I love comics. I also love being able to pay my mortgage. But with a new library ’round the corner it’s time to catch up. As I do that, I’ll tell you if I loved or hated what I’ve been reading. Because if it’s not on a blog? It didn’t happen. Just like those 6 cupcakes I ate. Oh dammit.
Batman: Haunted Gotham
Batshit crazy. If you’re a Bruce Wayne fan, you’ll either love this alt view of his life & origin, or you’ll hate it with a passion. It all depends on how open you are to some SERIOUS tweaking of his story. In Haunted Gotham, Bruce is 30 and is kind of a whiny bitch. His parents are alive – yeah I know, right? – and are members of a secret cabal that kinda feels like the gang in Sanctuary. But said gang is getting picked off one by one, leaving Bruce to become the bat-man.
Add a talking skeleton, zombies, a groovy werecat and the most fucked-up Joker you’ve ever seen (yeah, that’s a compliment), and you have a crazy ride. Things get a bit too strange from time to time, but I enjoyed the vision and the idea of hellspawn lording over a doomed Gotham. I just wish the regular folks in the city were more than just kill points for the assorted monsters. A little less bombast at the end would have been nice too.
28 Days Later: Bend In The Road
I love this series. That said, this second volume definitely suffers a bit from sophomore slump. Chapter 5 (the start of this volume) is a flashback that shows how Clint & Derrick got involved, & how they made it to where they met Selena. It’s a bit jolting, and I had to double-check to make sure I hadn’t picked up volume 3 instead of volume 2. But once I realized this was a flashback and not a serious gap in the storyline, I settled in. The panels in Bend in the Road that deal with people in hazmat suits are difficult to follow, the artwork isn’t clear enough to differentiate between characters. That waters down the shocks, which is a shame. I was too busy trying to figure out who was who, when I would rather have been sucked into the story.
The “stupid egomaniacal journalists, frigging got what they deserved” feeling I had for a good bit of volume 1 is gone, probably because so’s 75% of the team. Still, I battle with hoping they’ll survive and harumphing over their typically US “nothing can touch us, we’re American journalists!” way of thinking. Massive points for getting me so worked up over these characters.Selena, of course, is still the kickass awesomeness she’s been in the graphic novel & the movie.
Black Widow: Deadly Origin
Don’t know anything about Black Widow? Well, you’ll be in a clusterfuck of confusion if you read this before checking any of her backstory. This isn’t so much an origin tale as it is a catch-up mash of her entire story up until the Iron Man 2 film.
Marvel does add the Black Widow Wiki 411 at the end of this slim volume, but an origin story shouldn’t have to rely on pages of exposition to get the info across. Scenes cut back and forth with such WTF aplomb that anyone who is checking out this character for the first time is sure to be woozy. However, die-hard Marvel fans will love the in-jokes at Tasha’s expense, especially the cracks about all of her various conquests. The artwork is glorious at times, and vague in others. I assume the varying styles are a tip of the hat to all the artists & inkers that brought Black Widow to life over the years. But what I’d like to see is a real origin piece, where we get to see a young Natasha/Natalia start on her path to become the superhero we now know as Black Widow. If anyone has a tip for me in that regard, holla!