Stackology- 10.28.09

Okay, so this week’s haul is what you’d call “an embarrassment of riches,” packed from top to bottom with high quality work from great writers like Hickman, Aaron, Johns, Millar, Bendis, and Rucka. The last week of the month always seems to cluster a large number of books together, but picking the standout here was really tough. Bottom line though, J.H. Williams artwork will always be the great equalizer. Here’s how it all broke down…

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH INK #6 (DC)
TEEN TITANS #76 (DC)
DAYS MISSING #3 (ARCHAIA)
DARK REIGN LIST PUNISHER (MARVEL)
UNKNOWN SOLDIER #13 (VERTIGO)
FANTASTIC FOUR #572 (MARVEL)
WOLVERINE WEAPON X #6 (MARVEL)
SECRET WARRIORS #9 (MARVEL)
GREEN LANTERN #47 (DC)
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #3 (MARVEL)
SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN #2 (DC)
NEW AVENGERS #58 (MARVEL)
DETECTIVE COMICS #858 (DC)
DARK REIGN LIST WOLVERINE (MARVEL)
BLACKEST NIGHT #4 (DC)

So J.H. Williams III continues to be the man of many styles, providing a stark artistic contrast between the continuation of the previous story, and the long-awaited secret origin of the girl that ultimately became Batwoman. Which is an important element to finally reveal for the character’s sake, whose initial introduction and subsequent near exile alienated a certain segment of fans, allowing them to believe that all she would ever amount to was a cute gimmick (the lesbian Batman) designed to grab mainstream headlines. Yeah, I know, that assertion all sounds stupid as hell to me too, but there was (and probably still is) some real resistance to even the idea of this character, that has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the actual work being produced.

Detective 858

For instance, I distinctly remember that the last comic shop I went to every week had this dude that would often launch into a passionate rant about why Batwoman clearly didn’t deserve to exist, and how she certainly didn’t deserve a temporary slot in Detective Comics of all things. Even with Williams’ artwork, and the stewardship of accomplished scribe Greg Rucka, he refused to acknowledge this current run of the title, despite being encouraged to at least give one issue an honest shot. Strangest thing I’ve seen in a while really, especially since the last few months have provided a great examination of how and why this character is, in addition to some astoundingly glorious artwork, which finds yet another gear in this current issue. And if that isn’t enough to convince you to buy a comic, you have my sympathies.

Because really, getting some insight into Kate’s motivations, and witnessing the sudden and brutal act of violence that undoubtedly transforms her would be more than enough. But Williams completely changes up his art style to render these all-important flashback sequences, which introduce us to Kate’s twin sister, her mother, and remind us once again that he remains one of the most versatile and talented illustrators in the game. Like we would ever doubt him. Just a fantastic little curveball, and again, it offers an impressive contrast to the scenes that feature Kate playing detective, trying to figure out if Alice could in fact be a twisted version of her supposedly dead sister. Another impressive effort from Rucka and Williams, as Go promises to be even stronger than their initial four-issue arc, and leave no doubt that Kate Kane deserves to stand next to the other members of Batman’s always expanding collective. (by Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III, and Cully Hamner)

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