Delirium influenced comic reviews at their best!
Another all nighter last night, so if you’ve come here expecting coherency, you may as well wander away, as I’m liable to at any moment in a daze. The good news is that with today’s proposal out of the way I’ve got about two weeks before anything else is due. This means that I can get back to things like normal sleep patterns. Oh, and grooming. You know how hockey players keep playoff beards? Well, during essay season I keep an essay writing beard until everything’s done and handed in. I know, “essay writing beard” doesn’t have quite the same macho mystique as a “playoff beard,” but whatever, only one of us is working right now, Mario Lemieux, and it’s not you.
School got in the way of comics again (fucking school), so new reviews are a little later this week than I like them to be. There were only two books for me to buy on Wednesday, which is a good thing for once. This month’s bills are in, and I am broke. The familiar refrain runs through my head: “Comics or lunch, comics or lunch?” But I’m sure everyone does that, right? Right?
Having there be only two books for me to buy was also okay considering that the books were two of my favourites, Ultimates and Brubaker’s Captain America.
Ultimates, I figure, even counts as two or three books for the number of times I’ll reread each issue. That shouldn’t make you think that the title is unreservedly good, however. I’m starting to wonder if I would still be buying this title if anyone else were on art, even if it was someone whose work I really like. Really, I probably wouldn't. Bryan Hitch’s drawing excuses all sorts of problems in the writing. Millar's writing is fine, it's just nothing groundbreaking. As is usual with Millar, I like the overall plotting (Is Thor crazy? He’s got me wondering), but the dialogue leaves something to be desired. I think I’m going to go through the various issues I have here of Millar’s comics and start a running tally of how many times characters ask each other “Can you believe (insert exposition).” I shouldn’t talk, I went back and noticed that my last blog entry had the word “great” appear in it six times. But then, nobody’s paying me, so I’ll be a bad writer if I feel like it, dammit.
The multiple “Captains” in the book is interesting, and I hope there’s some depth given to those characters. I’ve been thinking about the different “Captains” that exist in the Marvel U, and I might post on that someday. With the ones shown to us in this issue, all I can think is that I wish they had different names; Captain Spain, Captain France, etc. don’t sound quite right.
Bryan Hitch might well be my favourite monthly (ha ha) artist right now. Every page, every panel asks to be looked at and examined repeatedly. He could draw cereal boxes and I’d buy them. Witness the deadly dull composition of this cover, which by any other artist would not fly, and see how he turns it into something that just makes you look. The composition is a huge problem here, and his figurework doesn’t overcome it, but you stare regardless. On a side note, I think it’s interesting that Captain Britain plays such a large part in this story considering that for a long time Hitch was so strongly influenced by Alan Davis. His work here shows how far he’s come in establishing his own artistic identity separate and, at the least, equal to Davis.
So, writing, acceptable; art, incredible, and getting better, amazingly enough.
Though I look forward to Captain America less, it is, overall, a much better book. Brubaker is writing the best Captain America I’ve ever read. Epting’s art is solid, and Lark’s flashbacks, though not as interesting artistically this issue as last, are good as well. Though I don’t like Tom Clancy, there’s that sort of vibe to the story; a cloak and dagger, spy novel kind of thing. There’s a tension underlying the events in the book, because even though you don’t know what’s going on, it seems big and serious. Brubaker’s one of the best writers in the industry right now, and I can’t remember the last time I read something by him that wasn’t good. This is one of those books you share with people.
Marvel solicitations are up, so maybe another post later. Right now I think I’ll pass out on my keyboard.