This post comes a bit later than usual, because of real-life stuff and the Seven Soldiers stuff.Â Also, I got a lot of comics.Â December always seems to be a big month for me.Â I don't know why.
So let's check things out!
The Irredeemable Ant-Man #3 by Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks.Â $2.99, Marvel.
See, now, I don't understand why Eric is supposed to be so unlikable.Â I mean, sure, he's kind of a jerk, but he seems like a perfectly normal guy to me.Â He hasn't really done anything all that "irredeemable," but maybe I'm just overlooking things.Â I wonder if Kirkman is writing him as a "regular" guy and implying that if you're not a hero, you're scum.Â Eric isn't a very good S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, but that doesn't make him a scumbag.
Take the scene in the cemetery with Veronica.Â Eric puts the moves on her, sure, but I didn't get the sense that he was doing anything underhanded.Â He liked Veronica when she was dating Chris, and lied to her about Chris, but I still don't get the sense that he was maneuvering her into the graveyard so he could do the nasty with her.Â Then, when she sees Chris's headstone, she pushes him off her and acts as if he manipulated her.Â But it's very clear that she's as into it as he is, before she's reminded that her boyfriend is, indeed, six feet under.Â Veronica is as much to "blame" for what happens in the graveyard as Eric is, but once she sees the tombstone, she acts all high and mighty.Â I'm not buying it.
As for sneaking into Beth's apartment - well, he needs a place to stay.Â And come on - if you could shrink (or turn invisible, which is the standard superpower), you would go places where you could check out naked chicks.Â Don't deny it!!!!!Â So yes, he's a bit of a jerk, but it's not like he uses mind powers to sleep with anyone.Â He just checks Beth out in the shower.Â Creepy?Â Sure.Â But understandable.
The part where he punches the guy so hard in the neck that he almost kills him is pretty funny, too.Â In a horrible kind of way.
There's a lot to like about this book, including Hester's art.Â We're moving along, both in the present, where Mitch is hunting Eric, and in the past, where we're learning about what happened to Eric so that he needs to sneak into apartments for places to stay.Â It's a fun series so far.
I know this came out a few weeks ago, but for some reason my comic shoppe didn't get it and I had to wait a few weeks before they could get it on order.Â But that's okay -Â I can wait!
As I mentioned when issue #5 came out, the nice thing about this being 2 dollars is that you can allow it to get better and not feel like you're throwing your money away.Â Issue #5 was the best one yet, and this issue continues to upward arc (in terms of quality) of the book.Â Next issue is the last one of the "first season," or whatever the hell they want to call it, and it appears that this section of the story will end on a very cool note.
I'm not even going to try to sift through what's going on.Â I'll do it next issue.Â What bothers me about the book is the text pieces at the end of each issue.Â I enjoy them, but this one bugs me, because Fraction reveals that so much of the issue is ripped off from other sources.Â I'm not criticizing Fraction, because I know that writers take ideas from everywhere and anything, but to actually see the "man behind the curtain," so to speak, is a bit disappointing this time.Â So much is taken from elsewhere that it seems to lessen the impact of the coolness.Â I want to believe that these writers, despite using other ideas and influences, are wildly imaginative to come up with cool shit on their own.Â I enjoy the fact that Fraction is able to get all these ideas into a coherent (yes, it's coherent!) story, but it's more of a collage than anything.Â Not enough to make me dislike the book, but a bit annoying.
Anyway, it's a good book.Â Check it out!
Detective Comics #826 by Paul Dini, Don Kramer, and Wayne Faucher.Â $2.99, DC.
I know that many people in Blogosphere-land enjoy Paul Dini's work.Â They speak of his Batman work on - what was it? - Batman Adventures?Â He wrote Mad Love, right?Â Well, whatever it was, he's now writing Detective, and I was liking it for a while.Â But Dini has no built-up credit with me, so I don't care if he could write Batman well - I want to see him write Batman well now!
