BEST OF THE WEEK
AND OTHER SUNDRY REVIEW-TYPE WRITINGS
or, what I bought and what I thought, week of June 3!
SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA 2
Guess you already know that I liked this one, huh! With needling Alan Moore out of his system, everything Grant failed to do last issue comes through in fine fashion this time out. Zatanna's confrontation with the "Shapeless One", her new refugee-from-The Craft-like "apprentice" (who amusingly has "run away to join the superheroes", as opposed to running away to join the circus, I suppose) and the clever use of her unproven abilities (love the use of the dice), and the update of Cassandra Craft are all very well done, with wit and spark. Artists Ryan Sook and Mick Gray add a lot with their imaginative use of Easter-egg-like depictions of the SO, especially when he manifests himself in the shapes of letters in a book, and the interior of Craft's magic shop. I only wish that they had chosen to draw the Phantom Stranger in a trenchcoat instead of the 70s turtleneck-cape-and-medallion look. A
DETECTIVE COMICS 807
David Lapham eschews the "villain-of-the-month" and weird science approach this time, just like I hoped he would, and this is better for it, but this issue's Eisnerian urban drama just didn't have much life in it, despite the somewhat unexpected ending. Bachs and Massengill do a fine job on the art, reminding me often of Phil Winslade's Monolith work. The backfeature is a routine story of Young Alfred, which Jeff Parker does his best to enliven with his art and darned if he doesn't almost succeed. B-
SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL 5
The excellent Frank Cho art, especially on the statuesque title character, remains the only reason that this is remotely enjoyable. And thankfully, the lead male character only gets off one "Holy buckets" this time around. C+
CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA 6
Everything gets resolved quite tidily in the finale of one of the most disappointing series I've read so far this year. Chadwick the writer comes up with one really interesting twist- Concrete's baby- and one unexpected and well-done sex scene, and weighs down everything else with talk, talk, talk, and dryly earnest lecturing. And Chadwick the artist does him no favors; much of this is clumsily rendered and staged, and more often as not he looks like he's drawing with the opposite hand. Just because your character seems to be made of stone doesn't mean that your stories have to be fossilized as well. This issue: C. Entire series: C-.