Friday, October 23, 2009

Four-Color Fiend: Why am I still reading?

Just a quick peek at some of the comics I’m reading.

Walking Dead (Image Comics) by co-creator/writer Robert Kirkman & current artist Charlie Adlard continues to be among my Top Five comics. I’ve talked about the book before, so if you’ve heard all this skip forward.

Kirkman’s characters are the reason to read this book (not to slight Adlard’s art which perfectly fits the series). Forced into a situation by a plague which reanimates the dead, a group of survivors have to do whatever they can to survive. In the past five issues (#61-66), the “Fear the Hunters” storyline, former police-officer Rick Grimes and the others confront something just as ‘evil’ and perhaps much more dangerous than zombies. Not going to give it away, should you be picking up the book in TPB, but the changes in society may have reached a point where the morals we once lived by no longer suffice. I recommend you pick up the first TPB or better yet the first ‘omnibus’ edition of the series and give it a try. Ignore the zombies and just follow the interaction of the characters. It will be worth it!

Justice Society of America (DC Comics) has reached a point where I just don’t care anymore. I started picking up the book during the whole Final Crisis saga, have been reading it and mostly enjoying it through the “Kingdom Come” Superman/Gog storyline. I now find that I’m reading the book more out of habit than for the enjoyment the book used to bring. I still like some of the characters (especially Michael Holt, the new Mr. Terrific), but not enough to keep buying the book. It was announced back at SDCC, I believe, that the book is actually going to have a spin-off, with part of the team going off with Magog (is there a worse “new” character currently being pushed by DC?) with the rest staying put. Frankly, I haven’t cared enough to actually research which members are going and which staying. Anybody want some back I may keep the JSA vs. Kobra mini, since Michael plays such a central part.

Just as I’m dropping JSA, it seems that Justice League of America is going to get more interesting. The recent story arc featuring the Royal Flush(ed down the toilet) gang and third string villains Amos Fortune & Roulette was pretty much of a waste of time & effort. Frankly, I really can’t even pretend to care about the mostly second-string characters currently in the JLA. It is primarily the knowledge (from SDCC again) that James Robinson will be picking up the writing chores that keep me buying the book. I don’t want to miss out on any hints of what is to come.

Speaking of Robinson, I really want to recommend his current Justice League: Cry for Justice mini. The story features Hal Jordan (from some period before Blackest Night, I’m guessing), Ray Palmer, Congorilla and several other characters who may or may not make up the newly reformed JLA when Robinson takes over that team’s book. In this incarnation Congorilla (the one time “great white hunter” Congo Bill) reminds me a great deal of Cliff (Robotman) Steele at his best wise-cracking best. Hey, between this particular golden gorilla and Kenneth (Gorilla-Man) Hale in Marvel’s Agents of Atlas I’m getting my fill of talking gorillas. As a child of the Silver Age DC comics, I could not be happier! Team-up!!!

Next time some Old Time Radio!
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