The upshot of this is that despite some enjoyable issues, I might have to drop the book.Â It's December, after all, and that's my annual culling month!Â This just isn't all that interesting a book.Â This issue, for example, has a Robin-vs.-The Joker story.Â Fine.Â Robin is fighting some punks, and his bike gets smashed.Â A good Samaritan offers a ride, and when Robin jumps in, he sees that it's our old joking friend.Â That's gotta suck!Â The Joker gasses him, ties him up, and goes on a hit-and-run spree.Â Robin eventually figures out how to get out of the ropes, beats up the Joker, who takes the Nestea plunge off of an overpass and, well, disappears.Â Of course.Â He did fall, it appears, into a garbage truck (I'll bet no one said, "Shame that folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that"), so I guess I can forgive another miraculous escape for our Jaunty Jester.
It's dull.Â Nothing much happens, we get no insight into Tim's character, except that he shares a love of the Marx Brothers with the Joker, and we get no insight into the Joker's character, except that he, well, shares a love of the Marx Brothers with Robin.Â That's it?Â And, if you have read my comments at all, you know I'm really, really, really, really, really, really sick of completely crazy insane Joker (is that enough "really"s?).Â I mean, doesn't anyone miss the murderous Joker who also had plans?Â He would try to, I don't know, steal something, and just occasionally throw someone in front of a bus.Â Or his weird scheme would involve killing people in a bizarre way.Â Good times!Â GOOD TIMES!
So this is a disappointing issue.Â After Dini's first issue (with J. H. Williams III on art, true), we've gone downhill, but I still love the Riddler, Consulting Detective issue.Â But there has to be freakin' detecting in this book, doesn't there?Â DOESN'T THERE?!?!?!?!?
We'll see about next issue.Â It's not looking good.
(This is kind of weird.Â I zipped around the comics blogosphere-o-verse and saw a few opinions about this.Â Am I the only one who didn't like it?Â Everyone I read - not many people, you understand, but some - loved it and thought this Joker - this crazy, unmotivated, randomly-killing people with something as trifling as a car Joker - was great.Â What the hell?)
I'd like to thank Richard Starkings, once again, for sending me an issue of Elephantmen.Â I probably should start buying them on my own, but I like free comics.Â Who doesn't????Â And although I have enjoyed each issue, I'm still not sure I would buy these on my own.Â This one, however, I should have, because it's really good.
It's from a few years ago, and it's theÂ origin issueÂ of our heroes, the Elephantmen.Â I want to say I already own this, but I don't think I do.Â I might have to go through my collection and see.Â Â Be that as it may, it's a neatÂ book, made more enjoyableÂ by LadrÃ¶nn's artwork.Â It's stunning.Â He's stuck on covers these days, butÂ it would be nice to seeÂ him do more interiors.Â We see the scientific process that created the man-animals, and Starkings and Casey do a nice job zipping through the years of the processÂ but also show us the horrors associated with the lives of these creations.Â It's quick, but it's nicely done.Â The creatures areÂ scary, but also tragic.Â We know from the issues of the series that these Elephantmen are capable of human feeling, but to see them solely as weapons and being indoctrinated as amoral killing machines is horrifying and depressing.Â When the government attacks the lab and the creatures fight, we feel both their pain, their hatred, and their yearning to be free.Â It's a beautifully rendered fight, too.If you haven't been buying this book, that's cool.Â You don't need to own the other issues for this one.Â It's a good book to buy on its own, so go find it!Â Even if you're only in it for the art!Â
After last issue, which was a lot of talking, this issue brings a lot of fisticuffs, with the same brand of humor.Â I don't love this book, but it does many things very well, and as it moves forward, it will be interesting to see what Giffen and DeMatteis will do with Milo's character.Â Talk about unlikable!Â We learn in this issue that Milo has cheated on Stephie even more times than we thought (and we thought it was a lot), and that he's stalking her to make a cheesy video of her and win her back.Â It's always worked before, right?Â But beyond that slightly creepy beginning, Giffen and DeMatteis are slowly building his character - when Captain Valor fights an evil clone (yes, the story is called "Clone Saga," and promises to suck less than the more famous one), it's Milo who helps the innocent victims caught in their wake, and it's Milo who points out that Captain Valor is, in fact, destroying major sections of the city.Â It's been done before, but it's interesting to see that Captain Valor really has no idea that his fights cause this sort of destruction.Â The story of Milo and Stephie is, of course, at the heart of this book, and while it's fun to see fights like this (and it's a very nicely-done fight), it's even better to see Milo doing things that might make him someone who is worthy of Stephie.Â We even get to see, for a brief instant, a feeling of pity on Caliginous's face, and it's a nice little touch.
