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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 9 comics last week: Grayson #17, The Coming of the Supermen #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1.3, Avengers #6, Star Trek #54, Dark Knight: The Master Race #3, Justice League #48, Lois and Clark #5, and Batman and Robin Eternal #21.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #48.
I am completely a broken record on this title, I know, but Justice League is the best team book either major company is publishing right now and it’s not even close. The stakes are high, the art (Jason Fabok is just amazing) is terrific and the story is compelling. Though members of the League are now really not themselves having become New Gods themselves, their struggles are fascinating to watch play out.
I’ve written many times how good Geoff Johns is and I’ll underscore it here, again. He handles this large cast very, very well and has developed the personalities of the New Justice League Gods in dynamic ways that spin completely out of who they are as characters. I assume it helps being a Vice President of DC Comics, but Johns’ stories are really unlike other stories. Things seem important when he writes them; things seem to have great consequence. I write this even knowing that this story, along with many others, may be wiped out be DC’s recently announced “Rebirth” initiative. Even with that context, it’s hard to deny that a good story is a good story, no matter what continuity issues it might have.
Long live Owl Man no matter what, however. The anti-Batman of an alternate universe, he is one of the most fun villains around and his presence in this story raises it another notch. I liked, didn’t love, Johns’ Forever Evil but this story, which functions as something of a sequel to that one, makes me want to go back and read it all over again.
I’ll certainly miss Johns and Fabok when “Rebirth” happens and they are off Justice League. They will be a hard act to follow.