September 24, 2009

Comics I'm Reading - And Liking

You know, it's actually been awhile since I've written about my current favorite funnybooks - oh, sure, there's been the occasional mention of Guardians of the Galaxy/Nova/etc (Marvel doing big, loud space opera); my love of Tony Lee's work on IDW's Doctor Who (he's managing to write himself out of the continuity porn corner), The Mighty A (DC's stealth book), and Blackest Night (or "DC Zombies will mess with your head"). But there are some other books that are really hitting my comics loving sweet spot.

First is Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's The Marvels Project, which takes Marvel's Golden Age characters and gives them that nice, Tom Clancy-esque sheen (like they did with Captain America). In a way, it's Marvel's attempt to mix the politically charged realism of their distinguished competition's JSA: The Golden Age with the you-are-there spirit of New Frontier . Although it's not an instant classic like either of its precedents, The Marvels Project is looking rather promising.

Speaking of DC, I am really enjoying many of the revamped Batman books (with the exception of Red Robin, which left me cold with the first issue). My unexpected favorite is the new Batgirl series. Without spoiling (and unlike many on the Internet, I don't believe that you should avoid the Internet if you don't want to read spoilers), the book is a really good take on the reluctant hero...or more accurately, when others are reluctant to allow one to be a hero. (Besides, DC can spoil its own books - it doesn't really need my help, now, does it?). At a time when Batman is being redefined, even a second-level book like Batgirl is providing some interesting reading.

(And yes, I do enjoy Rucka and Williams' Batwoman in Detective Comics. It's a great variation on a theme).

Finally, even though I'm not really a big horror comics fan, the clerk at my local comic shop recommended I give Wildstorm's North 40 a chance. It's a unique premise - if I were to give it a high concept pitch, it would be "Lovecraft Meets Jim Thompson", but it's much more than that. It's a supernatural book with great writing, good art, and which three issues in, keeps moving the story forward. It's a nice little book with a creepy vibe. It may not keep you awake at night, but it will keep you reading it again...and again...and again, like a good comic should.

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