Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Four-Color Funnies

Man, I can't wait until ALL-STARS.

I visited my local comic shop today, the ever-wonderful Chicago Comics. Sometimes I go just to see what's new, sometimes I go to buy what I know I'll enjoy (the new issues of STRAY BULLETS and MEATCAKE this week, for example), sometimes I go to see what there is to see. Once in the store today, face to face with four-colored glory, I had the urge to partake in some serialized superheroics.

I looked around. The first issue of KLARION was out, the next chapter in Grant Morrison's ambitious SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY project that is revamping seven D-list DC characters. I really like Grant's work, especially lately. NEWXMEN was hit and miss for me, but We3 and VINAMARAMA have been fantastic, genre-defying work--I think We3 is the most visually stimulating book I've seen in--well, maybe ever. And four #1 issues later, SEVEN SOLDIERS has proven to be very interesting stuff. KLARION is probably my favorite of the bunch so far, largely because of the Grundies. In Limbo Town, where Klarion the Witch-Boy lives, the bodies of one's deceased family members are awoken and enslaved to be put to work. The living have blue skin and black hair, while Grundies are white-skinned, white-haired mumblers--a reinvention of Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday, which some of you folks might remember from the SuperFriends. But as much as I enjoyed this book, even at the shop I knew it wasn't going to satisfy the Fun Comics Craving I had in my guts.

I realized that what I wanted was to pick up a random book and read some superheroic adventures without having to wonder what the heck was going on with my favorite characters. DC's upcoming ALL-STARS line seems like it will fit that nitch. I'll be able to pick up a 20-odd page comic book featuring Superman or Batman and Robin and read an entire adventure, then go about my business. And with Grant Morrison and Frank Miller writing them, and Frank Quitely and Jim Lee drawing them (respectively, of course), I'm assured that they'll be top-quality books crafted with love of comics of yore, but with a modern sensibility built in. And at least in Grant's case with Superman, they'll be adventurously weird.

I thought about picking up ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN for a quick fix of Spidey action, since Hobgoblin was on the cover and all. But with Bendis still writing, I'm a little afraid that USM is still being written for the trades. I'm just as liable to see twenty pages of security guards talking about Spider-Man as I am to see Spider-Man himself. And if nothing else, I know I'd only be getting one section of a six-part story. With the ALL-STAR books, I'm guaranteed a complete story.

Man . . . I can't wait until ALL-STARS.

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