Sunday, July 20, 2008

Green Lantern and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

Here's how this works: I finish reading something, and I tell you about it, and I try not to bore you to death. This time, reviews of Showcase Presents Green Lantern vol. 3 (DC, 2008) and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service vol. 6 (Dark Horse, 2008).

Amusingly, this bunch of mid-60s Green Lantern adventures sees the book picking up an influence from the Batman TV series. There's a greater emphasis on real-world fisticuffs and recurring villains and a new job for Hal Jordan driving around the Pacific Northwest as an insurance investigator, not to mention two episodes that reference a popular TV series that everybody watches. One is a Green Lantern action series and one is about a criminal called the Dazzler who escapes each week to fight again another day. However, reflecting the naive innocence of the New Yorkers producing these comics, plot points in each hinge on the incredibly unlikely notion that these programs are transmitted live, which was pretty unlikely in 1966! The biggest selling point is that you get some of the earliest examples of Gil Kane inking himself, and damn, those pages look good. Recommended for readers who enjoy the Showcase Batman books.

Admittedly, it's part of the horror genre's rules that the plot is more important than the hapless people to whom the plot actually happens, but I've been chugging along with this series, enjoying the heck out of how morbid and surprising it can get, but I could not tell you the name of any one of the protagonists. On character kind of dominates the storylines, but there's a sense of anonymity and dullness about the five protagonists that occasionally grates. I can't give it an unqualified thumbs-up on that note alone, but this volume is actually more entertaining than the others, because after four of the usual 30-page episodes (it apparently appears first in a monthly, rather than weekly, anthology), the setting shifts back to the early 1900s for a completely bizarre and grisly adventure starring an amateur detective called Kunio Matsuoka. Hang the tales from the present day, I wanna see more of this guy!

(Originally posted July 20, 2008 at hipsterdad's LJ.)

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