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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.
Comics I Read Last Week:
The best comic I read last week was a TIE between Batman #37 and Marvel Two-in-One #1.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
No shock here, I have selected Batman again but, hey, I told you I would! The double date between Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle and Clark Kent/Lois Lane was even better than I thought it would be. When the hero couples show up at “Super Fair” at which everyone must wear costumes they realize they have three costumes among them. How ever will they get in? The solution? Bruce as Superman, Clark as Batman (complete with glasses over the top of the cowl!), Lois as Catwoman and Selina as… well, who in their right mind would try to keep Selina Kyle out of an event? That humorous start leads to a brilliant and, dare I write, beautiful story highlighting the new dynamic duo of the DC Universe: Lois and Selina. Give me more of these two! What a terrific issue (bracketing, for the second installment in a row, the overly sexualized interpretations of women by otherwise stellar Clay Mann)! What a great team, and by this I mean King and Mann, Bruce and Clark and, of course, Selina and Lois!
Writer: Chip Zdarksky
Artist: Jim Cheung
The other dynamic duo of the week was the Human Torch and the Thing as written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Jim Cheung. I so much want Marvel Two-and-One to be the Fantastic Four reboot we deserve. In this heartfelt, moving and pitch-perfect first issue, Johnny and Ben are back together (so we have the Fantastic Two!) and so well handled that I believe I can certainly take a series of arcs with just these two. Zdarsky’s style is well suited here. He has a light touch that is just what this book needs. Cheung is one of the best pencillers in the business and his work is just as good here as it Zdarsky’s. I loved this book and I cannot wait for more… and for FOUR!