Friday, April 01, 2005

Best of March

In this post I'm reprinting reviews of items for which I gave a rating of 4 or better in the month of March:

Concrete: The Human Dilema #2
by Paul Chadwick
While the first issue of this new Concrete was a welcome return to the series, this second issue is a welcome move forward. Chadwick crafts an emotional look at life, death, sex and desire in compelling and thought-provoking ways. While Larry and Astra discuss find that they may not be on the same page when it comes to a future life together, a traumatic event provokes Maurene and Concrete to attempt to move their relationship forward. The real kicker comes near the end, as Concrete's sublimation of the pleasures of the flesh find him tempted by the pleasures of the mind. Chadwick's art matches his story perfectly, full of detail, emotion and desire. This, kids, is how you do comics.
Rating: 4 (of 5)

Street Angel #5
by Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca
In this final (for now) issue of Street Angel, Jesse finds herself teamed up with one-time superhero Afrodisiac, under siege from an army of gun-toting thugs intent on killing them. As our hero's situation grows grim, we learn Afrodisiac's backstory in grey-toned comic panels made to appear as though they are from the 70s and 80s. This issue brims with innovating storytelling, including a dense, frenetic two-page spread near the end where Jesse brutally takes out the thug army. Every issue of Street Angel was different from the others, but it maintained a unique vision throughout and each issue wa a treat. Though the series is done for now, I hope that Street Angel is able to return soon.
Rating: 4 (of 5)

Gotham Central #29
by Greg Rucka, Stefano Gaudiano & Kano
With Promethea officially over, Gotham Central now stands alone as my favorite ongoing title from DC. After the devastating events of last issue resulted in a cop falling prey to an old trap set by Flash foe Dr. Alchemy, Detectives Montoya and Allen travel to Keystone City to see if they can bargain with the incarcerated Alchemy to save the officer's life. Supporting characters from The Flash make an appearance, allowing a compare-and-contrast between the police departments of two cities plagued by very different types of costumed villains. There's genuine drama in Rucka's story: will the detectives be able to save the officer, and in so doing will Montoya regain the respect of the cops in the GCPD? Kano steps in to provide inks over Gaudiano's pencils, smoothing out some of the rougher edges and making for a very attractive book. I still miss Michael Lark, but with Kano tapped to become the new regular artist I think this book will continue to be an excellent marriage of story and art. Now if only sales were better...
Rating: 4 (of 5)

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