Here at G3, we are huge fans of Cliff Chiang. His work is clean, classic, and beautiful. The way he draws some of our favorite ladies never ceases to endear. I’ve already tweeted and shared to the high heavens his latest piece set to be auctioned at Heroes Con. But I am so damned in love with it, that it warranted real estate on our site, too. Not only does it have my favorite DC women, but it has my rock-star idol, Joan Jett.
My pull list was DC-heavy and full of goodies last week, and a book that I was dreading turned out to be an unexpected pleasure. Let’s get to the highlights, shall we?
Batman and Robin #23: The solicits for this issue made me very nervous, especially since Batman and Robin is one of my favorite DC books at present. In general, Judd Winick’s writing isn’t my cup of tea, and I’ve struggled with Jason Todd’s resurgence as the Red Hood. However, Winick clearly enjoys writing this character, and his enthusiasm is contagious in the first chapter this arc, “The Streets Run Red.”
There’s no denying the power of Jason’s daddy issues with Batman, or the Dark Knight’s perpetual guilt over Jason’s legendary death as Robin II. It must cut pretty deep when your former sidekick openly mocks your no-killing code, and tells you that he wants out of Arkham because he’s not crazy, “simply homicidal.” So when Jason gets his requested transfer to Gotham City Corrections, what could possibly go wrong? Continue reading
V. knows way more about Smallville than I do, but I was a fan of this show in its early days. Though poor Tom Welling has yet to don a cape, there have been some notable, full-costume appearances by major DC players. But since it’s a TV show and not a big-screen blockbuster, Smallville has never had the budget to provide truly splendid superhero costumes. The best ones look like top-notch cosplay getups. Others, like the recent Blue Beetle reveal, are a bit sad:
Hawkman: In Smallville‘s defense, Hawkman’s comics costume is glorious and therefore very hard to pull off without CGI and big bucks. Again, if I saw this at Dragon*Con, I’d be kinda impressed. However, I saw a Hawkgirl at D*C whose wings were bigger, more feathery, and far more striking than this. The helmet looks like it was decorated with gold spray paint, and overall, it’s a letdown. Grade: C-
Booster Gold: Not awful. Booster isn’t the most serious character in the DCU, but he looks like he’s ready to handle some business in this instance. Snazzy shades, and props for the oh-so-accurate product placement patches. Very NASCAR. Grade: B
Wonder Woman: Even though this is Lois Lane in Diana’s costume, I dig it. In fact, like it so much that I wish David E. Kelley & Co. had gone this route for the TV show. It’s got some warrior flourishes, and it appears classic and youthful. Points off for the cheap-o tiara and star deficit, though. Grade: A-
Zatanna: Fishnets, check. Tuxedo getup, check. Hot boots, check. Matrix-y trench coat, check. This is a fairly simple look, but it’s effective and awfully stylish: Grade: A
Black Canary: I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. Dinah looks like a cross between in Val Kilmer in Top Gun and a mannequin at Wilsons Leather. The costume screams “cheap,” and the Ziggy Stardust raccoon mask isn’t helping matters. Grade: D-
Stargirl: The mask is effed up, and the costume is only slightly above Halloween quality. I think had those shorts in fourth grade. Anyway, Stargirl is such an underexposed character that I’m happy to see her at all. By the way, that staff looks like a solar light fixture that was ripped out of someone’s front yard. Grade: C
Aquaman: I really, really got a kick out of this. I’m a tad biased because orange and green are my alma mater’s colors, but Aquaman’s costume looks functional for a guy who spends most of his time in the water, and it’s sleek and modern. Groovy footwear, too! With apologies to my Aquaman-loving friends, “cool” is not a word I often associate with King Arthur, so this is well played. Grade: A+
Clark Ken/Superman: I realize that he has yet to officially become the Man of Steel on Smallville, but at this point, Clark ought to have more than jeans, a blue T-shirt, and a red jacket from Costco. Can’t a Kryptonian get some love on his own show?! Even Welling’s well-documented beauty can’t redeem this. Grade: F
I previously had no preference for Zatanna one way or another, but I am big into the magic characters. When she got her own book, I only hoped it would be good. The book has been stellar with Dini at the helm. Zatanna is a joy to read. Straight out of the gate, the book felt like classic story-telling at it’s finest. The first arc was truly satisfying, particularly in issue #3.
After freeing her father, Zee proceeded to kick Brother Night’s ass … Magi style. Zatanna frees the souls of the thirteen children slaughtered by Brother Night, thus relinquishing him of his diabolical power. This is absolutely beautiful work by Stephane Roux and John Kalisz.
I cried, again.
E. inspired me to take a crack at my pull list …
These are the books I absolutely cannot live without. If I were broke and had to choose between lunch on Wednesday or these comics … I’d be a hungry fangirl.
Madame Xanadu – Often times, the art on the book is nothing shy of perfect. Amy Reeder does an amazing job. I’d also like to give mega-kudos to Shelly Bond over at Vertigo for this most recent arc, Extra-Sensory. Six books, six different female artists, all of them relatively new to the game with the exception of Reeder. What a wonderful way to shine some light on female comic art talent. Marley Zarcone and Chrissie Zullo are new favorites of mine because of it. But it has been the story all along that stole my heart. Matt Wagner’s Nimue is one whom I will love forever. He’s developed Madame Xanadu into a beautiful character of substance. I am truly sad that this book will be over in two issues. Continue reading
Maybe I had low expectations, but I was surprised by just how good my comics were this week. Everything I pulled was a page-turner with top-notch art. Continue reading