Monday, July 20, 2009

Ford's Focus - July 13th 2009 to July 17th 2009

Written by: Ford Thomas

*The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 1 HC (library)
*The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 3 TP (library)
*Captain America: To Serve And Protect TP (library)
*American Virgin Vol. 1: Head TP (library)
*Captain America Reborn #1(of 5)
*Action Comics #879
*Batman: Streets Of Gotham #2
*Blackest Night #1(of 8)
*Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps #1(of 3)
*Fables #86
*Incognito #5
*JSA vs. Kobra #2(of 6)
*Killer #9(of 10)
*Rasl #5
*Scalped #30
*Wednesday Comics #2(of 12)
*Madame Xanadu Vol. 1: Disenchanted TP
*Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter HC

*everything ‘bought’

If I could only read one comic a month it would be Scalped, no doubt about it. Month in month out this is confirmed. There were lots of great comics this week, some big splashes but it was Scalped that won out as my favourite book this week. I’m not sure if I react the way I do to Scalped with any other book. There are audible reactions, usually in the particularly gory/shocking moments but more so for the reasons beyond the violent acts themselves. Quite frequently I’ll start crapping on about what I’m reading while I’m half through it or immediately after in the form of incomprehensible nonsense to my spouse if she’s unlucky enough to be in the house at the time. But there are never gasps and winces of pain with anything but Scalped. These gory moments are so good because of everything they’re surrounded by, all the horrible, despicable characters and the terrible situations they find themselves in.
Scalped #30 as well as being the first issue in the five-part arc The Gnawing could also work as a good ‘jumping on point’. A new reader probably won’t have a clue who most of the characters are by the end of the issue and the scenes won’t have as much weight as they would without having read the previous 29 issues but the scenes are more than strong enough to draw a new reader in. There is also the strong feeling of imminent doom which draws in you like a good mystery but you know bad stuff is happening to everyone you just don’t know the when and how and sometimes the why.

The two volumes of Spider-Man Brand New Day that I read this week were mostly re-reading and a bit of following up on up where I left off, and it was a lot of fun. Wise-cracking is major part of the Spider-Man persona but rarely has it ever made me laugh, maybe it’s never made me laugh and at it’s best it comes across as a care free attitude which when done right is just as good if not better. Throughout both volumes most of the wisecracks did their job and got laughs out of me (guess this contradicts the above slightly), most of them I had read numerous times before in the case of the issues contained in volume one.
With Spider-Man coming out three times a month beginning with Brand New Day firstly I’d found it enjoyable and knowing the cliffhangers would be followed up within a week or two at most made the new weeks releases that little bit more exciting. But after a while I felt that the book was good and slightly above average, so I stopped reading it. Reading eleven issues in quick succession gave me the feeling of wanting to follow it up immediately by picking up the following trades. Sadly this feeling dissipated after a couple of days but thankfully it did because this week was a pretty big week of purchases for me. This is something that has been happening quite a lot lately after reading large chunks of some series, when I’m reading them I don’t want it to stop but then I find after a day or two I don’t care (as was the case with The Walking Dead Compendium). Having said all that, some things in the Brand New Day volumes worked even better in quick succession such as the references to “the Parker luck” which was especially hilarious in Amazing Spider-Man #559, that begins with Spider-Man chasing Screwball “the world’s first ‘live streaming super-villain’” who on escaping from Spider-Man says “Yeah? Well I’ve got a li’l thing called…the parkour luck!”. This is then later reused when Peter Parker is on his paparazzi beat and he is acrobatically avoids some disgruntled bodyguards and says “Yep. And I’ve got the Parker Luck!”.

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