That was basically the first word out of my mouth when I heard Amy Reeder was off Batwoman. Don’t know why she’s gone. She might have wanted more influence on story, page layouts or both. Maybe not. I just know her style gives the book energy.
It’s interesting seeing a J.H. Williams III script being interpreted on an almost traditional comic book level. The double-page spreads are still there, but they don’t dominate the book.
DC Comics marketed Batwoman as the art book of their New 52 comic line… So I often forgive the disjointed storytelling that plagues the book. Williams is never going to bring the depth Greg Rucka brought the title and probably never will.
Now that Trevor McCarthy has been named as Reeder’s replacement, I’m not so sure how forgiving I’ll be with an artist who is serviceable at best. It brings my willingness to read the book down a bit– to the point where I’ll skip McCarthy and wait till Williams is back on art duty. That way I’ll know the comic will be something worth buying.
Of course, we can’t talk “shit” without mentioning Marvel… Or at least I can’t. The big teaser now is Spider-Men #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli. This new comic will follow Dan Slott’s “Ends Of The Earth” storyline– seeing release, of course, just in time for the new movie. I predict this comic will be the biggest, most unoriginal cross-promotional gimmick Marvel has pulled, EVER!
Really! That phrase should’ve been the tagline for the book. Instead, we got “This June History Will Be Made For The Marvel Universe.” I have no doubt Spider-men is another lame attempt by Marvel to temporarily boost sales and draw in those mythical new readers DC’s been trying to ferret out since The New 52 began. Seems likely, since that is exactly what Marvel seems like they’re also trying to accomplish by launching the needless Avengers Assemble.
We are already seven months into DC’s New 52 and almost all the books– with a few exceptions– feel like they are completely stuck in the mud. They move at a glacial pace. The two exceptions (for me) are Batwoman and Wonder Woman.
Other than that, I have dropped all my DC titles.
Batman? I don’t like the unnecessary price increase. I know DC said they are raising the cover price to pay for the back-up feature… But the back-up is to expand on a crossover. I feel it is far too early to be laying the groundwork for a crossover when they are in the infancy of rebuilding their universe. Besides, I like my comics priced at $2.99.
Swamp Thing? I have a problem with the pacing… But if I wanted to buy a Scott Snyder book that reads like a Vertigo comic, I’ll just keep buying American Vampire. Animal Man? I find the art off-putting at times… And both Swamp Thing and Animal Man are heading towards a crossover.
Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E? Scratchy art and I can’t get past the fact that this is basically DC’s version of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. If I wanted that, I would just read Hellboy.
Action Comics and All Star Western? The issue, again, is cover price. When you read a good portion of these titles, it just feels like they are stringing you along month to month– milking you for all your worth. This is DC Comics yet again prying another play out of the musty old Marvel handbook. I hate this decompression bullshit!
Whatever happened to one-shot comic books?
The answer is simple, really: OGNs and Trades happened. Why do a self-contained story in a single issue of a comic book… When you can bloat the story into a mini-series or fill a nice, pricey Original Graphic Novel hardcover with extra, unnecessary story pages? (Did I mention how much I dislike decompression?) What I like about one-shots is the idea of doing more with less– something I feel is swiftly becoming a lost art in modern comics.
Good comic book one-shots are few and far between. So few and so far that I had to go back four years to find two good ones. Both books have similar themes, but are worlds apart in many ways.
Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1 written by Matt Fraction, art by Salvador Larroca. Both these creators have been in a bit of hot water recently– Fraction for bringing us Fear Itself and Larroca for showcasing his Photoshop skills. But before that controversy– in the middle of Marvel’s Civil War— there was this little comic gem.
Since this is a Civil War story, remember Spider-man’s identity is public knowledge. He has already switched sides and is now against heroes registering with the government– making him a wanted man on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D— opening up his wife Mary Jane and his Aunt May for aiding and abetting charges.
This one-shot allows Peter and Mary Jane to express what they mean to each other, why their marriage matters and pays tribute to the long past they have shared together. It’s tragic reading this in retrospect– given what will happen later. If you’re someone who doesn’t know why the Spider-man O.M.I.T story line is such an utter piece of shit, this story should explain why. Read it.
Now for a completely different one-shot, Our Love Is Real— written by Sam Humphries with art by Steven Sanders. This is the kind of comic you see pop up on the Fox News Channel on a slow news day. (And not because the book was printed in a strange square format.)
I kind of want to give this comic to an ultra-conservative and watch their head implode. The book takes place in the future– five years after an AIDS vaccine– and people now have sex with plants, animals and crystals. The story is told by a cop named Jok who is a zoosexual and details how he met Brin— who is a mineralsexual. This comic caught me completely off guard– not because of the subject matter, but because I thought it was going to revolve around the cliché that opposites attract. It does– just not the way I was expecting. It’s fresh and original… And it is a one-shot.
That’s what I think… But what about you, IMJ Nation? What are some of your favorite one-shots?
And have you been watching Cartoon Network’s DC Nation? If so, what did you think of the Young Justice episode with Captain Marvel? That ep showcased a really clever use of the Captain’s powers… And I predict it is 1,000 times more interesting than whatever Geoff Johns has cooked up for The Big Red Cheese in the near future. Also, I recently saw the final episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold and felt it was probably the best cartoon I’ve seen all year thus far.
As always, I’ll be interested to read what YOU have to say!