The Good, The Bad, & The Meh
As we know, in the weekly comic reading world there is a bit of good, a lot of bad, and A LOT of, well, meh. As such I'll put aside my game of Avengers Alliance (available only on Facebook, please add!) to sort through mostly all of this month's funnybooks and categorize what I find good, bad and meh. "Meh," for those of you not used to basic internet lingo, means something ranging from okay to mediocre. Here we go:
The Good:The Secret Service 1 (Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons)
Both Millar and Gibbons bring their best qualities as storytellers to this intriguing story that's party spy thriller-part family drama. After ranting last month about Millar doing the same old routine, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that he can still put something out that's top notch. Even Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) makes a stellar return with some of the best work he's put out in years. I can see some similarities between this title and Millar's Wanted but, overall, it stands as one of the more original titles coming out from Millar's imprint.
Batman 8 (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & Rafael Albuquerque)
Packed with great talents and the DC debut of underground great, Rafael Albuquerque, it's no wonder that this is consistently picked as the top Bat-book and one of the best superhero books that DC Comics is currently offering. Many have compared Snyder to classic Bat-writers, Dennis O'Neil and Frank Miller with good cause. He's added an inventive and integral part of the Bat-mythos that has nothing to do with his classic rogue's gallery. It's this fresh reinvention that Superman has been lacking for the longest time and proves that a 70-plus year character can still bring new things to the table. I'll keep reading this book as long as Snyder keeps writing them (and as long as I can keep using the Bat-prefix).
The BadJustice League 8 (Geoff Johns, Carlos D'Anda, Ivan Reis)
What does it say about the book when the back up short at the end of the issue is more interesting than the main book itself? Green Arrow does his best to gain the team's attention so that he can join the Justice League but they don't really care for him and neither do I, quite frankly. For a team book, it really lacks in team dynamic and there seems to be no distinct personalities in this group of icons, other than Green Lantern. Sure, it's a filler issue but it shouldn't have to feel that way when reading it.
The MehWalking Dead 96 (Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard)
It's a familiar scene for anyone that regularly follows the Walking Dead: Rick goes into a multiple page soliloquy that leads to a splash page cliffhanger where he has a revelatory moment. The first time it happened was with the profound proclamation of “We are the walking dead!” and it delivered in furthering the notion of the characters living through this unwinnable and unchangeable situation. That was years ago. The Rick monologue is something Kirkman comes back to time and again that has less and less of an impact with each use. Needless to say, the major moment of this issue falls flat, along with the rest of it. Something major is planned for their 100th issue but things have yet to pick up, story-wise. While not terrible, it's surprisingly bland but, as always, there's the promise of greatness (sort of like the first half of Walking Dead Season 2).