Wednesday's New Things: South of the Border

1) For most of the summer, I've been working my way through Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez's Love and Rockets stories. Although I approached the project with what I thought were fresh eyes, it turns out that I had read Heartbreak Soup before and, apparently, forgotten about it; after my rereading, my forgetfulness is clearly insane. I like Jamie's work a lot, but its spiky, sometimes caustic, whereas Beto's work, even when it's violent, is sweet, tender (I think that the may read different because of how the two comicsmiths structure their stories, Jamie like a serial, Gilbert more episodically). While the Maggie and Hopey stories are probably more interesting, I think I like Heartbreak Soup just a little bit more, maybe because it leaves room for the possibility of books like The Children of Palomar. The book, which features stories set in the early days of the little Central American town, promises mystery and a little bit of magic, something Jamie, Maggie and Hopey left behind in their own younger days. 

2) Seriously, how great is it that 100 Bullets is back? It's been a long time since the first or second best crime book of this era ended its run.  I read this mini's first issue when it came out a couple of months ago, and it was sort of like going home; everything that made the original series great, Risso's brutal art, Azzarello's twisted mind, was there for the taking. This, in spite of the fact that, so many years on, so many comic books later, I could barely remember who Lono was, why I cared about him. I suppose it doesn't really matter, since these two are so good that the book works in context or out of it. I just wonder if it wouldn't have been more interesting, and more effective, if they tried it with some new characters.

3) While I'm playing Wednesday morning quarterback, doesn't Marvel's Nova series seem like a missed opportunity? I know that the premise has shades of Younger Avengers, but I think that there could be some good stuff here, a chance to do a fun book with good art that's appealing for a bunch of age groups, like Thor: The Mighty Avenger but in continuity. The preview, featuring the new creative team of Zeb Wells and Paco Medina is fine, but it seems a little bit rote. Nova's inexperienced! Doc Spidey is a jerk! Yawn. Look, Nova's a kid-- send him into space, make me worry about him, about what it means to be a kid with a super powered helmet. Next month's issue looks promising; let's see how it goes.
4) Joy Division? Aztecs? Time travel? What could be bad? I bought the first issue of this when it came out a couple of years ago, but I had to do it online and, as the issues came out inconsistently, I basically lost track of it after that. I think I'll probably pick up this hardcover, or at least the trade when it comes out-- Sam Humprhies had some crazy stuff up his sleeve for this one, I bet. Some preview pages here.

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