This week marked the sixth issue of the Red Lanterns debut run, and issue number six dredges through the plot just as slowly as the first five. Overall, the Red Lanterns premise seems promising and full of potential, but thus far the execution has been slow to fruition. Readers following the rage of the Red Lantern Corps should be privy to gruesome action scenes filled with blood, gore, and revenge as they tromp across the universe, yet it seems as if the Red Lanterns prefer to hangout on Ysmault to converse about mutiny and conspiracy.
There’s a lot going on in the wonderfully busy Justice League Dark. Rather than going for the slow-burn that Johns took in Justice League a few weeks back, Peter Milligan has introduced us to all the books major players, set up a major bad guy, and raised the stakes considerably. Milligan has an uphill battle to fight with this book, dealing as it does with characters even casual fans will have never heard of, but for the most part he has crafted a confident, unsettling debut that, unlike most books of the relaunch, might actually move a bit too quickly.
Hey all – hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend, at least, those of you who celebrated it! I know you were simply bereft without the read/RANT updates, but we’re all back for now, and just in time for some of this week’s highly anticipated releases. Before then, however, there are a few issues left to cover from last week.
For instance… Peter Milligan’s new Vertigo book, Greek Street. I have to say, I love Vertigo. While prices continue to rise to unreasonable levels elsewhere, Vertigo has actually instituted a new policy, one that we first saw a couple months back with Carey’s The Unwritten #1 – the opening issue of Greek Street has 30 pages of story, and only costs $1. That alone should suggest that you have little reason not to give it a shot. So, how does it hold up?
Greek Street appears to be a mash-up of mythology transplanted into modern times as supernatural crime fiction. The idea is hardly original, but as has been said, it’s not the idea that matters, but the execution. Milligan’s first issue, despite being extra-large, actually accomplishes very little in and of itself. That said, it has a great deal of potential – though the first issue is almost entirely set-up, it tosses multiple possible storylines in the air, mixing mythological elements from a variety of stories together with glee and in such a manner to suggest that this book could grow in any number of directions.
Gianfelice does a great job with art, as he generally does. His art is dark and expressive, suiting Milligan’s story quite well. It doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the most common look of recent Vertigo books… but they generally look quite good, so unless you tend to be dissatisfied with the way the art is trending for Vertigo, you’ll find Gianfelice quite adept at illustrating a variety of rather disturbing scenes for the book.
As a single issue, Greek Street #1 failed to wow me. That said, there’s a lot it does right that suggests a bright future in trade sales. Rather than simply retelling myths we all know, Milligan & Gianfelice seem content to take the tone and idea, the heart of the story, which makes it feel more dynamic. Greek Street #1 is a dark book that nonetheless remains a relatively enjoyable read. Far from the best Vertigo has to offer, it remains a competent horror comic with a well-done mythological slant.
– Cal Cleary
“Forgettable and useless.” Sounds harsh, but that’s the name of the game. I’m a Matt Fraction completionist, so that’s why I bought it. I’ll never read it again and I’ll forget about it in a month or so. It’s basically an advertisement for titles like Uncanny X-Men and Thor.
Now, does that mean that what is here is terrible? No. Marvel must have told the creators involved to write about whatever the hell they wanted. The five stories break down like this:
Doom wants to kill everybody.
A deeper look at Emma Frost (The Fraction tale, and probably my favorite).
The Hood is keeping a secret.
Namor is Solomon-esque.
Loki is trying to move in with Doom (That’s old news).
I’d only recommend this to hardcore fans of the creators or characters involved.