Animal Man #1
by Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman
The blogosphere was on fire from this #1, and for good reason. For a new 52 book, it keeps the original continuity but keeps it accessible. It's not so much a reboot, as it's a new phase in Buddy Baker, Animal Man's life. Continuity is nice and tidy and, as a well-read comic-book-er, that makes me happy. Buddy returns to super-hero-ing on approval from his wife, only to find that his daughter's sprouted animal powers. . . zombie animal powers. It's a bit more horror than it sounds, which I'm all for, but the thing overall doesn't feel fresh to me. I'll pick up issue 2 on a slow week.
Best part in this ish: a dude takes the children's wing of a hospital hostage, because his daughter died of cancer there. After getting pwned by Animal Man, he covers his face and says, "I'm sorry. . . I'm sorry. . . I just want her back." We don't get enough of that in comic books, a dude who does one bad thing but is not a bad person.
by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera with Fred Van Lente and Marcos Martin
Comic books are a visual medium. We can't hear a comic, we can't listen to them, and well, eating them would just ruin the mint condition. The only information comics can convey is through your eyes, and it's your job to take that information and read the story out of it. We read a BAM, and it's the sound of Batman punching a dude, even though we don't hear anything. Nothing's traveled through your ear drum and sent a signal to your nerves, but still we know that it's the sound of Batman, the sound of justice being served.
Daredevil is blind. The only information he can gain is through his four other senses, and his "radarsense." A liar's spike in pulse. The expensive perfume on a bride. The way Waid and Rivera convey his radar sense is amazing. By translating Daredevil's radarsense to the one sense he doesn't have, it transcends the idea of sense. I highly encourage you to check out the preview at comicbookresources.com.
The main story covers Daredevil's appearance at a mob wedding, and Matt Murdock's new take on life. The inner monologue brings him to life and into his head. There's a back-up at the end from Waid that really makes the issue. There are no costumes, no Daredevil -- just Matt Murdock taking his pal Foggy Nelson through New York, and visiting his dad's grave. It's beautiful, emotionally and visually. Heck, even the letters column got a tear out of my eyes, as one reader talked about his father and the parallel to Matt's dad.
My point is, read this comic. It is the most perfect comic book out there. You can get a better-worded opinion from Chris Sims over at comicsalliance.
by John Layman and Rob Guillory
It excites me to no end to see a Chinese-American in American comics. "Chew" involves a police detective, Tony Chu and his adventures in. . . cannibalism???
That's right! Dude's a cibopath, which means whenever he eats something, he gets these flashes of its life and what happened before it died. He'll eat a Big Mac and he'll see what exactly happened to the cow! It's uncanny, and it's fresh. In issue 21, his commissioner transfers him to. . . the traffic beat???
The comic reads a lot like a sitcom would, with typical, uh, typecast characters: the splash page ending is a gag as well. Also, the letters column is littered with kitty photographs. Chew is a fun book, even if some of the gags are over my head. This one, I might get in trade, if anything.