I caught up on a backlog of comics this week, and even just among this week’s particular haul there are a bunch of books I could talk about now. There’s Sinestro’s awesomeness over in Green Lantern Corps, the singularly beautiful painted panels in Legion of Super-Heroes, or hey — an issue of Brightest Day I actually liked! But I’m just drawn to this Spidey issue.
It could have something to do with the art. While I’ve been singing the praises of the improvements from Humberto Ramos in the last story arc over his work in the past, there simply is no contest between Ramos and Caselli. The second page in particular (not counting the recap page) has so much expression to it, the story tells itself without words. Though they help. And Caselli accomplishes a rare feet- making each character unique. It’s not just palette swaps and hair style changes.
I’m reminded of the feeling I had with that first Steve McNiven “Brand New Day” issue on the heels of Quesada’s “One More Day”. Sitting on a bench at Downsview Station, a huge smile spread across my face because of the return of that old familiar web-shooter. Not something everyone can empathize with, but obviously a strong memory for me.
Unfortunately, I’m not so hit over the head with nostalgia (already I’m nostalgic for the start of Brand New Day? Didn’t it just start yesterday?) that there aren’t things that bugged me about this book. Like having Aunt May gleefully yell at a roller derby “Murder the bums!” instead of at the very least have a bottle of iodine on hand. I guess as long as it isn’t Peter out there she doesn’t care if they get hurt? That’s the only way I can rationalize it as not out of character, but she ends up sounding like a terrible person that way.
I still can’t get over how instantly Peter’s professional life has turned around, instantly earning the trust of this Bill Gates genius stand in.
And I wish there was a reason Peter wasn’t dressed as “Tron-Spidey” other than some kind of complete disconnect between the creative teams on the two story arcs, despite having the same editorial staff, and the same writer on the book. I simple line about how he can’t just walk into a corner store and buy the plutonium to power that sucker of a suit all the time.
If that last sentence seemed awkward to you, it was because I was jamming in an oblique reference to Back to the Future. As ever, you’re welcome.
If you walk away from this review remembering nothing else, definitely take away the positivity I tried to push earlier. The problems I have with it are really quite small when taken next to the incredibly full product I hold before me. It’s well plotted and action packed — and Spidey does that thing where he’s Peter Parker, but his spider-sense is going off, so half his head is covered in an expository Spidey mask, which is obviously the best thing ever. — Isaac Mills
With issue 40 “Season Eight” of Buffy the Vampire ends — and good riddance. Now, that’s not totally fair because this is inarguably the best issue of Buffy in the last 30 issue (Yeah, I’m sorry, if you think that anything after issue 19 was good you are wrong. You have a wrong opinion and should probably stop buying creative products. That, or you are an active member of the Whedonesque message board who ate this shit up with a spoon — there is no hope for you.)
This was the first issue that actually felt like it was a Buffy story and not poorly-conceived fanfic since Brian K. Vaughan’s run. In fact, in the back of this issue, Whedon basically apologizes for how batshit crazy and out of hand this series got.
Whedon says in this letter “that [he] wanted to make the book an epic” but admits that along the way he forgot about the character. I really admire this kind of honesty and I have to agree with him entirely. Whedon forgot that Buffy was already an epic and it didn’t need to have stupid stolen submarines, poorly-explained Hindu gods or goddamn aliens.
So, after the world almost ended (again) and Spike hung out with a bunch of stupid aliens (what the fuck) and Giles died for no good reason (fuck you), Buffy goes back to being a waitress. And, honestly, it’s refreshing. This isn’t backsliding, it’s getting this series something close to relatable again. It’s a good call and, I can’t even believe I’m saying this, it will probably lead to me picking up “Season Nine” when it comes out. Maybe there’s no hope for me. — Miles Baker
One of my favourite comics, Darkwing Duck reaches the end of its second story with issue #8. Predictably, it’s a lot of fun. “Crisis on Infinite Darkwings” has been a story that is every bit as awesome as it sounds. In addition to an epic villain team-up that will delight anyone who grew up watching the Disney cartoon line-up of the early 90s, but we get to see a lot of alternate-universe Darkwings. A LOT. No, I think I’m underselling it, Silvani has packed panels so full of alternate-universe Darkwings that I’m still going back to this issue and finding new ones on my third reading. It’s incredible impressive.
Some alternate Darkwings that I’ve spotted are: Dr. Who Darkwing, Transformers Darkwing, Lion King Darkwing, Beatles Darkwings, scruba Darkwing, two-headed Darkwing, caveman Darkwing, Darth Vader Darkwing, Bowling Ball Darkwing, Indiana Darkwing, Harry Potter Darkwing, Chip & Dale Darkwings, Roger Rabbit Darkwing, Where’s Waldo Darkwing, Treasure Planet Darkwing, Popeye Darkwing, Tron Darkwing, Pharaoh Darkwing, elephant Darkwing, Aladdin Darkwing, beer hat Darkwing, Rocketeer Darkwing, chef Darkwing, Gandalf Darkwing, Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes Darkwing (I just caught that one this time), lawn gnome Darkwing, Mad Hatter Darkwing, Mario Darkwing, Mr. Mxyzptlk Darkwing and Jack Knight Starman Darkwing. And this is just scratching the surface. It’s mind-blowingly great work from Silvani, who really went above and beyond with this concept.
Brill is a master at crafting a fun comic, using the Darkwing Duck license but not depending on it to sell books. There’s a lot here for a Darkwing fan, but I don’t feel like I’m buying this comic just for that. I’m reading this comic for the great stories, the laugh-out-loud moments and the wonderful artwork. It makes for a rich, rewarding reading experience that I know I’m going to go back to frequently.
And if anyone was curious, my favourite is Bowling Ball Darkwing. — Owen Craig