Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Comic shop comics: September 21

Daredevil #4 (Marvel Entertainment) In this issue Marcos Martin returns after a two-issue absences. But since Paolo Rivera is the other pencil artists, Daredevil is the rare book where it doesn't really matter which artist shows up, as they're both great—and compatibly so.

The book opens with a great three-page sequence, with two 15-panel pages in which Martin, colorist Muntsa Vicente and letterer Joe Caramagna attempting to replicated how the action would be perceived through the eyes of the protagonist—a blind man with a unique sixth-sense—before exploding into a full-page splash.

It's probably the most effective splash I've seen since Frank Miller and Jim Lee's introduction of Black Canary in All-Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder.

It's so basic, Comic Book Making 101, really: Building up suspense gradually, so that when the climax comes if feels like a climax because the scene earned it. By contrast, old hand Jim Lee, who drew that All-Star Batman splash I mentioned, tossed out two-page splashes after three panel pages in his recent Justice League #1 and it felt lazy, lacking the oomph of the third page of Martin and company's Daredevil.

Like I say, the sequence isn't all that sensational or revolutionary—it's basically just Comics 101, but it feels so special because almost everyone else in super-comics dropped out of school.

Oh, and the next 17 pages? Just as brilliant. I love the panel after Daredevil gets out of the...unique situation he found himself in during the first scene, the relief with which he jumps into a hail of bullets aimed at his face, or the scene where he hurls himself into a burning building...? Wow.

I can think of at least 52 titles that are getting more attention than Daredevil is at the moment. I can't think of one that is deserving of attention though.

Tiny Titans #44 (DC Comics) While everything's new new new at DC this month, Tiny Titans is one of a handful of books completely untouched. Why mess with perfection?

In this issue, Beast Boy is reunited with the Doom Patrol, the four of whom are all crossing guards in Sidekick City, and each of whom makes it progressively more difficult for the Tiny Titans to cross the street. Here are headshots of Baltazar's Doom Patrol, from the roll call-like character key on the title page:The last story in this issue is an extended flashback to the young Doom Patrol's temporary custodian ship of baby Beast Boy (Beast Baby...?)

Wonder Woman #1 (DC) I'm not going to review this here, as I have a lot to say, and think I'll say it best elsewhere in the very near future. For now, if you're simply looking for should-I-check-it-out-or-not type advice, please not that it's pretty good, but isn't the sort of wholesale reinvention of the wheel that DC's reboot/relaunch could theoretically afforded the character—a character who so badly needs wholesale reinvention—this is more of a, um, tune-up of that wheel by skilled mechanics, rotating your tires and scrubbing the whitewalls until they look newer and cleaner than they have since you don't know when.


David said...

So far of the reboots, Action Comics, Superboy, and Supergirl have turned out the best. Supergirl suffered from horrible decompression though.

Red Hood and the Outlaws did a good job of including action and setting up threads for future issues, but suffered from Starfire having the memory of a goldfish and Rocafort being horribly incapable of drawing a woman in a bikini.

Blue Beetle a terrible, pointless reboot. Paco is now a gangbanger stereotype, and the spanglish was so overdone I thought I was watching a mexploitation movie.

SallyP said...

Blue Beetle WAS completely pointless...but Wonder Woman, oh, Wonder Woman was delightful.

Caleb said...

So Blue Beetle is a reboot too? That seems kind of crazy, since the "old" Blue Beetle is only about five years old, and he hasn't even had a monthly book going that long. With the possible exception of Batwing, is there any star of these books with LESS continuity to worry about than Blue Beetle...?

And what happens to those old Blue Beetle trades? In five years, will they be in print, and how will DC distinguish those comics from the "new" Blue Beetle comics that came out a few years later...?

So weird...