OK, here’s what I’ve been reading, with extremely brief notes.
The new edition of Avengers Forever is a beautiful thing with larger trimsize giving Carlos Pacheco’s artwork the room it needs to really hit you. There’s a lot of cute throwaway details, but unless you’re a massive fan of The Avengers and excited about Kurt Busiek’s sometimes-too-neat superhero storytelling being wrapped around a near-incoherent plot involving time travel, Kang vs Immortus (who is also Kang) and something called the destiny force, I don’t actually recommend it.
The praise I’d heard for Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka is very justified. While the quick-and-dirty pitch is “Watchmen for Astro Boy,” Urasawa’s storytelling (which has grown by leaps since Monster, another series I’m catching up on) is nuanced and willing to let the reader work a bit and the emotional beats he hits are a bit stunning, especially considering how much of this work revolves around robots.
Yotsuba&! #6 is likely the comic I’ve looked forward to the most this year, and yes, I know how creepy that makes me sound. Still, despite my inherent cynicism, there’s something so refreshingly irony-free about observing life with Yotsuba and I can’t help but get sucked in and laughing and worrying and cheering for her. It’s a bit like the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer that way — kid-friendly material that works on every level because it’s not aiming at anyone in particular.
Boy, Philip Tan is not the artist I would have followed Frank Quitely with on Morrison’s Batman and Robin fourth issue. He certainly makes some game attempts to match Morrison’s scripting, but they come off as forced versus the effortless way that Quitely packs creatively-laid-out panels with detail and still manages to be readable. There’s a scene where a card is falling from the air and the camera tracks it into Batman’s hands and it lacked a certain kind of alchemy that Morrison manages to do with his best collaborators.
All of this aside, I absolutely love how these comics are scripted and how they play with conventions like titles and credits. It’s sort of the less-formalized version of All Star Superman and it makes each chapter’s inertia play out a certain way.
I’m just going to presume Jeff Parker writes Agents Of Atlas for me and Chris Sims and the rest of you are lucky enough to be along for the ride. The latest issue has a terrific gag centering around a personality implant for M11 just identified as “The Greatest.” I won’t spoil it, but I’ll say it’s a perfect example of how to slip neat asides into your superhero comics without getting bogged down in the too-cute-oh-hey-here’s-a-meme syndrome that some writers fall into.
You’re reading my new comic, right? OK, good.