What I Read This Week – 2/1/12Posted: February 3, 2012
Here’s how you do horror: keep it nice and quiet, let the weirdness trickle in slowly, don’t let them see the teeth until it’s too late. One of the hallmarks of Lovecraft was, basically, powerlessness in the face of incomprehensible cosmic forces. Curiously enough that’s also a hallmark of noir – the bad guys are untouchable because they have the power, the entire system is corrupt, all of it arrayed against the protagonist. But Lovecraft says it’s not just here on Earth, it’s the whole universe, there are mysteries you’re better off not trying to solve because you’ll see the true uncaring structure of it all and get pulled into a world of darkness and madness. Too many Lovecraft homages only see the tentacles, they miss the real point. Not Fatale though.
ACTION COMICS #6
Classic Morrison superhero stuff, setting up a whole world in a single issue. Let’s talk about the art in that backup though: it’s very much unlike the usual uninspired superhero stuff. It’s bright, clean, confident, and above all different. Why can’t they put out a full book with art like this?
I can’t say this book’s been the best (a little disappointingly mediocre, really), but I’ll be sad to see Cornell leave it all the same. I was really looking forward to seeing the Apollo/Midnighter romance play out in all its muscly hyperviolent glory and I’m sure he would’ve done an excellent job. I figure Milligan can do okay here, though his recent output’s been readable but not exceptional.
ANIMAL MAN #6
What a weird little filler-y issue. As much as I enjoy the concept that Buddy Baker starred in a Darren Aronofsky movie that basically seems like a superhero version of The Wrestler I’m not really sure if I wanted to see that movie played out in comic book form. And left only half-complete. So let’s call this chapter cute but non-essential and move back to the glorious grotesquerie next month.
SWAMP THING #6
It’s a good thing that comics are a dualistic medium because visually stunning art can really help compensate for a by-the-numbers story featuring chosen ones and destinies and all that stuff I really don’t like in fantasy stories. I can just tune out the story and let the tide of rot and flies and carrion wash over me.
THE DEFENDERS #3
And here is the world-shattering weirdness that I wanted. The shifting narration boxes are also an excellent way to handle a multi-character book. I’ll have to swipe that sometime.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679
Okay, now that the time travel is over (and that was actually a pretty fun solution to the whole setup), I may have to drop this book. Slott’s run has had some great moments but most of the time it’s too unambitious too often. Of course I will drop in if Sr. Martin ever comes back to visit.
This very very much reminds me of Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider run, which was basically a comic book version of what you’d find spray-painted on the side of the radicalest van in existence. That is to say this story arc looks to be tons of fun.