Even though it's the month of culling here, I will probably keep buying this, even though I don't love it.Â It comes out every other month, and I will give small books more rope than big ones.Â It's always entertaining, and with Giffen and DeMatteis's track record, I know it will continue to be interesting to read.
Meltdown #1 (of 2) by David B. Schwartz and Sean Wang.Â $5.99, Image.
There are some very interesting things about Meltdown.Â First, Wang does a really good job with varying art styles, reflecting points in our hero's (whose name is Caliente, because he's, you know, really hot) life.Â In the present, the art is a bit rough, as befits his battle royale with his arch-nemesis, Maelstrom.Â In the past, it's neat to watch as the style slowly goes from a bouncy, slightly goofy style that reflects the innocence of youth to the rougher style of the present.Â It's a very cool idea, and makes the book nice to look at.
The story is pretty simple: Caliente, or "Cal," is a superhero who can generate heat.Â He doesn't really like being a superhero, but it's the only thing he can do because of his powers.Â He finds out that the heat is building up in his body and that soon - in one week - it will kill him.Â So he goes on a rampage and ends up fighting Maelstrom, which is what frames the book.Â It's certainly not a bad idea, and allows us to see quite a bit about Cal and why people with powers don't always want to be superheroes.Â According to Cal, the powers he has have completely ruined his life.Â It's fitting that they should kill him.
There are a couple of problems with this book, and one is completely mine.Â It feels to me as if the writer, David Schwartz, is putting a subtle political agenda in the book, and because I don't agree with it, it lessens my enjoyment of the book just a little.Â I could be reading it completely wrong, but it's just a feeling, after all, and nothing overt.Â It doesn't ruin the book for me, and it's certainly not as obnoxious as, say, Straczynski's politicking in Squadron Supreme, which really annoys me, but it's still there.Â Again, I could be reading it wrong, which is why it's my problem, and not the book's.
However, there is a LOT of exposition in this issue.Â I realize there needs to be, as the series is only two issues long (it's huge, though, so it's pretty good value for the money), but at times you just want Cal to shut up (I know that's how many of you feel about me!), especially during the fight scenes with Maelstrom.Â He narrates that people with superpowers don't banter during fights because they need to concentrate, but he's busy narrating!Â There are times when the narration stops, and Wang's art is good enough to move the story along.Â Schwartz needs to trust his artist a bit more!
The other thing that bothered me was Cal's relationship with Amara.Â I don't have a problem with him going through high school too scared to talk to her, and I don't have a problem with him finally getting the nerve to tell her how he feels about her when the reunite years later.Â I do have a problem with him ditching her when the doctor tells them that because of his body heat, they can't have children.Â This is tied in a little with the vague feelings of unease that I have with Schwartz's political leanings, but the idea that if you can't have children you're useless is one that smacks far too much of a conservative tradition that annoys me.Â And Amara is so selfish that she wants a child of her own, and they refuse to adopt one of the millions of children around the world who are orphaned?Â The doctor tells them that Cal's body temperature is too high.Â There aren't any other options?Â Cal ditches her pretty quickly.Â Was his love for her just a reason to get her pregnant, and was her love for him similar?Â Will she not love him because they can't have children?Â Now that he left her, will she find someone simply because they can procreate?Â I realize I'm rambling, but that one page in the book bothered the heck out of me.
Anyway, this is, as I mentioned, a pretty decent book.Â The art is very nice, Cal is (despite his shortcomings, or maybe because of them) an interesting character, and the idea of someone becoming a hero only when they are dying isn't all that original, but it's still not a bad idea.Â I really hope Schwartz carries this story to its logical conclusion and doesn't cop out and "cure" Cal.Â That would be disappointing.Â But we'll see.
Moon Knight #6 by Charlie Huston, David Finch, and Danny Miki.Â $2.99, Marvel.
I'm very disappointed in you, good readers.Â You know of my almost-obsessive love for Moon Knight.Â You know that I have been enjoying the new series immensely.Â Yet, this comic came out two weeks ago and not one of you said, "Hey, didn't you get the latest issue of Moon Knight?Â What the hell, man?"Â What am I to do with you people?
Okay, you can say it's my job to find out what books are coming out on which days, but remember - you're not helping comics if you do!
