Sunday, August 27, 2006

New comics 8/23

Astonishing X-Men #16 (Joss Whedon/John Cassaday, Marvel)
Sixteen issues in, Whedon has finally provided a genuine, story-based reason for his resurrection of Colossus. Granted, some other character could have served the same purpose in the story, but at least the resurrection now ties in to the ongoing Breakworld plotline that's been going since the beginning, and doesn't seem like something tacked on randomly just so Whedon could use a character he likes. That's all secondary to the main plot, though, which continues the Hellfire Club assault, and hints that not all may be as it seems with Emma, which is more interesting than her simply reverting to villainy. The Wolverine-as-scared-child stuff was funny, but after last issue I've kind of had enough of it. And while I like Kitty taking charge, it does sometimes feel like Whedon is pushing too hard to make her a badass. Overall, though, still a strong issue and a much more interesting storyline than the one with Danger (who sadly is still around in the Breakworld subplot).

Fell #6 (Warren Ellis/Ben Templesmith, Image)
Another totally creepy and disturbing self-contained tale, balanced by some sweet and even touching ongoing character development. This is the kind of balance I wish Ellis would bring to Nextwave; you can still read this issue on its own and get a complete mystery, but there's also a sense of forward motion so that it doesn't just seem like the book is repeating itself. This book may come out sporadically, but just about every issue is its own little masterpiece.

Jack of Fables #2 (Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges/Tony Akins, DC/Vertigo)
Stronger than the first issue, but I still have a tough time seeing this as anything other than an extended storyline from the main book. We even get plot points spilling over and introductions of new fables (actually, mostly nursery-rhyme characters like Humpty Dumpty and Mary Mary Quite Contrary). With the sprawling cast of the main book, there's no reason this couldn't have been a four-issue diversion, and at this point Jack seems like too much of a cipher to me to carry a whole series. But I did find some of the prison camp stuff pretty creepy, and I like that Jack is rallying the inmates by the end, because I think a whole series set in the camp would never work. I've got doubts anyway, but in the short term this is still enjoyable because it's like getting two issues of Fables a month.

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