Monday, 24 February 2014

Atoll Comics Round 12

Or changes to my top-ten comics 

Due to poverty and an urge to buy better comics, I have decided to be super-selective about which superhero comics I read. Harnessing the Awesome Power of Maths, I have determined that I can afford to read 10 ongoing titles. So I get to read 10, and only 10, titles published by either Marvel or DC as well as one trade paperback a week of my choosing.

A complication of this is that I am forced to drop an on-going title if I want to try reading a new on-going title, an act of very tough love. Being financially responsible is the worst.

I will be adding She-Hulk and dropping FF.

Why She-Hulk: She-Hulk is absolutely the kind of comic I want to read from mainstream Marvel. It's fun, has an interesting narrative angle (lawyer She-Hulk fixing problems she can't punchout), and is absolutely beautiful with just masterful artwork by Javier Pulido. It's great!

Actually, I think the magic of She-Hulk goes beyond quirk and execution. I'm a career academic who TA's to supplement my income which means I spend a lot of time trying to figure out when people have no idea what they are talking about. So I'd like to think I'm developing a sense for when people are experts or trying to fake it. And the thing is She-Hulk is a comic that is being written by Charles Soule who is an actual, real life lawyer and his expertise really shines through. The result is a comic that feels authentic and nuanced and interesting. While, you know, still being fun and charming and funny. 

And that's not even getting to the art team of Javier Pulido and Muntsa Vicente. She-Hulk is a comic that visually is basically perfect. Javier Pulido has a gorgeous clean style, amazing character acting chops, and just endlessly fascinating approaches to layout that make even the most legal-proceeding heavy sequences interesting to look at. Muntsa Vicente, meanwhile, is the perfect colourist with a bright, pop-arty, flat colouring style that is the perfect partner for Pulido's lineart. She-Hulk is a comic with the kind of art that is worth the price of admission.

If you like my taste in comics, especially those in my top-ten mainstream books, than the first issue of She-Hulk is pretty much a must read. If it is any indication of the kind of book the whole series will be, than it will absolutely be a top-ten comic.

Why not FF: FF is another great comic that has ended. For being a comic I almost didn't buy into, largely because I was so happy with Hickman's FF, I ended up really enjoying the Fraction/Allreds version. This FF wasn't the high concept Sci-fi book that emphasized the weird nature of child genius, but was instead, at its best, a book about a bunch of kooky comic book kids being fun. FF was like this joyful celebration of everything that is great about comics that was also a really well made comic. But like most really great and original mainstream comics, it has an ending and that means it's time to say goodbye and replace it in my Pull List.


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