This is the final issue of the first story arc, and it's rather interesting.Â There is no battle royale with Taskmaster, because Moon Knight beats him pretty easily on the first few pages.Â There is also no final confrontation with the Committee, because they're long gone.Â What this issue is, however, is a culmination of what Huston has been writing for the first five issues - a psychological deconstruction of Marc Spector, which makes clearer than any writer since Doug Moench that Spector is, indeed, insane.Â We've seen insane heroes before - Frank Castle is psychotic, I would say - but what is endlessly fascinating about Spector is his multiple personalities - which Huston hasn't really explored - and his religious devotion to a deity that actually interferes with his life.Â So Marc makes the obligatory rounds to see Marlene and Frenchie, and Crawley comes to see him, but in the end, he's alone with the specter - so to speak - of Bushman, who becomes the embodiment of Khonshu.Â Khonshu is unhappy with Moon Knight, who has failed at being his avatar, and he's back for, well, not exactly vengeance, but for a good heart-to-heart chat.Â In the end, of course, Moon Knight is back, and he has learned something about himself, something that he didn't really want to know, but has decided to accept.Â I wish Marlene hadn't shown up at the end, however - I like them as a couple, but she could have played a little more hard-to-get.
This is a really gripping psychological drama, and adds some nice layers to Moon Knight's character.Â I do want Huston to do some things with the other aspect of his sickness - the multiple personalities - but we'll see if that's coming.Â For now, despite the brutality of this title (which I like, but it is a little much), it's a fascinating look into the mind of a man who wants to be a hero but often doesn't know how.Â Pick up the trade if you've been waiting for it!
Newuniversal #1 by Warren Ellis and Salvador Larroca.Â $2.99, Marvel.
You know, I was bored by this book.Â That's shocking, considering Ellis, but he's certainly capable of clunkers.Â This is nothing new.Â Superpowers come into a world that doesn't know them.Â I suppose Ellis will have the typical Ellisian twists forthcoming, but I'm just not that keen on waiting for them.Â There are characters all over the world.Â There's a "white event" that transforms some and turns at least one into a vicious killer.Â Nobody knows what to make of it.Â There's something weird going on in Latvia, of all places.Â Yawn.
It's not helped by Larroca's art, which I can appreciate on an aesthetic level, but which is lacking in dynamism.Â It's pretty, but it leaves me a bit cold.Â Too bad.
Let's just put it this way: when some weird alien intelligence says, "This is a paradigm shift," that's bad.Â We shouldn't have be told it's a paradigm shift!
Oh well.Â Something else I don't have to buy.
The Next is certainly not the greatest mini-series around.Â It is, however, a whole lot of fun.Â It's helped by Dietrich Smith's wild art, which is just fun to look at.Â It helps that the Next themselves are extra-dimensional beings who can change into almost anything they like, so Smith gets a lot of chances to cut loose.Â He draws a nice Superman, too - not too muscular (despite the first cover there) and kind of lean and mean.Â It's cartoony art, but it has to be to keep up with the wildness of the proceedings.Â And when it has to be a bit scary, like in the final issue, Smith is able to keep up.
The story is a bit all over the place, but it's basically this: four teenaged beings from another dimension have to stop in our dimension to save a girl they accidentally killed, Monikka Wong.Â They bring her back to life, but in doing so, trap themselves in our dimension.Â Meanwhile, a sort of truant officer from their dimension is coming to get them, and he's a nasty piece of work.Â And the rip in time they created when they entered our dimension is gaining self-awareness, and decides to wipe out all existence.Â It's pretty easy to summarize, but it plays out with plenty of sub-plots, lots of head-scratching scientific lingo (head-scratching both because I don't know how "real" it is, and if it is real, what the hell a lot of it means), and far too much narration and dialogue.Â This comic is packed with words, and it suffers a bit for it.Â It's still enjoyable, but it shows that Williams is a prose writer, because he really overdoes it with the verbosity, when the art could easily carry some sections.Â It's frustrating.
It could definitely be shorter, too.Â Issue #3, for instance, veers off on a tangent to the main story that really doesn't have to be there.Â I get the "writing for the trade" idea and the "six-issue" paradigm, but this could be a solid trade with only five issues.Â This is the problem with six issue stories - they rarely have enough to sustain the six issues.Â The fight scenes in this series are too long, and done, it appears, to pad it.Â At least it's padded with big fight scenes instead of inane dialogue!
