Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ford's Focus - June 22nd 2009 to June 28th 2009

Written by: Ford Thomas

*Electric Girl Vol.1 TP (library)
*Usagi Yojimbo #121
*Detective Comics #854
*Gotham City Sirens #1
*Green Lantern #42
*Superman #689
*The Literals #3(of 3)
*Madame Xanadu #12
*Proof #21
*Viking #2
*Daredevil #119
*Awesome 2: Awesomer TP
*20th Century Boys Vol.3 TP

*Agents Of Atlas #1-5
*B.P.R.D.: The Universal Machine #1-5
*20th Century Boys Vol.2 TP
*Light Of Thy Countenance GN
*Comic Books Comics #3
* League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1910
*everything ‘bought’

Last week was a big B.P.R.D. week for me, which was very enjoyable. The week started with Plague Of Frogs (vol.3), which was even better a second time. Upon finishing The Black Flame (vol. 5) later in the week had made me want to continue reading through the future volumes. I started reading B.P.R.D. with what I guess might be volume 8 in single issues and then went to the next series before getting some back issues. So my reading of B.P.R.D. has been out of order but that hasn’t affected any of my reading, if anything it has improved the experience. This just shows the strength of the writing throughout each mini series’, each series are presented with a new title making them appear very new reader friendly, which they are. I found that every new arc fleshed out the past while adding extra weight to the present, which was exciting because it made you feel like you had made the discovery yourself. It also feels like any of these stories began when you started reading but from reading stories that came before my introduction to the B.P.R.D. series’ has further expanded the back story making me want to continue reading through additional series revealing more story developments in a new light. This week I re-read The Universal Machine, which wasn’t as revealing as the previous few volumes but contained an exciting main story whilst a majority of the characters sat around table telling stories that shed light on their pasts.
More revealing re-reading was done last week with Starman Omnibus Vol. 2. My Starman reading experience is similar to that of the B.P.R.D. in that I started in the middle and worked my way out and around till I’d read it all or as much as I could get my hands on. It’s been a few years since I first read Starman and what I found with the first Omnibus earlier this year was some of the shine had rubbed off. I wasn’t as awed by it as I was the first time. With each omnibus it has taken me a while to warm up (similar to Robinson’s current Superman run) to the writing that is very flowery and almost silver age (the word balloons are occasionally filled with almost pointless dialogue which isn’t quite stating what is being shown but also seems to retread over itself). In almost every balloon every other word is in bold to create inflections in the characters speech, this didn’t work for me at all and ultimately proved distracting. But after a few issues I got into the story and it proved to be a rewarding reading. The strength of the writing is definitely in the portrayal of the ensemble cast, each of whom are consistently given enough ‘screen time’ to progress their character and story and the readers affection of them. A treat for me was the Showcase issues that I hadn’t read before, especially the two part Shade story with Dr Fate (Showcase ’96 #4-5) which is from my memory the first mention of the Shade’s rival Culp who plays a big part later in the series, which was a big treat because it added more to the Starman ‘tapestry’ for me.

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