Artists To Watch
I finally got around to reading Justice League Dark #2 from last week’s stash. There’s no doubt that Milligan knows what he’s doing when it comes to stories like this, at least that’s what I’ve heard. The plot is still a bit of a mystery. But one thing is for sure; Mikel Janin is one of the best things about the DCnU. I’m a sucker for a pretty face, and he sure makes them pretty … and detailed … and brilliantly expressive. There is also something fantastic about the way he uses shadow and perspective. I am really enjoying his art.
Also, Christian Ward. But I will get to that in a minute.
Action Comics #3, The Infinite Vacation #3, X-23 #16.
Lights, Camera … Luthor
Well, it is issue #3, and Lex Luthor continues to be the very best thing about Action Comics. The whole issue felt like an opening act, and then Lex showed up and stole the show. He was only in a panel or two, but between the expression on his face and the fantastic line of dialogue, he made the issue for me. He’s incorrigible, he’s obsessive, he’s the ultimate brat. He’s perfect.
I’m still not sold that this Superman is anything to write home to Ma Kent about, but Grant is killing it with Lex Luthor. Maybe it’s a bald thing.
Yeah. About That.
You may or may not have heard about the demented shit that happened in The Infinite Vacation #3. Hell, you may not have even heard of The Infinite Vacation, but Nick Spencer is giving Mark Millar a run for his money. As a matter of fact, a teenage girl being impregnated by her gay brother with a womb bomb that will self-destruct if she aborts (see Nemesis #3) is practically Disney compared to what went down in The Infinite Vacation.
Rape, human torture, murder and EXPLICIT cannibalism. All in beautiful hues of purple, blue and magenta.
The Infinite Vacation #3 contains some of the most grotesque images I have ever seen, and I’ve seen 3 of the Saw films. The real kicker is the cognitive dissonance between the disturbing events and Christian Ward‘s magnificent illustrations of said events. I’ve never seen anything like what Ward does. He uses shapes and bright colors BEAUTIFULLY. While I am utterly repulsed by the actions of the villain, I found myself mesmerized by the art.
Often times, when such extreme story-telling is in place, it’s solely for the shock value. Horror films bank on it. My revulsion aside, the sodomy and nomming on testicles (yes, you read that right) is not for nothing. All of this awfulness serves the story, and a twisted and complex story it is. Spencer goes on to get into heavy metaphysics on the nature of a multiverse, and pulls it off flawlessly.
It’s like when I went to see Requiem For a Dream in the theatre. The acting and directing were excellent, the film addressed the depth of addiction brilliantly, but I left feeling sick. Even though I’d probably list it as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, I have not seen it since. I managed to re-read Infinite Vacation #3, and I cringed just as much as I did the first time. I am pretty sure I will pick up issues #4 and #5 because Spencer and Ward are just that good. But … I’m a little scared.