Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comic of the Week

The word cinematic is often used to describe other media, particularly comics. This typically means the thing being described is evoking motion and sound to convey emotion in a way that possibly transcends the medium of that which is being described. I've said it many times here that Gantz, particularly the first volumes, is very cinematic in the way it gives us what amounts to slow motion shots almost like John Woo action movie poetry. Calling a comic book cinematic is high praise and the high water mark for cinema is arguably 1970's American film. So, I'm going to be bold and say that Wolverine #9, by Jason Aaron and Daniel Acu┼ła is a 70's action film brought to life.

Who wold have thought that in a week where Walking Dead and Detective Comics came out, that my hands down favorite book would be Wolverine, which I only just caught up with this past week because I'd heard such great things about it? But the book is just that damned good. So good, that it is up there with my favorite single issues of all time. Wolverine is looking for Mystique, who sold him out to the mysterious group that sent him to hell in the first issues of the series. Of course, this mysterious group has also hired a super hit man named Lord Deathstrike (whose introductory scene is gold) to kill Mystique and lead Wolverine right to them. This leads to some of the best chases and confrontations I've ever seen, most of them in wide screen. It brings to mind a movie like Point Blank and it's remake Payback, or some unmade Tarrantino film, none of which are 70's movies, I know, but still. The way they cut from scene to scene, only giving us what is necessary of each set piece, never more, is the perfection I'm talking about. The tension of the chase is palpable and the gritty style puts us in the right mood. And what's more, you don't really need to have read the previous issues to enjoy this. You barely need to know anything about Wolverine, Mystique, X-Men or Superheroes. It could simply be a revenge story with some minor eccentricities, like the main character having claws. If more comics were like this, well, my head might explode, but I'd love it.

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