I was a bit disappointed with the ending, because Williams didn't have the guts to go through with killing some characters.Â However, that's really my problem, because I'm just a bloodthirsty jerk.Â I knew it wasn't going to happen, but it was still a little disappointing.Â The story ends fine, and just because there wasn't more carnage doesn't make it bad!
I have one question about Monikka.Â Before we meet her mother, we assume she's Asian.Â Her last name is Wong, after all, and she looks Asian.Â Her mother is Hispanic, though.Â I realize her father is Asian, but she doesn't look all that "blended."Â It's weird seeing her standing next to her mother, because they don't look related.Â Or is that my problem, too?
This is a keen little mini-series with a lot a good points about it.Â It's not going to change the world, and it has some problems, but it's entertaining and interesting.Â And the Next remain pretty funny throughout.Â You could do a lot worse than this in your comic-book reading!
This came out a while ago, but I missed it, so when Moonstone re-released it in a handy two-pack, I snatched it up.Â The draw for me is EricJ's art, which was so beautiful in the early issues of Rex Mundi and was quite nice on the ill-fated mini-series Free Fall.Â It's in black-and-white here, but it's still neat to see.Â Occasionally his art can be a bit strange, as his figures seem awkwardly posed, but he fills up the pages with nice details and interesting "camera" angles, so I can forgive a little stiffness from his poses.
The story is pretty good, too.Â Randall Gordon, a famous psychic, is getting beaten up on the first page of the first issue.Â This is a good time for a flashback, and Randall obliges us.Â We see that he was a struggling college student when he decided to enter a talent show and show his talent - which was fake.Â He did some research and got one of his "visions" correct, and appeared on a local television station, which was a set-up that backfired and gained him even more fame.Â Soon he had a television show, and everything is going fine - until an old man shows up, grabs his head, and gives him real psychic powers.Â He has to leave his show when he starts seeing people die (and they don't follow his advice), but some Las Vegas big-wig convinces him to come out of retirement.Â Randall doesn't want to, but he has a vision of the guy killing some girl, so he goes along.Â The girl, it turns out, is the big-wig's daughter.Â Why would he kill his own daughter?
In the second issue, we find out.Â She doesn't believe Randall at first, but is soon convinced he's the real deal.Â Despite knowing what's coming, Randall ends up in the desert with a gun to his head.Â Whoops!Â He doesn't die, but I'll say no more!Â What's neat about this book is that Storrie taps into the psychic phenomenon and reminds us that the people who seek psychics are no different from seemingly "normal" folk.Â We all want something to believe in.Â Randall strikes up a relationship with Grace, the daughter, in order to get close to her and protect her.Â He tells her that he's a psychic, but she still has a need to believe something about him, and she respects his power, but that's not what she believes in.Â He makes the point that people believe what they want to believe, and it doesn't matter what the truth is.Â This is certainly not an original idea, but it's interesting to revisit, and the way Storrie works up to it is nice.
This is another decent comic book.Â It's not going to set your world on fire, but it looks very nice (although EricJ, strangely enough, has issues with drawing hair - the 'dos in this book are wild) and it tells a good story.Â There's nothing wrong with that!
Uncanny X-Men #481 by Ed Brubaker, Billy Tan, and Danny Miki with Allen Martinez.Â $2.99, Marvel.
I'm still haven't made up my mind about Brubaker's take on our favorite persecuted mutants.Â I don't like either group of the two main books (Astonishing remains a vanity project until Whedon leaves), but Carey's arc is so far more interesting than Brubaker's.Â It's possible, of course, that it's because this is 12 parts instead of 6, but I'm not so sure.Â It could be that I have never been particularly interested in "X-Men in Space" storylines, and I'm only interested in this because Brubaker is a good writer.Â So it's not bad, but it's not that great, either.Â I always like it when comic book characters in mainstream superhero books get busy, so Rachel getting it on with Korvus the Shi'ar is fine, although Tan draws her to look somewhat young, so it's kind of skeevy.Â Yes, I said skeevy!Â Meanwhile, there's a palace coup, and the X-Men decide to go see Corsair.Â Because, you know, space isn't all that big - you're always running into people you know!
