Underground Film Journal

Comic Reviews


JLA: New World Order

I previously read and reviewed Morrison’s JLA: Rock of Ages, which collected issues 10-15 of the original series, while New World Order here is the first four issues, which was a revamp of the previously titled Justice League America.

The Magic Whistle #10

It wasn’t my first thought, but I eventually came to wonder if somebody on that bus saw what I did and said: “What kind of retard needs a bookmark to read a comic about a man eating another man’s ass?”

The Invisibles: Apocalipstick

Since Morrison otherwise works on characters and material he has no final control over, The Invisibles is his chance to explore a world entirely of his own creations. Thus he fills the comic with all kinds of outlandish ideas, but at the same time Apocalipstick reads more like a collection of short semi-connected stories than a full cohesive package.

Fantastic Four: 1 2 3 4

After moderately enjoying two of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man books and one of his slim JLA collections, I was very interested in getting into this book since it was the first all-in-one collection of Morrison’s on my library tour of his work.

Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina

I guess I don’t understand the economics of the comic book industry that it can’t make an affordable collection of a 26-issue comic series, which is the number of issues Morrison worked on Animal Man. So instead of an all-in-one volume, Animal Man is broken up into three separate collections.

Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature

However, author Charles Hatfield is looking to the future a bit differently with his scholarly Alternative Comics through which he hopes to legitimize comics’ past as a valid form of literary study. He states several times that his book is not the end-all and be-all of all independent comics study, but will hopefully successfully launch a wave of literary criticism in comics the way books without pictures have been studied.

JLA: Rock of Ages

Even though JLA: Rock of Ages takes place within regular DC “continuity”–originally published in serial comics from in 1997-98–it’s as bizarre and foreign to someone who read DC comics as a teenager and picked this book up twenty years later.

Animal Man Vol. 1

Animal Man #6-9 gets unfortunately bogged down by some moronic DC company-wide crossover event called “Invasion” that absolutely ruins Morrison’s otherwise stellar story pacing and character development. It’s idiotic so-called “events” like this that have been dragging down the American superhero comic market, a strategy that makes me almost not recommend an otherwise stellar comic collection.

The Contract With God Trilogy

Contract sets the tone of the entire trilogy by being terribly bleak and heartbreaking, made even sadder by Eisner’s tragic revelation in the introduction about what inspired him to write this tale. There are flashes of hope in the rest of the trilogy, but the overall theme seems to be that life is a series of tragedies that must be persevered through.

The Comics Journal Library 6: The Writers

The Writers collects interviews from The Comics Journal magazine–the premiere magazine for intellectual comic book dissection–conducted with the most influential comic writers from the second era (along with an exhaustive chat with celebrated author Harlan Ellison, who has always maintained a close relationship with comics even though he’s only written minimally for them).