Books

Having ordered a ton of TPB collections with my Christmas gift cards, I rushed to wrap up the ones I’d checked out from the library—
THE RABBI’S CAT by Joann Sfar is a French graphic novel set in 1930s Algeria, where the eponymous pet discovers that eating a pet parrot has given it the power of speech. It then gives us a cat’s-eye view of goings on at the Rabbi’s household, as it’s elderly master frets about his status, journeys to Paris and ultimately realizes he has no idea what the lesson he’s supposed to learn is. Didn’t care for the art, but an entertaining tale.
INCORRUPTIBLE Vol. 3 an 4 by Mark Waid and various artists continue the adventures of Max Damage, the super-villain struggling to turn hero and save the world from the renegade Plutonian despite having no idea what being a hero is (“You can’t just do the opposite of what you did as a villain.”). Entertaining, and I give them points for not softening Max’s very ugly history, though I don’t think the creators develop his struggle as well as they could have.
Three Batman TPBs from different eras: BATMAN: Gotham Underground by Frank Tieri and J. Calafiore was set in the aftermath of a gangwar and leading up to the Salvation Run miniseries in which the government tries exiling all the supervillains in space (DC was really big-event driven during this period): With the gang war leaving a power vacuum in Gotham, Intergang, the Penguin and Tobias Whale all attempt to carve out a piece of turf while Batman and his allies try to keep the lid on and a disguised Batman winds up in prison. Entertaining but not memorable, and sometimes confusing without the surrounding backstory (I’ve no idea what the Spoiler was doing turning invisible and attacking Oracle)
BATMAN: Private Casebook by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen is much better as Batman resolves some issues with R’As al Ghul, battles the Mad Hatter’s Wonderland gang and contemplates taking his friendship with Zatanna a little further, much to Selina Kyle’s displeasure (“I can just imagine her as Batanna.”). Dini (of Batman: The Animated Series) does a terrific job with the cast.
BATMAN: Dark Knight vs. White Knight is set later, during a time Bruce Wayne was financing a Batman Inc. network of crimefighters around the globe, Dick was under the Bat-mask and Bruce’s son Damien (by Talia, R’as Al Ghul’s daughter) was Robin. This was easily the weakest, due to a trio of very flat villains (it’s three separate three-arc stories) who never captured my interest.
SUPERMAN: Past, Present and Future looks at the Man of Steel’s journeys through time (trying to save Lincoln, or trapped on Earth under a future red sun that renders him powerless), Jimmy Olsen’s visit to WW II and Lois time-traveling to Krypton and hitting on Jor-El (sexist enough to make me cringe). The highpoint is the complete run of the “Superman of 2965” stories which followed Superman’s 30th century descendant (with no reference to the Legion of Super-Heroes, oddly) and his battles with the psionic Muto.
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The highpoint of the series is the regrettably final entry in which the future Joker and Muto join forces against Superman, who finds a badly needed ally in Batman’s descendant. A shame they never went any further with the stories (the editors said they intended to bring in some of the Superman/Batman descendants who weren’t wearing the suit, which would have been interesting).

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Filed under Comics

2 responses to “Books

  1. Pingback: Comics and Context | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Comics and Context | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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