Welcome back to another edition of What Looks Good: Marvel and DC! Sorry about last week — I was recovering from surgery. But we’ve got a solid haul ahead of us this week, particularly if you like Batman.
Astro City #29, $3.99
Writer: Kurt Busiek Art: Brent Eric Anderson Cover: Alex Ross
Just read this comic book already, people. It is easily one of the top 3 superhero comics being published today and, honestly, might be #1, I’m just too lazy to rack my brain to see if there’s any real competition out there. But nothing on the rest of this list comes close, not because they’re all bad, but because Astro City is just that good.
This is the, I believe, the third new hardcover edition of Astro City, as the original editions are all out of print. I wish DC would have done this chronologically (the three new editions collect entire arcs, but skip over others), but I’m happy we’re getting anything at all.
Those credits are a little misleading, as Lee is doing pencils and inks over top of Camuncoli’s layouts, which is, I would imagine, the main draw for this comic. This thing was originally announced year ago, wasn’t it?
I love Batman, in no small part because of the way he’s morphed from decade to decade, a 4 color reflection of American society. And these stories are exactly what you’d expect from comics (more or less) from the 40’s: more smiling than you will ever see in a Batman comic today, harmless bad guys, and kooky crimes. This collection is honestly worth it just to see how Batman transforms from a very pulp inspired vigilante to a more traditional, brightly garbed superhero. It is amazing to see how quickly it happens.
The nerd that I am, I kind of want all of these 75th anniversary hardcovers, but so far I’ve only gotten the Justice Society one — mostly because I own all the stories in the other ones already. These are excellent samplings of comics from every decade and the perfect book for someone who has just gotten into a character. DC’s history is second to known, so it’s nice to see them acknowledging that.
The first issue of this new series was really good, probably one of the best I’ve seen from Vertigo in some time. I think we all knew Simone could write some quality darkness, but the art from Davis-Hunt was a pleasant surprise.
Part 1 of my two part “Books Deserving More Attention” comes with Dr. Fate, an incredibly specific, vivid take on a classic character. Even if you had no idea that Levitz was a lifelong New Yorker, you’d understand that after reading this book, as it feels like a story that has to take place in New York. The characters are unique and intriguing and the further exploration of Fate’s Egyptian mythology is wonderful to read. Liew’s art gives this book a different look than almost anything else DC is publishing. How creepy is that cover!
Part 2 of my two part “Books Deserving More Attention” is everyone’s favorite Martian, currently inhabiting multiple people who display different aspects of who J’onn J’onnz is. It’s a crazy ride and I’m not entirely sure where it’s going and I’m totally fine with that.
This was a nice first issue, full of great nods to the epic history of the Teen Titans. I have no idea how any of it is going to work in the New 52. It really could end up being more frustrating than fun in the long run, as so much of it is going to run up against the things I dislike the most about the current DCU continuity.
You know, I just realized something that bothers me about this book: the title. Why? Because it paints a pretty clear picture that Sam’s time as Captain America is limited. Sure, we all knew that, anyway — there are more movies coming out soon, after all. But, still, the title makes this seem like it’s not THE Captain America comic and that Sam isn’t actually Captain America. I suppose we’ll see a rejuvenated Steve Rogers appearing in a “Captain America Steve Rogers” book in the near future.
Anyway, this has been an excellent book, in no small part because of the supporting cast built around Sam.
Thor has never been my thing. I mean, I was big into Norse mythology when I was a kid, but that eventually wore off. The issue has always been that I just don’t find the character interesting. He’s a non-entity to me. So the idea of Jane Foster, battling cancer, taking up the mantle is actually something I can get on board with. And now that the series is no longer focused on the mystery of who Thor is, we should finally get some quality stories focusing on Jane.
This is a change Marvel should embrace for the long haul…but I’m sure they won’t.
Seriously, Marvel has done so many great things over the last decade when it comes to updating their line, so much of which gets obscured by them doing really, really stupid things (JUST SAY SHE’S BI ALREADY). Again, this next generation of Marvel is so great that I wish they could just get their own universe, something not dependent upon the old Marvel U the way the Ultimate Universe was.
My only concern about this debut issue for Ms. Marvel is that Adrian Alphona isn’t the only artist listed and I basically want to look at Adrian Alphona’s art all the time.
Another character (and title) that benefited from the “Hawkeye-ization” of the Marvel U, I really enjoyed Spider-Woman’s last run. I have absolutely no idea how they’re going to manage this change, but I’m willing to give it a shot. My main concern is that this will end up being a story about figuring out who the father is, and that seems like such a sexist story to tell. Plus, it’s been done to death. Let’s get that information upfront and move on, please.