Monday, April 21, 2003

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Better late than never, here's
What I bought and what I thought, week of April 16

1. H-E-R-O 3
It's true, this does have a bit of a two-issues-stretched-to-four feel, but overlooking that I am fascinated by the characters Will Pfiefer has presented to us in this initial story arc...and while I have a feeling that I know how it's going to turn out, I'm willing to let him tell his story at his own pace. Especially since I found this issue more gripping than the other two so far. Maybe it's because that Molly is so darn cute, I don't know. Maybe it's because that Kano fellow has one of the most interesting art styles to come down the pike lately, and he brings these events to life. Whatever- I for one am hooked. A

2. POWERS 30
Unlike H-E-R-O, I kinda wished that this story arc had been extended a bit longer...the resolution seemed rushed and a bit pat. Even so, it was still powerful and even a bit moving when you look past the superhero aspects and focus on what is always the heart and soul of this book- the relationship between Pilgrim and Walker. Oeming's art is outstanding, but that's stating the obvious. A

I don't know why I'm enjoying this, the umpteenth attempt to do X-Files (or maybe 100 Bullets) with superheroes, as much as I am, except perhaps that Brubaker's typically low-key style grounds the story and keeps it believeable. And Sean Phillips' typically excellent art reinforces that impression. Heck, the coloring was even a little better this time out...A

4. JSA 47
Well, if you've got to have hypermuscled people in skintight suits beating the shit out of each other for 20-odd pages, then I suppose this is the way to do it. I'll give Johns and Goyer credit for doing their homework when it comes to Eclipso...they understand that there is no redeeming quality whatsoever to him, just as he was in his own book of a few years ago, of which I was a fan. I am a bit surprised that he respects Obsidian and Mordru enough to team up with them, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he tried to turn the tables on his erstwhile partners before all is said and done. As one of the two or three people who enjoyed the mid 90s Fate book (Kaminski/Abnett/Lanning, not the heinous Giffen/Wagner Book of version), there was a nice surprise for me at the end as well. Heck, even the Power Girl/Mordru throwdown was pretty good. And I've said many nasty things about the Kirk/Champagne art, but I will say that they've improved a lot, grown into the characters and lost the stiffness, and have acheived competence. I'm still dropping the book when this is all over, but more issues like this and I won't feel so bad for finishing up the arc. B+

The Creeper, at least the DCU Creeper as created by Steve Ditko, perfected by Bob Haney and Neal Adams, and complicated by Keith Giffen, is a character that everyone seems to like but nobody seems to know what to do with. The most recent version by Len Kaminski and Shawn Martinbrough was probably the best attempt yet, but nobody bought the book but a number of hard core Creeperheads like me, and it died a quick death about the same time many other great DC books did, like Chase, Chronos, and Major Bummer. The Vertigo folks seem to have come up with the ideal solution: Ignore all the convoluted Jack Ryder Creeper junk and re-invent the character in 1920's Paris as a female, one of two sisters who are, in typical cliched fashion, total opposites personality wise. Kinda like the Patty Duke Show, I suppose. And that's my problem with this admittedly getting-acquainted story: way too much expository dialogue and cliche after cliche, odd for a story that's supposed to be putting such a radical twist on the concept. The art by current critics' darling Cliff Chiang is competent but unremarkable, lacking any real pizazz. And maybe it's because I've seen Moulin Rouge! several times, but every time he draws the Paris skyline I expect to see that singing man in the moon floating there! Zut alors-I give eet a B- and hope for better in subsequent issues.