Friday, July 18, 2003

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What I bought and what I thought, week of July 16!

BATGIRL YEAR ONE 8 Once again, the top of a very good heap. A bit more action this time out, with a subway traintop battle with Blockbuster (the Bat-villian, not the movie rental chain) as a highpoint, along with a fiery cliffhanger that's much more ominous than one would think, since it involves the Killer Moth...who I hope has fireproof tights! More nice characterization spread throughout as well, mostly involving Robin and Jim Gordon. A

GOTHAM CENTRAL 9 Cover-to-cover police dramatics focusing on the murder investigation of GCPD Det. Renee Montoya, with nary a stitch of spandex in sight. Wonderful use of the Bat-supporting cast, especially Bat-fan favorite Josie Mac. Can't imagine how this is all going to turn out, and that's all right with me. A

DAREDEVIL 49 Just a few observations: Matt Murdock needs to move. Seems like every nutjob super-psycho knows where he lives and can just walk in and give him trouble. Also, this Milla person who he's fallen in with is as big a loony as any Stilt-Man or Owl. Daredevil's little beatdown of Bullseye in this issue was certainly overdue, and Bendis even gets a little slam in at Bullseye's movie forehead tattoo. Alex Maleev's action sequences were much better this time out. And while this issue's central conflict was a wee bit contrived, I was as impressed as ever. A-

SLEEPER 7 The series that lives up to its name serves up another outstanding, if somewhat low-key, chapter of well-drawn skullduggery. You can't help but sympathise with protagonist Holden, but you also can't help but think that things aren't going to turn out all that well in the end because this just isn't that kind of story. A-

GLOBAL FREQUENCY 9 Here's the established Global Frequency pattern: Warren Ellis provides the canvas with only the most basic of scripts, and it's up to the chosen artist to carry the day. Some have succeeded with aplomb, some haven't. Lee Bermejo, impressive on a recent fill-in stint on Hellblazer, once again comes through with an excellent art job, and this grim tale is a keeper because of it. A-

H-E-R-O 6 Well, if the last issue was American Beauty with superheroes, then this issue is Lizzie McGuire. Quite fun, if slight, and nicely illustrated by that Kano fellow. B+

THE TRUTH: RED WHITE and BLACK 7 To sum up this not-bad miniseries: Clever, often powerful script, indifferently illustrated by Kyle Baker. Once in a while Baker would turn in a page or a sequence that hinted at what he can do when committed, but it wasn't nearly as often as I would have liked. Baker indulges his love of caracature towards the end of this issue, if you're into that sort of thing. B+

Also, I picked up the softcover edition of Darwyn Cooke's Catwoman graphic novel, SELINA'S BIG SCORE. As you may remember, Cooke pencilled the first few issues of the current Catwoman ongoing, and this story takes place just before the events in that title; actually, this story coincides with the Slam Bradley Detective Comics backup feature that appeared a few years ago. It's a fun, fast-paced heist thriller, and Cooke turns out to be as good a scripter as he is an artist. Although his inking line gets fatter and sloppier than I like sometimes, and he should never ever ever letter his own work again, this is a greatly entertaining story and is almost worth the 18 bucks I paid for it. A