Thursday, August 30, 2007

Comic Picks - August 2007

All Star Superman
By Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

When I was a kid I loved Superman. Most of my exposure was the movies with Christopher Reeve who embodies the spirit of my generation's Superman and the Super Friends cartoons which, well, were nice for me as a kid. When I started collecting comics when I was eight, however, I was all about Spider-Man. Superman comics just weren't that fun in the 80s. I've now broken Superman down into the 3 versions that I think work:
  1. The Siegel-Schuster/Fleischer era which was so awesome with it's art deco style and it's iconic characterizations.
  2. The Silver-Age/1950s anything-can-happen/15 kinds of kryptonite/loads of fantasy Superman.
  3. The Christopher Reeve movies (1 & 2).
All Star Superman takes the best of all these eras and finally does Superman right again. It doesn't have have that super dense continuity that's taken over comics, all the Silver-Age fantasy is there but played straight yet not so straight that it's not fun anymore. Frank Quitely's design borrows heavily from the Fleischer era with an EC Comics Sci Fi twist. This takes the best of the 40s, 50s, and 80s and brings it all together in a comic that you don't have to follow monthly to understand. All Star Superman is a superhero book for people who like superheroes but aren't geeks about it.

By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

I'm currently on the third trade paperback of Ed Brubaker's Sleeper and I'm totally addicted! The basic plot is very similar to the Movie The Departed (which kicked ass!) but with a little more espionage and, yes, it does take place in a world with superheroes, but it's very easy to forget that. This is more a crime comic than a fantasy comic and it's probably the most absorbing comic I've read this year! Everytime I finish a trade I kick myself because I didn't buy the next one. This is brought to you by the perfect team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, who I want to give credit to because everyone can see I drool over Brubaker's writing, but Phillips is really underappreciated and he really sets to mood and style of the story. This book kicks ass! There is a prequal to this comic but I really recommend people start with this first trade Out In the Cold. I haven't read the prequal yet and I'm sure it's good but the art's not by Seann Phillips and it's not really Sleeper without Phillips (I'm really picky about continuity of art). Fortunately the prequal is "choose to read" and not essential.

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