Friday, September 23, 2005

In the Stack - Wildstorm/ABC Edition

I've been an unabashed Marvel fan for years, rarely getting involved in mainstream DC titles, apparently unless Grant Morrison writes them (Animal Man and Doom Patrol many years ago). But some of the best books I'm reading currently are from DC-published Wildstorm and ABC Comics.

Howard Chaykin's City of Tomorrow just wrapped up as a 6-issue mini-series - I would expect to see a compendium coming out sometime soon. Cool artwork, timely story (you know, the idea of the US military planting WMDs in a country as a pretense to invasion doesn't seem all that far-fetched) - worth either finding the individual copies or looking for a collection.

When Alan Moore started the America's Best Comics imprint a few years ago, my immediate favorite was Top 10, set in a large city police precinct where ALL the citizens have some sort of superpower. The writing was tight but what blew me away was the artwork - one two-page spread in particular stood out where you were looking down on a transit station with 100s of characters, most of which were recognizable (many of them characters from other books and publishers). It only lasted about 10 issues, followed a couple of years later by Smax, a mini-series focused on one of the characters from Top 10 and including more little visual jokes and asides on each page than some 20-year series manage throughout their life. Now there's finally a new series - Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct set 10 years later and drawn by Jerry Ordway. Yay!

Finally, nearing completion is Wildstorm's Matador - another cop title but (mostly) without the superpowers. Isabel Cardona is a Miami detective from a family of cops that gets caught between the Cuban mafia and a corrupt group of cops, with a mysterious silent figure known only as the Matador showing up to save her from being shot down by her own department after she witnesses their execution of a Cuban crime boss. The writing by Devin Grayson is tight and the Brian Stelfreeze artwork is nicely stylized. Final issue is probably in my bag at Chapel Hill Comics as we speak.

All of these have been a welcome diversion from the silly Marvel House of M crap that's been clogging my bag this summer. Probably their stupidest idea since Secret Wars II. Thankfully the New Avengers hasn't been playing - the Brian Michael Bendis storyline of the Sentry has been pretty damn cool. And they've launched a follow-up to Grant Morrison's 1602 series - without him this time but so far it shows some promise. So much to read, so little time...


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous PC said...

TP--c'mon, man, credit where credit is due: 1602 was Neil Gaiman, not Grant Morrison.

I'm looking forward to the new Top 10, definitely, but I've stayed far away from the House of M stuff--I couldn't make sense of it from any of the previews, but I have an aversion to any storyline that involves dozens of writers and artists and sprawls across multiple series--the odds of finding anything good are so slim, and the amount of effort required so large, that I'd rather just miss out.

I'm reading a bunch of Ultimate titles, but the only regular Marvel book I'm following is Whedon & Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men--and I'd just like to see Marvel telling Whedon he's got to work in a "House of M" cross-over...

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

My only defense is that I obviously had Morrison on the brain from the first graf. But you're right - very weak...

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous spuffyduds said...

Top 10? There's a new Top 10? Squeeee!


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