Sean Maher's Quality Control

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Invincible #30 and previews aplenty

Invincible #30 came out yesterday, reminding me that - while I don't wanna go getting spoiled - it's real nice sometimes to get a big steaming dose of Exactly What I Wanted.

Mark back on Earth, bringing back some of the consequences of his Space Trip with Dad, goes from page to page and character to character, catching up and reminding us of all those cool sub-plots Kirkman had going on before the entire book launched itself into the far reaches of space.

It's back on solid home turf now, in the figurative and literal senses.

My favorite moments, though, are those that indicate a change in direction for these familiar character threads. Mark's mother gets a shot at turning things around, and the panel that finally seems to convince her is drawn absolutely expertly by Ryan Ottley, conveying humor and innocence and intelligence... just really jam-packing a lot of character into a wordless mini-scene.

I also really enjoyed Mark's reunion with Cecil, Kirkman's take on the classic Nick Fury trope. Mark's really been through the wringer over the last few issues, and he seems to have grown into a more secure and adult character as a result. Both characters are really well explored and sound very much "like themselves", if that makes sense. Kirkman's dialogue has come miles and miles since the early issues of this book.

(I did notice, in tracking down the cover image, that this was originally solicited for December. Would it not make a bit of sense, maybe, to stop soliciting issues until you catch up, so retailers don't get mad at you for being late? I mean, I don't give a shit - good comics is good comics, and Invincible comes out often enough to keep me happy - but it seems like the kind of thing that would frustrate Brian Hibbs, doesn't it?)

((Oh, and The Walking Dead looks like it's really getting fun again, too.))


I first took notice of Dan Slott's upcoming Big Max book back in January - again, upon the solicitation - and now it's on it's way, complete with a preview of the first six pages (and some character roughs and rejected covers) at IGN.

(Of course, there are also some great pages up from the original CBR article, too.)

Frankly, I think Dan Slott writing a big gorilla super-hero who fights a super-powered street mime sounds really goddamned appealing.

This comes out April 5th (next Wednesday) and I'll be first in line.


Brian Wood does an interview on Newsarama for DMZ, which is shaping up - I think - to be his best work.

The book manages a sort of balance, see, between Angry Brian (Channel Zero), fun-loving Brian (Couriers), and Sensitive Brian (Demo). Whenever each one of those sides has been dominant in his work, I've found that Wood's grasp sometimes exceeds his reach, and the sentimentality or revolutionism gets kinda overdone and goofy. Here, each of these elements is keeping the others in check and the book is a refreshing, colorful read as a result.

In addition to which, Riccardo Burchielli is an incredible artist, easily Wood's best collaborator aside from perhaps Becky Cloonan. I mean, just look at some of these fuckin' pages (more, and larger, at the link):

It's looking like the upcoming issue #6 is a good jump-on point - and will be caught up to by the upcoming ten dollar trade (which collects the first five issues) - so I'd advise anyone curious to take a look right soon. The iron is hot.


The Michael Alan Nelson story from Zombie Tales: The Dead, that I reviewed on Tuesday? The whole thing is on Newsarama.


James Sime continues to take the initiative and explore every book in Previews that grabs his attention. 'Cause if you have the resources, why just wait for the thing to come out?

Latest in his series of awesome (and really long) comics previews is Image Comics' The Red Diaries, by Gary Reed, Chris Jones & Larry Shuput - none of whom I know.

But I know 'em all, seventeen Marilyn Monroing Conspiricying Fidel Castroing pages' worth, on account of this page, right here.


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