I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 7 comics last week: Batman Eternal #42, Amazing Spider-Man #13, Batman and Robin #38, Batman/Superman #18, Justice League #38, Spider-Verse Team Up #3, and Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #2.
The best comic I read last week was Batman/Superman#18.
I love the dynamic in the New 52 between Superman and Batman. Rather than simply grudging allies, these are two characters who really understand each other and who count on each other for friendship. It’s clear from the manner in which Greg Pak writes them that he is having fun with this relationship and is building stories that highlight it well. This arc in which Superman is supposed to come face-to-face with his “Joker” has been really, really good. As people around Superman are murdered in impossible circumstances and Superman is taunted by the culprit, Batman challenges him to think about his life, to discover who would hate him the most, to find his archenemy – his Joker. Knowing that it’s not Lex Luthor for Superman (I think – and, given that Geoff Johns is handling the Lex/Superman conflict pretty solidly in Justice League, I strongly doubt Pak is going to the same well) is a good twist. Discovering the identity of the character that Superman would risk the most to save is a GREAT one.
I have found Pak’s writing on this title a little uneven. Some storylines have grabbed me, others I cannot remember month-to-month. This one has been tremendous and I am eagerly awaiting the next issue. I am sure that I’ll re-read Batman/Superman #18 this month, and that’s something I don’t often do.
Adrian Syaf’s art has something to do with how good the book is. I’ve always liked the artist and he’s at the top of his game here, especially when the “murder weapon” is revealed.
There are a lot of reveals in this book and a lot of things that kept me guessing. I cannot say that about every comic I read. Batman/Superman #18 is to be praised and was very much the best comic I read last week!