"Three: it's the magic number," warbled De La Soul, and many weeks, including this week, they're entirely correct when it comes to new comics. For there are three comics out this week I wish to buy. And they are:
Avengers #2. I was in two minds about the first issue of Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr's Avengers. I liked it, but there was also something about it that left me a bit cold. I think it's probably more to do with getting slightly tired of superhero comics in general, or at least the modern approach to them. What should be an infinitely flexible template for new stories – because superhero comics can encompass any genre you care to mention, from crime to romance to science fiction – has largely engendered some rather lazy writing. In the first issue of Avengers, we had lots of heroes chatting about being in the Avengers, and then a villain popped out of nowhere and informed our heroes that they must travel to the future to stop their kids from destroying it. Which is a tired idea. Mind you, the villain is Kang, who I have a weird fondness for, so it's not all bad. I just wish superhero comics had a bit more ambition. Grant Morrison's comics still do, but the likes of Bendis and Brubaker seem to have lapsed into fairly formulaic approaches. Maybe they should re-read some of their own back catalogue – Torso, Daredevil, Scene of the Crime, Gotham Central – and try and rediscover some of that ol' magic. But what the fuck do I know about anything, eh?
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3. Speaking of Grant Morrison, here he is with the latest chapter of Bruce Wayne's time-travelling adventure! I'm still seeing lots of criticism of Morrison online at the moment. To use a hoary old cliche, are these people reading the same comics as me? This stuff's great! You get Batman in different time periods, you get a universe-imperilling subplot, and you get Batman at the end of time manipulating his own adventure. Can't say Morrison lacks for ambition. Yanick Paquette on art duties this time – that's his variant cover there, which I shall try to nab. And speaking of variants:
That's an Eduardo Risso – of 100 Bullets fame – variant for Superman #700 on the right there (with Gary Frank's regular cover on the left). Gosh that's nice. Definitely gonna see if I can score one of those, to match my Mike Mignola variant of Batman #700. This issue has Dan Jurgens and James Robinson wrapping up various plot points, before J. Michael Straczynski takes over with his Bold New Direction, which apparently involves Superman going walkabout across America, a bit like the writer's Midnight Nation (which I loved). Possibly. I'm intrigued anyway.