Stewart R: Quite the variety popping up on my radar this week it must be said and for once Marvel looks quite the minor player in my little world of comic reading! I’ve only one of their titles penciled in for this Thursday and even then I’m only getting it out of vague interest rather than sheer drooling, crazed enthusiasm. Kick-Ass 2 #1 by the big ideas man himself, Mark Millar, makes it’s solo debut this week - a fair portion was printed within the rather underwhelming CLiNT #1 this side of the pond over a month ago - and I have concerns that Millar and Romita Jr are on a hiding to nothing. Sequels to successful creator-owned titles are a risky business at the best of times and I hate to say it but Romita Jr’s artistic style seems to be lacking the ‘oomph’ that it had back when Kick-Ass was making waves the first time around. There’s also the risk that Millar is juggling far too many writing gigs at the moment and that something that could possibly be labelled a sure thing might get a little less of his attention when it may actually need it.
Lack of attention is evidently something that’s not troubling a couple of other comic creators though as Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards are taking their time to make sure we get the best damn vampire/gangster/sci-fi comic that they can provide. Yes that’s right folks, Turf #3 is but hours away from our twitchy, eager fingers and now I’m studying my pull list for this week I’d say that this stands out as the title I’m most looking forward to. For an unproven comic writer Ross has done a sterling job to date in weaving an engrossing story with so many different themes and elements that could threaten to overwhelm even the most experienced of authors. Edwards meanwhile has taken those various ingredients and sunk them into a believable 1920s period setting where nothing seems ‘over the top’ or too out of place. Oh yes, I have great hopes for this third instalment!
I’ve also great confidence in Larry Hama’s ability to bring me the best darn Duke, Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes story that he can and his resurrection of a top franchise series over at IDW has been a real relief. G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #159 should, I hope, kick the series into high gear after last issue revealed what bat-shit crazy location the Joes had set as their rendezvous point following Cobra’s appointment as security force supreme for the whole of the US. The story has been cracking along at breakneck speed and the action has been brutal, dark and, as expected for the franchise, swift, so I can’t see that winning combination coming to an end anytime soon. Add to that the fact that Agustin Padilla has managed to capture the balance between a modern day comic feel and that of the classic series and I think things are looking very rosy over at IDW where this comic is concerned.
Not to play the obvious segue card too often but I must stipulate that I do have 'concern' over a couple of comics this week and they’re both due to come sauntering out of DC’s door. For Batman and Robin #15 my main worry is Frazer Irving’s art work which at numerous points during the current ‘Batman Must Die’ arc has confused me to Riddler-esque proportions. Last issue in particular suffered because I couldn’t quite fathom some of the angles and jumps in time/perspective that he was employing and I couldn’t tell whether it was symptomatic of an artist trying to keep things interesting or possibly misinterpreting Grant Morrison's outline. This is the last issue of the arc so I’ll reserve that final coffin nail until I’ve leafed through to the 32nd page.
The other title on the list of dubious confidence is my beloved Green Lantern Corps. Tony Bedard really punched home a poster book ending last month that I didn’t warm to and felt was out of place in a series that has experienced under Peter J. Tomasi a great sense of continuity and development from one arc to another. Of course I appreciate that the torch has now been passed and it’s Bedard’s turn to tell his GLC stories his way but I’m expecting him to really up his game for #53 else I may have to start thinking seriously about whether I have room for three Green Lantern-based comics on that rather hefty comic list that I keep. Admittedly the preview art from Tyler Kirkham makes things a little more interesting as his line style with BATT’s inking should suit GLC down to the ground.
Speeding through the rest of the titles like a Chilean miner through a fresh borehole I spy Batman Beyond #5 sitting there, waiting to edge ever nearer to it’s conclusion and it’s been a fairly entertaining read thus far; the reveal last time certainly means there are questions eager to be answered this week. Oni Press’s Sixth Gun #5 holds promise that Drake and Becky are on the verge of taking the fight to General Hume and his apocalyptic horsemen while back at Image, Haunt #10 promises a big old bout of fisticuffs between the ghostly, morphing hero and deadly, cumbersome villain Kurg in what is sure to be a Greg Capullo-based eye-treat! May your brains be tingly with comic related stimulation folks!