Green Lantern Corps # 35: At Brian’s behest I started checking out the Green Lantern books – even though I fully admit having Event Fatigue after Final Crisis (which, on second reading, isn’t as bad as people seem to think) – and both GL series are gearing up for the Blackest Night storyline. But given the high quality of both this book and the main Green Lantern series, I may just have to change all that.
Give it up to writer Peter Tomasi for making an issue planted square in the middle of a couple of year buildup highly entertaining to the novice just coming in. He piles on the action quickly, then drops back for some actual (serious) character development, and balances it out just right. The highlights: Prison break on Oa, culminating in a two page spread that should make every fanboy happy; Green Lantern Sodam Yat trying to save his planet from the Sinestro Corps, despite his animosity toward it and his family; GL Soranik trying to save her planet from its own bloodlust for her father, Sinestro. While I do have some reservations about seeing characters ripped in half in an ostensibly all-ages book, hey, that’s DC 2009 for you. Still, it’s an amazingly well done superhero book, and definitely worth checking out – primarily now, while you can still figure out what’s going on.
Wolverine Noir #1: We had X-Men: Noir, so really, could a Noir version of Wolverine be far behind (I mean, it’s not like Marvel would have any reason to push the character about this time of year, right?). That said, much like last week’s Daredevil: Noir, this book holds up to the concept’s promise.
Having another Noir book feature the main character as a private detective hired by some moll does seem a little repetitive, but this is our pal Logan, after all. And the femme fatale in this case is Mariko Yashida, Wolverine’s yakuza boss girlfriend in the mainstream series. This set-up allows for a series of flashbacks introducing us to Logan’s martial arts training and general childhood. Assisting him is Dog (Sabretooth), who is cast as Logan’s developmentally-challenged partner, who ends up getting more than he bargained for by taking the case.
Stuart Moore does a great job of not re-casting the characters in the noir world while retaining their essences, and C.P. Smith’s art captures the feel perfectly. A solid start to what looks like an impressive series.
The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft #1: As someone who’s read more than his fair share of Lovecraft’s works, I admit to going into this book with a little trepidation. After all, you can count how many good movies have been made from Howard Phillips’ books on one tentacle. Thankfully, the TSAoHPL manages to be a highly entertaining read.
Writer Mac Carter makes the wise decision not to try and emulate Lovecraft’s style; in fact, the book seems to work hard to avoid it. Much of the dialogue has a real screwball comedy snappiness, pushing the story along at a fairly quick pace. Lovecraft’s own narration – while appropriately verbose and moody – isn’t an attempt to replicate his writing style, but still comes off as very literary.
The story centers on Lovecraft who, stricken with writer’s block and failing to gain the affections of his beloved (a flapper librarian, no less - who wouldn’t be smitten?) comes across a cursed ancient tome, and finds that he is possessed both of a terrible new idea, and dreams that turn out to be too realistic. There’s also the matter of his jerkwad publisher and duo of busybody aunts.
Tony Salmons’ art is great and really works in telling the story, capturing the vibrancy of a busy Chicago street and jump jazz hall, while evoking the horror of an attack by one of H.P.’s notorious creatures. Not only is this worth checking out, but it won't drive you insane after reading, earning it this week's...
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