Well. Most of them are just new to me, but bear with me.
This week’s comics! I felt strongly about them, so I’m going to write about them.
This week, Animal Man and Stormwatch (both issue #3) came out.
I don’t think I can emphasize enough how beautiful animal man is. I love the thing, scratchy lineart— it’s malleable, which helps the distortion of environments and characters used frequently in the comic. It’s grotesque for sure, but a gorgeous grotesque, if that makes sense. The hunters were especially lovely in their distortions, as they lose their human forms to become flailing masses of intestines.
And Buddy himself, as he’s struggling to gain a stable, corporeal form in The Red, produces some of the most interesting transformations I’ve seen.
I also love the pages in The Red, with their abstract paneling (or lack of), as seen above. The composition is wonderful, produces the right tone, and maintains a comprehensible flow. It gives the illusion that the characters are everywhere and nowhere at once; in a kind of spiritual/Nirvana-esque place, which seems to be what The Red represents to its avatars. Overall, it’s just a beautiful, well put-together book. The story is good too, although personally, it’s not something I’d usually pick up by reading the summary alone. I’m usually not a fan of abstract “fate” storylines, but the context (and the art) keeps me well interested.
I never read anything with Animal Man before the new 52, so I’m curious about the ways they’re screwing with his origin. The style of this new comic is very “alternative” and seemingly experimental, which I doubt was the tone of Animal Man’s previous books. (The idea of the hero seems pretty standard— after all, he basically has
Mari’s Vixen’s powers. I can’t imagine anything else he’s in as being anything better than “standard super hero.” Shh, don’t break the illusion for me. I like the idea of a shift from the mainstream to something absolutely crazy like this.)
So yeah, Animal Man continues to delight me.
But I also buy Stormwatch, because The Authority has a special place in my heart, and Stormwatch basically absorbed them.
Oh man. I wasn’t particularly impressed with this latest incarnation, but I wasn’t really disappointed either. But this last issue…This last issue was a real stinker. I had some faith in you, Cornell. How could you do this to me?
The writing reads as incredibly lazy; primarily because it was nothing but cheap exposition. I read recently that good dialog is “stuff you can imagine people actually saying out loud.” Which is sort of no-brainer advice, admittedly. But my god— every word out of these characters mouths was an unnecessary explanation for everything they were doing, and how they’re doing it. Christ! Comics is a visual method of story-telling! And even literature knows to “show, not tell.”
And even though there are probably a lot of people unfamiliar with Apollo’s, or Jenny’s, or Jack’s (etc.) powers, they don’t need to be explained repeatedly. I mean, the original exposition wasn’t amazing either, but I think by the third time Jenny’s powers were explained was where I was getting outright frustrated. It’s unnecessary. I’ll put it this way: What’s her name, Media Girl, I didn’t know her powers before the first issue. Then she explained them with the most hollow dialog imaginable, and while it was clunky exposition, at least I knew. I didn’t need her to explain them again in this issue. Holy BALLS, man.
The dialog was the absolute worst. It was sad how much personality it sacrificed for the forced explanations of everything. It read like Cornell had absolutely no faith in his artist or readers at all. This issue was exceedingly disappointing, made worse by the fact that it was populated by my favorite characters.
Not to mention Midnighter’s stupid chin-spike was as distracting and embarrassing as the last two issues. (The more I see it, the more I cannot believe that somebody thought it was a good idea.) God, his whole uniform is just awful.
And apparently Apollo’s name is Andrew?? Look, Apollo is a real name. You didn’t need to call him Andrew! I understand his origin is different from The Authority— no Bendix memory wipes— but there was no reason to give him the name Andrew. He’s Apollo. Plain and simple. He doesn’t even need a code name because he operates as a small-scale crime fighter in alleyways and the such. The impression we were given in the first issue is that he doesn’t want to be associated with superheroes! So where’d this stupid Andrew come from?
I can see it on Midnighter— it’s not like his code name could be mistaken for something anybody’d actually name a baby. (Although I know somebody who knows a “Newborn,” I kid you not. Who would do that to a child?) So why would they do this to my Apollo WHY.
Alleviating this pain, my Pulse trades arrived in the mail. Say what you will, it’s got a ton of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in it, so I’m extremely satisfied. I especially liked it when Luke got on his “DON’T FUCK WITH MY FAMILY” face and punched Norman Osborne (yessssss). I love you, Luke Cage. And I love Jessica Jones. And I love baby Danielle, even if you can barely see Jess’ pregnancy at this point. And I love them all together so much.
Oh, and when she thought he’d given her a miscarriage and she flipped the fuck out on Norman Osborne? That. That was awesome. Baby, you do what Spiderman doesn’t have the guts to.
(I’ve only read the first one so far, but I was happy with it. Aaaah, I need all of New Avengers after this, and one day I’ll buy all of Alias, and I can just have a Jessica Jones library.)
I also got a package from my mom, which surprisingly included Batwoman: Elegy! I was happy that she thought to send it, but a little annoyed that she’d opened the package that I’d accidentally sent home. My mother’s really nosy… (I say this with confidence, my friends. This is not the nosiest thing she’d done by far. Just another incident in a sequence of events.)
So that was my day with comics (comics SO MANY NEW COMICS).