Comics Reviews (August 3rd, 2016)
As always, from worst to best of what I bought.
This series has always only barely worked in single issue format, so, shocker of shockers, an eight month delay before the final issue of the arc did not do it any favors. Apparently there’s a third arc planned, which at this point I assume we’ll see shortly after Doktor Sleepless wraps up. I’m sure it’ll read brilliantly in trade, although I suspect I’ll have to reread the first trade to have any appreciation for who the characters who drop in for the finale are. Which is fine, because it’s Ellis and going to be brilliant, but fucking hell this comic is just a terrible fucking idea in issue form.
There’s a four-issue cut of Klaus that would straightforwardly be among Morrison’s greatest post-Final Crisis works. The fact that this flabby seven issue miniseries is still a strong contender is a depressing commentary on his late career, but let’s not use up all our Last War in Albion snark in comics reviews. (Almost done with Chapter 6, btw.) The final issue of this is actually pretty solid, and if one were to go about politely informing Grant Morrison that he needs an editor this is probably the issue you’d cut the least. If nothing else I appreciated the underplaying of the “Santa Claus cannot die” moment.
Cinema Purgatorio #4
A middling run out for the title comic, a stretch of Modded that has too much to do for it to waste time being clever about it, and typically filler installments of A More Perfect Union and The Vast leave Code Pru as the belle of the ball this month. It’s particularly good this time around, though, and so the whole package balances out nicely, though if I’m being honest $5.99 is probably a bit much for it most months, and especially this month. Not that I’m remotely tempted to even blink at that, but hey.
Normal Part Four
This wraps with a gloriously bleak ending, but also ends up being a bit disjointed, with no shortage of things that were just sort of thrown in because Ellis wanted to riff on them as opposed to because they contributed to the story. The use of a riff on Curtis Yarvin as the cliffhanger for part two grates particularly in this regard, though there’s obviously an element of personal bias there. Still, the ending is heartbreaking and beautiful, the book’s main premise is a hoot, and its main sci-fi idea is a solid bit of plausible horror-technology. Very worth checking this out, either in its “four parts for $1.99 each” digital edition or in the paperback omnibus due in November.
James Bond #8
Yeah, I didn’t expect this to hit the top either, but man, Ellis is absolutely killing with his second arc on this, finding delightful twists on James Bond classics This time it’s “Bond seduces the woman he rescues,” a trope in dire need of being made brilliant by Warren Ellis. (And Cadence Birdwhistle is a brilliant character in general.) The several page silent action sequence, a thing he let get out of control on the first arc, is a well-defined and effectively shaped part of this one. And there’s some brilliant teasing of where this arc is going in general. All told, great stuff this month.
From an “all Last War in Albion” week to an “all Marvel” week: Black Panther #5 and Darth Vader #24.
August 3, 2016 @ 5:14 pm
According to Comixology, there’s a new issue of Providence coming out next week.
August 4, 2016 @ 11:15 am
I’m glad it wasn’t just me that had very little idea of what was going on in Trees this month.
As you say though, it’ll make a lot more sense read as a single work in one sitting.
Which begs the question, why release it as single issues at all? It works fine for some stories, but this issue was basically an epilogue chapter.
Bond was fun though, despite not quite hitting the heights of the quintessentially Ellis joke about leaving a gun in a bin from last month.
August 8, 2016 @ 12:13 pm
I was at the comic shop the other day and noticed there’s a new Grant Morrison thingy out called “Avatarex”. It’s from Graphic India though so I’m a bit wary of another “18 Days” style clusterfuck. But the 1st issue was all written by Morrison and the art did look pretty nice… Should we care about this?