Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Science Fiction Double Feature

MYSTERY IN SPACE with Captain Comet and The Weird (DC)
Written by Jim Starlin; Art by Shane Davis and Matt "Batt" Banning and Starlin and Al Milgrom

Updated Captain Comet is kinda cute. Updated attitude still rings of the 50s. And Davis' art is Blade Runner given the Lucas Film attention to detail. Not too shiny though which is good, the roughness of the pencilling, the quick strokes, is half the punchline. The rest is Starlin's quirky pulp sci-fic with battling telepaths, meta blackmarket and a talking dog (one can never go wrong with a talking dog). One third of the book is devoted to The Weird, which is almost Morrisson like in acidic wordplay, but with the hysterical giggles. Now on its third issue, it's as absorbing as ever. Cliffhangers are a dusty trick but it still works when orchestrated with just the right amount of silliness.****

TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED featuring The Spectre and Dr. Thirteen (DC)
Written by David Lapham and Brian Azzarello; Art by Eric Battle and Prentis Rollins and Cliff Chiang; Cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta

Nevermind Donner. Now, this is a super team. Lapham and Azzarello may not be working on the same story, but as writers for 2 silver age characters under one book is, well, orgasmic. For this boy anyway. The Spectre's new host is detective Crispus Allen and Lapham and Battle's generously brutal CSI noir is Vertigo worthy. Brooding but still insanely fun.

Last seen dating Zatanna, Doctor Thirteen is back from the dead. Infinite crisis and all, wink-wink. The doc is still at it, his ghostbusting gig now focused on hunting down vampires and co. with his daughter Traci (who the doctor has been dreaming of and not in a fatherly way). Not much of a story here but Azzarello has more than enough quirky characterization to spare. It is a solid read, with as much as Captain Comet's old world charm. ****

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