This is the seventh part of the twelve-parter, so although it's moving along, it's just that it seems like it's setting up and setting up and setting up, and all the regular folk are just moving into place.Â I like how whenever the X-Men go into space, they come across the same people.Â When the Avengers go into space, they run into the same people, who are completely different from the people the X-Men run into.Â When the Fantastic Four go into space ... you get the idea.Â So my question is: where are the Brood?Â I'm sure they'll be stopping by!
So we'll see how this plays out.Â It's good enough to hold my interest right now, but I'm not sure about it.Â How's that for decisive!
Gail Simone seems to do this kind of comic quite well.Â It's not really laugh-out-loud funny (although she can do that, and there are certainly funny lines), but it's still humorous.Â It also does a good job with a fresh take on superheroes - where do they go when they retire?Â Well, they go to Tranquility, where they can hang out, grow old, and relive past glories!Â The story begins with a newsreel about Minxy Millions, who fought bad guys back in the day.Â Then we get to the present, and the sheriff, Thomasina Lindo, is trying to convince a reporter that she should go away and not bother them.Â Of course, the reporter, Collette Pearson, sticks around, with her cameraman.Â At that moment Minxy, who has aged a bit, flies one of her planes down main street, causing much destruction.Â This is a nice way to show us the heroes in their glory and now.Â The sheriff and the mayor are at odds with the need to show the reporter around the town, but the mayor, Alex Fury, thinks it will be good PR, especially because he can show the world that villains live there too, all in harmony.Â Thomasina takes Collette to a local diner, where they meet some more locals, and then Emo, a punk with a visor over his face that shows emoticons (which is very funny), shows up with his gang, causing trouble.Â There's a bit of a brouhaha, but suddenly Mr. Articulate, one of the older heroes, ends up with what is not quite a sword but is still sharp through his heart.Â Thomasina shuts the diner down, and we have a locked-room mystery!Â Well, maybe.
This is a nice book.Â The characters are well done, treated with respect even though they are funny and could be mocked.Â The idea of superheroes losing their minds and not being able to turn back into a superhero (as one of them can't do) and not being able to pilot their planes anymore (like Minxy) is fascinating, and Simone does a good job with it.Â There are a lot of characters, but they are all pretty distinctive, and so we can do a good job figuring out who's who.Â And there's nothing wrong with a good mystery.Â I hope Simone can pull it off, because, as I've lamented before, murder mysteries in comics aren't usually that good.
Neil Googe's art is fine.Â It's vibrant and eye-catching, and each character complements Simone's writing, so that we can easily tell them apart.Â Emo's face is great - the use of all the goofy emoticons adds a nice goofy element to the book that doesn't come from making fun of the older heroes.Â I don't quite know why everyone has a circle drawn on the end of their noses - it's weird.Â But other than that, it's nice art.
This is a mini-series, right?Â I think it is, and I have no problem getting the rest of it.Â Gail, are you out there?Â Is it a mini-series?
MINI-SERIES I BOUGHT BUT DID NOT READ.
Agents of Atlas #5 (of 6) by Jeff Parker, Leonard Kirk, and Kris Justice.Â $2.99, Marvel.
You know what that cover should say?Â "Jazz Hands!"
Doctor Strange: The Oath #3 (of 5) by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin.Â $2.99, Marvel.
One of the nice things about not reading mini-series until they are finished is that I can miss issues and not worry about them too much.Â I missed the second issue of this, but I'll find it.Â This I swear!!!!!Â (See, it's called The Oath, and I'm swearing ... never mind.)
Mystery in Space #4 (of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8) by Jim Starlin, Shane David, and Matt Banning.Â $3.99, DC.
Shane Davis, Wizard's rising star.Â Why not Jim Starlin?Â He's a new guy, right?Â He's never done anything before this!
The Nightly News #2 (of 6) by Jonathan Hickman.Â $2.99, Image.
I flipped through this, and it looks a keen as the first one.Â It's as packed with stuff, too.Â I hope it comes out onÂ a decent schedule, because it will probably be a fun read.
I didn't even look at this.Â That's how much I trust Aaron and Stewart!
Well, that's it for this week.Â I may go hungry for the next few days, because I spent all our money on comics!Â That's the sacrifice I make!Â