WLG #387: "Books That Are Awesome!"

A column article by: Kyle Garret

I generally try to come up with some kind of theme for my contributions to What Look Good, but I'm having a hard time finding one this week, sans "Books That Are Awesome," of course.  So instead of my usual rambling, I'll just jump right into it.

My pick of the week is Doc Bizarre, MD by Joe Casey and Andy Suriano, the same team that brought us Charlatan's Ball.  Casey is one of the few writers whose track record makes anything he produces a must buy.   He may not always hit the target, but he's at least taking the shot.  That is to say, he's trying new things with the medium, and his aim has only gotten better over time.  Doc Bizarre is an original graphic novel, and a hard cover to boot.  It will be interesting to see how well it does; Casey could be one of the few writers with a following loyal enough to buy his work in this more expensive format.

Avengers Academy #22 will be my third issue of this series, and while I can't say I've been blown away, I do see the potential.  I have to wonder how much of a high school environment we're going to see, though.  I loved what Morrison did in New X-Men and preferred that method of teenaged superheroes over the one we usually got in the original New Mutants series.  I can see teens with powers fighting each other in most superhero titles; I want the Marvel universe version of Hogwarts, for lack of a better comparison.

There are at least a couple of teenaged superheroes in the Legion of Superheroes, but I'm not sure who.  I'm guessing it's just the new team members, but DC's post-Flashpoint continuity seems to be all about making characters younger for no real reason (*cough*Batgirl*cough*).  Part of the appeal of the Legion is that they were unfettered by DCU continuity, more or less, and could actually evolve beyond a static brand.  The true marker will be Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl; if they're still married, then not much has really changed.  Then again, I believe the legal age of adulthood on some of the planets in the future is as young as 15, so they could technically be married and teenagers.  Also, this has just made me realize how potentially skeevy the LSH future is.

Wonder Woman #3 marks the longest consecutive run of a WW title that I've read since Greg Rucka wrote her adventures.  I'm really enjoying this series so far, partly because it's embracing who Wonder Woman is.  Batman might be a superhero when he's with the Justice League, but that's no who he is at his core; he's a vigilante, and at least one of his solo books should run with that.  For too long it seems like people have wanted to focus on the superhero part of Wonder Woman, perhaps in an effort to raise her status.  But that's no really who she is at her core.  Embracing the parts of her origin that connect with Greek mythology has made for fantastic reading, and will give Wonder Woman a great angle for those times when she's interacting with the Justice League.

And speaking of which, Justice League #3 arrives basically on time, which I'm sure is a surprise to everyone.  I know this book has gotten a bad rap for being decompressed, and mostly consisting of big, stupid moments.  But you know, every once in a while I just like basking in the glory of a big, bright, superhero book featuring the most iconic characters in the DCU.  Is it complex and meaningful?  Nah, but it's a fun read.

I'm sure you're tired of hearing me beat this drum, but if you do want complex and meaningful, look no farther than I, Vampire.  It's a love story, yes, but it's a love story about two people who are out to destroy each other and, in the process, a whole bunch of other humans and vampires (and who knows what else).  This series seems to be targeting massive death and destruction, which is the perfect undercurrent for this love affair gone bad.  At the moment, it's a pretty straight forward story, as far as plot complications are concerned, but I expect writer Joshua Hale Fialkov to start adding layers to it, the way he's added layers to the love story.  This is a great title in need of more readers, so give it a shot.  It's also great example of the kind of book that the Big Two should be doing more of.

A bit DC heavy this week, but I'm forking over nearly twenty bucks to Image for Doc Bizarre, MD, so I think they appear to be the big winner this week.

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