Thursday, July 03, 2003

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What I bought and what I thought, week of July 2

FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE 1 Most of the time, when creators attempt to reprise prior successes, the effort falls flat. People change, things know. I am pleased to report, however, that this is definitely not the case in this fun revival of the 80s "bwah-ha-ha" league by its original creators. For about 15 minutes, it was 1986 all over again and it was great. To me, whether it was the original JL/JLI/JLE run, or Major Bummer, or Hitman, there's always room for a lighthearted superhero story. Notice I didn't say parody. A

100 BULLETS 46 The conclusion of the "Chill in the Oven" story arc, in which several more plot points are elaborated upon, and nothing goes as expected– neither for the reader, or protagonist Loop Hughes. As always, consistently excellent...but I hope Azzurello goes for a little less slang-heavy scenario in the near future. This arc should have come with a glossary for those of us who haven't done time. A

KITSUNE TALES 1 In which Andi Watson takes the likeable, kooky fox spirit friend of Tamsin, the lead character of his Skeleton Key series and shows us what she was like before they met– and she's not so likeable and kooky. The script from Sugar Kat's Woodrow Phoenix is steeped in Japanese mythology, and it's all very impressionistically drawn (albeit a bit sketchily and often hard to follow) by Watson, and fails as often as it succeeds. Worth 5 bucks? For me, yes, but maybe not for you. A-

ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL 3 This one slipped a bit in my eyes for two reasons: One– Ryan Sook, apparently unable to make deadlines pencilling and inking himself, gets an sloppy, unsympathetic inker and while it's not terrible, it's not the high quality stuff I've grown accustomed to in the two previous issues, and two– the focus this time is on the somewhat uninteresting (to me) Humphrey Dumpler character, about whom I found out all I needed to know last issue. That being said, the character interaction is still great as always and I, for one, am intrigued to see Jason Blood pop up. B+

I also (finally) got my copy of The Clock Maker #3, so I could read it and #4 back to back. Maker is full of great ideas, but it could stand a more sympathetic protagonist. It's unusual enough, though, that I'm still very interested in where it's going. Finally, I picked up the issue of Startling Stories: The Thing– Night Falls on Yancy Street (#2) that I missed last week. It's a well-drawn and surprisingly (considering that it's Evan Dorkin scripting) straightforward beauty-and-the beast story that is just not grabbing me for some reason. It's only a four-issue series, however, so I'll see how it all turns out.