Sunday, October 16, 2011

Comics of the Week - Spiders and Vampires

I recently caught up with American Vampire and I highly recommend it. At the time the series started, I didn't know who Scott Snyder was and since I'm not a big fan of vampires, I didn't really care. Sure, I heard nothing but great things about it and meant to get to it. Now that I have, I understand that this is epic storytelling and actually is a fresh take on vampires. Survival of the Fittest is a mini-series that follows two of the many interconnected characters from the regular series on a mission involving Nazis and an ancient race of vampires. While you don't need to have read the regular series to appreciate this mini, the full impact of the story, I think, would be missed without the build up and background of the regular series. Still, this final issue of the mini was action packed in a way that makes the phrase action packed seem inadequate. Sean Murphy's art jumps off the page and yet maintains a creepy mood throughout. Meanwhile, Snyder is at his best writing these characters and unfolding these intricate plots. And behind it all, there's heart. It's clear he's going somewhere epic here and I'm glad to be along for the ride. Do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. You will not be disappointed.

Miles Morales is destined to be the Spider-Man I read for years to come. Three issues in and he's still not in costume. Instead, Bendis is taking his time with this, showing us a character. Showing being the key word. By his actions, relationships and interactions I feel like I am truly getting to know this kid, Miles. I understand him and I can see where his motivations will lead, I think. I could still be surprised because there's room for that. The story is managing to do all this character work while still being dynamic, in large part, thanks to the amazing art of Sara Pichelli. It's not just about big action, either, her faces and body language are so expressive you forget it's a drawing. I particularly like that, at least for the moment, Miles has no intention of using his powers. The weight of this is not something a kid like him would take lightly and although he has a taste of being a hero in this issue, he realizes it's not as glamorous as it seems. This is not going to be Peter Parker cracking jokes as he fights the Green Goblin. But it also won't be a gloomy kid doing what he thinks needs to be done. The fun will still be there, I just think it's going to be different. I'm in.

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