Grotesque Anatomy
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
  Quick Cuts, DCU Edition
AQUAMAN #15 - Not much Aquaman in it, although perhaps that's a good strategy:  Since not many people think of the character fondly, place the character in an interesting situation and go from there. Unfortunately, the situation surrounding Aquaman isn't that interesting:  It's disjointed (the jumps in time are abrupt and jarring); unengaging (because we didn't know any of the victims, it's hard to care about them beyond the abstract); and predictable (it was obvious what the answer to the "mystery" was as soon as the kid appeared).  All in all, not a great start for the new creative team.  I'm considering dropping this before the first story arc is even complete.

HERO #13 - Will Pfeifer's other DC work is better, but it's still a mixed bag, mainly because it wants to have its cake and eat it too.  While there were moments where I thought Pfeifer was making good use of the gender-bending premise, there are also times when he just seems to be going for the easy "men-are-pigs-who-don't-understand-women" jokes, such as when Joe, now trapped in a female form, assumes that he should wear lingerie all the time.  Ha ha ha.  (If Joe was living with his girlfriend all this time, wouldn't he know that women generally like to wear more practical undergarments?)  Still, I enjoyed the issue overall, if only because I continue to be surprised by the material DC is allowing to be published in one of its mainstream comics.  (Joe is date-raped by his sleazy co-worker?  Yeah, I'd say that qualifies as a "disturbing encounter.")

WONDER WOMAN #201 - A bit of an uneven issue. As I noted the other day, I'm not someone who demands action every issue, but even I felt as though this issue was padded.  Example:  The opening sequence, in which it takes Stheno two pages to pull Circe out of the water.  Other things that distracted or annoyed:  The cameo by the "bug" from the first Matrix movie; Wonder Woman using questionable Silver-Age science to disperse a tsunami (although the scene did trigger fond memories of the first Superman/Spider-Man crossover); Artemis' sudden mood swing across the span of two panels ("Oh, those warships are only here to provide assistance."  "What the $%@# are those warships doing off our coast???").  I also missed the regular pencils of Drew Johnson, although Shane Davis' art did have some nice moments.  (Some of his facial expressions were priceless, especially Circe's in the last sequence.)

GOTHAM CENTRAL #16 - A solid issue with some great character interaction and dialogue from Brubaker.  (This is how banter should be written.)  Unfortunately, the art from Greg Scott isn't up to Michael Lark's usual standards:  Heads and faces often seem distorted, and a couple panel transitions had me scratching my head.  Also, although this was solicited as a stand-alone story, the main plot continues into next issue (although apparently different cast members will be featured).

Finally, today's Vacation Photo of the Day is a classic.  Who could resist Angry Asian Shopkeeper?

Angry Asian Shopkeeper

Like Unto A Thing Of Irony!

Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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