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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 5 comics last week: Captain America: White #2, Justice League #44, Batman Annual #4, Superman #44 and Grayson Annual #2.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #44.
I guess we can pencil in Justice League as the best comic I read in any week it comes out for the foreseeable future or, at least, until the end of “The Darkseid War” arc. It’s not surprising that this title is so good. I’ve chosen it for the last four months in a row, what’s surprising is how surprising the events in the book are.
For “universe changing events” like the ones being chronicled in Justice League, readers normally have to invest in a company-wide crossover series. That’s not the case here. Geoff Johns (I guess it helps when you’re a vice president of the company for which you write) is delivering high stakes events that would seem to have significant repercussions that will affect the DC Universe long after the conclusion of “The Darkseid War.”
Each month I extol the work of Jason Fabok, thinking that he must be topping out at some point. I mean, how much better can the guy get? Well, take a look at his Joker panels in this issue. They are simply scary good and scary-scary! As I’ve noted, his deft handling of so-called “wide-screen” action is superb and his is rendering of smaller moments – not that there are many small moments in Justice League #44.
The best way to review this issue is to marvel at the following:
- The revelation that the Joker might be a god!
- Wonder Woman’s terrific narration (GREAT choice for the window into the story, Mr. Johns!).
- Mister Miracle. Everything about him from the costume redesign to the manner in which he’s written.
- The coloring of the book!
- Superman and Lex Luthor – it’s almost like they’re in another, very cool, story all together! Will Superman really kill Lex Luthor? I think we know the answer to that, but, do we?
- Batman and his new (Mobius Chair) Batmobile.
- Hal Jordan back with the League.
I could go on and note that all the characters, from the League to the villains to the supporting cast, are getting their moments, but I think we know how much I loved this issue.
And how much I can’t wait for the next one.