Recent Comic Reviews 11/17/06

Remember when a writer and artist would stay on a title for years at a time? These days, you're lucky to have the same team from page to page let alone month to month. What happened? You may or may not have been a fan of "our pal" Sal Buscema or "amiable" Al Milgrom, but they could deliver a book (or more) every month. And say what you will about Shooter, at least he made the trains run on time. No, I'm not really pining for the "good old days," but seesh, it's like Marvel and DC don't understand that comics is both art and a business, but anyway.... The Killer #1 This is a French import about a killer for hire. We don't know much beyond that in this first of ten issues, but Jacamon (w) and Matz (a) turn in a compelling look into the mind of a criminal. Also, on the plus side, this series is already finished, so it's just a matter of printing it in the States (and in English, presumably). So it should come out on time every month, right? This is the kind of series that can help pull the industry out of the single-genre format. Definitely worth a look.

Criminal #2 Another great crime drama from the new comic masters, Brubaker (w) and Philips (a). This issue was actually better than the first as we start to see the heist go into effect. Great characters and haunting art. It's hard to believe something this good can come from Marvel (albeit from their Icon line), but like The Killer, it certainly deserves some support.

Fables #55 Another rip-roaring issue. What I love about Willingham’s (w) work is his ability to mix politics and military themes into his stories. Given the state of the world, how is it that there aren’t more comics dealing with the issues of war and peace? Here, we see the machinations of the Adversary as his minions spot holes in his strategy to annihilate the Fables. And the backup story is an excellent analogy for foreign policy as dictated by fundamentalists.

Squadron Supreme #7 Wasn’t I just praising this book for keeping to a regular schedule? Oh wait, that was three months ago. Sigh. Gary Frank’s art is pretty, so maybe it’s worth the wait (and I’m assuming it is the art that is making the book late, which may be a huge assumption). The story, however, moves way too slowly, and JMS’s (w) political intrigue pales in comparison to Willingham’s. Note to self: don’t read these books back-to-back again. As soon as I find a good stopping point, I’m going to TPB-only on this title.

Shadowpact #7 We’re only up to issue #7, but we’re already on penciler #5. What is the problem, DC? I guess I shouldn’t complain, the book does at least keep a regular schedule, and the art has been decent, but still...have any of the post-Infinite Crisis books managed to be both monthly and have consistent creators? Story-wise, the team is starting to coalesce as a team, as they fight together and come up with their very own charter. Although it’s taking a bit long for my tastes, the Willingham magic is slowly revealing itself on this title as well.