What I Read This Week – 1/4/2012


Maybe Action Comics hasn’t been the classic I was hoping for, but it’s still quite good with an exuberant sense of energy. And with what appears to be a full spectrum of Kryptonite-powered villains from the future it seems it’s going to be going full-on Silver Age at some point. I’m 100% OK with that.


Criminal with tentacles! When I first saw the previews I was afraid it was just going to be a mashup of noir and Lovecraft stereotypes, featuring your typical evil seductress. That’s an archetype I find a bit problematic for feminist reasons, but since it turns out it’s actually A) from her point of view and B) she’s not particularly evil or in command, I feel much, much better about this comic. It almost seems like Brubaker’s going to be deconstructing the occult noir archetype from the inside, which should be really interesting.


For a comic that’s supposed to bring Frank Castle back into the mainstream Marvel universe there’s been remarkably little superhero action so far this series. Not that’s a bad thing, it kind of makes this book feel like the spiritual successor to Gotham Central, where it’s about normal people doing relatively mundane things in a weird universe. The characters aren’t as deep as I’d like, but that might read better if I read all the issues together. As it is now, I kind of tend to forget who people are from issue to issue…


My problem with Swamp Thing has been that it just feels like a retread of Moore’s run. I mean, even Moore got bored with that towards the end and decided to just launch Swamp Thing into space. Plus Animal Man is doing basically the same story, but creepier and with better characters. Paquette’s art is top-notch though, so that’s as good a reason as any to keep going.


I got promised the universe cracking open and that hasn’t quiiiiite happened yet so I’ll reserve judgment on this book until it does, it seems like it’s still ramping up. Also how long has Prester John been a time-travelling villain in the Marvel U and nobody told me? Shut the engines down.

O.M.A.C. #5

I’m just going to leave this scan with the spine and staples visible because that’s how you know you’re reading a Comic Book and this book very much deserves the capitals. Did you know O.M.A.C. is accidentally the most fun book of the New 52? I’m sure that’s 90% Keith Giffen’s art, but oh such art he draws. Obviously he’s channeling Kirby, but he’s less blocky and more fluid. Sidebar: how come nobody can write Frankenstein dialogue as good as Morrison? Frankenstein should be eloquent in a ponderous and Edwardian way, dammit, not saying things like “I hate it when they get chatty!”


I’m jumping onto X-Force a little late in the game here so admittedly I should be prepared to play catchup, but is it really the best idea to have a comic theoretically designed as a starting point for new readers to feature none of the title characters? But I do have a slightly unwarranted love of the Age of Apocalypse (or any dark alternate timeline), and I’m looking forward to Lapham’s series, so I’ll try next issue and see if that works better.


Like I said above, all the creepy that should’ve gone into Swamp Thing is in here. This is the best comic DC’s making right now by a healthy margin, unless you aren’t into incredibly gross body horror. But sometimes there are cute skeleton animals to balance things out.


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