Saturday, July 01, 2006

This Week's Comics: The Best and The Rest

Best of the Week: Daredevil #86

With Matt Murdock, The Kingpen, Bullseye and The Punisher all behind bars in the same joint, you knew an explosion was going to happen, so the only surprise was how writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark were going to handle it. The answer: they knocked it out of the effin' park.

There's a price on the heads of Fisk and Murdock, so when the inevitable riot breaks out, Matt is forced to team with his arch enemy because of a promise. It's a gruesome battle, incredibly staged by Lark. Like Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev before them, Brubaker and Lark keep Daredevil on a a very real world stage (or as much of one as can exist in a Marvel comic). There are no costumes here, just bad men, one good man and one who's kind of in a gray area.

The best parts of this issue:

* Matt struggling to do what's right, in spite of what he's been through.

* Bulleye's gleeful killing spree, and the way it ends.

* The level of The Punisher's participation.

* That kick ass final page.

I hope Brubaker and Lark buck the current trend in comics and stick with this title for a long time to come.

The Amazing Spider-Man #533: If you’re a comic book fan, or if you read the news, you already know that Spidey recently revealed his secret identity on national TV to support the Super Hero Registration Act, part of Marvel’s big Civil War Event. The actual revel occurred in Civil War #2 and has been repeated in what seems like a dozen books in the pat two weeks. This issue deals with the aftermath from Peter Parker’s perspective. Joe Straczynski’s writing can be clunky and overly sentimental at times, but here it’s pitch perfect. After the announcement, Peter throws up while Tony Stark tells him he did the right thing. Peter stands up to Tony not once, but twice, finally showing some backbone after several issues of following the billionaire around like a lap dog. Sample dialogue:

Tony: I’m sorry, Peter. You’re right. I don’t know. I don’t have a family. You do and you’ve always honored them. And–

Peter: Tony?

Tony: Yes?

Peter: You didn’t have a family until right now. If this goes wrong, if I end up regretting this, if anything happens to me – I want your word that you’ll take care of MJ and Aunt May.

Tony: Of course. You have nothing to worry about.

Peter: Good. Because if anything happens to them because of this and I’m still alive, you’re the one who’s going to have something to worry about.

Tony: It won’t, Peter.

Peter: I’m just saying.

Tony: I know.

J. Jonah James vows revenge for harboring his most hated enemy within his newspaper, and again, Straczynski treats JJJ like a real person instead of the cartoonish buffoon he normally is. Peter’s enemies start planning. Peter gets sucked into Tony Stark’s plan to fight Captain America and the other heroes who won’t register.

I wasn’t enthused about another crossover event, particularly after the several metric tons of suckage that was DC’s Infinite Crisis, but so far, a lot of the Civil War material has been thought provoking and well done, including this issue of ASM.

No comments: