Top Of Pile (the comic that I am looking most forward to reading): Criminal #10 is the conclusion of the second story called Lawless. This was another great chapter and it is easy to see why it won Eisner Awards for Best Writer and Best New Series. This Ed Brubaker guy can put together a pretty good story. The ending of Lawless was not what I was expecting, but that is a good thing. Too often crime stories either end with everybody dead or with an ending that the Comic Code Authority guys would be happy with. I’m happy to say that Lawless ended logically. Unfortunately, the next issue of Criminal won’t be out until February while Sean Philips finishes Marvel Zombies 2. However, I’m not complaining because when it comes back, there will be a longer page count. If you haven’t been reading Criminal, pick up the trade of the first story arc called Coward, which is out now. The Lawless trade should be out in time for Christmas.
Bottom Of Pile (the comic that I have high hopes for and I want to take my time and savor it): There’s something that I want to set straight about this title. The writer is Si Spencer who everyone touts as a writer of the BBC series Torchwood. The only problem is, his story was never actually made for Series One and it doesn’t look like it is on the schedule for Series Two. This is a minor point and doesn’t really affect the quality of Vinyl Underground, but in almost everything that I have read about this series, that fact is thrown out there. There are a few similarities between Torchwood and Vinyl Underground, but nothing that could be considered blatant trademark infringement. The first issue entertained me enough to want to really read the second one. The story that is being told seems like it would be better suited as a BBC show simply because of all the references to music. I like it so far and I will be sticking around for at least the first story arc. This book should be read with some Northern Soul or Stax R&B in the background.
Read Of the Week (The best thing that I read this week): I know that this is supposed to be a superhero comic book, but it reads like a Kung-Fu epic. I wasn’t really into getting this title because as much as I liked the old Power Man/Iron Fist series and the Iron Fist mini by Jurgens and Guice, I was done. I didn’t think that there was anything that could be done with the character that could make him interesting again. I was wrong. I am a big believer that the way to rejuvenate superheroes is to strip away all of complexity and focus on their core. It has worked for Batman (who is more detective than he has been in a long time), Hulk (forget the MPD and spy stuff, once he got back to smashing things he started to regain his popularity) and now it is working with Iron Fist. He’s a Kung Fu guy and he should be doing Kung Fu things. Now that he’s back to doing Kung Fu things, he’s good again. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Matt Fraction and that Ed Brubaker guy writing those Kung Fu things. And David Aja should be the biggest star in comic book art. I never read much by the guy before, but now I’m a fan. The first six issues are collected in a trade called The Last Iron Fist Story, pick it up.