Monday, December 08, 2003

Guess I should have included this in my reviews, but I forgot. Anyway, I also checked out the first issue of Kyle Baker's long-awaited (by some) Plastic Man on Wednesday, and wasn't impressed so I didn't buy. Baker's version of the Shadow is one of my all-time favorite series, and I liked Why I Hate Saturn and You Are Here a lot too...but for the last 10 or so years his work has slowly devolved into some sort of sloppy, hyperactive wannabe Disney hybrid, and frankly, it's not very much fun to look at anymore. Many times his art on The Truth appeared to be on the level of convention sketches, and while he seems to have taken a bit more care here, it's just too slapdash for me to enjoy. I suspect that he would rather be doing something else- animation, caricatures, God knows- and considers comics work beneath him somehow. Story-wise, it was an efficient re-imagining of his origin, and the cliffhanger at the end was Cole-ish enough...but he really does need to go back and re-read some of those classic Plas stories and get a handle on how to write Woozy Winks. He was comic relief, and later became a bit of a stooge, but he was no drunk and was rarely portrayed as a complete idiot.

Maybe it will get better, who knows, but somehow I doubt that this will last 6 issues. It's just too odd for the mainstream fanboy buyer, and if it had been anyone else but Kyle Baker would have never seen print at all. Joe Kelly over at JLA has done amazing things with the character, but is there gonna be a Kelly Plas series anytime soon? I don't think so. Baker's name and rep bring a "hip" catchet that DC can point to when accused of pandering to the fanboy.

Of course you know that I'll probably pick up oh, #3 or #4, love it, and spend months trying to get the issues I missed, and overpay horribly for them. That's the way it works for me more often as not.

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