*QUIZ: What do you get when you lay down for an afternoon nap having slept for two hours the prior Sunday evening, four hours Monday evening, six hours Tuesday afternoon, and zero hours from 7:00PM Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon?

ANSWER: An accidental thirteen hours of sleep! But my good ol’ internal alarm still roused me at eight this morning.

So anyway, I didn’t read most of my comics. Of course, my shop didn’t have copies of “Bighead” or “Nightjar” or that new Marc Bell thing Chris Butcher pointed out that I’d totally missed: “Worn Tuff Elbow”. That looks so cool.

Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #3 (of 6)

Soapier than a flood at the Lever 2000 factory. Will Tom Strange get used to Pantha, the Terra Obscura equivalent of Tom Strong’s own wife? Can Diana resist the pull of an old flame? Might the return of the past reopen old wounds in this troubled superhero world? Or do certain parties support a retreat into days of yore?

As usual, “Terra Obscura” is an efficient use of comics space, even as it evokes quite a lot of themes that Alan Moore’s ABC output has gone over time and again, as if Moore gets a shiny nickel for each time a period-style flashback appears in one of his books, contrasting then-contemporary attitudes to the current action, and by virtue the modern comics landscape (though it must always be noted that Moore is only co-plotter on this book, with Peter Hogan doing the scripting).

But there’s usually a fun spin each time. I really liked the puritanical Batman figure that appears here, smoothly playing off the Dark Knight’s famous lack of long-term female relationships without resorting to ‘Batman is gay with Robin lol’ humor. And the idea of an old superhero carrying over the emotional issues of his past through the form of a younger character, with the prior era’s conflicts (in quite a physical sense) plugged in, is a pretty neat one. The only logical way to go from changing characters’ personalities to better resemble the past is to reverse the very flow of time itself, emotional damage to other superheroes be damned! And man, I wonder if the last three pages are supposed to be some kind of rueful nod to “Identity Crisis”…

So, fun stuff. Nice ideas.