Friday, May 27, 2005


Just about anybody who's reading comics these days knows Brian Michael Bendis is writing some incredible stuff. His pen has been all over Spider-man, the New Avengers and Daredevil. I highly recommend picking up the latter. I just got part three in his newest storyline: Decalogue. The superhero is rarely even drawn in a single panel. The story is about a group of citizens from Hell's Kitchen who are holding a meeting in a church conference room--almost like an AA meeting--to discuss how Daredevil has affected their lives. Thus, although Daredevil is "absent" from the books, he is the central figure throughout. One story is about a man who is the son of an imprisoned hit-man, a bomber for hire who once planted a bomb to try and kill Matt Murdock. The father passes on a mission to his son, a hit on Murdock's best friend, Foggy. I won't tell you what happens, but the story is about an ordinary guy who has to choose between salvaging a relationship with his father and doing the "right" thing. Each chapter has brought in some sort of conflict which is grounded in a more realistic style than we see in most books. That's not to say there aren't supernatural elements--there are--but the stories are told from the point of view of humans, not super-humans (similar to Alex Ross' Marvels).

Another book worth checking out is the Ultimates: Galactus Nightmare, the first in trio of books about the coming of Galactus. This is not the David and Goliath story of yore where a big guy in a purple suit gets appeased by Reed Richards. This is some bleak, scary stuff. Here's a glimpse: long, long ago the Russians found an alien guy who came to warn us of impending doom. Did they listen? Hell, no. InsteaD, they dissected him and stuck his parts on soldiers, turning them into superfreaks. Then they buried them in a bunker when funds for the program ran out--where they stayed (along with the alien, still alive even after all the salvaging of his parts). The alien (what's left of him) sends out a message, cuz evidently the time of Galactus' arrival is imminent. The Ultimates send a team to investigate. The X-men send a team to investigate. And they have to battle through a nightmarish dungeon of crazy-ass Russian mutants. Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, is introduced and his character rocks. He is a techno-whiz (he creates his wings), and we get to see his first meeting with Captain America, Sgt Fury and teh Black Widow. The writing here was fun--and maybe even ground-breaking. I realized that this is the first time I've EVER seen a major comic book scene in which the black guy was clearly the smartest one on the team--and that detail was amplified by the way Captain America bows to Wilson's mental prowess. I'll say no more except that the alien turns out to be a major character from the old Avengers. It's a smart way to introduce him.


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