Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Big Pile of Awesome

Damn you people! I'm buying more and more comics because you keep recommending them, including Action Philosophers and Batman and the Mad Monk.

'Course, I couldn't read The Mad Monk without first reading Batman and the Monster Men, which just so happened to come out in a trade today, so I bought that too.

All in all, I bought 10 books this week, including the trade, and half of them I would never have picked up had I not started to seriously read comics blog.

I hope you're happy...

'cause I certainly am!

I have rarely had as high an enjoyment to total ratio as I did today.

The comic I enjoyed the least was Blue Beetle which still isn't living up to its very high potential, and even that was a lot of fun. (Though John Rogers, if you're somehow reading this, pick up the goddamn pace and chain Cully Hamner to a desk).

There's too many to review them all now, so I'll just hit one moment each that stood out.

Blue Beetle: The Phantom Stranger. Just seeing that guy's great.

Astonishing X-Men: Shadowcat-Fu.

Fell: Good old fashioned detective work

Wonder Woman: Twirling. Mother fucking twirling.

Justice League of America: The A.I. grapevine.

Action Philosophers: The Wandering Jew, which may be my next Halloween costume.

Batman and the Monster Men: The shadowy man training on the rings.

Batman and the Mad Monk: Good old fashioned Catwoman.

Batman: Andy Kubert cheeky use of Pop Art and a guest appearance by Sgt. Rock.

52: Montoya's prayer.

Yes, that is in ascending order of enjoyment. 52 was HANDS DOWN the best comic this week, with Joe Bennett bringing his A game to the art to support the head-on collision of two of the major plots, a genuinely tense sequence playing on both mystical fantasy and all-too-real violence, Talky Tawny and Uncle Dudley!!!, Black Adam getting nervous, The Question's role as a step ladder, the pay-off for the rat poison, and what a Marvel wedding looks like, the issue was great.

But what made it truly excellent was Renee Montoya's prayer. A lot has been said about her being a lesbian. Some people remember she's Hispanic (Dominican, to be exact). She's also a former cop and current alcoholic and, when it comes down to it, one of the baddest asses in Gotham.

But she's also Catholic, and her religion is very important to her. It's one of the reasons why she stayed in the closet. It is both a source of strength and of crippling guilt. And the juxtaposition of the Marvel Family wedding, where multiple gods are called upon to throw lightning around super beings flying through the air, and Montoya's quiet prayer to the mother of Jesus in the moment of her greatest need for personal strength, was genuinely moving.

So, what'd you think?


Anonymous said...

Haven't caught up with all the new books but I agree with you about 52. I'm really enjoying it and I've loved Montoya as a character since Gotham Central.

And thanks to you, I can't get Dione Warwick's singing out of my head...

Great blog. Thx.

Brandon Bragg said...

I loved the Pop Art craziness in this week's Batman. I thought it was a great gag, though I've already heard some groaning about it out there in the blogosphere. As long as Morrison and Kubert use this stuff sparingly, I'm all for it.