From the Comics Bin/Raves and Reviews:
Comic Picks for week ending 30 Aug 1999
THIS WEEKS REVIEWS/UNDER CONSTRUCTION
People always want to know what titles I'm buying from month to month, here without further ado is my semi-comprehensive list.
Warren Ellis to my count is currently producing four monthly books, for Wildstorm the Superhero Saga AUTHORITY and the sci-fi series PLANETARY, for DC's Vertigo Line he's producing the horror series HELLBLAZER and the cultural rant TRANSMETROPOLITAN. To produce that kind of diverse output is Amazing in and of itself, but more Amazing is the high quality of each book. Each title is the pinnacle in its field, and its rumored he's working on two more titles for Avatar. Evidently Warren Ellis is in Race with Alan Moore to see who could write the most books a month. I don't see how either one of them can keep up both the quantity and the quality of the books they are currently producing, but as long as they can I'll be reading... and watching.
Along with Garth Ennis on DC's HITMAN and Vertigo's PREACHER (click for review), and Kurt Busiek on Marvel's AVENGERS and Image Comics' ASTRO CITY, these handful of writers, these three Brits and one American are not just redefining the medium, they are the medium. Their output bringing readers like myself back, on a monthly basis, to a medium I had written off a long time ago.
There are other notable factors riding this explosion of quality, steering it, DC's editorial decision to bring in writers from other fields (novelists, screenwriters) to script their NO MAN'S LAND Batman Stories is paying off in terms of quality, and trade compilations. However I still don't buy monthly Batman Comics for the simple fact there are too many of them, no way am I going to buy between 4 and 7 different titles to get one story. If the story is great, like Bob Gale, Alex Maleev, and Wayne Faucher's work on NO MAN's LAND, it will eventually be collected in a trade. And I can wait. Now onto the reviews.
RISING STARS 1-Being a huge fan of what Michael J. Stravinski did with BABYLON 5, which was quite literally to change the face of television, i was really looking forward to this book. To see if he could bring to comics the same vision and story arc that made BABYLON 5 groundbreaking. With only one issue out so far it's too soon to speak on a story arc, but this first issue was beautifully written and enjoyable. It had a sense of awe to it. With an intro by Neil Gaiman, and art by the team of Ken Cha and Jason Gorder, with beautifully rendered colors by LIQUID!, this bi-monthly book is a must have. Highly Recommend! Find your local comic book store or find an online subscription service here.
BLACK PANTHER #9- This is my first time trying the much hyped MARVEL KNIGHTS:BLACK PANTHER written by Christoper Priest, and Edited by the ASH team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada. Unfortunately I catch it in the middle of a major storyline, seems the art team keeps fluctuating, and the book like all of the Marvel Knight books is consistantly late; but these negatives aside I have to say I loved this issue. I loved Christopher's Priest style of Narration it worked incredibly well to make the story very accessible, and very involving. I love how he is portraying T' Challa, THE BLACK PANTHER, with the sort of regal arrogance that should have always been part of this character. I know some African royalty, Nigerian actually. And they are cocky, it's their nature. And they should be cocky, it goes with the blood line. Add to the great characterization the pull no punches storyline of political intrigue and corruption and you have an engrossing and very exciting read. The conflict between BLACK PANTHER and CAPTAIN AMERICA, was a high point of the issue as these two have always been beneath the mask blood brothers, both men bound by duty and loyalty. But bound to different nations, and ultimately T'Challa must not only serve, he must lead. All in all a great issue, and with the recent renewal of THE MARVEL KNIGHTS line, we can look for another year of this comic. As long as Christopher Priest is writing I'll be buying. Highly Recommended!
TORSO #5-I had been avoiding picking up this book, for the simple fact of the price. At $5.00 a pop it seemed a little steep. This is no reflection on Brian Michael Bendis, as I've been a fan of his work for years, since I first stumbled across his incredible GOLDFISH comics for CALIBER COMICS. However five dollars is five dollars. But finally I decided to break down and try one. Issue #5 is an astounding issue and shows an evolution of Michael's already highly cinematic style. it's as close as you're going to get to a Noir Flick on paper. Simply beautiful. If you can afford this book, my recommendation... go for it. If not, more than likely it will be collected in a more affordable trade edition and definitely get that. Great Issue. Recommended.
Well that's it for this go around, stop in next issue as we bring you more reviews than you can shake a stick at. And please remember to drop us your comments.
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