This Week’s Haul

Comic books I bought the week of 4 April 2007.

This week’s 52 may be the most muddled issue of the series. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, or why I should care. Didn’t they finish up the Intergang stuff months ago? Bleah.

My Dad I think summed up my feelings about Jack of Fables best in an e-mail: “When it was dealing with the group that captured him, it was pretty good, but when it’s just about his jerky self, not too hot.” Jack really is a jerk, and actually no one in the series is really someone you can root for. And the art is pretty so-so. I don’t think I’ll be buying it much longer.

“Planet Hulk” ends this month, and it’s just interesting enough that maybe I will pick up World War Hulk this summer.

I’ve been curious about Invincible for a long time now. The premise is that the hero is the son of a Superman-type figure who got married and had a kid, and Invincible inherits Omni-Man’s powers. (I’ve been spoiled and know that there’s more to it than that, but that’s the crux of the premise.) I did the math and it turns out that buying the Ultimate Collection hardcovers is about the same price as buying the trade paperbacks, and the hardcovers are, well, hardcover, not to mention using larger pages. Hence I went for the hardcover.

I’m about 4 issues into the volume so far, and it’s quite good. Robert Kirkman’s wry sense of humor brings a welcome levity (and reality) to what in many ways is a silver age comic series updated for the modern day. On the downside, the characters are pretty thin: The heroes are defined almost entirely by their powers, and the supporting cast have basically no personality. There’s no depth. Maybe that will change over time (I think the series has run more than 30 issues so far). Considering the series so far feels like a father/son series mixed with a coming-of-age story (and fortunately without the wacky hijinks that often accompany the “teenager discovers he has super powers” yarns these days, such as those which plagued Spyboy), it could benefit greatly from deeper characterization (but then, what story couldn’t?). Artist Cory Walker has a great sense of form and dynamism, but he could use an inker who could lend some complexity and (there’s that word again) depth to his layouts, as the art is often too spare for my tastes.

But overall, this one looks like a winner. The second collection is already out, and the third is due out this summer, so they ought to keep me busy for a while. Hopefully it gets better as it goes along.

One thought on “This Week’s Haul”

  1. The rest of the Invincible collection was pretty neat. Artist Cory Walker gave way to Ryan Ottley in issue #8 (the collection goes through #13), but their styles seemed so similar that I didn’t even notice the change when I was reading it. Which is both good and bad, inasmuch as the art didn’t improve as much through the volume as I’d hoped. (Which suggests that the style is deliberate, which is kinda too bad. But okay, I’ll stop harping on that point; the art’s not bad, just not what I think it could be.)

    The story’s essential twist comes to pass during this volume, so it’s probably safe to say that if you read it and enjoy it (which I did), then you’ll want to read more (which I do). The status quo gets shaken up, and a new status quo is installed (along with a couple of supporting characters from Kirkman’s other Image superhero series, Brit), and that sort of continuous evolution is something I can happily get behind in a comic book series. (It’s what made GrimJack so good, after all.)

    Michael says: Check it out.

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