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JohnMcMahon

Vertigo back on the ledge

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Sorry to say that the finale to The Wake makes me think less of the pretty decent first half. The second half was a bit of a mess, but the big reveal at the end is both barely coherent and horribly mawkish – if not actively offensive.

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Oh has that finished? I should read them all now.

 

The Vertigo compilation is patchy, some likable indie art but nothing of consequence.

 

Bodies is as rewarding as I'd hoped. Four nice artists, nicely intertwined.

 

Unwritten is bloody good. Gotta love that Wabbit.

 

What else are Vertigo doing now?

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Astro City is under the Vertigo imprint. It is one of the best superhero books on the shelf and the best that DC is putting out.

 

 

And yes, Unwritten is always awesome. Except for the Fables nonsense. We shan't speak more of it.

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Oh sure, Astro City, but I ain't giving Vertigo credit for that.

 

The Fables Nonsense is just out in TPB.

I suppose they do all those Fables spin offs.

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I have a feeling Astro City won't last for too long at DC, though not for lack of quality, just your usual case of DC cranial-rectal inversion (head up their asses, duh). It might be a good idea for it return to Image, as it's far stronger and far better place to work (I suspect). But hey, if Busiek and co. are happy, who am I to complain?

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Should i read the older Astro City rags before the new DC stuff? Sounds really fun. I think I did read the first TPB some time ago.

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I read the original stuff, but haven't picked up the new series. I'd recommend reading the older stuff, because it was so good, but then again, the new series might be just as good.

 

Bodies #1 was quite good. Spencer seems to be moving some where interesting, and I'm glad he did the research for the part of the story set in the past, dealing with class issues. It's probably not understandable today how much controversy there was in the government setting up a police force, and how it was the upper classes who pushed for the creation of them.

So, I guess the part set in the past was my favourite part of the story.

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I suppose you live in america, but you do known the 1940s are in the past?

;-)

 

DC are publishing a nice hardback of Astro City so they must like it.

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Astro City #14 is part one of a quaint story about an old lady who runs a roadside museum of discarded robots from various superhero battles. She act as their caretaker and curator. Of course, highjinks ensue. There's a slow mystery bubbling just below the surface. I suspect what it might be, and even if I'm right, I want to see how Busiek and Co. tell it. A solid story showing some of the after effects of those big superhero robot brawls.

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Names #1-I enjoyed it. It's Milligan back on form. I'm not saying it's the equivalent of Milligan at his best, like back during the height of Shade or X-Statix, or anything. Milligan's writing has been quite bad for a number of years though, most exemplified by his mangling Hellblazer, so Milligan is showing he hasn't completely lost that ability.

Actually, the complaint that Milligan is only good when he's writing his own characters*, and doesn't care when he's working on other projects may be true. Although, Greek Street wasn't exactly setting new heights (it wasn't horrible either), and Milligan has shown good work on "work-for-hire" projects in the past, like his work on Batman from the late-'80s.

*I realize Milligan didn't create Shade, but he made the character his own. That Shade had very little in common with Ditko's.

Anyway, it's nice to see this sort of topical social commentary pop up in a comic book series again, honestly. I haven't seen a lot of this sort of thing from comics in recent years.

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Astro City #16 was a pitch perfect re-telling of the Superman-Lex Luthor in Smallville troupe, turned on it's heads into a new twist. What happens when a 16 year old evil genius discovers his good natured, arch-enemy Starbright isn't who he thought he was? The changes from that are well played in this well oiled machine of a comic.

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Names #1-I enjoyed it. It's Milligan back on form. I'm not saying it's the equivalent of Milligan at his best, like back during the height of Shade or X-Statix, or anything. Milligan's writing has been quite bad for a number of years though, most exemplified by his mangling Hellblazer, so Milligan is showing he hasn't completely lost that ability.

