Wednesday, March 17, 2010 01:52 PM
(Last updated on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 02:21 PM)
The Take
 by Fëanor

Fëanor's (semi-)weekly comic book review post.

This post covers new releases from the week of 3/10. Beware spoilers!

New releases
B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #3
Hey, the Black Flame is back! And he says Abe is the new Hellboy! Sort of. I like the idea that Abe could be the key to the apocalypse now - that he also has a fateful destiny. After all, he is the "child of Dagon." I also like the two competing, all-too-similar visions of the end of the world that the Black Flame offers. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out what Liz is seeing. Is it an actual present apocalypse, or is it yet another false vision of doom being put into her head by the ghost of Saa? Hmm... Regardless, I'm intrigued and I'm looking forward to the next issue.
Thumbs Up

Batman and Robin #10
Grant Morrison is an insane magician. His new story arc on this title opens with Damian yelling at the board of Wayne Enterprises. The mysterious detective Oberon Sexton returns, and he suspects Bruce Wayne of being part of the Black Glove. Then the real craziness starts. Alfred, Batman, and Robin begin following an Indiana Jones-style series of artifacts, clues, and secret passages hidden in and around Wayne Manor, apparently by the time-lost Bruce Wayne. (The time-lost concept appears to have already been introduced in other comic series that I don't read, but whatever.) To add to the fun, Penitente's goons come after Sexton, and the whole lot of them end up on the grounds of Wayne Manor, where they run into Damian, who's running away from himself, having discovered that his mother planted some kind of hypnotic suggestion in him that's making him try to kill Dick Grayson - and this right after he's finally begun to like and respect Grayson. I love all these subplots. I particularly like the crazy patter Penitente's goons are using. And I'm really starting to like Oberon Sexton as a character. Could he be Bruce Wayne in disguise? I don't know, that seems too obvious...
Thumbs Up

Criminal: The Sinners #5
The latest Criminal story arc comes to a brutal and brilliant conclusion in this issue. It's an instant classic. I love the way Brubaker holds fast to the archetypes of the noir genre, but still manages to use them to tell a fresh and powerful story that surprises. Lawless carefully and cleverly tidies up all the storylines and loose plot threads by turning them all in on each other. The way he takes out Hyde is just beautiful. "Don't you wanna know who the killers are?" he asks Hyde. "Ah. Fuck 'em... Who cares?" Hyde says, while the killers are standing behind him, waiting to dispatch him. Lawless' final narration is fantastic, too: beautiful and painful and sad, and cleverly presented on top of Lawless' final act of justice - or, at least, revenge. In the back of the book is an interesting essay by Jess Nevins about the history and development of the character type known as the femme fatale. I wish it were a bit longer, with a bit more analysis and explication, but it's still pretty good.
Thumbs Up

S.W.O.R.D. #5
I've gone back and forth on this series, often changing my opinion of it with each issue, but this issue made me decide definitively that I love it. And so, of course, shortly after I finished reading it, I learned that the series has been canceled. Sigh. Anyway, this issue is loaded with wonderful comedy, which is made even funnier thanks to the fact that it comes out of the interactions between its fantastic cast of characters. I love these people and their relationships - especially Beast and Brant, and that final scene they have together. There's also unexpected plot twists, exciting action, and great dialog from the creepy Drenx. I can't tell you how much I love the two-page spread near the middle of the book where pretty much every one of Marvel's space alien heroes go Medieval on the Drenx. Epic bad-assery! And man, I love the character of the creepy, nameless, potentially universe-destroying android and his complex machinations. And the way Beast and Brant point out just how bad-ass the Earth and its heroes really are. It's just a great book. A great, canceled book. Sigh.
Thumbs Up

The Unwritten #11
It's always excellent when we get to see excerpts from the Tommy Taylor novels. The vision here of an afterlife tied up in bureaucratic knots is wonderful. And hey, how about Lizzie going to town on that Nazi? Peter Gross' depiction of the canker at the center of Jud Suss is stunning. It's great seeing Tom finally take an active role, too - changing things and choosing a direction. And at the end we get a look at the next big plot point: the impending release of a new Tommy Taylor novel! Is this a good or a bad thing? I'm thinking bad. It's probably an attempt by the evil, secret conspiracy to take control of the Taylor saga and use it for their own nefarious purposes. Regardless, it should be exciting!
Thumbs Up
Tagged (?): B.P.R.D. (Not), Batman (Not), Comic books (Not), Criminal (Not), Ed Brubaker (Not), Grant Morrison (Not), Mike Carey (Not), Mike Mignola (Not), The Take (Not)

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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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