This week we look at the return to greatness of Swamp Thing, Blair Butler’s debut in the pages of Image’s Heart and how the New Mutants are dealing with Regenesis. All in this little thing I like to call The Comic Roundup.
Swamp Thing #3
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
While I love Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing and do consider it a bench mark of modern comics, I have always thought that Mark Millar’s criminally overlooked run was actually a better read. So when the guy who was doing such great work on Batman was announced as the writer of the newly relaunched title, I went in with an open mind, without the baggage of the Moore era weighing me down.
Pardon a bad pun, but Snyder has really brought Swamp Thing back to his roots. He has created a creepy, old fashioned horror comic, something I thought DC had forgotten how to do. Plus, thanks to the reboot, he can pick and choose what he wants to use of the characters past. The result is a comic that reads like something from Swamp Thing’s heyday but feels fresh and new. Paquette is doing great work on pencils, much better than the work he was doing on Batman Incorporated; a perfect match of artist and character.
Swamp Thing, when paired with the equally good Animal Man, is a throwback to a time when a comic book could actually scare you. All I have to say is it’s about time.
By Blair Butler and Kevin Mellon
Anyone who reads comics has heard of Blair Butler. The geek goddess has long been part of G4’s Attack of the Show, covering all things geeky and doing comic book reviews on Fresh Ink. Hell, she was even on the cover of Booster Gold. So I suppose it was just a matter of time before she decided to break into actual comics as a writer. Heart is her debut effort and, while rough around the edges, is worth a read.
Heart is the story of Oren “Rooster” Redmond and his quest for MMA (mixed martial arts) supremacy. The book is a slice of life tale of a man and his dream and, really, little more than that. The dialogue sounds authentic and the situations are believable. Not being into MMA myself, I couldn’t really relate to some of the characters, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. Mellon’s art has a raw, sketchy quality to it that fits the tone Butler is going for. In another book, it wouldn’t work nearly as well.
There is nothing overly complicated or deep about Heart. It’s a simple story told in a simple style; in a way it reminds me of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve. I guess a first time writer could do a lot worse than that.
New Mutants #33
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and David Lopez
In the wake of Schism, all the X-Men books are getting something of a fresh start with the Regenesis event. It makes for some great jumping on points and I have been taking
full advantage and enjoying it immensely. Abnett and Lanning’s run on New Mutants was a bit disappointing when it began but I decided to give it another look with #33.
The issue is mostly a talking heads story where the characters have to decide what path they will follow; Cyclops or Wolverine. There is a lot of soul searching and not all the members of the team will be staying. Abnett and Lanning work to reintroduce readers to the New Mutants and what their role is in the X-Men universe. The result is an issue that is a bit boring, but readable. Lopez’s art fits that description too; not good, not bad, pretty much average (though he really needs to work on drawing Warlock. He looks really… off)
The issue does what it needs to do; make new readers familiar with the New Mutants. Next month things should start to pick up steam and get more exciting. At least, that’s what I hope will happen. We’ll see.