Sunday, August 20, 2006

New comics 8/16

The Boys #1 (Garth Ennis/Darick Robertson, DC/Wildstorm)
The concept of this series is so tired that I never would have picked it up were it not for the involvement of Ennis and especially Robertson, whose work I've missed while he spent the last few years drawing superheroes at Marvel. Maybe at one time the idea of a vulgar, violent book about a team of government agents who monitor superheroes would have been revolutionary, but at this point there have been so many of these jaded, graphic reimaginings of the superhero concept that this is far from original. And although Ennis is a clever writer, a lot of the stuff in this issue is trying so hard to be daring and edgy that it comes off like someone doing a bad Ennis impersonation. At the same time, Robertson's clear, detailed art is always a pleasure, and Ennis is talented enough that I'd like to think he can overcome the unoriginality of the concept and make it into something interesting. So I'll give it another issue (the next one is out in two weeks anyway), but so far I'm less than impressed.

Nextwave #7 (Warren Ellis/Stuart Immonen)
Funny as ever, but I am starting to wonder how long it can remain entertaining without something resembling character development or an ongoing plotline. The self-contained nature of the stories is exactly the appeal of this series in the first place, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining, but when after seven issues I still have trouble differentiating between Elsa and Tabitha except by their hair color, maybe something needs to change.

Runaways #19 (Brian K. Vaughan/Mike Norton, Marvel)
Once again, Vaughan defines this book by forward motion, and even while the characters are still mourning Gert's death, a new threat is brewing in the background and a new team member (Xavin) is joining the lineup. I'm probably most interested in what Chase is up to away from the team as he recruits Lotus for some mysterious purpose. Even though I miss Gert, there is so much going on here (and she's in a whole flashback sequence anyway) that it doesn't really bother me.

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