The Sunday Pages #47

15th February 2009 | by | 3 Comments

This week’s capsule reviews are of Captain Britain #10, DMZ #39, Green Lantern Corps #33, Batman & The Outsiders Special #1, Nightwing #153 and Incognito #2.

Review: Captain Britain and MI13 #10
See, told you it’d be good. What I didn’t know, however, was that it would be one of the best issues so far. This is a series that’s actually at its best when it’s dealing with the character stuff, and having spent nine issues carefully assembling and trimming the book’s cast, Cornell is now giving them a little time to breathe and interact with one another. And it’s terrifically engaging if you’ve been following these people up to this point, littered with the series’ textbook skill with moments. Meanwhile, Leonard Kirk – whose main attribute up to this point has been his ability to convey action – copes admirably with an issue composed almost entirely of conversations, with the pages featuring Jac and Blade in the pub and Faiza and Dane in a plane particularly lovely. This is a series that it’s just impossible to dislike on any conceivable level. [SP]

Review: DMZ #39
There was a danger that Obama’s entry into the White House would instantly suck the relevance out of a title so obviously born out of two terms of Bush’s disastrous presidency. Luckily, DMZ’s current focus is on analogising various elements of US foreign policy that started before Bush and will undoubtedly continue past Obama, so the contents are, luckily, more than timeless enough to stand alone. There’s more than enough intrigue in the book’s own mythology now that the series doesn’t need to focus on a congruous political mood to make its point – and hey, if the idea of a newly-elected, popular President starting to show some cracks in his facade don’t seem relevant now, well, give it a few months. [JHu]

Review: Green Lantern Corps #33 / Batman & The Outsiders Special #1 / Nightwing #153
Peter J. Tomasi’s really starting to creep up on me, you know. As I mentioned earlier in the week, The Mighty was a fairly intriguing first issue – and he follows it up this week with an impressive THREE titles that are all varying levels of “quite decent”. His work on GL Corps has been impressive for a while – although its last arc suffered somewhat from being dragged still further into the relentlessly rubbish “let’s have an entire spectrum of Lantern Corps” concept – but here, in a parallel with this week’s Captain Britain, he gets a between-storylines issue that basically allows him to take stock of the various characters. And he’s good with these characters – Guy Gardner in particular. I’m not sure what Kyle Rayner’s done to deserve getting off with most of the DCU’s hottest characters, mind (Jade, Donna Troy and now Soranik Natu), but the burgeoning relationship here is quite well-played. And his take on Mongul as being somewhat deranged and desperate is one that works well. His Batman and the Outsiders one-shot, meanwhile, mainly focuses on characters I don’t really care for – but in its really quite touching opening pages, does a better job of looking at the aftermath of Bruce’s death than either the Paul Dini or Denny O’Neil fill-ins on the main Batbooks managed (even if certain readers won’t be able to avoid thinking “Have a fantastic life, Rose”). As a bonus, the inconsistent Adam Kubert is actually on a good day. And finally, Tomasi does something similar – if a little overly schmaltzy – in the final issue of Nightwing, which also looks quite pretty courtesy of Don Kramer – although if I’m honest, the flashback to images of various DC characters who’ve died and returned, including yet another take on The Death of Superman, feels a little unnecessary. It’s strange that the schedules should have thrown up such a week, but all of a sudden Tomasi feels like one of those solid B-list writers that I’ll be wanting to look out for a bit more from now on. [SP]

Review: Incognito #2
Brubaker and Phillips’ dark and edgy supervillain-turned-accidental-vigilante slice of noir

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steps up another notch with its second issue. This is a grim and nasty little series, but it’s quite beautifully wrought in both the measured writing and sumptuous visuals, and here relishes in playing with readers’ initial conceptions about what they’re seeing on the page – laying something of a twist on one of the supporting characters, before throwing another one into the “normal” side of Zack’s life. Oh, and there’s an utterly inspired use of telepathy. It’s not necessarily the most purely enjoyable read, but like all good noir, it’s an almost titillating peeling-back of the more wretched side of human nature, and already among the most classily-put-together titles on the racks. [SP]

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