Getting some comic on Kindle sales to read with my new Fire meant that I read enough comics to make it it’s own post instead of dropping them on the end of my What I’m Reading post.
Green Arrow: The Outsiders War – This is the second of Lemire and Sorrentino’s Green Arrow collections. It continues the dark, adventurous story of the first volume. This time, it starts to incorporate more elements from the TV show, like Ollie’s partner Diggle, but also goes its own way. Green Arrow goes with Shado to confront Komodo and the Outsiders in an attempt to save his half-sister, who has been raised as Komodo’s daughter. While Flyff, Naomi and Diggle work against new threat Richard Dragon (new to this current volume) in Seattle, Ollie searches for the Totem Arrow so he can officially lead the Arrow clan against the other weapon clans that make up the Outsiders. Things quickly come to a head, and Oliver must lead a few clans against the ones that have teamed with Komodo.
This continues to be an excellent comic. The art and writing mesh incredibly well and make for the best archer themed comics on the stands over the last few years. It does come to its conclusion with the Outsiders just a bit too fast. It doesn’t really spare enough to time to really flesh out this supposed ancient organization. It just all comes together really quickly right at the end. That doesn’t stop it from being an altogether enthralling read, just one I wish was another ten or so issues long.
Hawkeye Volume 1 – This is the archer themed comic that garnered all the praise. Much of it was deserved; Fraction and Aja’s work here is really good. But it might just my disconnect with the current Marvel Universe, but I found it to be more really good than great. It reads much like Fractions take on Iron Fist, but just not quite as good. It teams Clint Barton Hawkeye with Kate Bishop, the Young Avenger’s Hawkeye, as they have fairly street level adventures. It is fun stuff.
The Immortal Iron Fist: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven – This is the comic that makes me interested in things done by Matt Fraction, as well as David Aja and Ed Brubaker. It has Iron Fist transported to the mystical city of K’un-L’un, which when it lines up with the other mystical cities they have a martial arts tournament. While he fights in the tournament and deals with intrigue in the cities, the villainous Xao tries to find a way to break into the cities and Danny’s allies try to stop him. The mystery and intrigue builds as Danny tries to get to the bottom of things until everything finally explodes. I don’t really want to spoil it; it is just an amazing book. Read it.
Grayson Volume 1 – I’ve got to be honest, I avoided this one because I thought this take on Dick Grayson sounded terrible and I didn’t know much about the writers, Tom King and Tim Seeley. Since then, I’ve heard tons of praise about it I picked it up when I saw it on sale for Kindle. It is much better than I expected. Dick Grayson goes undercover in the spy organization Spyral and he tries to maintain his cover while staying true to who he is. It manages to be both a lot of fun and have a fairly affecting story. It has just a ton of weird spy stuff mixed with some of the best stuff from Morrison’s Batman Inc. Having Dick pretend to be a gay instructor at a girl’s boarding school that trains its students to be assassins is fun. Having him confront a target and talk him down peacefully before another agent takes him out is shocking. This is just a really, really well made comic.
The Long Halloween – I had heard good things about this, but I came to comics reading too late to really get my hopes up for any book with Jeph Loeb’s name on it. Still, the sale on this was too good to pass up. I was surprised at how much I liked it. And at how much it influenced The Dark Knight movie. Everything but the Joker seems to come right from this comic. It is a loose mystery that last a year that allows Tim Sale to draw all of the Batman expanded cast. It is great art. The story is fine, but it doesn’t really amount to anything in the end. I really like this, though, even as just an art showcase. I don’t mean to be too hard on the story; it is fine, but it is more striking moments that any strong central narrative. Still, it is good. Definitely worthy of its reputation as one of the must read Batman books.
All New X-Men Volume 1 – God, I don’t care. I quit reading Bendis comics because I didn’t feel like I was getting my money’s worth in 4 dollar increments. He is just too slow paced. Reading it in collected form doesn’t really fix the problem. Here, the Beast goes and gets past versions of the original X-Men team to try to show Cyclops the error of his editorially mandated ways. A lot of my problem has to do with how bad some of the stories previous to this one were, but this story is nothing more than serviceable. Not this it is easy to get a read on it, since it barely gets things started before it ends. Bendis is great at building stories and setting up interesting status quos, but he never really nails the payoff moments. This looks to be more of the same.