Some Quick Reviews

I’m working on a series of articles about The Sentry right now that has been taking up the majority of my time. First article is nearly finished, but I ended up getting side tracked by an essay I decided to write about dreams and reality that I’ll probably post on Alpha Primitive in the next few days. I’m hoping to get a Trade Secrets out about the Marvel Knights Sentry run by the end of the weekend, provided that the potential arrival of my books on Friday (crossing my fingers, UPS) doesn’t side track things further. I’ve done a ton of writing in the last week; I just need to finish what I start. I did end up going to the comic shop today and read a few of the books I bought, so it seemed like a good idea to throw up some reviews and keep things rolling.

Fables #77 (****)

Ah, this is more like it. Not sure why Pepoy is inking this one instead of Leialoha (especially considering the cover image I pulled from ComicbookDB lists him instead of Pepoy, but the cover I have on hand is correct), but Buckingham is back and things are moving again. This is part one of The Dark Ages, and it follows multiple story lines dealing with the power vacuum in the Homelands now that the Adversary is no longer in control of things. Much of it concerns two new characters, mercenaries in the land of Tiabrut that are just trying to get on with their lives by killing some folks and earning some money in classic mercenary fashion. We don’t get a lot of heavy character development for these two, but judging from the cliffhanger at the end of the main story, these guys are going to be very important for the continuation of this first new story arc in post-war Fables. Elsewhere we see some second generation Fables demanding to take up arms and claim one of the Homelands for themselves, only to be shot down by Beauty and Beast. This is another thread I expect to pay off later on in the arc, and it might not go by without some violence. Plus, Rose Red is doing something that is not going to be taken very well by anyone who has been reading the series since its inception. In addition to the wicked cliffhanger, we’re treated to a backup story with art by Peter Gross that focuses on how Bigby is handling hid position as the director of the Homeland Recovery program that appears to be a little five issue backup run that one assumes will be printed concurrently with the Dark Ages storyline (and as such, I’m assuming this will be a five issue arc, as there is no mention of a specific number on the title page and I’m too lazy to look up the solicits). This is a classic first issue. Many threads are established (the mercs, the SOS, Rose Red, Bigby, etc.), and they’re all going to pay off and intertwine as we move on. What’s important is these threads are a lot more interesting than what we got in the last issue, and I’m engaged again. What’s more important than that? One thing’s for sure though, I am very glad that I decided to switch to singles on this book.

Superman/Batman #51 & 52 (*****)

I’ve heard so much good about these issues both from folks on this blog and various podcasts, I felt the need to pick them up the next time I ventured to a comic shop. And I did. And I am not disappointed. These issues had the kind of berserk energy that I would expect from a crazy Mxyzptlk story. I do not have a whole lot to say that Billy didn’t cover in both of his reviews; he did an excellent job pointing out all the good that happened in this arc. It’s got that wonderful mix of playfulness, youthful exuberance and bizarre non sequitur, but Green and Johnson are not afraid to undercut everything with what happens once that innocence is lost right in front of your eyes. This is the subject of the second half of the second issue, and the book is completely successful in getting that stomach punch moment as you see these super kids realizing just what death is. It’s a sobering prospect. Not sure what to make of the end. It was certainly apt for the story, but I don’t know if it’s going to have some crazy payoff further down the line. I HIGHLY recommend these issues to anyone. They’re great fun and professionally put together.

5 thoughts on “Some Quick Reviews

  1. Question about Fables 77: did Flycatcher’s presence and presentation throw anybody else off?

    1. He’s supposed to be ruling his kingdom, no?
    2. And Blue’s out of commission, so he couldn’t be back?
    3. And even if he was back, he wouldn’t be in community service gear!
    4. He also seems to have completely lost his “maturity streak” that he’d picked up during that arc.

    The issue was good otherwise… but Fly really seemed out of place.

  2. Keep in mind what happened at the very end of The Good Prince. The last page of issue 69 shows Flycatcher basically sneaking back into Fabletown in his janitorial getup. Grimble asks him what he’s doing and his response was “But sometimes I miss the old days. And this floor really did need a good mopping so…” It seems like this is something he does on a somewhat regular basis. And he does apparently have some way to get in between Haven and Fabletown without the witching cloak, because Bigby mentioned using him for extraction in the backup. It seemed odd at the beginning, but I think it fits.

  3. Flycatcher borrowed some magic from the Witching Cloak during the Good Prince, so that explains how he can travel around while Boy Blue is out of commission (and why Bigby is using Flycatcher as Mowgli’s extraction point guy).

    Also, as Desiato pointed out, we know that he pops into Fabletown every once and a while. My guess is, as much as he liked growing up during the Good Prince, he must also enjoy the simple times when he can be the old, simple Flycatcher.

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