Thursday, March 6, 2008

Showcase Presents JLA vol. 3, The Complete Nemesis the Warlock vol. 2

Here's how this works: I finish reading something, and I tell you about it, and I try not to bore you to death.

Read this panel, carefully:

The whole book is like this, except the first half is inked really horribly. None of the art is really inspiring or thrilling, but the Sid Greene-inked stuff in the second half at least looks a little vibrant. Utterly nutty, high-concept lunatic stuff with completely bizarre threats, this is incredibly addictive despite Gardner Fox's often by-the-numbers plot beats. Recommended if you like Grant Morrison, because you see a lot of what inspired him here. Not recommended if you don't.

You can't think too hard about the stories in this book; there's an overarching plot about the evil Torquemada being pulled out of history and placed in a time loop which doesn't make any sense whatsoever. You just have to go with the flow and enjoy the characterization, with Torquemada's incredibly nasty villainy, Nemesis's morally ambiguous decisions, and amusing comedy asides from the disgusting Ro-Jaws. As for the artwork, Bryan Talbot is indeed impressive, though I don't like the way he draws Nemesis as so muscular. Kevin O'Neill's freaky, angular anti-hero is the definitive article, but then John Hicklenton shows up. His panel composition is pretty challenging, but it was an incredibly bold move to let him turn the ostensible hero into this weird, curvy, very organic and very alien thing, his torpedo-like nose transformed into a strange snout. The page where Torquemada spits on his sword before chasing down Thoth is just about the most ominous and ugly sight in comics. This also includes the comic/RPG hybrids from the pages of Diceman and the two bizarre fumetti comics from 1987. Recommended.

(Originally posted March 06, 2008 at hipsterdad's LJ.)

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