AMAZING X-MEN #1: Battle of the Atom just about did me in on the X-Men. It took away all the charm for me and I had pretty much turned my back on the mutants and wished them well. But as you know im a sucker for first issues and really how could I not read a comic by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness? So with a certain amount of trepidation I read Amazing X-Men #1 and you know what? I’m back dudes! Back into the world of the the X-Men. This comic was great! No time traveling messes to try and figure out or any of that bullshit that Bendis has muddled things up with. Nothing but a solid story that singlehandly reinvigorates the X-Men universe after a mind numbing cross-over. Aaron seems like he is almost writing the very first X-Men story here – everything feels new and fresh and the characters are taken down to their core essence which at this moment in time is a stroke of brilliance. This allows new readers and old readers alike to enjoy this story as it should be. My Comic of the Week! WRITING: EXCELLENT / ART: EXCELLENT
SEX CRIMINALS #2: This issue of Sex Criminals focuses on the Y chromosome half of the criminals, Jon. As with issue #1 and Suzie, Matt Fraction covers Jon’s first experience with stopping time when he reaches orgasm – and also, as with the first issue, the results are fucking hilarious. The humor works here for two main reasons: one, the art by Chip Zdarsky is just what this comic needs to succeed in the realm of sexual perversity that it flirts with. His style is lighthearted enough to keep things in the arena of charactures but true enough to not slip into parody or slapstick. Dancing around the edges of pornography can be a tricky feat but it is handled with craftsmen-like precision here and the results are stunningly uncontroversial. The second reason this comic is funny as hell is Fraction knows that the majority of us have experienced these scenarios that Suzie and Jon are going through ( well, except for the whole stopping time thing) yeah, I can remember the first time I went into a video store to rent an “adult” movie. I was what, maybe 16 or 17 and hoped to god the rental clerk would just assume I was 18. I could relate to a lot of what Jon went through as kid and it brought back those funny memories and made me laugh – a lot. I am in love with this comic and I can’t recommend it enough. WRITING: EXCELLENT / ART: GREAT
DETECTIVE COMICS #24: I don’t know about you guys but when I read Batman comics I want motherfucking Batman not Robocop and Robocop is just what you get in the latest issue of Detective Comics. In the first issue back after Villains Month Det picks up right where it left off – and I totally forgot everything that went on in issue 23. After slugging through issues 23.1. 23.2 23.3 and 23.4 I was completely fucking lost as to what went on before the points took over. Another reason to talk shit about Villains Month. I suppose I better dust off the old Batman issues before next weeks Batman #24 comes out – otherwise I may be completely lost yet again. The only redeeming thing about this issue is the art by Jason Fabok – not too shabby. He draws a mean Robo-bat. My fave moment of the issue: well, I really don’t have a fave moment – I suppose it would be when i got to the last page and the issue was over. WRITING: FAIR / ART: GREAT
SUPERMAN #23.4 (PARASITE): This ranks up there as one of the best Villains Months issues yet – and who would have figured that artist Arron Kuder, whose work I’ve always enjoyed and championed in past reviews, could also deliver a solid script and put other Villains Months writers to shame (I mean have you read Joker’s Daughter by Ann Nocenti? Holy mother of god that may go down has the worst reviewed comic in the history of comics). Kuder makes the most of his first time out as a writer and gives us solid characterization of Joshua Michael Allan, a bike messenger that has had enough of living in Metropolis. Being attacked by “the monster of the week” is just one of the many incidents in Allen’s life that causes him to hit bottom and seek cash from being a medical experiment. And yeah, you guessed it, the experiment doesn’t go so well. Favorite moment of the issue: I picked in for my Freeze Frame of the week, the moment after Joshua becomes Parasite and looks at himself in the mirror for the first time. Damn good stuff here. WRITING: GOOD / ART: EXCELLENT
First issues are always a bitch. I don’t envy comic book writers in this regard, first impressions and whatnot – a book can succeed or fail from just that first issue and bad word of mouth, even though the story that writer is telling gets better in issue 4, its too late, we are gone. We have left the comic on the stands and moved on. You gotta hit us with your best shot right out of the gate to make us take notice. Hit us in the right spot.
Sex Criminals #1 does just that. Fraction gives us his best shot and scores big time in this first issue. It was fantastic.
ACTION COMICS #23.3 (LEX LUTHOR): Charles Soule does a great job in capturing the megalomaniac at his most ‘lomaniacal. This is the most terrifyingly evil and villainous Lex we have gotten so far in the two years plus of the New 52 – and it is a welcome sight. Lex Luthor needs to be up there with the likes of the Joker and other diabolical characters of the DCU, but until now he’s been regulated to pulling strings from behind bars. No longer. This wonderful Villains Month Issue changes the game and lets the dogs out of the cage – so to speak. The art from Raymund Bermudez leaves something to be desired, and not my cup of tea, but with Soules strong writing I can get past it. My fave moment of the issue: Lex is leaving prison and asks the guard if he wants his prison uniform to sale and get money to send his kid to college. The Prison Guard does want it, but when Lex says all he has to do is walk over and take it, the Guard stands motionless – this scene speaks volumes about the power Lex has and perfectly captures everything he is about. This is Morrison turf. Good stuff. WRITING: EXCELLENT / ART: FAIR