Not to sound all sappy and stuff, but I’m really going to miss this stack. I liked–no: I like-llked every book in my bag. It’s like they say: like-like comes round when you least expect it; or maybe I was just lookin’ for like-like in all the wrong places. As it is, to quote the Lard, “I’m busting, Jerry, I’m busting!”
I took off with Action Comics #0 and realized right away that this Zero thing wasn’t some silly gimmick–at least not here. Morrison promises, “You’ll see”; and, boy, do we! The Super Scribe is magnificently crisp and coherent throughout as he unfolds the majesty of the impossibly powerful Prince of Metropolis. Oliver, who left me wanting on Batwing, matches the grandeur of the story panel for panel, page for page–shining especially on the spread on pages 10 and 11 (the fall) and on the turn from 25 to 26 (the stand). The latter example is simply stunning in the way it reflects perfectly the wonder of a child and the might and compassion of the world’s greatest hero, who, after a somewhat uneven treatment in the New 52, finally gets the turn he so justly deserves. Bravo.
After that, you’d probably figure that Action was my favorite title of the week; but it wasn’t. That distinction goes to a book with a decidedly different tone: Swamp Thing #0. I’m saving my take, however, for the Scottlight. Check back soon for that.
Sticking with the Zeroes: I really enjoyed Animal Man #0 and Dial H #0, too. Sure, Lemire’s treading on sacred ground, but he’s doing so respectfully and adeptly. He has Buddy unwittingly assume a supporting role–suiting his name, no?–in a reality cast by the ever-desperate but unflinching reps of the Red. To make the transition that much more startling and fun, Lemire cleverly has Buddy evolve from a flightless “Chicken Thief” to a soaring hawk–to a superhero who doesn’t mind a few flashbulbs popping his way. But despite it all–all the power, the adventure, and the fame–he’s not the man; his unborn daughter is. Even if he had the eyesight of the hawk, he’d never see it coming. Great stuff!
In Dial H, Mieville spiritedly yanks back the curtain and effervescently reveals the secret behind the powers summoned by the dial. There’s no mystery here: it’s all about Bumper Carla. Ah, yes: Bumper Carla; she is simultaneously WTF? and Hell yeah!–and is everything you need to know and to love about this carnival ride of a read. This is some fine China.
Ultimate Spider-Man #14 was quite a thwip, with Bendis delivering yet another touching moment as May gifts Peter’s web-shooters to Miles. That leads to miles of fun as the newest Spidey gets into the swing of things over the city. The battle with the Rhino is OK, nothing special; but it is certainly buoyed by the young Webcrawler’s sticky wit–which makes sense, really, because, as we all know, with great power comes great banter.
I saved the Valiant books for last. And even though it’s still early, they’re cranking up the volume. Bloodshot #3 is without a doubt the best issue of the series thus far. It steps beyond the bullets and sinks into Bloodshot’s brain, almost demanding the end, which sees Dodge fire a bullet into Bloodshot’s brain. Go figure.
Archer & Armstrong #2 is a terrific follow-up to a solid series starter. Sure, it ramps up–and “profits” from–the humor built grossly upon the One Percent’s corporate jargon. And, sure, the incorporation of the magic of Michelangelo is artful, indeed. But the real selling point is showcased on the final page: The Sisters of Perpetual Darkness. Ninja Nuns? Yes, please. Oh, I’m thinking that issue #3 is going to bring a little cloistered T&A to A&A. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that in my comic book!
Now that‘s what I call a week of books.