GET IT OUT OF THE WAY
I know what you're all waiting to hear from me: What do I think of that Top 100 Comics list that's been circulating this past week?
I think I'm not giving that publisher any free publicity by mentioning its name, and I'm certainly not going to validate such a farcical list with an in-depth discussion of why Los. Bros. Hernandez are not Gods' Gift to Comics.
AD OF THE WEEK
There was a time when this column featured an ad every week. It was just some advertisement in the middle of the book that came at a funny point, or some ad which juxtaposed with the comic in an odd way, or which featured a weird character.
I looked at the back of the stack of this week's comics and have to ask: What's Calvin Klein's obsession (pun intended) with young boys?
In lieu of the usual crop of professionals looking like fools this week, I bring you reviews. Fear not; I'm sure someone will open their mouth up this week and provide me with cannon fodder for next week's big 96th issue!
(There was, however, a fascinating piece by David Coulter in this week's CBEM about Chris Bachalo. I wish I had written it. You can read it over at CBEM's web page. Try hopping on over to http://www.digitalwebbing.com/cbem/ and clicking on "Let Me Tell You Why.")
DC published BATMAN: NO MAN'S LAND: NO LAW AND A NEW ORDER TPB this week. I think that title just about sums it up. It only took 20 seconds to type out.
Give DC credit for waiting more than 2 issues before beginning to collect this storyline in TPBs. But for $6 this one, collecting the first four chapters of the storyline, is a pretty good price.
And what do I think? It's uncomfortable. That's what it is. It has some good moments in there and a lot of thought, but I still have a HUGE problem with the whole premise. It's so bad that I can't take the rest seriously. This is a shame, since Bob Gale is an excellent writer and Alex Maleev and Wayne Faucher do a good job on the art side of things. Special mention should also be made of Matt Hollingsworth's dark and fitting colors.
So if you can swallow the premise, read on and enjoy! I may have to write "Elseworlds" on the cover if I'm going to read the next part.
Erik Larsen writes WOLVERINE #138. This isn't odd; not only has he written the previous 5 issues, but he's also writing AQUAMAN (for now), THE SAVAGE DRAGON, and NOVA (starting this Wednesday).
This is the grand finale of the 6 part epic "Wolvie in Space" storyline. In this issue, Wolverine fights Galactus. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Erik Larsen pulls it off. Seriously. It doesn't revolve around some macguffin or deus ex machina or some contrived plot elements, but the story comes off as real. (Well, as "real" as the Marvel Universe gets.) It's an interesting and unexpected ending to the saga. I don't do spoilers in this column, so I can't go any further, but I think this works well.
If you're a die-hard BABYLON 5 fan like myself, you probably picked up Wizard's FATHOM special edition issue just for the 7 pages of story in RISING STARS #0 that comes with it. It's worth it. This is looking to be some good stuff. JMS doesn't write dumb. I don't think he's capable of it. There's a narrator to the tale, who speaks as eloquently and as dramatically as G'Kar. Keu Cha's art is pretty good, too. Granted, there's not much of it, but the first impression is not one of incorrect exaggeration. The only thing that scares me is that Keu Cha didn't finish all 7 pages. There's a fill-in artist for the last two pages. Is this due to a tight deadline from Wizard? Or is Cha just not able to produce work fast enough? I'm hoping for the former.
My only problem with the book is that it looks like EVERY OTHER Top Cow comic. Do they all have to be so earthy-colored? Do they all have to use the same color palette? Do the computer separations always have to look so belabored and obvious?
The first issue of the series comes out in time for the Wizard Chicago Comics Convention. I'll remind you when the time comes; I think this is definitely a book to look out for.
I also read GEN13 #39, and it left me wondering: Can one really fight bad guys and run on the beach that easily while wearing heels? I would think the heels would sink right in. . .
PLEA FOR HELP
Because I'm an idiot, I missed The Learning Channel's comic book special on Saturday. I normally wouldn't come begging here for a copy of a videotape of it, except for the fact that there was a brief interview with Erik Larsen in it. Argh! And according to Click TV it won't be repeated in the next two weeks! So if anyone, by any chance, happened to tape it (preferably at SP speed) and wouldn't mind lending me their copy/making me a dub, please e-mail me. I'll cover the costs.