Friday, November 04, 2011

OK, this week's comics:

I have no intention of doing this every week, especially since I don't necessarily get new books or go to the comic shop every week; and there's only so many times I can tell you to buy Hellboy or whatnot. Anyway, so there's a new Hellboy hardback this week, and you should buy it.
Rotated this picture the wrong way like four times, so the hell with it.
I was almost going to leave it at that, since as a hardback, it's not going to fit in my scanner. But Hellboy: House of the Living Dead continues the tale that began in Hellboy in Mexico or, a Drunken Blur: after befriending three luchadores (who were told by a vision of the Virgin Mary to kill vampires) Hellboy is crushed when one is turned into a monster and he's forced to kill him. He spends some time as a luchadore himself, drinking to forget; until a strange man comes with an offer for a match...

Mignola mentions House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula as inspirations for his one, and while it shows, I think it's a little telling that while those movies were the last gasps of that run of monsters, it's not an unusual day for Hellboy. He's moved past that. There's also a brief appearance by one of the series' main villains, who makes an ominous proclamation tying into future books. Oh, and Richard Corben is 71, and just killing it on the art. While I only have a vague awareness of his own work like Den or Mutant World, I've enjoyed his recent Hellboy stories, and with Garth Ennis he did one of my favorite Punisher stories--in fact, that is one of my favorite single-issues, ever.

I picked up Wolverine and the X-Men #1 from last week, and it wasn't bad. Mainly, I wanted to see what was up with the little Nightcrawler-Bamf-gremlin things pictured on the regular version's cover. But, I have to say I like the idea of Wolvie and Kitty (and Marvel, for that matter) trying to do something different with their new school for mutants. Even if they're in way over their heads. There were a few beats that didn't quite work--I don't think Rachel would ever out a student as a bedwetter, even in psychic self-defense class--and some of the students don't really grab me; but still a good start.

I also tried something a little different with OMAC and Static Shock, reading the first three issues of both. I'm still enjoying OMAC, even if OMAC's alter-ego Kevin really hasn't gotten to do much yet--I don't think he's been on-panel with his girlfriend yet in the series. Meanwhile, Static's horrible big sister Sharon is twice as bad: she's been duplicated somehow, with both of them in the same house claiming the other is an evil clone. Fine, but when the hell did that happen? On-panel? In Teen Titans or Milestone Forever? Again, it's a perfectly fine plot point, but it just strikes me as completely messed up if Milestone Forever is in-continuity and Crisis on Infinite Earths isn't.

The villains seemed a little soft this month in both books as well. I hated the Checkmate Elite--DiDio and Giffen seemed to be trying for a Kirby spin on a paramilitary team but hit the wrong excesses, like terrible names. And when Static passes himself as a gang member from Dakota (the city, not the states, as someone has to be corrected) and the Big Bang comes up; it just reminded me the Blood Syndicate was so much more bad-ass than Virule or the Pale Man, a.k.a. that guy that looks like the Joker but doesn't like you mentioning it. Still, these are just minor nitpicks so far; and I'm enjoying both books.

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