let's see, this weeks stack:
Gotham City Sirens/Streets of Gotham: I'm sorry, I've loved Paul Dini in the past, the cartoons were great, but his work on Gotham City Sirens and Streets of Gotham is so BORING. We've got Dick Grayson playing Batman. There's a little psychopath as Robin. No one, even Gordon, quiet believes Batman is back, not even Two-Face as we saw in the latest issue of Batman. So what does Dini give us in Streets of Gotham? We have Firefly escaping Batman hanging onto him via grapple and this is the exchange we get:
Firefly: How does it feel to watch everyone you've tried to protect burn to death?
Batman (Dick Grayson): You're the only one going down in flames, Lynns!
Really? If this was gonna be Adam West territory could we get a warning on the cover? Streets of Gotham could have been a title that simultaneously told short stories (mini's and one shots) depicting street level life in the, as of late, chaotic Batless Gotham city and Dick Grayson's struggle to become the big man. We could have had Grayson intervien in very real (and nicely developed) situations tapping into the public's own fears in a chaotic economy that would have created instant interest, understanding and drama. Instead we get the same typical surface crap we've all read so many times that the above example may as well have been white noise.
Over on Sirens of Gotham, the nicely drawn issue #1 ended promisingly, Ivy and Harley torturing the identity of Batman out of Catwoman... but as issue 2 resolves that in a matter of pages... oh it ends up Talia taught Catwoman how to suppress that knowledge a long time ago so its all good. Thank you flashback that was simply told in flash back because the scene carried absolutely no drama otherwise. And Catwoman isn't even mad they turned on her like that after they torture her! She continues to let them stay at her new pad! And why? Female commradery... woooooooooo. Really? This is one of those 'I can tell this is a man trying to write chicks' books. I literally only care about one DC book right now and its the Morrison Batman and Robin. Everything else reeks of filler/rehashing/a totally lost company trying desperately to be relevent. And I used to be one of DC's strongest defenders... I hope they turn it around soon. There wasting a lot of good characters.
Onto the relevant company who understands how to make current political economic fears into comic storylines for added realism and stress
Nothing big big this week, the new Wolverine was really good. Anyone following the DKR storyline needs to grab this. Daniel Way is doing some great stuff with this book (much like his Deadpool book that I cannot reccomend enough). I can't explain it without killing the plot but suffice to say, it has Way's signature hard with a sense of humor dialogue and pretty great art too.
X-Men Utopia running through Uncanny and Dark Avengers right now is really interesting too. The whole 'villain running the show surrounded by other meglomaniacs who don't like following' is starting to come around to bite Osborne in the ass. His most recent scheme is exploitation of mutant riots for political maneuvering and the creation of yet another puppet super team (ala Dark X-men run by a very black leather clad White Queen) begins to stretch his scheming a little thin. My only beef so far is why Cyclops is taking Emma's change of heart so lightly. Its either a scheme he's in on, or this writer hasn't realized that Scott Summer's found his balls in the last few years (I thank Grant Morrisson for his FANTASTIC New X-men run a few years back).
Marvel in the past felt like the more rehash company to me contantly riding on their one laurel of having super heroes with real problems (which sometimes can make them a bit whiney for my taste) but lately they've been really doing well with adding corrupt business folk, politicians, shading puppet government activities and the ease with which evil people exploit PR to their books. Its a great commentary on current events in America and makes for a far more dramatic read than Firefly's cackling evil threats (can he just twirl a mustache already?).
Over at Wildstorm:
The GEARS OF WAR comic has been a bit hit or miss (thought I've still enjoyed it) but the story arc starting in issue 9 (with a slammin' cover by Jim Lee) is pretty damn awesome. And for any fan of the Gears world, it adds something we're just not used to seeing: women on the battle field. For the non Gears folk, the human race is at dangerously low levels and women are "protected" for breeding purposes, this new book shows how easily and horribly that can be exploited. It has a great artist who (i think?) is a Heavy Metal alum. If not he'd fit in that book nicely.
ANYONE who loves The Goon or the show Metalocalypse needs to read the Deathlok vs Goon one shot this week! It is without a doubt the funniest thing I've read this year. And bloody. Its the perfect blend of the two properties. Powell draws all Goon related characters/backgrounds while the people who draw the cartoon draw those characters. There's even a bit where Goon is carrying weapons from cartoon characters that are drawn in that style, but held by the Goon we're all used to. Its hard to explain. Just read it. You will not be let down! And anyone not initiated in The Goon should grab it. Just go ask your local shop, they'll know about it. Its one of the most original comics I've ever read. And I've read a few.
Also Rapture is really really good. Written by the guy that does Powers, its along the lines of the Powers 'superpeople from the perspective of regular people' but very much not (which will makes sense once you read it). Its very character driven and has an awesome mythic angle. Anyone into his other work or even the Hellboy/BPRD crowd should totally check this out!
That's all for this week but there are always more comics to read and even I can't keep up with them all! If I should be reading something let me know!