Spacecrab (spacecrab) wrote,

Hey, good comics! (#1 in a series of "good stuff" reviews)

I don't post very often, over here. I've never had a clear idea of what I want to do with a livejournal (as I've probably whinged about too many times). I don't have the stamina to start a real blog and post to it on a regular basis. But I do have a few things to share that have accumulated over the last several months. Each of these should be its own entry. (My previous post on Potlatch should probably have been #1.) We'll see if I can make myself follow through properly on the rest. After all, there are Doctor Who episodes to watch, books to read, and even work to do.
* * * *
I'm really bored by most of the current comic titles in the DC Universe. I used to think of myself as a comic book geek. But I'm incapable of sustaining interest in their current, convoluted multiverse reboot -- because there are hardly any individual stories, anymore. Most of the books now feature incomplete, disjoint episodes that are part of a vast title-spanning infodump. The attempt to link the histories of every character in their stable into a giant, shared soap opera isn't working for me. I get more enjoyment and understanding out of reading Wikipedia articles about the DC Universe than I do reading the primary source material.

That having been said, Paul Dini, Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, and Darwyn Cooke can and have produced great comic book work for DC. They still manage to do so every once in awhile, when they manage to escape the horrid schema that seems primarily to be the work of editor Dan DiDio.


Paul Dini: Detective Comics 833, August 2007. (Click on Zatanna, above.) In some sense, this story might be read as a prequel/sequel to Dini's animated JLU s3, ep6: This Little Piggy. The relationship between Batman and Zatanna is set up there (with an amazing bonus: Batman's bluesy Karaoke performance, which reverses Circe's spell and transforms Wonder Woman from a pig back into herself). In the current Detective Comics, Dini produces an inspired retcon of the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Zatanna, showing them as childhood friends. (Dini reveals that their fathers, Thomas Wayne and Zatara, were also friends who worked together.)

Grant Morrison (Frank Quitely, artist): All-Star Superman #1-?: see particularly #4, which depicts the coolest Jimmy Olsen this side of Supreme, and #5, which features an issue-long prison rap session between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent.

Darwyn Cooke: Batman/Spirit #1 Pretty good stuff, if you're a fan of either the Spirit or the animated Batman. The two universes combine into one when Dolan, Commissioner Gordon, and femmes fatale from both worlds are added to the mix.


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