It’s been a busy week around here, and there were a lot of books I picked up this week. Not only new releases, but I did some catching up and bought a few trades. I blame the impending root canal for my sudden need to spend money at my LCS. It led to a few great discoveries and a couple accidental puchases. However, we’ll start with my picks for the week.
Birds of Prey #5
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ed Benes/Adriana Melo
My goodness does Gail Simone know how to kick a series off with a bang. The end of the opening four-issue arc of the Birds of Prey relaunch, this issue was brilliant. Questions were answered but in their answering others popped up. The Savant and Creote storyline developed nicely and Barbara had her moment to shine. There were a few things that left me gasping and a moment that actually made me cheer aloud on my train ride home. Do not walk, but run to go buy these books. PLEASE.
Writer: Brian Miller
Artist: Pere Perez
I think I’m a bit done with Batgirl. I love Stephanie Brown, and I’m liking the dynamic that’s starting to develop between Proxy and herself. The story is well told, the hints of backstory/further things developing with Detective Nick were excellently placed. I think I’m just a bit tired with the story. Steph comes in, requisite quips are exchanged, she’s almost in over her head and then she triumphs. There isn’t anything wrong with that, and it is a well put together story with some good art (and a brilliant cover). It’s just not grabbing me anymore, and there’s nothing about it that really shines.
The Unwritten #16
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Peter Gross
The love I have for this book continues. It’s an original and engaging story, and reading about Tom Taylor’s adventures in real life versus Tommy in the books on the even of the realease of the 14th book in the series has been truly entertaining. My only real complaint is that I tend to have to go back and skim through the previous two issues in order to follow along, or I end up a bit lost. But that’s okay, MIke Carey is telling an unusual and fascinating story and Peter Gross’ art is gorgeous as per usual. The second TPB just came out this week, and I do think it’s a great way to read this series.
Welcome to Tranquility #2
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Horacio Domingues
The entire concept of Tranquility is one I find fascinating. Oh sure, a town populated by people with superpowers and a retirement community for superheroes. It’s a delightful thing to think on in this world of non-aging heroes that seem to take up so much of mainstream comics. Quite possibly, my favourite thing about this book is the fake adverts and sidebars within it. They’re a throwback to the comic ads I remember from the 70s and 80s (batman shilling hostess pies anyone?) and feature Tranquility characters and products. It’s one thing that makes this feel like so much more of a complete world. There’s a certain mundanity to things as well, which is at odds to what anyone used to superhero comics would expect. But Simone’s humour is present, and the story is moving along quickly and keeps me wanting to know just what is going on.
In the accidental purchase category were the first two issues of the new Black Cat mini. Honestly, I’d only picked them up to look at Amanda Conner’s covers (which are gorgeous) and got distracted chatting with the staff at my LCS. Next thing you know, they’re in a bag and I’m on my way home. I’m very glad I did pick them up. Jen Van Meter is writing a very entertaining and engaging Black Cat story, and the first two issues were great. I’d recommend it, even if you have no idea who the character is.
In the graphic novel/trade category I grabbed Random Acts of Violence and 21 Down. I maintain that Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are a great writing team, but there are times I wonder about what goes on in their heads. Random Acts will definitely be getting its own review, once I finish sorting my thoughts out about it – other than ‘holy fuck’. It’s a good reaction, it’s just a very intense book and very different. Which, really, is all to the good. Too little is very different these days.