Where last week I had the problem of too few comics, this week I’ve got a plentiful bounty, which leads to me going straight to the point:
Winter Soldier #11 continues Marvel’s attempt to kick Ed Brubaker in the ass as he walks out the door. It’s all part of their continued effort to get me (yes, me!) to stop buying their comics as they try less and less to make comics with actual craftsmanship to instead crank out more grist for the mill–the mill being the ‘Keep IPs in the minds of drooling fanboys so that when the next movie comes along, we’re at least guaranteed they will come and drag anyone that still tolerates to see it’ department–a move that has only made the comics they publish increasingly unreadable, bland, and dull even by the low standards of the superhero comic book. Speaking of which, I also bought Uncanny X-Force #32 and Amazing Spider-Man #695; X-Force at least has some interesting (if repetitive) stuff going on, but buying Dan Slott-writen Spider-Man is essentially me self-flagellating because I used to be a huge Spider-Man fan and want to be again. Everyone keeps telling me, ‘No, man, this is really good, you’ll love it,’ and it never fails, I come back for an arc and say ‘Maybe they’re right.’ This ends with me asking, ‘What the fuck was I thinking?’ Every. Time.
I missed the most recent issue of Chew, but series co-creator John Layman is taking over DC’s New 52 version of Detective Comics with the thirteenth issue. The art’s just a hair above the standard for DC by being competent at storytelling, but there’s none of the spark that gives great comic books a heartbeat, and the whole thing’s covered in the Big Two’s default brown scale color scheme. Layman’s Batman is a bit more humorous but you can barely tell the way the visuals are all “grim grim grim grim grim grim grim grim grim.” There’s also the fun but baffling Dial H, hitting #5 today, Green Lantern nonsense in the thirteenth issue of that title (featuring Baz,whose first appearance I talked about already), and Ann Nocenti cycling through the third or fourth artist on her Green Arrow run (Freddie Williams II is up to bat).
When I went into the comic shop today, I didn’t have a whole lot of “indie” comics on my list, which is unfortunate since I’m trying to pare down my Big Two purchases. Then again, the “indie” layout is fairly choppy, what with the Top Shelfs and the Fantagraphics having retreated to the outside world to publish “graphic novels,” while IDW, Dynamite, and Dark Horse devote most of their resources to licensed properties my generation grew up on (also, an awful lot of John Carter comics considering that movie was a well-deserved bomb). As it turns out, though, a new publisher named “We” had released two new titles–the manga-like Triage and all-ages friendly How I Spent My Summer Invasion–which gives me a little hope for a future beyond Rob Liefeld’s oddly expanded influence (in spite of his recent flameout on Twitter, more superhero comics than ever read like the kind of crap he’s always peddled; meanwhile, his old studio is taking his creations in interesting, avant-garde directions. Weird).
Also, Image has Fatale #8 and Non-Humans #1 (which was pitched as “Blade Runner meets Toy Story,” no joke); I then brave the rape-and-murder-infested waters of Avatar Press and come back with Fashion Beast #2 and Ferals #9. Hopefully, I survive the experience. Finally, Jim Mahfood and Alan Martin conclude the anthology mini-series Everybody Loves Tank Girl with #3. It’s been a little joy to read.