Flip Through

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pull List: All Star Western #1, Blackhawks #1, Fury of Firestom #1, Justice League: Dark #1

Well, my picks from the New 52 this week were sort of the B-list weirdo characters, as you see below--no Aquaman or Superman for this lass. I regret nothing!

All Star Western #1: I'm a Palmiotti fan--he and the co-author on this work, Justin Gray, did some wonderful Jonah Hex work recently, and his art awhile back for Secret Six was also stellar--and I like a good Western, so this title was an obvious choice. And frankly, "Hex in Gotham" is a premise I'm right smack on board with, especially when it's flavored like a Jack the Ripper story (prostitute killing ahoy). Moritat's art is perfect for this, stylized with muted colors and bright splashes of blood and firelight; in the bars and brothels of old Gotham, a certain amount of cheesecake is necessary and deployed rather charmingly. Overall this first issue is sort of a kindred spirit to the recent Gates of Gotham mini, which I very much enjoyed (the eponymous Gate brothers are even mentioned), but instead of delving into the pasts of the founding families of Gotham, Gray and Palmiotti go for the lower, dirtier, and weirder--including one Dr Amadeus Arkham, and a mysterious secret society. I can never resist a secret society! 4 out of 5 stars.

Blackhawks #1: I gave this title a shot because I figured with a team name like that, my beloved Lady Blackhawk, late of Birds of Prey, would be involved...and she is, kind of. On the first page she's listed as being part of the field team in action, but we never see her, so I assume she was piloting the plane the whole time and for whatever reason disappeared once the team got back to their base ("The Eyrie"). At any rate, the other members--Kunoichi, a pink-haired zany bitch, "The Irishman" (by way of Ukraine, and am I the only one who misses Creote a bunch when they see a red-headed burly dude with a Russian accent?), Attila, Wildman, and Andrew Lincoln, head of operations--are a rag-tag black ops division with a nanocite problem. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this #1; I wasn't expecting much, but I liked the group members, particularly Kunoichi, and the intrigue of this nanocite business is interesting enough to keep me reading. The art by Graham Nolan and Ken Lashley is messy and angular, and suits the bang-up action and undercover theme. Just give me some damn Zinda Blake next time, people! 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Fury of Firestorm #1: Ahhh the second Gail Simone title! This is a case in which I followed the creator, because I didn't know shit about Firestorm prior to today. And now I can say that this is an cool little book. I like it! A lot: I like Ronnie and Jason, I like their high school clash of nerd-versus-jock, I like the cruel "antiterrorism" squad which opens the pages, joking about cutting apples with a bloody knife, I like where Tonya and Jason are going. The art, by Yildiray Cinar, is lovely and nuanced. Van Sciver and Simone's writing sparkles. This is just a solid, cool, thoughtful, good comic. 4 out of 5 stars.

Justice League: Dark #1: The only Justice League title I'm interested in is this one, because of its cast: Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man, Zatanna, Enchantress, and John Constantine...sign me up! I wasn't disappointed by this #1; the tarot-inspired and otherwise mystical art from Mikel Janin is smooth and evocative and the storyline of weird magical events is right up my alley. The images of Superman, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman fighting a tide of teeth were creepy and disgusting and, well, dark. On the petty side of things, JLD manages to spell "Belle Reve" properly (unlike *cough* Suicide Squad), and I don't particularly care for Z's new outfit--she and Canary can compare notes on fishnet sleeves--but I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the sheer power of the workaday, A-list JL and the murky, magical darkness of this band of witches and dead people. Let the fight against Enchantress begin! 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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