Thursday, July 20, 2006

COMICS: Wed. 7/19/06

Here are some things wrong with the newest TPB collection of PS238:

1. It does not have a price listed on the cover. Or anywhere, for that matter.

1A. This does not mean it is free.

2. It claims to include "Issues #10 through #15." This is a lie. It in fact contains issues #11 - #15.

3. For some reason, there is no greytone in issue #15.

4. It is surprisingly convoluted for what is basically a kid's book.

Here are some things that are right with it:

1. It is tremendously entertaining.

2. It includes two pages of rules for playing four square.

3. Who knew Ms. Kyle had powers?? That was awesome.

Runaways: This issue brings the latest storyline to a close, which means, in accordance with my ongoing plan to destroy the comics industry by switching over to TPBs, it's the last individual issue I will be buying. This is the comic I'm most reluctant to make the conversion on; it is quite possibly my favorite ongoing series. I want my monthly fix! Maybe I can make an exception. As for the actual content: the cover promised, "One of these Runaways is about to die," and I guess it wasn't kidding. That just sucks. I hope the rules of arbitrary resurrection in the Marvel Universe apply to this book as well. Because this turn of events made me go like this:


And I don't type that emoticon lightly.

Gumby: Bob Burden and Rick Geary? Sold. A wonderfully funny and light-hearted story with large helpings of random weirdness. Fun for everyone!

Elephantmen: I had much the same reaction to this comic that Mike did. I've never heard of Hip Flask, the comic this is spun off from, and I had no idea comic font mogul Richard Starkings was writing comics. But I was completely sold on this book. Gorgeous art from a fella (or lady, I guess) who apparently only goes by the name Moritat, alternating between charming sweetness and disturbing darkness. The book is set in Mystery City (or Santa Monica, if the caption on page 1 of the main story is correct), in a time in the distant future where human-animal hybrids share an uneasy existence side-by-side with normal people. The main story is a very effective introduction to this world, alternating between a young girl's innocent fascination with an Elephantman and, prompted by her questions, his recollections of his violent past. There's some humor, but it's mostly played straight, and it works. I may have to seek out some back issues of Hip Flask now.

She-Hulk: I wish Bobillo were still doing the artwork. Oh well. I did enjoy seeing some art from Sal Buscema in the second half of the book (a hilarious story about an awkward dinner party involving She-Hulk and her very, very unhappy future father-in-law, J. Jonah Jameson; you know your dinner party is going badly when the Spider Slayers are unleashed). The first half of the book involves more obligatory Civil War tie-in stuff, but also includes some sinister suggestions about the nature of the manager of Jen's law firm, some more pining for Jen from poor old Pug, and a full page devoted to spit-takes. Good stuff, as always.

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