Friday, February 13, 2009

Comics Reading List: Better Late Than Never

The Walking Dead #58 (Image)
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

In recent years, zombies have become as overplayed as superheroes in comics. But both genres still have a few quality titles that, while not reinventing the game, at least manage to tell a decent story with interesting characters every month. The Walking Dead is the old gray man of zombie comics, but it continues to be an entertaining read, especially now that Kirkman has teased the reader with the possibility that we'll learn where the zombies came from. This issue, however, follows multiple digressions as we learn a bit more about the new character Abraham, we're reintroduced to a character who last appeared nearly 5 years ago, and establish new tensions that might split the survivors. Also, Adlard's art retains its distinctive, black-and-white bleakness.

At this late stage, the comic isn't terribly welcoming for new readers, but those trades are available at your local bookstore.

Batman #686 (DC)
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Pencils: Andy Kubert

Having lost interest in Batman for most of R.I.P., I felt like jumping back in after Batman's big "death" in Final Crisis. This is the first half of a two part aftermath storyline dubbed "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" There's a lot going in this comic, and Gaiman clearly has no intention of writing another Batman beats up bad guy story. We see Batman's funeral, or an interpretation of what his funeral would be like if everyone, even the villains, were invited. And we see a version of Catwoman and a version of Alfred reminisce over events that never took place in any Batman comic I know of. I think I'll hold off saying anymore until after the second half comes out.

I still don't see why so many people love Kubert's artwork. Sure, it effectively conveys the story, and several of the panels have a lot of nice detail. But it's still basically the standard superhero style a reader would expect from DC. But, it's worth mentioning that Kubert is far superior to the terrible Tony Daniels.

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