Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ruins & other good comics this week

This week I liked a higher percentage of the superhero comics that I read than I have in some time.

Ruins is a new edition of the long out-of-print Warren Ellis two-issue comic written in 1995 and is the dark, evil opposite of Kurt Busiek's Marvels. Ruins features a lot of Marvel superhero characters, except instead of becoming characters with great powers, the "accidents" that made them the characters they are in the regular Marvel universe, here everything gets twisted with horrible results (but is demented fun to read). This new edition is an affordable $4.99 for 80 pages, but I wish Marvel would have made a nicer production with this re-release of Ruins that is more worthy of its contents.
This week's Superman Batman annual is written by Len Wein (who wrote lots of great fun comics for Marvel and DC in the 1970's and 1980's) with art by Chris Batista, and inks by Mick Gray and Jack Jadson. This is just your basic textbook example of a highly enjoyable self-contained comic featuring a villain that is a composite of Superman and Batman. This comic also has some great character bits and some good odd humor. Len Wein is also the guest writer on Justice League of America this week, which features the villain, Starbreaker (corny name, but he has a high power level that makes him able to go up against the JLA). Some may find this issue of Justice League of America a bit old school in that it maybe reads a little like a comic from the 1970's, but I liked it because it wasn't as needlessly convoluted as I think too many superhero comics have been lately.
The new creative team on Supergirl, writer Sterling Gates and artists Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne, have been on this title for four issues now and I think this book hasn't been this enjoyable since the end of Peter David's Supergirl from a few years ago. I don't really like the idea of thousands of Kryptonians now being around (even though they're no longer on Earth), but so far even that aspect of the title hasn't annoyed me and whomever this new Superwoman (featured on this month's cover) is, looks to be an interesting development and after reading the last page of this issue you'll definitely want to be back for the next issue.
The newest Hellblazer (issue #251) is the debut of new writer Peter Milligan and he's off to a fine a fine start. If this is going to be the same Peter Milligan who brought us Shade The Changing Man and Enigma (two other great Vertigo series he wrote) and not the Peter Milligan who wrote The Minx (a short lived confusing series also from Vertigo), than this title should be in good hands.

The second issue of Superman Beyond: Final Crisis by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke didn't have me scratching my head as much as when I read the first issue a few months ago and had some great sequences within, even though I couldn't begin to explain what actually happened to anyone. This is supposed to lead into next week's Final Crisis #7, the conclusion of that mess of an event which I don't suspect will make sense either, but it'll have nice art as Doug Mahnke is doing it (who did the art on this two-issue Superman Beyond), and I think he would have been a better artistic fit for all of Final Crisis, as J.G. Jones, while a good artist, isn't generally a good big screen superhero artist.

3 comments:

jaime said...

I was secretly hoping that the those last pages that were done by Moeller (?), would be redone by the Nelsons. It always bugs me when titles do that kind of thing.

I agree on Gates/Supergirl.

JR

Ralph Mathieu said...

I think Moeller is a good artist, but I agree he wasn't right for Ruins.

Victorine-Louise said...

That Supergirl cover is really striking and makes me want to pick it up.

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