Saturday, August 26, 2017
Comic Shop Comics: August 23rd
Perhaps to help distinguish this as the start of a new arc, Waid is joined by a new artist (or, as the back cover says, "NEW SERIES ARTIST") Audrey Mok, which is something of a blow to Josie and The Pussycats, which Mok was drawing before she got switched to Archie.
Steph has been working with Anarky, who Wikipedia tells me is actually the second Anarky in post-Flashpoint/New 52 continuity. This Anarky is apparently Lonnie Manchin though (Steph calls him "Lonnie" at one point), even though he has a new, dumb costume which keeps nothing of the original save the color scheme and the mask. The design is a weird one, given that the character was originally created around a particular costume design (artist Norm Breyfogle and writer Alan Grant wanted to do a character who looked like the one from V For Vendetta) and the A-for-Anarchy symbol has a fairly universal appeal, although this design has excised it from Anarky's costume entirely (instead, he wears a couple of straps that attach to his belt to suggest an "A").
Like most of the '90s characters inserted into this series, this version of Anarky reads like a pale shadow of his original self. It's not just the design; when creator Alan Grant was writing the character, particularly after his initial appearances, I got the sense that both Grant and Lonnie had read books I hadn't, and were talking about societal philosophy. Here Lonnie basically just talks in platitudes, and what he's up to exactly just feels like a sort of generic clash with Batman's worldview (he has apparently set-up an underground refugee camp near "Monstertown," the Gotham neighborhood created in the wake of "Night of the Monster Men").
There's also a flashback to before Tim Drake disappeared, as a way of reminding us that Tim and Stephanie did indeed have a relationship in the current continuity, even if it happened almost entirely off-panel.
After the amount of set-up last issue, including the panel-time devoted to The Archies and the Josie/Alexandra/Alan love triangle, this issue felt like it resolved things a little too quickly and too neatly, but the fact that it felt off might have been due to the fact that regular artist Audrey Mok has been replaced by new artist Kelsey Shannon (Mok, as mentioned two reviews ago, has apparently been transferred over to Archie) or that the normal joke-per-page ratio was lower than usual.
There's still a rather sweet ending, particularly the panels of Josie tucking in the publisher's teenage mascot.
Ayme Sotuyo is still drawing, and I'm still not crazy about her art.
The bit with the paper airplanes, which is what found itself on the cover, was interesting and educational though.