Actually, the complaint that Milligan is only good when he's writing his own characters*, and doesn't care when he's working on other projects may be true. Although, Greek Street wasn't exactly setting new heights (it wasn't horrible either), and Milligan has shown good work on "work-for-hire" projects in the past, like his work on Batman from the late-'80s.

*I realize Milligan didn't create Shade, but he made the character his own. That Shade had very little in common with Ditko's.

Anyway, it's nice to see this sort of topical social commentary pop up in a comic book series again, honestly. I haven't seen a lot of this sort of thing from comics in recent years.

You can tell this one's good because he's actually managing to do something interesting with a bullshit conspiracy-theory-headed-by-smug-twats type story. Lovely art, too.

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Fables #144: I've got the feeling this may not end well for Bigby or his wife.

Bigby still under the mind control, brutally murders two of his best friends and then Ozoma. Either he's going to murder his wife at the end or one of his kids will likely die and this will cause the spell to be broken.

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Not to mention that Brandish is loose again. Fables is good again going into the the final stretch.

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Astro City #16 was a pitch perfect re-telling of the Superman-Lex Luthor in Smallville troupe, turned on it's heads into a new twist. What happens when a 16 year old evil genius discovers his good natured, arch-enemy Starbright isn't who he thought he was? The changes from that are well played in this well oiled machine of a comic.

 

Yes. That was a lovely book. I was not at all into #17 though.

 

Elsewhere in Vertigo world, I tried that "Kitchen" which I think is a tale of three women related to members of a New York Irish gang who take over business while their men are in prison. Or something. The book is probably an attempt to latch onto the trend for villains to be central to the story, which probably stems from those TV programmes that you all like. I'm out.

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You'll see from the Constantine thread that I now own a page of Jeremy Haun's work.

I have advocated his work on The Darkness (along with David Hine) and was very pleased to see him on what I consider to be the best Constantine story for 4 years (at least). And also there is this

 

http://www.jeremyhaun.com/wolf-moon-1-preview

 

wolfmoon_cover_01B-477x700.jpg

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Astro City #16 was a pitch perfect re-telling of the Superman-Lex Luthor in Smallville troupe, turned on it's heads into a new twist. What happens when a 16 year old evil genius discovers his good natured, arch-enemy Starbright isn't who he thought he was? The changes from that are well played in this well oiled machine of a comic.

 

Yes. That was a lovely book. I was not at all into #17 though.

 

Whereas #18 is BLOODY LOVELY.

Exactly what it should be, a tale of nostalgia on the occasion of a hero's retirement. His colleague rue their ageing bodies and the fact that their villains The Chessmen have taken to cocaine dealing instead of crimes related to chess. Exquisite.

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I am also digging the start to this new Astro City arc. Return to form indeed.

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Wolf Moon #1-Man, Vertigo has gone downhill.

This is about as generic if a werewolf story as you can get.

What makes it "mature"? Simply the blood and violence, something Vertigo tried to steer away from. Not graphic scenes, but the fact of a book being mature solely for the sake of lots of gore.

If you're looking for a werewolf horror story with nothing new to say about the monster, by all means check this out.

This isn't something I could see Vertigo bothering with just a few years ago, and the line is otherwise so thin. Asteo City isn't really a "Vertigo" title. Unwritten is over. They're still milking Sandman properties. Names is pretty good, but it's just a mini-series. Adding books that aren't worthy of the old Vertigo name isn't helping.

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But Wolf Moon does bring something new to the werewolf,

 

the transmission of the lycanthropy by some method other than just being bitten. And the hero's lack of knowing where this will turn up next.

There is a degree of mystery there.

 

 

It makes sense that it's set in a standard werewolf story to begin with, because that requires little explanation.

The art is properly nasty and the underlying conspiracy is hinted at.

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It seems unfair to rate it against the DCU.

 

So, on a scale of Totems to Enigma it is Fables/Unwritten.

And more at the Unwritten end of that middle zone.

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