Where My Money Went - Oct. 15th
Every Wednesday I push the limits of my budget for my comic addiction. This is where my money went this week:
The Young X-Men is a hard sell to people I know because everyone feels like The X-Men have betrayed them. Continuity has killed the series and even between story arcs new readers are completely lost. Young X-Men should be called New X-Men (but the name was taken by the Morrison and Quietly run) because it's just that, a brand new take on the team. Charles Xavier is gone and the school is in pieces. Cyclops collects some of Xavier's School for Gifted Children's top students and is secretly training them for missions the X-Men would have never gone on. The new mutant's powers aren't rehashes of things we've seen, they all feel new, except for Santo, the living mountain, but even he has a slight twist with the ability to shoot off his arms. The promise of new villains is something I can't stop thinking about, since X-Men villains have always gone into other series, and are always just as sad as the X-Men themselves.
Superman and Batman VS. Vampires and Werewolves feels like a comic in the wrong time period. The art and writing feel much more like an old Legend of the Dark Knight mini series from the mid nineties than a comic I bought new off of the shelf. The first issue takes place in Gotham and despite his name Superman is no where to be seen in this issue. We do however have a Wonder Woman appearance, who fights a vampire (who looks very much like "Vermin" from Spider-Man) and appears on six pages, almost as many as Batman's seven, never even appearing on the same page. It's gory a way DC Comics only ever allows on the pages of their Vertigo line, and written in a style that you only find in white boxes.
After the brilliant "The Bat and The Cat" (issues #17-21) Batman Confidential is continuing great original story telling with issue #22 "Do You Understand These Rights?", a retelling of the first time Batman took Joker to jail. Scott McDaniel draws a new, somewhat original Batman while still keeping it classic, no yellow around the logo on the chest, simple small ears. There are three points of view: Detective Shancoe, a returning police who hasn't gotten used to the masked crime in his city, The Joker who isn't the famous serial killer we know quite yet, and of course the mysterious vigilante, The Batman. There aren't many Joker origins or retellings outside of the few (specifically Alan Moore's The Killing Joke which sucks) and often they take The Joker too seriously, which obviously he isn't. Not understanding costume crime yet, the detectives think they can get through to the clown, but after he kills everyone else in his holding cell, they realize things in Gotham are only going to get worse. This is before Arkham Asylum of course, so what are they going to do with the crazy?
After delays, Madman Atomic Comics finally seems like it's back on track. The series started off as a very straight forward super hero story that escalated into all out Mormon mythology and existential insanity. The backgrounds are dirty blurred crayon style drawings and the characters are extremely clean cut, almost CGI, look like they are animated thanks to Mike Allred's excellent flow of drawn story telling. Each issue I have more questions and am more drawn in. Bonus pinups by Scott Morse, who worked on Wall-E!!
I've never read anything by Garth Ennis, but the wrap around of Crossed drew my attention. What I assumed was a zombie comic turned out to be this fucked up survival story that's sorta original. Less Romero and more 28 Days Later, the "crossed" are filled with anger and chase you down to rape and kill you, but they have all of their memories. Your mom screams about fucking your best friend and tries to jerk you off, your brother talks about how your father touched you for a reason, and your girlfriend stabs you while telling you how small your dick is. The small group of survivors who are introduced all look like losers we all know, and more importantly, are not heroes, not survivors, not "winners" in any sense. The crossed are only distinguishable by the lesions on their faces, and the anger in their voices. Characters I thought were going to have long runs in the story are already gone after the first issue, I can't wait for the second one.