Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Comic shop comics: June 27

Aquaman #10 (DC Comics) Only one new, story-advancing thing happened in the 20 pages of this $3 comic book: Aquaman's archenemy Black Manta makes a move towards Dr. Shin, who is being guarded by Aquaman's wife Mera. That's it. And it happens on the last page, soooooo...see you next month, suckers?

Now there are, of course, 19 more pages in this comic book, but they are seemingly slow, unimportant and somewhat repetitive. There are eight-pages devoted to introducing a new character, one of "The Others" the current story arc is named after, three pages are devoted to illustrating what Shin already told Mera in the previous issue (that Aquaman killed Black Manta's dad), about four or five pages of Aquaman and Black Manta fighting while a couple of Others comment and two (two!) pages containing a single panel of Aquaman punching Black Manta.

There's a lot about the New 52boot that has reminded me of Marvel's 2000 introduction of their Ultimate Universe. Aquaman is the one book I'm reading that reminds me specifically of the pacing and frustrating reading experience of Brian Michael Bendis' scripting of the first volume of Ultimate Spider-Man.

I really, really, really like Aquaman, I think Ivan Reis is a pretty okay artist and I like more of Geoff Johns' writing than I dislike, but I'm digging this book less and less each month, and am pretty much on the cusp of dropping the book.

Superman Family Adventures #2 (DC) Art Baltazaar and Franco's second issue adopts a format closer to that of their Tiny Titans, with several related and connected short stories within the same issues as opposed to one long single narrative. There are also some subtle and not-so-subtle callbacks to their previous book, with a panel set inside the barn at the Kent farm revealing that it's the headquarters of the "Just-Us-Cows" (which began as a joke about Batman: Battle for the Cowl), and a scene featuring Superboy and Supergirl hanging out with the aged and newly-costumed not-quite-so-Tiny Titans.

As the cover reveals, Bizarro is in this issue, and his costume has also been altered to more closely resemble Superman's New 52 redesign; like Superman, Bizarro has lost his trunks, got a new V-neck turtleneck collar and a new belt that matches his cape.

I haven't been reading either of the Superman books since the New 52boot; I know this doesn't really count as in-continuity, but is this the first appearance of Bizarro since the September 2011 relaunch...?

The issue is, as to be expected, pretty charming, although I must confess I was a little disappointed with Baltazar and Franco's Bizarro dialouge. It wasn't opposite enough, for my tastes.


Alex said...

You should read The Flash instead of Aquaman. Faster paced, and really cool art and design tricks every issue from Francis Manapul.

matthew. said...

It seems to me that your constant return to the abjection of Aquaman is closer to masochism than in the interest of reading a good story. Move on, Caleb.

JohnF said...

Aquaman just isn't getting it done. I so want to see that character done right, but this just feels like more of the same from Johns.