Graphic novels

AMERICAN VIRGIN: Going Down by Steven Seagle and Becky Cloonan is the second in an interesting series. The premise is that Christian abstinence-advocate Adam Chamberlain’s girlfriend is murdered. He sets out to avenge her which forces him to deal with a world of drugs and violence completely alien to his life. I can’t say it’s a must-read for me (the artwork doesn’t grab me) but the authors do a good job treating Adam as a decent human being (even though I doubt they share his views) in an awkward situation.
ALL-STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely has Superman overload on solar energy saving a Lexcorp solar mission and begin to make preparations for his death, revealing his identity to Lois (who doesn’t believe it), trying to learn the real reason Luthor hates him, helping out Jimmy Olsen one more time. This is incredibly fun, juggling odd SF concepts with Silver Age whimsy (Jimmy has apparently turned his er, colorful Silver Age adventures into a successful columnist gig). As delightful as I’d heard.
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(cover by Curt Swan, all rights reside with current holders)
SAGA Vol. 1 by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples is another one that lives up to its press clippings. The story of two aliens who fall in love, get pregnant and have to flee from both sides (while pursued by assassins and others) has a goofy charm that’s hard to describe in a capsule review, and didn’t go anywhere I expected it to. Looking forward to Vol. 2
AIR: Pureland by G. Willow Wilson and MK Perker has the “hyperpract” Blythe finally confront her various demons—her problems with her lover Zayn, her fear of flying—with the help of Amelia Earhart and an occasionally friendly feathered serpent. Not bad, but not the strongest volume in the series.
BATMAN CHRONICLES vol. 11 follows the Bat-series into early 1943 as he and Robin battle black marketeers, the Joker and Penguin, learn about the harbor patrol (part of a regular series of stories showcasing various police specialties), and Alfred slims down to fit with the skinnier version introduced in the Batman movie serial of the era (I presume it’s the same reason we get several Alfred-centric stories here). No real standout stories, but good; if I had the money I’d be buying hardbacks because these come out too infrequently to suit me (the hardback Archives are up to the 1950s by now).
IRREDEEMABLE Vol. 10 by Mark Waid and Diego Barreto wraps up the story of the fallen superhero Plutonian, as the supergenius Qubit gives him a chance to save the world in return for a second chance for the Plutonian himself. However, pretty much everyone has a hidden agenda here, including the Plutonian’s stalkerish arch-foe Modeus … I’m not sure whether to treat the ending as brilliant or a cop-out, but overall a satisfying finish.
ENEMY ACE ARCHIVES Vol. 2 by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert (and a few others who contribute) wraps up the original run of Hans von Hammer (I’ve already read Vol. 1), the German WW I flying ace who kills reluctantly but dutifully in the name of his country. I can’t help wondering if the stories in this book don’t show the increasing emphasis on the Vietnam War as they play up, even more than the first collection, the deaths of innocents (including a cute little puppy—I never imagined how adorably Kubert could draw puppies) and the senselessness of the whole thing. Regardless, it’s an excellent collection, and includes a three-parter from several years later where von Hammer battles Steve Savage, an American ace who mocks the whole “knights of the air” code of honor that von Hammer lives by. If the hardbacks are too much for you, Showcase Presents Enemy Ace has the whole run in B&W.

6 Comments

Filed under Comics, Reading

6 responses to “Graphic novels

  1. Pingback: Graphic Novels | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Books | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: From the Civil War to Jimmy Olsen, books read (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. I really enjoyed All-Star Superman for the call backs to the golden age. Lots of easter eggs, before easter eggs were cool.

  5. Pingback: Batman and Robin: The somewhat early years | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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