I’m back from an afternoon trip to the comic shop. I picked up two of my regulars and a collected edition:

  • StormWatch Post Human Division – 7
  • Samurai Heaven and Earth Vol 2 – No 4
  • Criminal Vol 1 “Coward”. This collects the first five issues of the Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips series. I loved their work on “Sleeper” and have heard this was good so I’m looking forward to it. It’s Marvel so I waited for the trade. I don’t need endless pages of ads filling up my shelves.
  • I’m tired of reading so many DC Comics so I’m not going to review any of them this week. Instead here are my thoughts on some of my recent purchases.

    Supernatural: Origins 1 which I bought last week was pretty good. It’s a prequel to the TV show (I’ve seen season 1 but not 2) and it’s well written and well drawn by two guys I’ve never heard of: Peter Johnson and Matthew Dow Smith. I was a little anxious at the initial page’s use of first person narrative (the proliferation of bad first person narrative in comics being a pet peeve of mine) but the writer moved between narrative and dialogue quite skillfully. The art was also quite good. I liked the storytelling and it was illustrated in a Mike Mignola high contrast style. Check it out.

    City of Others 2 – Once again I kind of like an issue of this series. The story is well told and interesting. At least interesting for a Gothic horror story. They’re not really my cup of tea. The ending of the issue made no sense but the rest was good. The “shot from pencils and then colored” art work combo is more refined than last issue and almost there. This is still a new technique in comics and I don’t think it has really been perfected yet. All in all I’l probably pick up the final two issues of this mini.

    Buffy Season Eight 3 – This issue read a little clunkier than issue two. The art looked a little more rushed and less well defined. I’ll still pick up the next issue but if this is the first issue someone buys they might not like it as much as one or two.

    The Shadow 1941 – Hitler’s Astrologer – This is a Marvel graphic novel from 1988. I wish all Marvel graphic novels were this good. It’s a historical fiction tale that starts in good old Times Square and moves on to all sorts of plots and intrigues in Nazi Germany. I love history so this is right up my alley. Denny O’Neil does a good job with the plot.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Shadow and am only familiar with him through a handful of mediocre comics and a bad movie. In what I’ve seen of him he has always been portrayed as a second rate Batman (though he predates Batman) but I have never read any of the original stories or heard the original radio show. That being said, the Shadow was handled real well here. He was the prime mover behind events but he was only on stage for about a quarter of the book. It’s a real ensemble piece.

    I can’t sing the praises of the art highly enough. It’s by Michael Kaluta and Russ Heath and it is one of the nicest jobs I’ve ever seen. It’s stunningly beautiful at times. I have to complain a little about the coloring. There are three colorists and for the most part the colors are fine except for some pages where people’s faces are without color. Just the white of the page. It seems without reason and is distracting. Still, everything else is of such high quality that you have to see it.