In reading issue two of Wednesday Comics, the initial excitement has only worn off a little. Usually the honeymoon stage for comics is about one issue and then most comics endure the dreaded sophomore slump. This week's issue carries a lot of momentum with it because it's only ONE WEEK later. The first issue hasn't really had time to settle in. When I went to read this week's issue, I actually remembered the plot of all of the story lines. If this was being released monthly there is no way it would be readable, but since it's still fresh in my brain I'm able to enjoyable juggle sixteen separate stories at once. The price tag is definitely sinking in. When I bought this and Blackest Night (which was good!) and my bill is almost ten dollars...something is wrong.
Sandy over at I Love Rob Liefeld did some number crunching and pointed out that the entire run will cost a grand total of $47.88 . There are too many stories worth reading in here for me to drop it though. Superman, Batman, Strange Adventures, The Flash, and Hawkman are shaping up to be great, while several others are very solid. There are a few clunkers, but really it's only .31 cents a story, and I can't wait for this week's issue.
BATMAN by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso
Another really solid page for Batman. The panel work and pacing are excellent. Especially the the recurring statue panel. The ending is a final, period-like ending the page but also, a sort of a twist and a lead in to next week. Mrs Glass is introduced as a one-dimensional gold digger but the last panel shifts her interests from money to darker desires connected to romance and presumably manipulation.
KAMANDI by writer Dave Gibbons and artist Ryan Sook
For whatever reason, this felt like more of an origin story than the last Kamandi page. The plot of the rest of the story is outlined which is kind of a bad sign. The story almost treads into narrative overload territory. I like the tone that the narration is striking, but too many words per panel makes things way too dense. The page works best when the words are kept to a minimum as in the second panel and the final two panels.
SUPERMAN by writer John Arcudi and artist Lee Bermejo
What happened to the art? Maybe there was a problem with the printing but the page looks washed in green. Batman is portrayed as really over the top especially in the art. I understand that they are trying to contrast the two characters here but drawing Batman like an actual demon/gargoyle is a little jarring especially after reading the Batman story first. The writing I thought was well-done again. Batman, although insensitive, is basically right and outlines what, presumably, Superman will discover through the course of the story. Even though he is right, Batman is only reinforcing Superman's problem that humans are sort of violence-loving loud mouths. Quick, smart complex stuff.
DEADMAN by writers Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck and artist Dave Bullock
The biggest surprise of Wednesday comics is Deadman. I really like the art and the page layout. The dark background gives it a Batman: The Animated Series feel. The simple plot, with the focus on Deadman's character works well. The panel with the giant green lady and the last panel are highlights.
GREEN LANTERN by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Joe Quiñones
Another big disappointment. I like the art but the layout and even the angle of the characters in the panels are boring. When it's done well it's great, like the "Holy--!" panel but others are just standard stuff or at awkward angles. I still have my fingers crossed that this ones picks up.
METAMORPHO by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Michael Allred
Ok, so they really switched it up on me here. A huge one page panel with some time lapse stuff going on in there. Gaiman seemed to dominate the last weeks page with a flopped attempt at throwback camp humor, but this week Allred's more genuine gee-whiz-like mentality shines through.
TEEN TITANS by writer Eddie Berganza and artist Sean Galloway
This one is even more bland than the last one, and the art choice really doesn't help. It doesn't give it any excitement which is pretty important for a superhero, action-based story. I still enjoy the art but it's not well suited here.
STRANGE ADVENTURES by writer/artist Paul Pope
I like Pope working in the circles in this one. The best part of this for me, is just going back and looking at the details in the art like the background blue monkey warriors and the striking facial expressions. Just another Flash Gordon-like adventure story but Pope's art elevates it to the next level.
SUPERGIRL by writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Amanda Conner
If this took anymore than five seconds to read this would be a waste of time. As it is now, it's entertaining filler especially after reading something intense like Adam Strange.
METAL MEN by writer Dan DiDio and artists Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Kevin Nowlan
Continues in the same style and similar quality as the last page. Jokes are funny and not ironic. The last panel is where the Metal Men are standing is where the art stands out. Leaderboard for favorite so far: 1. Lead 2. Gold 3. Iron 4. Tin 5. Platinum 6. Mercury.
WONDER WOMAN by writer/artist Ben Caldwell
Ok, this one lost me. I was a big fan of the previous page, but if this is going to be Finding Nemo every week count me out. There's too much work reading the thing to have such a thin storyline. It needed to go into a real storyline about young Wonder Woman hanging out on Themyscira or even sneaking off to the real world.
SGT. ROCK and EASY CO. by writer Adam Kubert and artist Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert's art is really intense when it's large. The first two panels are affecting by giving off a feeling of dread that even the panels of Sgt. Rock getting beat up don't give. Special Bonus: Easy Company portrait at the bottom!
FLASH COMICS by writers Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl
The dual strip really adds a tension to the comic. Iris is seperate and has her own strip, giving her equal footing with a superhero. It wouldn't be that outrageous if they broke up and she was going on dates as the Flash was going around saving people. Time travel is introduced and, despite my normal dislike, it was done well. It's always best where no weird paradoxs are discussed and it's more like a normal thing that's just happening.
THE DEMON AND CATWOMAN by writer Walter Simonson and artist Brian Stelfreeze
Still setting up the story. Is this just going to be Catwoman vs. The Demon? I have no idea how this is going to be interesting for sixteen pages especially when they are losing me at number two.
HAWKMAN by writer/artist Kyle Baker
The art and the writing are definitely in a nice harmony. Baker interjects some humor, and it works well, but the story's real strength is Hawkman as a warrior/general. His smiling thumbs-up gives a great contrast to the complete confidence he exudes in the last panel. The tiny details in the art helps make the silhouetted panels of Hawkman breaking into the plane and bodies flying out even more compelling.