Wednesday Reactions: July 10, 2009

B.P.R.D. 1947 #1“No. Not unless they’re librarians with machine guns. These men have seen combat… They’ll do.”
–Professor Bruttenholm, B.P.R.D.: 1947 #1

My local shop was fresh out of DC’s new Wednesday Comics #1 this week, which I was quite looking forward to. I did grab five other books off the rack, however. For the record, I’m mostly indiscriminate when it comes to buying books the week they come out these days. In the order I read them:

B.P.R.D.: 1947 #1 (Dark Horse)
Written by Mike Mignola & Joshua Dysart
Artwork by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá

BUY IT: There’s artwork that doesn’t work in comics, artwork that passes, and then there’s this Brazilian duo who just force you to believe their stories couldn’t be drawn any other way. I can’t say enough for how much I enjoy artists who give people unique physicalities in their illustrations and still manage to keep shapes defined and movement effortless.

Batman and Robin # 2 (DC)
Written by Grant Morrison
Artwork by Frank Quitely

BUY IT: Morrison and Quitely, along with Adrian Tomine are uniquely responsible for bringing me back into comics following an extended hiatus. Their New X-Men run (immaculately overseen by then-editor Mark Powers) is still one my favorite reads to return to at any given moment. The new issue of Batman and Robin talks about torture, defines what loose cannon Damien is, and pried my eyeballs wide open at the end in anticipation of the third issue.

Green Lantern #43 (DC)
Written by Geoff Johns
Artwork by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy

BUY IT: This is one of the most satisfying self-contained issues I’ve read in a long time, which is a strong statement since it’s leading in to “Blackest Night.” Mahnke’s art has reached a new plateau as well. There were a few pages where I found myself blinking, thinking I was looking at Darick Robertson art.

Viking #1 (Image)
Written by Ivan Brandon
Artwork by Nic Klein

I COULD GO EITHER WAY: There’s a design fetishist in me who almost appreciated this book as a total object more than I gravitated to the story or artwork individually when I finished reading this. I love Vikings, and I really dig how Klein’s style is able to modulate between scenes. There’s a high concept at work overall that rated favorably with me, but the stiff, stony faces kept me at arms length from the characters, and even when the dialogue was strongest the sequences still felt like rushed summaries of an extended sequence. It was enough to get me to buy issue #2 though.

Viking #2 (Image)
Written by Ivan Brandon
Artwork by Nic Klein

IF ’30 DAYS OF NIGHT’ MASHED UP WITH ‘PRINCE VALIANT’ FLOATS YOUR BOAT, BUY IT: As great as some pages are in this series so far, some if the art-style change-ups felt arbitrary in the first issue, and the decisions in the second definitely comes off more convincingly intentional. This book didn’t get me excited, but I didn’t regret picking up two issues of it. It’s got a very classic feel to it; I just don’t know if I’m sold on recommending it carte blanche yet. I’m just waiting for the moment the series does something to really set it apart from past reads, and I think it may do it yet.

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