The Comic Queen

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Single-Panel Reviews Catch Up 8/15/04

Here are more comics I’ve been catching up on.

Blood Orange #1
Fantagraphics $5.95
By Various; Edited by Chris Polkki
Released this Spring, Blood Orange #1 is a 48-page anthology of short works by 16 different artists, intended to be a quarterly publication. The work ranges from sketchbook pages to the surreal to strip comics. Some of my favorites were M. Kupperman’s “How to Recognize Criminal Fingertalk,” Maaike Hartjes’s “Maaike’s Little Diary,” Kevin Huizenga’s “Fight or Run?” and Ron Rege Jr.’s “The Sublime Realm Between.” There were definitely others I liked and some that didn’t necessarily float my boat but that I enjoyed a certain aspect. Overall, it was a nice smaller format to sample a variety of different minicomics and artists, some of which I most likely would not have been exposed to otherwise.
Bottom line: B+

Y: The Last Man #25
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan; Penciller: Pia Guerra; Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
First off, I’ve got to say the cover deserves an A+ all by itself – just an amazingly rendered and colored work of art. As for the book itself, this wrapped up the two-part “Tongues of Flame” storyline where Yorick tries to relieve himself of guilt by finding a church at which to confess, only to end up racking up more to feel guilty about. This two-parter was a vehicle for self discovery by Yorick and showed another possible aspect of life after men. The most intriguing part of the issue was the last three pages of the book, though, setting up another twist to the plot. Another well-done issue by Vaughan and Guerra.
Bottom line: A

Seaguy #3 (of 3)
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Grant Morrison; Artist: Cameron Stewart
Well, this storyline ended up wrapping up and making more sense (in an odd sort of way) than I thought it would. The second issue lost me a bit – the first and third installments are stronger in their storytelling. The series is worth a read, especially for the great artwork of Stewart. This was by far the best part of the limited series for me. In fact, I might just have to flip through the issues again to enjoy the art another time.
Bottom line: B

War Games (so far): Batman, The 12-cent Adventure (Prelude); Detective Comics #797 (Act One, Part 1); Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #182 (Act One, Part 2); Nightwing #96 (Act One; Part 3)
I’m four parts into the War Games crossover, and so far I’m not too impressed, but I’m not discouraged either. A glowing endorsement, I know. Right now, there’s a lot of set up going on, so we haven’t made it into the thick of the plot. This seems about right on course for a 24-part series (Three acts, eight parts each). My only real criticism is the lack of backstory on the gangs and leaders who have started this massive gang war. It is difficult to get invested in characters and groups we really don’t know much, if anything, about. Also, on the individual issue level, the Detective Comics issue was a poor writing job. Reading the rest of the issues, this stuck out like a sore thumb. Batman’s dialogue was jarringly different than the other issues and was substandard in general. That’s the risk in these multiple-title crossovers, keeping a continuous storyline with so many different voices can be difficult. While I’m not a big fan of crossovers, I think this one has potential.
Bottom line: B

Identity Crisis #3
Check out my review of Identity Crisis #3 at the Paperback Reader website.


  • At 10:28 AM, August 17, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm with you again on Y: The Last Man. Excellent stuff. I dropped all my Bat-books in time for this crossover. I've got enough of those in my back issue boxes to last me a lifetime. I don't need another one about some generic gang war between generic gangs over generic territory.



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