Thursday, June 16, 2011

Comics of the Week

The best comics can sometimes seem to be all over the place. Invincible #80 picks up where the last issue left off and by the time the last page comes, it feels like you've read 3 issues. And that's not a bad thing. The story organically flows between being personal, funny, tense, meta and heavy on action, ending in a world shaking moment that you don't see coming. It really feels like you get your money's worth out of this issue, as with most issues of Invincible. What's always made this book great is that because it takes place in it's own universe, anything can and does happen. Continuity, a topic that has been hot this past couple of weeks, doesn't bog anything down here. And yet, it flows through the book at the same time. Kirkman even takes the time to poke fun at the rebooting of comics directly as well as the not very well thought out motivations of super villains. The humor in this book is refreshing and what's great is that Kirkman can use it without giving up the right to get serious. 

Another book that brought loads of humor and fun this week was Batgirl #22. This issue has Stephanie Brown being called to London by Batman where she takes a detour with Squire, the British equivalent of Robin. They stumble upon a case and hilarity ensues. It's just good times, and interestingly ends with a promise that it will be continued in the pages of Batman, Inc. A lot has been written about the DC reboot and particularly the fact that Stephanie won't be Batgirl anymore. But, if her story continues in the Batman, Inc book, then maybe Steph will have a place in the new DC continuity after all.  As for Bryan Q. Miller, I don't remember seeing his name on the list of writers and that's the real crime because he's been delivering a consistently fun book here.

And then, there's Grodd. . . This book was over the top, violent and really, just crazy fun. For a one shot, event tie in book, Flashpoint: Grodd of War managed to tie into the main book and actually build towards a confrontation that I want to see explored in the pages of the other Flashpoint books. Gorilla Grodd has managed to take over the entire continent of Africa but he's grown bored. He bemoans that the world doesn't even know his name even though he's slaughtered more than Aquaman and Wonder Woman combined. By far, the best part of the book involves a group of would be assassins, which Grodd easily defeats. But he spares the life of one, setting up a future confrontation that would be on par with Kill Bill, when the Bride makes that speech to Vernita Green's daughter, only Grodd takes it to a whole other level. By the end of the book, Grodd has decided to go after Europe, which means Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I wish this was more than a one shot.

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