ACTION COMICS #13
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Travel Foreman
Back-up by Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker
This is without a doubt my favorite issue of Action Comics since the DC52 launch. We have a story about a Phantom Zone criminal, who manages to escape of the Phantom Zone, while sending Superman into it. Kal-El has a run in with the Phantom Stranger and has to find his way back to our world. Along the way he also manages to save Krypto who had been zapped into the Phantom Zone while defending Jor-El back on Krypton. The backup story also adds a wonderful complimentary tale about a Boy and his Dog, and how Krypto has watched over Superman as a Phantom ghost all of his life.
This is a story that could have been told in almost any era of Superman. It really is a great story, and compliments the new 52. I liked the way the Phantom Zone was portrayed, I enjoyed the character of the Phantom Stranger in the hand of a more skilled writer than say Dan Didio, and I loved the characterization of Krypto. I also think the backup story makes the main story better.
The art by both artists was great. I really like the new version of Krypto (he is definitely a different design from the classic Krypto), and I enjoyed the creepy vibe Travel Foreman had in the main story and the sweet, character moments we got from Brad Walker.
I also would like to mention that although Andy Diggle is rumored to be taking over Action Comics post-Morrison, I would really like to put my vote in for Sholly Fisch. Fisch has written many fantastic backup stories that often give Morrison’s main story a run for its money. I would really like to see him take over the main book.
FINAL WORD: Best issue of Action Comics during the DC52 era.
Vertigo (DC) Comics
Written by Lauren Beukes
Art by Inaki Miranda
A new story-arc brings with it a new and exciting writer! Repunzel can pass as human like many other Fables, but the speed at which her hair grows keeps her on a short leash. After she is attacked by an army of origami birds she believes one of the Gates to the Fairy Worlds in Japan has opened, and she thinks the revelations there will tell her what happened to her children. After Snow White forbids her to travel (due to her hair condition), she just skips town with her barber Joel and Jack to discover the truth about the message that was sent to her. In Japan Rapunzel is accosted by a woman with half a face, and the memories begin to flood back.
I really like this issue of Fairest. I enjoy Fables, but I have not read every trade and only pick it up here and there. I have enjoyed the Cinderella mini-series and Rapunzel’s story here has a similar vibe. The writer provides some interesting plot, but is light on the revelations to begin. I would have liked a bit more of a hook, though I hate to nitpick. Nevertheless, there was some great characterization and Fables fans will want to pick it up because it very much feels like an extension of that series.
I thought the art was very expressive, clean, and at times offered really cool design work. The design of the woman with half a face was really cool, and I liked the scene where the origami birds crashed through the windows.
FINAL WORD: A worthy addition to the world of Fables!
DETECTIVE COMICS #13
Written by John Layman
Art by Jason Fabok
Backup art by Andy Clarke
Not only is this book the best single issue of Detective Comics since the relaunch, but it is without a doubt the best comic I read all week! I had high hopes about John Layman taking over this book. Chew is one of the best comics coming out monthly and if you do not know that we carry the trades in stock all of the time! Even with the high expectations, however, this title hit all of the right marks.
The Penguin is feared, he is respected, he is rich, and he is powerful. But is he loved? That is the question Oswald Cobblepot has for Gotham City. On the eve of the new Neville Center dedicating the children’s wing in memory of Martha Wayne, the Penguin is angry that he is not loved, and has hired assassins to kill Bruce Wayne, so that he can bribe the powers-that-be to name the wing after his mother. Penguin has even set up crime sprees all over Gotham to keep Batman busy, preventing the Caped Crusader from saving Mr. Wayne. (Probably not a smart idea.) As the events play out Bruce realizes what is going on and it may be too late. There is also a fascinating backup story about two mid-level criminals, one a rookie and the other a veteran of Gotham City, and we get to learn the rules of staying off of Batman’s radar.
Really I could not have asked more from this book. At times it was hilarious, and it was also serious, gritty, and balances an intricate, but exciting plot. Even the backup story was well written and comes at the reader from a unique perspective. John Layman brought his A-game, and Batman readers will definitely reap the benefits.
The art by Jason Fabok is sometimes very rigid, but it is also lush and detailed. There are some really awesome looking moments peppered throughout the book. Andy Clarke’s backup feature is superb. I really liked the two hoods and their tragic tale.
FINAL WORD: Best book of the week! Bar none!