12.12.07 Reviews - Part 2

Scalped #12 (DC/Vertigo): Jason Aaron, aided this time out by cover artist Dave Johnson and interior artist John Paul Leon, gives us a nice cross-section of lives that represent the seedy criminal element that Red Crow controls, all through the undercover eyes of our protagonist. Once again, I’m taken in by realistic and uncomfortable lines like: “The trashier I am, the more you want me, am I right? What sort of deep-seeded psychosis is that, I wonder?” Aaron also continues our protagonist’s profound struggle with his identity and motivations, all building up to a nasty surprise lurking for him. Leon gets the opportunity to display some very thought provoking imagery, like the Mt. Rushmore page. Scalped continues to be an entertaining, but important view into a portion of the social experiment that is the United States of America. Grade A.

DMZ #26 (DC/Vertigo): Burchielli’s pencils seem to grow a bit more confident here, as he boldly uses some opening shots with dim lighting and extreme use of negative space, and also gets in our face with an unexpected two page spread. Visually, there are some shocking scenes here, for some reason the shot of all of Matty’s “girls” got to me, including Zee, Amina, and Kelly all in one shot. There’s a good riff on journalistic integrity at play which ponders a hard to swallow line between simply reporting the news and becoming a part of it through your actions. Another piece of commentary involves how to make your life have some sort of meaning through personal relationships during war time, even when one of the relationships is suddenly ripped away. Grade A.

Bat Lash #1 (DC): It’s clear that DC put some thought into this title and assembled a top-notch creative team, including Sergio Aragones, Western Novelist Brandvold, and artist John Severin. However, it didn’t seem to connect with me. Severin’s art, rather than looking sketchy and proper for the genre, looks a little rushed and sloppy to me. On the scripting end, use of the name “Brubaker” for the villain is just plain distracting. There are some retro romance notes that just sound a little awkward. A great effort is also made to capture the dialogue of the time, but it comes off a little bizarre. “I’m gonna’ stretch your neck so far that those range-clutterin’ folks of yours are gonna’ think you’re a big ol’ diamondback.” To which the retort is: “I haven’t stolen or long-looped any beef, and you know it.” I really have no idea what any of that means. “Sure as pistol works on a Sat’day night in Abilene,” Grade C-.

I also picked up;

Queen & Country: Volume 8: Operation Red Panda (Oni Press): Finally, the hardcover mysteriously appears in my LCS about 3 weeks after it was originally solicited.

MW (Vertical, Inc.): Very excited to read this novel length tome, which is an atypical work in tone and style from master storyteller Osamu Tezuka.


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