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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 10 comics last week: Uncanny X-Men #600, Detective Comics #46, Star Wars #11, Doctor Strange #2, Amazing Spider-Man #2, Justice League: The Darkseid War Superman #1, Justice League: The Darkseid War Flash #1, James Bond #1, Invincible Iron Man #3 and Batman and Robin Eternal #5.
The best comic I read last week was Uncanny X-Men #600.
This book had all kinds of elements to recommend it:
- Brian Michael Bendis wraps up what can only be called an historic run on X-Men, a run during which he irrevocably changed the status quo of the team.
- He is joined by terrific artists who have made this a great title over Bendis’ entire tenure.
- He writes a story that actually wraps up dangling plot threads.
- He fills the story with wonderful character moments and not a little action.
- He creates tension by putting a major character “on trial” in a completely justifiable circumstance.
- He makes news with a major plot development that made the newspapers.
I haven’t always loved Bendis on this book – though I bought every issue – and I haven’t always loved the X-Men themselves. But this book is Bendis and the X-Men at their best. It’s such a great capper that I am not sure that I want to pick up any of the new incarnations of the team.
What an accomplishment, Mr. Bendis. Bravo.