Friday, April 27, 2012

Comics of the Week - Odd Couples

Seems like every week, I'm going to be writing about a Jonathan Hickman book. This week, it's FF #17, which continues the one shot stories he will be giving us in both Fantastic Four and FF until he is off the titles later this year. The epic story done, what we are getting now are stories focused on individual characters and relationships. While the last issue of Fantastic Four was a tearjerker, this issue of FF is a romp. Johnny Storm has moved in with Peter Parker and this is the ultimate Sci Fi Odd Couple right here. Pete just wants peace and a closet that doesn't lead to the Negative Zone. Johnny wants to party with Magical Horse People. There isn't a lot to say except that this was so much fun to read. And it's an aspect that Hickman has only hinted at in previous issues. There have been humorous moments throughout his run, but never a full on issue's worth of laughs. It just goes to show that there's still a lot Hickman can show us in the little that's left of his work with these characters, and in whatever he does next at Marvel and his creator owned work.

Speaking of guys I write about a lot, I haven't said much about Scott Snyder in a while. And it's not because his work hasn't been good. This month's American Vampire #26 just stands out to me because it seems almost like a fresh start for the series (not that it needed it). I'm not sure there's been an issue of this series that I haven't loved, but it seems like each story arc just gets stronger. Much like The Wire, we see characters we haven't heard from in a while pop up and become central to the story again, in unexpected ways. Different aspects of American history get intertwined with Vampire history, with one commenting on the other. In this story, race seems to the focus with a black vampire who hunts other vampires coming across what appears to be a new breed of werewolf/vampires terrorizing a southern town. As is usually the case with this series, and most of Snyder's work, this really can go anywhere at this point. It's never predictable, but always makes sense. His literary style continues to suck you in from page 1 of each issue. And, also as usual, Snyder teams with a stellar artist in Roger Cruz. I am not familiar with his work, but it fits in perfectly with what Snyder cooks up in this book. If you love vampires, real ones, you should be reading this. If you're tired of vampires, this is different, and you should be reading it. Just read it.

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