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Comics Load: A Wizard Did It

I hope everyone made a resolution to read more comics this year. I know I did. I’ve also resolved to finally read the stack of graphic novels and trade paperbacks that piled up on my desk throughout 2010. So you can expect more TPB coverage in coming weeks. Be sure to let us know what you’re reading this week, what you’re recommending to friends or what the hell happened at the end of X-FIles: 30 Days of Night here in the comments section or over in the Comics Forum. Now, on with the Load!

image Batman Incorporated #2
I think I know what’s bothering me about this whole Batman Incorporated silliness, and it became clear to me towards the end of this issue, when Batman swears in some Japanese guy. Yeah, he makes this guy place his left hand on top of Batman’s glove, raise his right hand and recite the Batman code or something. It’s kind of the opposite of Batman. The Bat belongs in the shadows, not operating a corporation and making people recite pledges. I assume this is all leading to some big bad hunting down and killing everyone in Batman Inc., and this whole venture is just to produce a lot of victims/cannon fodder. If so, can we just skip to the end now, Grant Morrison? On the plus side, I’m enjoying Batman’s new studded codpiece. Nicely done.
image Daken #4
See, Daken is bisexual, so it’s “funny” when he makes passes at the Thing, because the Thing is uncomfortable with alternative sexualities, even though I have to imagine that sex with the Thing is as alternative as you can get. Perhaps I’ve lost my sense of humor. I know Daken is not some role model, and I’m fine with that. I just think the same thing could have been accomplished in a more clever way. Instead of the usual prancing and flirting, why not have Daken just flat out ask Ben if he’s orange and rocky all over? Meanwhile, the real story here is the very real tension between Daken and Johnny Storm. Think I’m imagining things? Then why did they build up to this big goodbye scene between the two, then cut to another scene and not show the goodbye? Was there a kiss? Flame on!
image Gotham City Sirens #18
Remember when Catwoman used to be sexy? I don’t. Why are all the current artists drawing her in such a weird way? Like she’s a middle-aged gym teacher, with her sensible haircut and handsome features. Despite that distraction, this issue manages to pack an emotional punch. The threat of Zatanna permanently erasing Bruce from Selina’s memory produces a surprising amount of tension and even tugs on the old heartstrings. I don’t quite believe that Talia really needs Zatanna for any of this, because honestly, who really needs Zatanna…ever? But we are reminded of the bond between Selina and Bruce, and the other Sirens are now aware that Selina knows Batman’s identity, so more drama is in store.
image Wonder Woman #605
So…Usagi Diana lives in a luxurious brownstone/dorm with the other Amazons and listens to crazy rock music and has a disapproving feline familiar and sells ancient artifacts to give money to single mothers. Okay. The writers, obviously tired of guys like me always harping about this bizarre erosion of an icon, take a couple of jabs at fans of the previous WW incarnation throughout this issue, and I have to wonder why. If you’re trying to expand readership, why drive away the existing fan base? It’s a mystery to me. But here’s an idea. Why not have Diana and the other Amazons form a rock ‘n roll band and use the money they make to support a home for orphan girls? That would be truly outrageous!
image The X-Files: 30 Days of Night #6
One of the occasionally frustrating drawbacks of the comics medium is lack of clarity. Sometimes a picture is NOT worth a thousand words. For instance, in the final issue of this otherwise excellent miniseries, Mulder and Scully are trapped and surrounded by vampires, and all hope seems lost, and then…something happens in just one panel…and it’s supposed to wrap up all the action and rescue our heroes and conclude the story…but that’s a lot to ask one panel of art, with no dialogue or narration. So…I have no idea what happened at the end of this book, which is bothersome because I really have enjoyed this series. It’s been great having Mulder and Scully back for a truly creepy adventure. I just don’t know how it ends. So, I’m just going to say, “A wizard did it,” and let it go.

That’s it for this week! Another Load is coming soon! Happy reading!

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