Monday, July 17, 2006

New comics 7/12

American Virgin #5 (Steven T. Seagle/Becky Cloonan, DC/Vertigo)
I wasn't sure where Seagle was going with this book after Adam's sojourn in Africa, but even though this is technically the start of a new storyline, it looks like he's really just continuing on the same path, as Adam sets out for revenge against Cassie's killer. I'm not sure how long this book can milk this one event, but as it continues to spiral into new directions, it remains a rich source of material for the characters.

The Exterminators #7 (Simon Oliver/Tony Moore, DC/Vertigo)
It's interesting that this is the issue with the least amount of bug-related adventures and the one I've probably enjoyed the most so far. I really like the developing relationship between Henry and Page, and Laura has become a more interesting character now that she and Henry are breaking up. The fellow exterminators also feel more fleshed out now, and I'm not sure where Oliver is going with the resurrected Ace (or whatever - I can't actually remember the character's name), but I kind of prefer the grounded drama to any sci-fi mumbo jumbo brewing in the background. Moore's art in this issue is a little uneven thanks to multiple inkers, so I hope he can get back on track soon enough.

Fables #51 (Bill Willingham/Shawn McManus, DC/Vertigo)
I was glad to see Willingham returning both to the alliance with the cloud kingdoms (from last issue's oversized Bigby Wolf tale) and Cinderella, whom we haven't seen in the spotlight in quite some time. This story felt a lot less rushed than the last issue did, and I like the way that Willingham is fleshing out the cloud kingdoms, making them into their own unique world that I'm intrigued to visit again. And with the cryptic ending I imagine we'll be seeing more Cinderella, too, which is great since this book needs more strong females after Willingham tied the bow on Snow and Bigby. McManus' art is nice if sometimes rough, but a perfectly acceptable fill-in, as I'm sure Mark Buckingham needs a rest after drawing the huge 50th issue.

Snakewoman #1 (Zeb Wells/Michael Gaydos, Virgin)
This is the second new series from Virgin, and while the previews for their other books have looked sort of hokey to me, I checked this out because I've liked some of the past work by both of these creators. And this issue is okay. It's basically a slow-burn horror book, so not a lot happens yet, but Wells creates a suitably creepy and mysterious atmosphere, and Gaydos is good at blending gritty realism with the supernatural. I'll give it another issue to see where things go, but for a big launch from a major company like this, it probably should have made a stronger immediate impression.

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