Have a drink. It might help that mortis attitude of yours.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My pic for last week

There were a lot of good comics out this week; everything seemed way above par. Or maybe it was the first time in a long time that I put a lot of effort into my reading. I must admit recently on Wednesdays I’ve been handling my comic reading like a chore. “I have a stack here. Better get through them.”

This week though I was really excited about reading everything and it paid off. Of course, I’ve also trimmed my submissions by fifty percent, so that might account for why I really liked everything I read.

This week saw the re-launch of Wild C.A.T.S., which was very enjoyable. I really thought Zealot and Majestic’s new digs were pretty sweet. Without giving too much away, it touched on every character and left us with a big, driving question. What is Worldstorm? 52, 100 Bullets, Birds of Prey, and Wolverine all paid off well. So it was a good week. The cake-taker this week though, was Runaways #21.

Writing: Okay, I’ll just say it. Brian K. Vaughn could write a story about a guy blowing his nose and I would still read it. So I might be a little biased when it comes to choosing this comic as my pick of the week. Maybe. A little. The thing that so many comic writers forget—good writers but especially bad ones—is that change is really important to a character. Not just busting out a new costume change but real growth and evolution. That is Vaughn’s specialty: organic character development. Issue #21 is a perfect example of this. Before you read on, there are some spoilers ahead. I try to avoid doing this but it’s been four months so I assume everyone who wants to read the story line has.

Since Gert’s death Chase has been making some bad choices. He’s playing with dark voodoo, taking hostages, and various other unsavory things. While it pains me to watch this character unravel, I understand that story-wise this is the only thing that could happen. See the beauty of Vaughn writing is that he defines character by both heroic victories and terrible choices. By letting the grief overwhelm the character and drive his actions he becomes almost human. Not only is this one of the greatest accomplishments of the writing craft but as a reader it never ceases to surprise me.

Art: I like Mike Norton’s art here. It has a nice, crisp, not-too-heavy feel to it. I wouldn’t say it’s the most fluid of art, but there is something there. I especially like the pencils he does on the Gibborim. Add in the colors and inks of Strain and Yeung—there is a sort of pastel to the inks that I’ve always though suited the feel of the comic nicely— and you have a winning combination.

All in all, Runaways #21 was the best of the week. It closed the first stage of grieving after the death of a teammate, yet it left plenty of plot threads to continue through the series. When Joss Whedon takes over in a few issues, you know he’ll have a lot to work with.


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