The new Detective Comics by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III is more than just a very pretty object: it’s a tightly-written, exciting superhero book that takes place during a linewide event that manages to be new-reader-friendly without counterintuitive information dumps or placing much of an emphasis on the event itself. All you really need to know is that there’s a new Batman and Batwoman is now operating in the town and even the incusion of the Crime Bible and its worshippers is handled in a way that shifts something from being laughably over-the-top to a credible threat that has just a touch of comic book madness about it. Williams’s work is as stunning as ever, with plenty of page layouts that make even jaded readers like me gawk a bit. The coloring from Dave Stewart helps Williams greatly, as the art shifts from a more painterly style in the Batwoman sequences to fairly-straightforward (if immaculately rendered) comics art for non-costumed scenes. While it’s obvious that this is a temporary status quo, there’s enough to get me to pick up at least one more issue of this before just saying “screw it” and waiting for the trade.
I stopped reading Runaways when Brian K Vaughan left the title, but when Kathryn Immonen was announced as the writer picking up the reins after Terry Moore, I jumped right back on board. Her effusive dialogue and breathless plotting hooked me when she got her hands on Patsy Walker and while her first issue in this series doesn’t quite get off the launchpad as quickly as the others, the different approach taken suits the soap operatics that this title has had since its inception. Sara Pichelli’s work is downright gorgeous, telling the story well and even if I have some quibbles with the sameness of some of the facial features (the noses all have that ski-jump look,) the naturally body language sells scenes wonderfully. Christina Strain’s colors maintain a thematic connection to the earlier inception of the work, even as it complements the current team nicely. Very good superhero comics, and if Marvel would put the first digest back into print, something that could sell to more than the usual Wednesday crowd.
I’ve only read the first half of Empowered‘s fifth volume, but god, Adam Warren is a damn demon, isn’t he?
Awesome 2 is, much like the original Indie Spinner Rack anthology, pretty essential if you like comics as a medium more than as a delivery device for your genre of choice. Jim Rugg, Raina Telgemiere, Jeff Lemire, Pat Lewis, Alex Robinson, Jon Adams, and a boatload of other creators worth paying attention to contribute, and unlike most anthologies like this, it actually feels like there was an editor present.