August's Number Ones Part 2

Here we go again. The summer is still churning out new series you might want to read, or would like to be warned against before you make a fatal 3-5$ mistake. Let's see how we can help.
The Multiversity by Grant Morrison and various artists (1st issue's by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado) for DC. If you're breathing, you've heard of this. Not so much a mini-series as it is a series of linked one-shots, each one a #1 issue. I can only imagine the first of these, with brilliant art by "the boys" (as the Aquaman Shrine and the Fire & Water podcast call them), features a threat to reality that may or may not be featured in every one. Now, you can either grumble that Morrison is doing his same old tropes - fourth-wall-breaking metatext, crazy villains out of Lovecraft and stream of consciousness literature, and superhero pastiche à la Zenith - or you can embrace it because you damn well knew what this thing would be. The issue's protagonist is Morrison's President Superman, as seen in some of his Action Comics issues, and refreshingly, no character from Earth-Prime (if that's them at all) has more than a bit part. Much of the meta-text comes from the narrator of the comic begging you to stop reading it, a conceit that's fun and suspenseful. And Captain Carrot gets all the best lines. Plus, you'll raise an eyebrow at who Dino-Cop is supposed to be. If you're afraid of Morrison's more cryptic, referential work (or just don't like it), no worries. This is very straightforward stuff, where the references to past continuity can be enjoyed as just cool visuals and not have you racing for some annotation site or other. I'm sure some of the more self-contained, tonally-distinct issues will turn out to be everyone's favorites, but as an introduction that might actually have a resolution/book-end, it's fun stuff.
Keep reading? Duh.
Justice, Inc. by Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano for Dynamite. Though nominally based on the original pulp series about the Avenger, this iteration not only aims to team him up with Doc Savage and the Shadow, but they completely steal the show in the first issue! Richard Henry Benson is named, but doesn't actually appear! That bit of false advertisement aside, I rather enjoyed Justice, Inc. It has a cool time travel story that surprises by having an elder Savage from our time go back to 1939, to his pulp roots. Usually, it goes the other way. And it's full of cameos by historical figures of the time, which tickled the history nerd in me. Timpano is overly fond of sourpuss expressions, but the story moves at a brisk clip without ever seeming underwritten. I do wonder how it'll ever be anything LIKE Justice Inc. even once the Avenger shows up, but perhaps a status quo is unnecessary.
Keep reading? A tentative yes. I've shed every Dynamite pulp book once they stopped publishing the Spider and Ms. Fury, so this three-fer might be a good way to keep a foot in that world.
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez for IDW. Some things are sacred, so can a modern comic capture the magic of Winsor McCay's ancient (relative to comics as a medium) masterpiece? I have to say yes! Shanower certain has the childlike surreality and charm right, and boy am I glad he's teamed up with Locke&Key's Gabe Rodriguez. He's perfect for this! From his previous, seminal series, we know he can draw convincing children, askew fantasy and the intricate designs required of Slumberland. Because it wouldn't be a Nemo strip if it didn't play around with layouts. Shanower even creates the feel of the original one-pagers by having his boy almost-named-Nemo wake up repeatedly from his dreams, interrupting the action. I found, soon enough, that a smile had crept onto my face, and it stayed. Lots of lovely detail and texture throughout, it's a gorgeous book that holds its own against my collection of McCay class--wait a minute. I DON'T actually have the original Little Nemo strips in my collection in some form? I've got to rectify that.
Keep reading? Yes and not only that, but I want to seek out the originals. Is there a nice collection available?
The Delinquents by James Asmus, Fred Van Lente and Kano for Valiant. I admit I panicked when Valiant cancelled Quantum & Woody. It's probably the funniest superhero(ish) book on the stands right now. Freakin' hilarious. The good news is, James Asmus was writing that, and he's writing The Delinquents, a Q&W/Archer & Armstrong team-up in which both duos converge in a quest to find the Great Hobo Treasure. It's just as good as Q&W usually is, clever, funny and surprising. I also note from the back pages that Q&W will also star in Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody by their original creators, Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright. The bad news is, both of these are 4-issue mini-series. Ah well. Maybe they're just interludes before Q&W take up a monthly schedule again. All that to say The Delinquents is irreverent superhero comedy just as I like it, and there's nothing there that should scare a reader who has never read either duo's series before. Just don't be surprised when you become a rabid collector of their past appearances after reading it.
Keep reading? Damn straight.

Did it help?


Jayunderscorezero said...

Return to Slumberland came out *just* as I'd finished rereading Alan Moore's Promethea which features the little Nemo pastiche "Margie in Misty Magic Land" by none other than...Eric Shanower. I'd recommend checking those out if you like Shanower's Nemo here.

Siskoid said...

I've read this but completely forgot about it until now!

jdh417 said...

You can read some classic Little Nemo here, until you get some reprints.

Boosterrific said...

Fantagraphics ran a hardbound series of full-sized reprints of NEMO a few years ago (by which I mean the 90s because I suddenly realized that I am getting old).

There were 4 volumes originally that eventually were collected and released as a single book. I still see them floating around from time to time and would recommend them in a heartbeat.

(I see on that there are new reprints coming down the pike. Even a bad reprint of NEMO is better than most strips being published in newspapers today.)

As for MULTIVERSITY, I typically don't like Morrison's drug-addled plots, but I'm willing to tolerate it here for the sake of Captain Carrot. I do love me some Zoo Crew.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine