Lots of Assorted Stuff Here...

*Beginning with my weekly guide to LAST WEEK'S REVIEWS:

I Am Legion Vol.1 - The Dancing Faun by Fabien Nury and John Cassaday

Steed and Mrs. Peel Book 2 (of 3) by Grant Morrison, Anne Caulfield, and Ian Gibson

Promethea #31 (of 32), We3 #1 (of 3), Ojo #1 (of 5), and A1: Big Issue 0

Enjoy their delicious taste and low carbs!

*As part of my continuing magical quest to catch up on all of the comics events I missed in my long years away from the artform (I couldn’t help it; the Spider-Clone saga was just so good that I didn’t need to read anything else for years) I’ve begun scoping Grant Morrison’s run on “JLA”. I had known that this was Morrison’s big pre “New X-Men” superhero project, and I really wanted to check it out, but I wasn’t prepared for what I would find! Oh no! You see, I may not have been reading many comics for those years, but I had sort of kept abreast of the most visible developments, the changes that had crept above the canopy of the comics scene to be picked up by the mainstream media satellite feed. I had known of what I was confronted with, but I had never personally encountered:


But there he was, right at the start of the second “JLA” collection. On the last page of the first trade he was still Luxurious Flowing Locks Superman, the Superman I remembered from the immediate morning-after of the speculator bacchanal that was the Doomsday Steel Cage Retirement Match. But this! Who was this cotton-candy fuckwit?! He looked like a character Erik Larsen would introduce in an early “Savage Dragon” and kill two issues later. Was this a new ’cool’ Superman? I half expected to open the book and find:

SUPERMAN: Hi team! Sorry I’m late! Had to change into these sweet new threads and I’m blue in the face!

WONDER WOMAN: Superman. You look like… a muscular icicle.

SUPERMAN: Ha ha! Good one! Now let’s go fight some evil so I can get back to my inline skating!

FLASH: Look… Superman, why don’t I get your old suit… I can get there really fast…

SUPERMAN: Hey, anyone heard this new ‘Cake’ album? It’s great!


It’s like watching a beloved and stable parent experience a mid-life crisis, overcompensating drastically for their self-perceived lack of hipness. And isn’t there a red Superman later too or something? Well, I trust the tender arms of Grant Morrison to cradle me like an infant and guide me through this time of strife.

But Grant, why are there only one set of footprints here in the sand?

Those are the times when I carried you.

*Quick update to this morning’s post: “Hero” (a two year-old foreign-language film that’s been available on dvd for months) is looking to be the #1 grossing film this weekend. Of course the competition wasn’t exactly stiff (the “Anaconda” sequel, the “Baby Geniuses” sequel, and some dire looking serial killer thing with Ben Kingsley) and “Hero” was already a monster hit elsewhere on our globe, but it does feel nice seeing a visually beautiful subtitled film taking the top spot over all the sequels and formulas. I stand by my issues with the film’s philosophic drive, which did detract from my enjoyment of the film’s visual splendor and excellent fighting, but those surface pleasures were undeniably potent.

Bricktop A1 Special

I saw a really quick review of this in Steven Grant’s column, and it stuck in my head. I picked up the recent A1 Issue 0 (review link above) and popped over to Atomeka Press’ website, and it looked like they had some nice stuff coming up (like “Mr. Monster”, one of my favorite series of the 80’s), including this. Wholly by coincidence I saw it sitting on the store shelves as I poked around the other day, and I snatched it up.

Glenn Fabry is currently doing the art for the Garth Ennis-penned miniseries “The Authority: More Kev”, and this project seems to feature the same nasty sense of humor that I’ve heard the Kev book possesses. “Bricktop” is from the early 90’s; it was first serialized within the original “A-1” in six parts of 4 to 7 pages each, adding up to a nice 32-page floppy which is what we have here. The first two parts feature writing and art by Fabry, with Chris Smith joining in for the latter four chapters.

Lucy ’Losey’ Wales is the redheaded title character, a punkish working-class teenager who never removes her sunglasses, no matter what. She and her odd friends become embroiled in a strange plot involving vomit, nerve gas, cultists, furry animal costumes, biker gangs, and an evil alien who appears to be participating in her own separate story of which we are only privy to selected scenes. It’s amusing stuff, if chaotically executed, with each chapter sort of forming its own mini-story within the context of the larger plot. By the end, space has become so tight Fabry and Smith resort to having nearby talking fish deliver plot information while the climatic chase proceeds. I found the story to be more effective when it simply followed Lucy and friends around on their drunken misadventures, avoiding unwanted ex-boyfriends and generally horsing around, with the fantastical plot occasionally bumping in. And the final twist involves a reference to silent comedian Ben Turpin, so it’s impossible for me to be too annoyed.

Fabry and Smith’s art looks good in b&w, with lots of grimy local flavor to the environments. There’s lots of classic Marvel influence to my eyes; more than a bit of John Romita Sr. I liked the little bits of business going on, like one of the biker girls transforming into a piggy and staying that way for no logical reason. The visual storytelling grows as whip-fast as the plot by the end, with scene-transitions occasionally becoming disorienting, but each panel is individually quite attractive. It’s a fun book for your $3.50.