The Magic of Comics - Power Girl #1
I have very little interest in Power Girl or her boobs, but Amanda Conner's art in this issue makes it worth checking out. Not only is the character design and "acting" fantastic, every page is full of excellent and inventive compositions and transitions that really emphasize the sort of storytelling possibilities that separate comics from any other medium. Per example:
Panel 1: Robots approach, Power Girl rears back with a freakin Buick. Panel 2: Robot salad. Fantastic sense of scale and movement....it forces you to bend your mind around the physical (un)reality of actually possessing the ability to whip a car around like a big fly swatter. Superhero comics are meant on a very fundamental level to be awe-inspiring, but once your reader is past the age of 13, it's a hard trick to achieve. These panels did it for me.
Then there's this. No daring feats of strength here, just a freakin' hilarious representation of being assaulted by someone who can't shut up. Great acting all around.
Meta Patrol - Irredeemable #2
So here we find Irredemable's Clark Kent analog tell his Lois Lane analog that he's actually a Superman analog. In an intentional contradiction of genre expectations, instead of reacting with shocked wonder or teary confusion, "Lois" gets really really pissed off, and in subsequent pages runs out of the room and spills "Clark's" secret to everyone within earshot. Jeez, I know this is one of them there "gritty" comics, but what a bitch!
Downer of the Week - Final Crisis Aftermath: Run #1
God, when did the Human Flame become the worst person in the DC Universe? I thought he was just sort of a dumb schlub. But here, he brazenly robs the wife and little girl he abandoned long ago, and gets away in his wife's car, with his daughter's cherished bike still attached to the back! OH MY GOD! Fuck the Martian Manhunter, this is all the reason I need to hope Flame Guy dies in horrible pain at the end of this series.
Downer of the Week 2 - Atomic Robo #1, Vol 3
I'm not trying to bum everyone out this week, but here's another one-panel portrait of despair and sorrow. This writer got too deep into the world of supernatural aliens, and had to destroy all his work for the good of humanity. This grey little panel really captures something about the crushing weight of responsibility. I love that this is the very moment he lets go of the match, the exact moment that the decision is made, and can't be taken back. Comics are full of visual representations that are at once figurative AND literal, and this is a great example of how effective they can be.