New year, new comics, folks. I’m sorry to say, although the holiday comics lull has passed, this was still something of a light week, but not necessarily a bad one.
Maybe it’s a case of “event fatigue,” the result of being beaten over the head–by DC and Marvel–with several intertwining narratives, but I tuned out during Superman’s “Doomed” run. That’s bad news for Pak’s current work on Action Comics, because the current story arc is relying somewhat on that event. With that said, there’s enough context here to fill in the gaps, and seeing Superman placed inside the realm of the horror genre is interesting and well done. I feel #38 gets a little dialogue-heavy, and that slows down the read, but it’s not bad dialogue, and the art works wonders here. I wish the overall narrative moved forward a little bit more in the end, but it does give us a fair idea of what’s ahead. Superman has improved since Johns took over, but if you’re looking for the best read for the character, I think it’s Pak’s work on Action Comics right now.
Detective Comics has also been a title on the rise ever since Manapul and Buccellato have taken it over. Their Icarus storyline gave a nice, self-contained story within Batman’s familiar stomping grounds, and that scratched an itch that Snyder and Capullo’s Zero Year was just not in a position for. Here again, Detective Comics has Manapul and Buccellato back after a brief pause, and their new storyline is hitting a lot of the familiar notes. #38 manages to make the Anarky character interesting. That’s not really been done for me before, and they’re giving us just enough of the Mad Hatter’s story to let us know he figures into the bigger picture somehow. It’s well paced, and Manapul’s artwork is exceptional. I don’t know if I’m enjoying Detective Comics as much as I am the Batman title these days, but it’s a lot closer decision than it has been since the New 52 came around.
If you know me, or if you at least read my thoughts on comics, you probably know I’m a Brubaker fan. Velvet has been one of my top books lately, but this week The Fade Out #4 dropped, and it’s proving to be another hit for me. As he does with Velvet, Brubaker captures the feel of the era he’s working with, and the art from Phillips is terrific in that capacity as well. If there’s a knock on the title, it’s that the golden age of Hollywood tropes are definitely there. In many ways, this is your typical story about the seedy underbelly of glamorous Hollywood, but the characters are engaging, and the obligatory murder mystery is well-presented. If you’re the type who likes to watch classic black and white movies to feel nostalgia for a time you never even lived through, I think The Fade Out can give you that.