Thursday, July 14, 2005

New comics 7/13

Desolation Jones #2 (Warren Ellis/J.H. Williams III, DC/Wildstorm)
Only the second issue and I'm already getting confused by the twisty plot. The bimonthly schedule does not help with recall, either. At least it's not yet as bad as Planetary; I do have a general recollection of what happened in the last issue. Ellis seems to be doing a sort of Big Sleep homage while populating the story with typically Ellis-esque characters. This probably means that the plot will be so convoluted that I wouldn't be able to follow it even if I read all the issues in one sitting. I like the characters, though, who are not so typically Ellis that they don't have their own personalities, and Ellis is establishing some nice pathos for his lead, who is much more subdued than, say, Spider Jerusalem (still the most Ellis of all Ellis characters). Williams' art, with colors by Jose Villarubia, is always wonderful, and he's definitely doing something different from his Promethea work while retaining his unique style.

Fables #39 (Bill Willingham/Lan Medina, DC/Vertigo)
Willingham takes a short break from the ongoing "Homelands" story to check in with the characters back in Fabletown, and it sets a few things in motion but feels like treading water in some ways. Medina's art is more the sketchy, rushed-looking work he's recently done on District X, rather than the more detailed work he did on the early days of this title (when he was inked by Steve Leialoha). Not a bad issue, but I'm eager to get back to the main story (and Mark Buckingham's art).

Gravity #2 (Sean McKeever/Mike Norton, Marvel)
I wasn't quite as gleefully entertained with this issue as I was with the last one, maybe because the surprise of how good it is had worn off. It's still really good, though, a sweet, funny, well-written superhero story that again reminds me of Astro City but in the Marvel universe. McKeever makes nice little continuity nods but keeps everything completely accessible. He's building an interesting supporting cast, and I really hope that there is some way for this to continue as an ongoing series, or at least to see Gravity show up somewhere else (perhaps as part of a revamped New Warriors?).

New Warriors #2 (Zeb Wells/Skottie Young, Marvel)
Once again, I wonder why so many longtime Warriors fans don't like this series. This is even better than the first issue, with an entertaining and goofy done-in-one story (featuring that surefire comics villain, talking monkeys), some advancing subplots that build on the team's history, and fun dialogue with kinetic artwork. The reality TV gimmick wouldn't sustain an ongoing series, but as a mini (or a lead-in to something more permanent), it makes perfect sense for the Warriors. If Fabian Nicieza had done an arc like this in the old Warriors series, people would have loved it. Those people should be giving this book a shot.

Also out this week: Mnemovore #4, which was the latest victim of my comic shop's shipping problems, and The Middleman #1, written by Lost writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach. I'll probably pick that one up at the San Diego Comic-Con, which is where I'll be this weekend (look for a wrap-up sometime on Monday, as well as musings in my new pop culture column for Las Vegas Weekly).

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