(For those worried that this discussion might have soured my retailer on Comic Foundry, please bear in mind that I'm not sure I ever mentioned the title to him. And even if I did, it's not the sort of thing which would stick with him or prevent him from ordering it, assuming the solicitation convinces him it's worth a try. In other words, his decision to order CF will be based entirely on their ability to convince him to do so in the pages of Previews.)
-A few brief reviews of the comics I've bought this week:
Captain America 26: There's something about the art at the beginning of the book I don't like. I think it's Perkins--I couldn't find any credits other than the ones on the cover. Anyway, Sharon Carter looks weird, like it's not plausible that she's the same person from panel to panel. More distressing is Tony Stark's body language on page 3--he looks like an 11 year old girl throwing a tantrum. On the other hand, Brubaker's writing is still phenomenal--the Winter Soldier is a legitimately compelling character. I don't think I've ever read any GA Captain America, but I'd be shocked if Brubaker hasn't done more for Bucky than any other writer.
Legion of Super-Heroes 30: This is the way to play to the continuity fiends--the issue makes sense even if you don't know the stories to which Waid is alluding (it doesn't hurt that he's alluding to some very well-known LSH stories). And it all makes sense in the context of the story at hand. I'm not thrilled about the upcoming fill-in run by Bedard, and I'm a little worried about the possibility of the book being canceled to make way for the triumphant return of the Levitz-era LSH (as part of DC's ongoing "The more it resembles the comics of my childhood, the better it is!" sales initiative), but this was a pretty good send-off for Waid and Kitson.
Spirit 6: I never considered myself a fan of Darwyn Cooke, mostly because I just didn't like The New Frontier--Cooke's style just doesn't work for me when he's illustrating superheroes. Plus, much like The Golden Age, it seemed more like a eulogy than a celebration. Thankfully, the Spirit is an intellectual property much better suited to Cooke's talents. I wasn't annoyed by Cooke's sort of goofy idea of what a punk scene looks like (plus it's been so long since I've been in anything resembling a "scene," I figured I had no right to complain about its inauthenticity). However, if my first exposure to punk rock had been the Clash's horrible re-working of "Police On My Back" (maybe the nadir of their painfully long series of terrible covers of great
Criminal 6: I'm not sure how I feel about the third person narration, but this was a pretty intriguing setup issue. The protagonist's background in the army is a great hook for the character. I wasn't crazy about the "he escaped through a hole in the fence" caption, but I did like flash forward at the start of the issue. As always, Sean Phillips' moody art is exactly suited to this material. My one complaint is my initial difficulty in identifying the thing on the side of Tracy's face/neck as a scar rather than a tattoo. Speaking of which, I'm actually glad they haven't called attention to this scar yet--Brubaker thinks his readers are smart enough to figure out that it's one of the reasons nobody recognizes Tracy once he returns to town. This respect for his audience's intelligence was also evident in this week's Captain America, in the scene where the Falcon met with the New Avengers. It's a refreshing approach--subtlety doesn't always work in comics (especially superhero comics), but Brubaker is pulling it off.