Friday 3 July 2009

Presuming on his Senses! DC Brings Balance to the Week

So if you can navigate yourself around the Big Release Of The Week there were a couple of very good comics I'd like to recommend. At one end of the see-saw is Greek Street by Peter Milligan with the simple premise of re-telling Greek Mythology in a present-day London setting. It gets nasty quickly of course - imagine The Godfather with more blood, violence and immoral sex - so brace yourself. But it's a series worth investing in because anyone familiar with the source will know that there'll be no shortage of bizarre plot twists. Quibbles? Fractured story-telling to set-up a quirky environment (Grant Morrison is a fan of the comic) and the art lacks a feel for London. But Milligan is a good writer and hopefully this will prove to be the flagship series he's always lacked. Oh and it's cheap - Vertigo #1's are only $1.00.

On the other end of the see-saw is the Justice League: Cry For Justice. DC have been previewing the moody painted artwork for sometime but this actually turned out to be even better than I thought. Simply put, a few good guys have been pushed too far. Final Crisis left too many dead and as Green Lantern argues, it's about time the Justice League strived for actual justice. It's a sombre piece but thankfully not dark or overly melodramtic. Superheros pose dramatically and talk of Justice and Purpose and by cutting from Green Lantern and co. to Congo Bill via the Atom and other lesser-seen characters there's a nice feeling of cross-section. Stirs hearts like a speach from Henry V.

And then, somewhere between the two we have comic of the week for me: Batman and Robin #2. This was even better than the first. Its the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder we know and love on the outside but the characters in the costumes are different and so follows a beautifully realised struggle between Dick Grayson and Damian as their personalities clash and they resist their destiny. The dialogue is the most insightful and clear from Grant Morrison as I have ever read. As for the art, I'm still a little unsold on Frank Quitely's new scratchy art style, but he still sets a standard in the field. The first page is powerful, the fight sequences have energy and urgency, even the movement of the capes is perfect. Plus he seems to have settled on Damian's age (aided I'm sure when a character in the comic reminds us that he is ten) as it seemed to fluctuate in the first issue. Catch these Morrison/Quitely issues now as they are shaping up to be modern classics in the same company as All-Star Superman.

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