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09/13/2003: this week's comics - the Marvel batch

This week I got 1602 #2, Supreme Power #2, The Spectacular Spider-Man #4, Batman: Death and the Maidens #2, Gotham Central #11, and Nightwing #85.

I decided to comment on the Marvel stuff first.

1602 #2 (written by Neil Gaiman, illustrations by Andy Kubert, digital painting by Richard Isanove)
The second part is as captivating as the first. It's a great AU and a lot of fun to see how the characters have changed or remained the same in 1602. I really want to know how the events with the political plots, the Inquisition, and the treasure of the Templars will unfold and how the "witchbreed" will fare. And the art is gorgeous, too. Sometimes I felt like I missed things, because I don't have in-depth knowledge of the Marvel universe in general, however I still recognized a lot. And of course other fans did a a lot of work and there are already annotations for 1602 over at the Continuity Pages and another set of annotations for 1602 #1 and 1602 #2 by Jess Nevins, so if you don't recognize someone, you can always look the character up. My one quibble is that I didn't like that in (Not-)Daredevil's origin the cause for his blindness was changed from the ramifications of a heroic act to doing something foolish. (I mean really, who puts obnoxious, glowing green goo in his mouth even if he is fearless and still a kid?)

The Spectacular Spider-Man #4 (written by Paul Jenkins, pencils by Humberto Ramos, inks by Wayne Faucher)
I'm going to drop this series after this multi-parter ends. (I don't tend to drop comic books in the middle of storylines, even if I'm not impressed, I have too strong "completist" urges for doing that.) Even if I ignore my continuity confusion with this series, which I mentioned here earlier, the story starts to bore me. It's not so much the action adventure part of it, I like that okay, though it is not spectacular (bad pun intended), but the characters and the relationship subplots really aren't there to the extent I prefer in a Spider-Man comic. What I like about the current Amazing Spider-Man (but also about a lot of the classic Spider-Man issues I've read in collections) is that the plots about Peter's private life are really integrated with the Spider-Man stuff, and here that isn't so. After the first issues I had hoped the Flash Thompson subplot would start to make sense to me, even though I'm missing some sort of background that I guess must have been published in a previous series, but it doesn't, it just pops up now and then. The character of Detective Neil Garrett and his relationship to Spider-Man doesn't really seem to be going somewhere either, and I fail to develop a connection to Eddie Brock. I mean, I'm somehow just annoyed with him and his whining, I don't feel particularly sorry for him or anything, but I suspect I'm supposed to.

Supreme Power #2 (written by JMS, pencils by Gary Frank, inks by John Sibal)
The second issue still feels like exposition. I mean, I like to get to know the characters, and we're introduced to more people who develop superpowers of some sort, who are all connected to the alien landing in different ways, but "the action" hasn't really started yet, and the issue felt slow to me. I think I wouldn't have minded so much were I reading this in a TPB and not in monthly issues, but this one is all build-up, and I have to wait till next month to see where any of this leads. It's not so much a "cliffhanger" -- I usually don't mind those -- but that it feels just like setting of the stage and we haven't seen any of the main stuff yet. Still I'm curious where this is going, and as I said, as a part of the whole, rather than an issue in itself, it probably works better. So I'm very much anticipating the next issue.

Posted by RatC @ 11:12 PM CET
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