Thursday, February 17, 2005

COMICS: Wed. 2/16/05

Still working on my 100 Things I Love About Comics list. Thanks for asking.

Apocalypse Nerd: I'm always happy to see a comic by Peter Bagge. Unfortunately, this one, like last year's Sweatshop, just isn't very funny. The big punchline at the end is blowing a deer's head off with a flare gun? It's so outrageous it should be funny, in a sick way, but it's not. There are a number of interesting ideas in the book, but they just don't quite come together to make good comedy, or a good post-apocalypse tale. On the other hand, I found the back-up feature, "Founding Fathers Funnies," strangely fascinating. The based-on-history adventures of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in Paris shortly after the American Revolution. What a strange concept for a comic. And yet it completely worked for me.

Ex Machina: Love this comic. What's the deal with the twin FBI agents? They get beaten and bloodied by Mayor Hundred (in a case of mistaken identity), and they just brush themselves off and accept it without a word? You'd think at least one of 'em would be pissed. And what's up with "Project 1490"? Hundred starts explaining it over dinner, then says, "What's the other possibility?" ...So what is the other possibility? If it was supposed to be obvious, I missed it. Or are we supposed to understand that the other possibility is that he was bullshitting her, just like she accused him of doing?

Runaways: Another Brian K. Vaughan (wow, I just realized -- I think I've been misspelling his name as "Vaughn" every other time I've ever written it) book. Back from hiatus, and better than ever. Dude, Julie from the Power Pack! What a crack-up. Hey, how does this gibe with the new upcoming Power Pack series? It looks like they're all still supposed to be really young in that book, but Julie looks much older here. Anyhoo. I love Adrian Alphona's art; along with Juan Bobillo, he's my favorite new artist from the last few years (or new to me, anyway; has he been around for a while?). I really hope this series catches on in a bigger way this time around. It really is better than before, and it was already pretty good.

She-Hulk: And as one comic returns from hiatus, another takes its place. I can't believe this is the last new She-Hulk I'll be seeing for the next eight months -- if it even comes back then. This was another great issue, which will make me miss it all the more. I was afraid Dan Slott really was going to kill off Awesome Andy. The poor guy. "Help... dying... scared..." So sad! I loved how Mr. Fantastic wouldn't stop to help Andy until he was told Jen Walters was taking care of Titania. "Really? Well, why didn't you say so? I have the utmost faith in Jennifer." Almost forgot she used to be a member of the FF! And then there's the bit in the comic book store. I'm sure some readers will be offended -- but hey, those nerds helped save the day, didn't they? And of course, the final pages, in which Jen and Holliway talk about rebuilding the office building, when they're really talking about Marvel's crazy plan to revamp the title, was just brilliant. This book just couldn't be better (well, Bobillo could do the art every issue...). It can't come back soon enough. Oh, and hey, Slott even linked to yours truly on the She-Hulk message board. What more evidence do you need that there is a great mind behind this comic?

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