Phil's Reviews — Stuff I Bought #4

Usagi Yojimbo #100 — Creators: um, see below… … because it’s a jam issue, one of those anniversary-issues-as-roasts with rotating art teams, some expected (Sergio Aragones; Mark Evanier/Scott Shaw; Jeff Smith) and some not (Diana Schutz/Matt Wagner; Jamie Rich/Andi Watson; Guy Davis; Frank Miller). Why are all those creators involved with this issue? Because Stan Sakai has crafted a huge body of great comics storytelling since the early ’80s, always there (160 issues+) and always worth reading, and all those people know it. This is probably not the place to jump on for new readers, but seriously: if you like … Continue reading

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Phil's Reviews — Stuff I Read and Put Back #4

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #7 (of 8) — Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art: Daniel Acuna The Celestial-style antogonists here seemed a little…Morrisonesque, and sure enough, at the end of the credits there’s a note: “Based on ideas and concepts developed by Grant Morrison.” Otherwise, it’s pretty to look at, and there are a ton of powered-up characters running around bouncing off of one another, but it’s also one of those “If this is taking place in the DC Universe, where are all the big guns?” plots that makes no sense. (This isn’t helped when those big … Continue reading

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Phil's Reviews — Stuff I Bought #3

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #2 — Writer: Darwyn Cooke; Pencils: Darwyn Cooke; Inks: J. Bone What’s most interesting about this is that it’s not a pastiche, or a tribute; Cooke tells the story in his own way. There’s no bending over backwards to get in stereotypically Eisneresque angles and compositions — it’s mostly variations on the three-tier page, with two or three panels per tier (the first page of the book is a classic nine-panel grid, in fact). The one time Cooke does let loose, with a two-page splash, the effect is explosive. And yet, it feels like a Spirit … Continue reading

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Phil's Reviews — Stuff I Bought #2

Punisher #43 — Writer: Garth Ennis; Penciller: Lan Medina; Inker: Bill Reinhold Ennis owns the Punisher; the character plays to his strengths, and just about everything he’s done with him (the last two arcs, the Barracuda one and the Afghanistan one, for example) has been dependably nasty, noirish fun. This new story begins as the wives of some of the mob guys/thugs that Castle has killed get together to plot revenge, promising some ironic echoes involving families destroyed by violence. There’s an off-putting line of dialogue from one of the female characters, who’s black, that made me wince — it’s … Continue reading

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