians, and that’s a good thing, this book is showing a lot of promise, and whilst the writing is not spectacular, it’s getting good.
This issue is, as I said, an introduction to Relic, who is a survivor of ‘the Old Universe’, and I don’t think they mean Pre-Flashpoint. It looks like the Old Universe was destroyed by people who wielded the emotional spectrum, and so obviously, he’s going to be a threat to the GLs and the rest. Kyle goes to try and stop him, but he manages to drain away even the White Lantern power, and he traps Kyle in some sort of dream, and siphons him for all of the information he can about all of the various Corps.
What’s most intriguing to me about this series is that the Guardians drag Carol Ferris all the way out into space to save Kyle, because of their ‘connection’. As Carol herself says, what connection? Is Justin Jordan setting up a Kyle/Carol romance? That would certainly be something new, especially since it would piss of Hal, and I like it when Hal is screwed over. Stupid Hal.
In the end, Kyle is freed, but Relic escapes, and is heading for the rest of the Green Lanterns. Uh-Oh. This is a good book, but I feel that it’s lacking something that the other GL books have, in that it has no well-developed subplots of it’s own, other than a possible romance. Green Lantern has the weak new recruits, and the Star Sapphire who escaped, Corps has the Durlans and Fatality. But this is just Relic Relic Relic. I still like the book because it’s well-written and I like the character of Kyle, but there needs to be more time spent on the characters, on the new Guardians, and less set-up for future events in other titles.
The artwork from Brad Walker is unquestionably good though, I really like his style and I think his level of detail really suits a Lantern book, and especially the Lantern who makes the most detailed constructs.
Batman ’66 #1– DC’s tactic of releasing their digital-first comics in smaller weekly chunks ahead of the physical release is actually pretty damn clever. I was initially not planning on picking up this title, but the very positive word of mouth about the digital issues made me change my mind. Whilst I’m missing out on the innovative digital techniques, this is still a really fun comic that pays fantastic homage to the classic TV show.
The plot of this issue is mostly unimportant, The Riddler’s there, so is Catwoman, and Batman and Robin have to stop them. The true fun here is in how close it keeps the comedic tone of the TV series, and also how it’s not just a parody. It would be very easy for Jeff Parker to just go over the top with this, and just make fun of the show for being crappy and campy, but it’s clear he loves the show, and the jokes here are not at the expense of it, but make sense in context. Plus, he’s actually putting thought into the plots, into Joker’s riddles. This isn’t a throwaway sketch, it’s a proper Batman comic, just with a different type of Batman. DC are not embarrassed about this type of Batman anymore, and it’s great.
The artwork from Jonathan Case is probably even more important than the tone of Parker’s writing. He draws each character like the actor who played them, so Batman looks like Adam West, Riddler like Frank Gorshin, etc, which is a really effective technique. Case colours the book himself too, and the colouring really helps the 60s, pop-art look. It’s bright, colourful, and full of Benday dots.
This book was just a pleasure to read, and it was great to read a Batman book that wasn’t grim. I still like dark Batman, but there’s room in the world for all sorts of interpretations. Grant Morrison opened the door to Batman’s embarrassing past, and now it’s wide open, and it’s totally groovy.
Aaaand, we’re back. My favourite comic this week was either FF or Batman ’66, hey, they both have Mike Allred covers, so it can’t be a coincidence that they are awesome.
Next week is another peach, there’s Batman/Superman, the Hawkeye Annual, new Lazarus, some Uncanny Avengers and hey, I’m picking up Justice League Dark because of the crossover, so that’s something new. See ya then!