The Best Week in Comics History. Period.

Some body up there in Comic Book Heaven must really like us because last week saw a bevy of books that hit like a sonuvagunn. My take from all of it looked something like this:

All-Star Superman #2 - Or, as I refer to it, "Absolute Perfection." I can't find a single thing that I don't love to bits about this book, other than the fact it's bi-monthly. Morrison breathes life into Big Blue by tempering the whimsy of the Silver Age with a modern sensitivity that reinvigorates an decades-old character. Sure, there are similarities with Moore's Supreme evident here, but where Moore lifted/retrofitted Silver Age stories from Superman's history wholesale, Morrison creates a Silver Age that never was but should, could and would have been. And Quitely's art - don't get me started. Seriously, the most gorgeous penciller in comics today. He imbues his linework with an airiness, a fluidity that is unmatched anywhere else. The thing I love/hate about Quitely is the way he makes it look so effortless, like it's as easy as breathing.

Legion of Super-Heroes #13 - Writing-wise, this was another solid, if confusing, issue. I can't say that I'm falling all over myself over this book, but Waid is a really good writer and so far has kept me interested in what's going on. Part of the problem with a book like Legion is the fact that there's a biiiig cast. Keeping it all straight, is important, especially for someone like me who is a DCU newbie with no prior exposure to the Legion. Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly work as well as it needs to. A lot of the blame rests on the art team. With Kitson providing only breakdowns and some not-so strong finishes, you end up with a lot of characters that are visually interchangeable, and with no roll call page, I found myself just plain lost a few times in the book. As I said, part of this is the artists fault, but some blame must be laid at Waid's feet as he tends to write these characters with sort of snarky sameness that doesn't help in differentiating this large of a cast. Still, not a bad read, and I'm sure if I ever get around to reading the last few issues together, it'll make a lot more sense.

Planetary #24 - Well, another six months, another Planetary issue. As has been said numerous times before by numerous people, the interval between issues is really hurting the pacing of these last few installments. This issue essentially boils down to this: Snow has realized his purpose: he saves things. He wants to save Ambrose Chase, who seemed to disappear from reality as he died. Then the Four blast their building with a laser from space. Cassady's art is gorgeous as usual, Ellis' dialogue crackles - just another Planetary, issue, really. It's not overwhelmingly amazing, as what's revealed is really just putting pieces together that by now we've put together ourselves. Still, the meta aspects of the series are peeking through, as Ellis is trying to wrest the creative possibilities of comics from the clutches of the Mighty Marvel Manner, slowly uncovering the weird, untapped possibilities in the adventure/fantasy/sci-fi/pulp underpinnings of superhero storytelling. If nothing else, it will read magnificently in the collected edition.

7S: Mister Miracle #3/4 - Glad to have a visual consistency with this issue. I don't pretend to understand what exactly happened in this issue (I'll leave that to my 7S re-reads), but I enjoyed it in the initial read-through. Just thinking out loud here, but I'm reminded for some reason of Moore's Swamp Thing story "the Anatomy Lesson" as we will inevitably see Mister Miracle escaping the Anti-Life equation and being remade into a stronger hero, not unlike the other soldiers we've seen so far in the maxi-series. Of all of the series so far, this issue really made me think that the 7S experiment is really Morrison doing a cover version of Flex Mentallo, as it deals with a lot of the same themes (though an argument could be made that all of his work deals with these same themes): the power of heroes, the potential for heroism in everyone, the dangers of adulthood/darkness, the tendency to either be ashamed of superheroes (and by extension "darken" them to make them more "relevant") or castrate them/replace them with watered down, "plastic" versions (I'm thinking of the work of Geoff Johns here, though I'm sure that's not being fair, but the tendency to strip heroes of their basic power by making them immutable, serious, square-jawed, boring dad-types rather than the potential gods within they are and can be - or something like that). Anyway, this series seriously warrants a second reading, hopefully in one sitting if possible. I'll see if I can get around to it sometime soon and I'll post my thoughts. Deal?

Iron Man: the Inevitable #2/6 - Wow. Why isn't Joe Casey being offered the Iron Man ongoing, like, right now? Seriously, I bought a couple Iron Man issues back in the day (red and white suit, baby!) but that's been the extent of my exposure to Ol' Shellhead, but man, Casey gets me all pumped up with every issue of this mini. I'd only been introduced to Casey through his lackluster run on Uncanny when I was I was reintroduced to the world of the X-Men via New X-Men. Between this series and Gødland though, I might actually be coming around to Mr. Casey. Frazer Irving's art is no slouch either. His Tony Stark is a little small-looking, but other than that, he sells this issue. Really glad I picked this up.

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1/5 - Mmmmmm. Now I remember why I was so in love with Milligan and Allred's X-Force, and, to a lesser extent, X-Statix. I was initially skeptical of Allred's minimal involvement, especiallyremerberingg the Losers fill-ins he tackled a while back, but I needn't have worried, as Allred's inks make up for his absence. Funny, weird and pretty, just like I like my woman.

This week's a light one (thank goodness): Gødland #7. I might pick up the trade, "Hello Cosmic!" to read on the plane to NYC. Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3's supposed to (finally) come out tomorrow, too, but we'll see: a) if it shows, and b) if the kid who mans the counter down at Outland actually ordered it like I asked him last October. Till next time.

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