Monday, November 21, 2005

New comics 11/16

Spent the weekend visiting family in Chicago, so I'm a little late on this, and I'm just going to stick to the first issues I picked up this week.

All-Star Superman #1 (Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely, DC)
Actually, I didn't even buy this one, but I was pleased to see it come in the mail from DC publicity. I'm always back and forth on Morrison's writing, but I like almost everything Quitely does, and even though I have no interest in Superman, I was curious to see what they'd do with it. This has gotten rave reviews elsewhere, but I found it pretty unimpressive. Sure, Quitely's art is as pretty as ever, and Morrison inserts some weird sci-fi ideas into the story, but ultimately, it's still just a Superman story, and doesn't tell me anything new or different about Superman that I couldn't have read in a million other stories. I've never been all that keen on the big, iconic superheroes, and if people like Morrison and Quitely can't convince me to be, then I probably never will.

Black Harvest #1 (Josh Howard, Devil's Due)
I picked this up on a whim because it looked sort of cool and I've read all sorts of good things about Howard's last series, Dead@17. And indeed, it was sort of cool. It's hard to tell yet how it will turn out overall, since this issue is a lot of set-up and mysterious unexplained goings-on, but so far it's got a nice creepy atmosphere, some interesting characters and attractive, angular art by Howard that reminds me of Michael Avon Oeming. It's not clear to me from this issue how long the series is, but I assume it's a mini of three or four issues, and I'll probably end up picking up the rest.

The Thing #1 (Dan Slott/Andrea DiVito, Marvel)
This is the kind of thing I never would have bought if not for the involvement of Dan Slott, who's done wonderful things with neglected corners of the Marvel universe in his She-Hulk and GLA series. I was still hesitant, though, since the Thing is not exactly part of a neglected corner of the Marvel universe, and I never had much interest in him or the Fantastic Four. I picked this issue up anyway to give Slott the benefit of the doubt, and it was perfectly okay but I doubt I'll read more. Neither as funny as GLA nor as weird and meta as She-Hulk, this is basically a straightforward superhero book that could have been from 10 years ago or 20 years ago with very little difference. That's not necessarily bad if that's what you're looking for, or if you're a big fan of the Thing, but I don't fit the target audience. I've always found DiVito's art to be hopelessly generic, and that impression continues. It tells the story well enough, but it doesn't stand out at all, which pretty much describes this entire issue.

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