Friday, February 6, 2009

Comics Reading Time

Another light week for me, though I may pick up "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe" when I have more free time.

Possible spoilers below...

Jonah Hex #40
Writers: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: David Michael Beck

I have little attachment to DC's line of superhero comics right now, but Jonah Hex continues to be a must-read for me every month. While this comic tends to tell complete stories in every issue, this issue differs in that it's the first half of a two-parter, and has a surprise cameo by a character who was introduced earlier in the series. The story is decent, with Hex being hired to track down a serial killer who is a 19th century knockoff of the real-life Josef Mengele. Unfortunately, there's a somewhat hackneyed plot twist that leaves Hex in a tough spot, but the next issue looks promising. The realistic art by Beck is very attractive, though the colors can get a bit muddy.

Dynamo 5 #19 (Image)
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Mahmud A. Asrar

This issue completes a storyline that feels like it began years ago, thanks to the book's erratic publication. For those unfamiliar with the title, Dynamo 5 is a high concept series that asks the question, "what if Superman was a philanderer who had five bastards running around the U.S.?" Each of Captain Dynamo's (the Superman knockoff of this book) lucky accidents inherited one of his powers, and after he was murdered, his widowed wife found the children and put them together as a team.

The appeal of a high concept never lasts long, but Faerber can write the type of competent, entertaining adventure that seems so scarce at DC and Marvel. Issue #19 wraps up a plotline where the team had broken up. It's barely a spoiler to mention that the team gets back together by the end of the issue, but Faerber manages to keep things action-packed while working in a few nice character beats. At this stage, though, it's a little disconcerting that only about half the cast seem to have defined personalities.

Asrar's artwork is in the conventional style of superhero comics, with muscular men and busty women. But it's worth noting that his designs are clean and, forgive the pun, dynamic, and the layout makes the narrative easy to follow.

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