Stackology- 3.31.10

Another tiny week, and yet here I am with another handful of great scenes to discuss. Also, great to see IDW now listed up front in Previews next to the other Premier Publishers—congrats to their management and editorial teams. Certainly a well-deserved development, great for the industry going forward, and I hope they get a big sales boost across their entire line as a result. That’s my random thought of the week, so let’s get on to business…

AIR #19

#1- Lot of good stuff as Dry Season concludes, but the clear highlight is when Moses explains to young Paul that they can’t travel together any longer, that the road ahead is just too dangerous for him—that Batman needs to work alone, essentially. For a while it looked as if Paul would be the first young soldier drafted into Moses’ army, but the bandaged doctor makes a strong and well-reasoned case they should now go their separate ways, especially after what he’s just discovered about himself. But to frame Moses’ upcoming mission as a way of securing Paul, and other young men like him a viable future was a great and nuanced touch as the series heads into its next arc. (Unknown Soldier #18)

#2- This will likely sound a little weird, but I thought the torture scene in The Question back-up was particularly well handled. Torture is one of those strange things in fiction, as it seems to be an inevitable component of a lot of adventure, espionage, and superhero stories, but can quite easily come across as overly exploitative, or as violence for violence’s sake, especially when it involves female characters. But Rucka does it in a cool way (if such a thing could ever be considered cool) where the sequence is horrifying, but it happens because it’s a natural turn in the story, not because it’s a convenient excuse to have Renee and Helena slowly taken apart while we watch. It happens, and it’s horrible, but then it’s over. The torturers also happen to be female, which I’m sure was intentional and does really minimize any misogynistic vibes that could have been an issue otherwise. And the more civilized “interrogation” that occurs afterwards is great as well, a group of strong female characters verbally sparring and then coming to a mutual understanding. One that ultimately leads to Vandal Savage. (Detective Comics #863)

#3- So here we go, ladies and gents—the climatic moment so big that it could only fit on a couple glorious fold-out pages. I mean, you knew that with all the dead characters flying around the DCU these last several months that some of them would end up restored to prominence when the smoke cleared, but even knowing all that…what true fanboy can be anything but excited following the big reveal? Perhaps they’ve gone completely overboard with this hail mary of comic book resurrections, but it sure looks great (as does everything in this issue) and comes at exactly the right time during the final throw down, which is already packed with great imagery and great lines. An exciting end to an exciting event series, and I look forward to the LIVE spread becoming a really nice poster soon. Also very cool that now (maybe) dead equals dead in the DC universe. Bring on the brightest day. (Blackest Night #8)

Also read: Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Vol. 3, Kraven’s First Hunt, New Ways to Die, Crime and Punisher…


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