I realized that I’ve gotten 4 posts up in as many days, so with Matt off in the woods converting to Judaism and worshiping a giant owl, I’m going to see if I can make it through an entire week of posts. I don’t really think I can do it, but I’ll give it a shot.
I fear I’m filling out the Grumpy Old Man Pants a little too well recently, so I’d like to go a little more positive and talk about some of the things I’m digging lately.
HITMAN – I’m only about 15 years late to this party, but I just read through the first year (-ish) of Hitman and am happy to agree with every other person who’s read it: it is an excellent book. Let me get my prejudices out of the way first: I don’t have much interest in killers. There’s enough brutality in real life. Therefore, it’s the mark of a very good writer who can overcome that initial bias (think Dexter, Leon, or Garth Ennis’ Punisher). Ennis’ disdain for superheroes and the DCU is on full display here: Batman is vomited on in the first issue and Green Lantern is a well-meaning (if dim) bumbler.
Despite all of this, Ennis writes an incredibly engaging story. He goes supernatural as Hell tries to recruit Tommy. He does wonders with a Blackest Night crossover just telling the story of guys waiting for the end of the world. He shows the heartbreak of losing a best friend. And lest this get too serious (this is Garth Ennis, after all), Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium (issues 13-14) is downright hilarious.
Hitman is a book definitely better read late than never. It holds up incredibly well when DCU “current events” that pop up from time to time, and even our main character dismisses the Bloodlines event that kicked it off. Best of all, these back issues can be found on the cheap, a definite plus when you’re suffering from Cover Price Burnout.
All-Select Comics 70th Anniversary Special – I’m about a month late reading through this one, but it’s a real treat. I will pick up anything by Michael Kupperman and Marvex the Super-Robot (who just seems to stop random crimes he stumbles upon and takes off his clothes a lot) seems right up his alley. After reading it, though…It seems a bit random and sparse even for Mr. Kupperman. Fortunately, Marvel included a couple Marvex stories from Daring Comics and…Kupperman’s story is spot on! The original Marvex stories appear to be a cross between Fletcher Hanks’ Stardust and, well…A Michael Kupperman robot story. Sure, I’d rather see more Snake N Bacon or Tales Designed to Thrizzle, but as long as we’re seeing Kupperman comics somewhere, there’s still good news for the medium. (I also feel like I should point out Fletcher Hanks Redux, a project by Savannah College of Art and Design students working with Hanks’ characters.)
I’m feeling much better now, thanks. Matt, you can have your pants back. At least until next week.