Look, it pains me to say this, but once you get past the godawful cover on the latest issue of Action Comics, John Byrne’s art looks splendid on the inside. This is, of course, because of the surnamed-only inker, Nelson. There’s a lot of subtle details and even the Six Standard Byrne Shots are looking a bit more spry. Seeing Byrne’s work not inked in Sharpie reminded me that, hey, he’s not Liefeld. Simone does a decent enough job, excluding one overly-cute bit between Lois and Superman, and I will be reading the next issue.
When I was a lad in England, the original MarvelMan was one of the comics I read, and one of my “favorite” characters. (“Favorite” for me in those days being defined as “what I am reading right this instant”.) In fact, when I first saw Captain Marvel, knowing no better at the time, I thought he was a copy of MarvelMan.
Anyway, to answer your question, with fond memories of MarvelMan behind me, I did not much care for Moore’s take on the character. The “everything you know is a lie” approach is a card that should be played with great caution, and usually works best as a story arc, with all things restored at the end, rather than as a “big reveal”.
So, I guess I can just write in “…and then Kal-El woke up” on the last page of Man Of Steel? What about that new Doom Patrol? The Grant Morrison stuff happened, right? I mean, that’s how it has to be or else everything I knew was a lie! There’s some additional faffing about by his usual minions, all of whom I’ve trained myself to ignore completely thanks to their use of “Meh” to indicate displeasure with something1 and avatars like this:
It’s sort of hypnotic, isn’t it?
While I’ve got Superman on my mind, I have to tell you all to just skip this week’s issue 217 of the eponymous series featuring the Kryptonian. Buried in the alternately lethargic and manic script is something that could have been good Silver-Age style story, but it wasn’t – Verheiden’s pacing issues drove me mad, and Ed Benes is not my favorite artist, or even in the top 300. I also read the first trade (hardcover, of course) of the Azzarello/Lee stuff, wherein Superman’s an asshole2, and outside of some lovely layouts and dynamic storytelling on the part of Lee, there’s nothing in here that makes me want to pick up the second half of the story.
Somebody brought a complete run of NthMan: The Ultimate Ninja into the shop and I leapt upon it like each page was dipped in platinum. Expect a special series retrospective edition of The Fanboy Within soon enough. (Something about this cover cracks me up. Either it’s the complete lack of excitement in the word balloon or the fact that Marvel trademarked Sasha’s name. No, seriously – it’s not that visible in the scan, but it’s there.)
Sometime soon, I have to review some kinda indie comic or you people are going to start thinking I am some sort of capes fetishist.
1The fact that “Meh” is usually backed up with the most half-assed parody of “critical commentary” only adds to my hatred of this LiveJournal spawned phoneme.
2For real. The big S insults Equus’s appearance and then threatens to scorch the planet completely free of life to keep some pesky Earth Elementals in line. That’s not my Superman.