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Weekly Comic Book Pulls for 5-14-08
Henchman21   |  @   |  

Yeah, it’s kind of a small list of books, but that just means I can catch up with other stuff, and keep this short and sweet. The week was full of some personal favorite books, as well as me taking a shot on a couple. Let’s see what we’ve got!

PULL LIST 05-14-08

  • Batman #676
  • Sky Doll #1
  • Amazing Spider-man #559
  • Casanova #14
  • DMZ #31

Batman #676
Now, I’m going to delve into one of my weirder tendencies when it comes to my comic collecting; give me a book about a c-list hero or some weird indie book, and I’m all over it like white on rice, give me a book staring any of DC’s major characters and I couldn’t care a less. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash; hardly ever bought an issue (possibly never a single issue of WW or Flash). I think the longest stretch of Batman issues I ever bought was the Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee run from a few years back. So I stepped out of my comfort zone to give this issue, the first part of Grant Morrison‘s “Batman R.I.P.” story, a try. I haven’t been reading the previous issues of Morrison’s run, so it feels like I’m walking in late to a movie. Batman’s apparently got a new girlfriend who knows his secret identity, Robin is worried about Batman for some reason, there’s some goofy club that Batman’s girlfriend might be tied into, and the Joker shows up and does something. Mostly this story is all set-up, so it’s hard for me to tell if it’s really good or not. Like most of Morrison’s single issues, you can see it’s leading up to something, you just don’t know what. The art by Tony Daniel is pretty nice. He’s got a good Batman, and uses some good angles for the story. I never got lost on his pages. I don’t know if this is something new or not, but he seems to be using a bit of Heath Ledger’s Joker in the last page, with the corners of the Joker’s mouth all scared up. It threw me off a bit, but it’s kind of a nit pick, and I can see why DC may have asked for that. I can buy into the dialog and the story points of the issue, and while it’s not bad, and fans of Batman and Morrison will probably have a better idea if this is good or not, I can’t say it makes me excited to buy the next issue. I might stick around to see if the second issue goes anywhere, but if I’m going to be expected to buy every book in the Batman line, you can count me out for that. —3 out of 5

Sky Doll #1
Now here’s a book to try out that’s right up my alley. Weird sci-fi premise; check. Originally created in a different country; check. Unique art style; check. This here is the first title released under the Marvel/Soleil partnership, and given the quality of this issue and the preview art from other series at the back of this one, I’ll be buying a few more of these. $5.99 gets you 40+ pages with out ads of some really fine French comics. The premise for the series is kind of hard to describe; it’s the far future and everyone’s kind of under the thumb of the popular religion of the time. The titular Sky-doll is a robotic girl who works for a spaceship-wash (as I sing “Working at the car wash, yeah”), decides to run away from her boss/pimp/slave-driver, and discovers she may be the reincarnation of one of the founders of the popular religion. Or something. It’s a pretty heady mix of ideas, mixing religion with sexuality, the whole idea of reincarnation, whether robots are people too. There’s a lot going on. All these ideas are presented using a very bright and cartoony style of art. I could probably read this in French and still enjoy it, if for the art alone. The designs are very unique, and you can tell this didn’t come from an American pencil. My only nitpick would be in the translation process. It looks like they kept the same word balloons as were in the original French, and just put the English dialog in those balloons, which wouldn’t be bad, except the English takes up less space, so you get really large balloons with not much text in them. It kind of bugs me because the balloons cover up some of the art and that’s what I really want to see. Still, I had enjoyed the hell out of it, and I’m going to be buying the next two issues of this series, and whatever else Marvel puts out, if only so I can get something new in my reading mix. —4 out of 5

Amazing Spider-man #559
After Bob Gale and Barry Kitson’s issue last week, we get Dan Slott on writing and Marcos Martin on art, and as far as I’m concerned they can stay on for a while. Martin came to my attention when he handled the art for the Dr. Strange: The Oath mini last year, and he has a great handle on Spidey. His art has tons of style and energy, and just makes the story more fun to read, which is ideal for a Spider-man story. The story continues a bunch of the lingering subplots in the series, but is mostly concerned with Peter parker taking on the job of a paparazzo for the DB. The story tries to make some point about how bad the paparazzi have made things, but it’s all surface level and it’s not anything that hasn’t been said before. Still the art is amazing, and it’s a mostly enjoyable story, so chalk this up in the win column. —4 out of 5

Casanova #14
One of the highlights of my pull list comes to a close for a while, as the second story of Casanova comes to a very surprising end. I mean really surprising, I had no idea that what happened was going to happen, and it throws the last seven issues in a whole new light. Of course, it’s a big crazy idea, which is what this series is known for. I’ve always said that if you want to read the best representation of Matt Fraction‘s talent, you have to read this series. His Marvel work has been fine, but has always left me a little cold, but this series has been consistently fantastic, and the next batch of issues can’t come soon enough. I know that when the series returns, it will be changed again, but I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it. —5 out of 5

DMZ #31
Man I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a small group of books last week. There’s a bunch of books that I could cover, but I just don’t feel like going into detail about them. I will talk a bit about perennial favorite of the column, Brian Wood’s DMZ. There’s not much to say that I haven’t said before. Great art, thought provoking story, all good stuff. This issue brings up more of main character Matty Roth’s family life, bringing his mother into the picture. Turns out she’s a political mucky muck, and she causes problems right away for Matty. The story of Parco Delgado and his campaign continues to be interesting, and I can’t tell if we’re supposed to be rooting for him, or if he’s going to turn out to be a villain of sorts. This continues to be a great series, but I can see why a lot of people may want to read this in trades (like most Vertigo titles). —4 out of 5

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