The Boys #21
This is the first time anyone’s used 9/11 in a superhero comic in a way that didn’t make me feel like I needed to wash my hands afterwards. While Vaughan and Harris tried admirably in Ex Machina, Ennis actually manages to make the actions (and inactions) of the series antagonists the point of the story using the events of seven years ago as a plot point, not a crutch to lend a comic book more gravitas than it deserves. Robertson deserves a lot of credit here for his part: he uses some fantastic action shots and facial expressions (particularly the horror, frustration, and fear seen in the eyes of a F-16 pilot in the opening pages) that sell the story on its own merits.
Criminal Volume 2, #4
One of the reasons I like this book so much is that it feels like Brubaker and Phillips are running a bit of a scam on Marvel by making a series that’s so counter to the publisher’s usual hype and methodologies; it’s a dark-as-hell crime comic with backing essays and interviews. The opening salvo in the four-part “Bad Night” gives us the story of the man behind those “Frank Kafka, PI” strips that have cropped up in issues past: he was a bad man once, and he’s going to have to be one again if he wants to live. I don’t want to say it’s a perfect jumping-on point, because that’s the hoariest clichÃ© in comics, but…
Final Crisis #3
I’ll refer you to Birdie’s review of the book while saying “I told people that it was like a ‘real’ book, not some Chuck Dixon paint-by-numbers plot.”
I got the Supergirl cover, which I quite like, despite the apparent pedo tone that I missed out on.
Patsy Walker: Hellcat #2
It’s easy to be lured in by the fun visuals David Lafuente (with colorist John Rauch) is cranking out – seriously, there’s a two-page spread that rivals Williams on Promethea – but Kathryn Immonen’s script for this second issue is a nice piece of workmanship on its own, trusting the reader to connect a few dots without ever making them feel lost and coming up with at least two laugh-out-loud moments. It’s hard to not like her take on Patsy Walker: a spunky, angst-free superheroine who seems to enjoy her job is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Special Forces #3
For some reason, I left the new Army@Love in my box for Sunday, but this will certainly tide me over in the subtle-as-a-bulldozer-filled-with-dynamite war satire comics department. Baker’s a cartooning wonder, he really is. Some preview images are up on his blog.