Sunday, March 27, 2011

Capsule reviews: Comics from 3/23

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 (DC, $2.99, Paul Levitz, Daniel HDR, Wayne Faucher) - Huh, I had expected the Durlan storyline from last issue to still be going this issue, but re-reading it I now see that it had something of a resolution.  Kind of a weak one, to be honest, but I'll take it, because that means that said previous story doesn't get to drag on on for yet another issue, and that we have a new story-arc instead.

Which is good, because this issue is definitely a step in the right direction.  Picking up from the recent LSV one-shot, the issue leads in with several Legionnaires working to capture some of the Takron-Galtos escapees, then jumps to several subplots (Dawnstar's absence, the return of Star Boy, Mon-El's distant leadership, and the mystery of what has happened to Colu).  The highlight of the issue is an extended battle between Timber Wolf and Sun Emperor, which is handled very well.

This is what I've been hoping for in a Levitz-written LSH book, and he finally delivers.  The mix of the main story and the subplots, and the strong characterization, all hit the right notes. My only complaint is that the art, while certainly serviceable, is a slight step down from what Cinar was doing on the previous issues.  That's a minor complaint, however, and I'm just glad that Levitz finally seems to be hitting his stride.

Fables #103 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99, Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham) - Part two of the current storyline, where the Fables make their preparations for a big superhero battle against Mister Dark.  There's not a lot to be said here without going into actual spoilers, so suffice to say that Pinocchio and Ozma have very different ideas regarding who makes the team, and who fails to make the cut.  Meanwhile, Geppetto schemes, Nurse Spratt gets a visitor, and the North Wind goes to inform Bigby regarding his plans for Ghost.  Not exactly a good jumping-in issue, but it does what Fables has consistently done very well for the better part of a decade, and that's tell an engaging and clever story in a serial form.  If you aren't picking up Fables, well... why not?

Neonomicon #4 (of 4) (Avatar, $3.99, Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows) - The conclusion to the storyline, and simply put Moore does not disappoint.  While not as visually disturbing as previous issues, the actual upshot to the story is pretty much as disturbing as anything Moore's ever written.  If anything, the understated manner in which Brears' predicament is shown only strengthens the horror of it.  It makes perfect sense given what has been set up in previous issues, is fully consistent with its Lovecraft trappings, and is still pretty much a sucker-punch to the gut when you actually read it.

"I feel good.  I feel good about myself, about all this."  That still gives me shivers, even after having re-read it a few times.

Not for the squeamish, obviously, but for those who want a fresh take on how the Lovecraft mythos can be interpreted through a modern lens, or for those who just appreciate a good horror story, if you haven't already been reading this, then be sure to pick it up when the trade paperback comes out.


  1. I rather liked Daniel HDR's art. I've not been disappointed with any of the fill-ins as yet.

    I'm not picking Fables up, packed in after the first couple of issues ... feared it was going to be The Charmings all over again. More fool me!

  2. HDR's art certainly isn't bad. I just prefer Cinar's stuff by about half a notch or so.