Three Recent Things I Enjoyed: Superman, Kore-Eda, and A Creepy Horror Manga

Superman: Space Age (DC Comics)
Every time he’s touched the character, it’s become more and more obvious that Mark Russell just gets Superman. That said, this may well be the last word that the writer needs to have on this character. It’s a sweeping story about knowing one’s fate ahead of time that’s imbued with an intrinsic humanism that I will always fall for when done right. Even though I’ve seen the usual sorts decry this is a “weak” version of the character, they can rest easy knowing that it’s non-canonical1Whatever that means now as it takes place on Earth-203495-B. Everything’s beautifully rendered by the Allreds, of course — am I alone in sensing a little Paul Pope creeping in, especially on the Batman sequences? —  and there’s enough of a focus on the rest of that world’s DCU to make me want more, even if it’s got a perfect ending.

Broker (Neon Films)
Kore-eda is among my very favorite directors working now, and it’s a testament to his skill that I don’t even mind that this is his fourth or fifth movie about a found family. It’s his second theatrical release in a row that’s not set in Japan, but Korea is the perfect setting for this particular narrative — baby boxes are very common there, and the nation’s relationship with adoption is messy, to say the least — but I suspect he just really wanted to work with Parasite‘s Kong Sang Ho and Bae Doona, who has one of her most best performances ever as a police detective following our protagonists.

PTSD Radio (Kodansha)
I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t know if I buy Masaaki Nakayama’s narrative about why he couldn’t finish this series but what’s here in the three omnibus volumes that have been released is genuinely chilling. What starts off as a series of unrelated vignettes becomes a set of recurring incidents and that starts to build to something that is menacing. Nakayama’s art here is something to behold, and I love the way he creates horror in spaces where there really shouldn’t be any, like a set of public stairs or a bullet train in the middle of the day. Recommended if you like Junji Ito but wanted a bit more Lynch sprinkled in.



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