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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 6 comics last week: Doctor Strange #10, Invincible Iron Man #12, Batman #4, Nightwing #2, Justice League #2, and Superman #4.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #2.
If Justice League, with almost flawless interiors from Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea and Tormev Morey matched with breathless pacing and spot-on characterization by Bryan Hitch, remains at this level of excellence, please expect it to be the Pick of the Week every month.
It’s really been that good.
When I reviewed Justice League #1 I didn’t mention how much the title of this arc really works. It’s called “The Extinction Machines” and the tone of menace that title strikes matches perfectly with where the story has been headed. There is a force of some kind causing both destruction of the natural world which also seems to be responsible for possessing ordinary people as well. Is extinction to be brought on by the physical destruction or the mental? I am not sure, but I am absolutely along for the ride.
Bryan Hitch is a tremendous artist almost single-handedly credited with introducing the concept of wide-screen action to comic books. What he did as a penciled visually, he’s doing as a writer thematically and structurally. There are high stakes here. It’s not that I believe that significant changes will befall the Leaguers themselves (after all, they are all headliners in their own regularly published titles), it’s that I don’t know that the League is going to defeat these Extinction Machines, or how.
That’s an exciting place to be for a comic reader who’s read tens of thousands of issues.
I really like the dynamics at work in this Rebirth-ed title. Two rookie Green Lanterns partnered up with the most veteran heroes on the planet. A Cyborg who’s grown into his role. An Aquaman who is not really part of the team. A broken trinity with Batman and Womder Woman more than a little skeptical of this new Superman to whom they have to turn for help.
Bring on more like this, Mr. Hitch and Mr. Daniel. This is good comics, indeed.