Schachat's Occasional Breakdown
Schachat will rise again as long as people tell
of Fables #4 did something I’d been
waiting for. It finally hit that point where I forgot to
look at the cover and said to myself “Damn this is
good. Well, of course. It’s Fables.”
most people, the first issue didn’t get me over the
fact that Jack’s character arc had effectively ended
when he became the richest and most powerful Fable that
ever was. Even when he lost most of that fortune and found
himself permanently exiled from Fabletown, he was still
too well off. Even when he got thrown into a sort of Fable
penitentiary. Yes, even when it started to look like Bill
Willingham had done the oh-so brilliant move of blending
Fables with The Prisoner.
But this jailbreak
is both classic Willingham and classic Jack.
Using the Fairies
to lure out the Village’s Doubling Rooks (think “What
If Multiple Man Were a Raven...”), Jack has them call
every bird in the forest to join the party. Wouldn’t
you know it, the Rooks then gorge on the Mundy birds, continuing
to double until they fill the sky and effectively nullify
The Page sisters
scramble to get everything under control, releasing Bagmen
and Tigers by the dozen, but the chaos only grows as their
malevolent charges go berserk midst all the calamity. One
of the big cats eats Toto, Lilliputians are trampled in
scores, and Jack finds himself face to face with one of
the undefeatable jailers.
One of the great
moments here is when Mr. Revise becomes more upset by the
death of Fables than their escape attempt. Not because he
feels any empathy, though. He just knows any reasonably
popular Fable will inevitably be recreated somewhere in
the world, and that makes them harder to track down and
the jailbreak be a success? After all the work that went
into establishing Golden Boughs Retirement Village, it seems
that Jack is doomed to fail on his first attempt. Of course,
this is Jack of Fables, so the creators can pretty
much plunk him wherever they want. And that tension is what
gives this series legs.
right, I need to admit something: I reviewed Lady
Death vs. War Angel #1 just because I needed
something to bash. True, having a book where one of the
characters has nipple hooks on her costume might be considered
a counterbalance to Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
(more on that later), but let’s be honest: I knew
this book was idiotic the moment I saw the cover.
buying it for the articles.
Now, to keep
the message clear, it’s not the insanely voluptuous
women mudwrestling in string bikinis that I object to. I
can appreciate the cleavage, butt cleavage, and apparent
need for supernatural warriors to get regular Brazilian
wax jobs. It’s not the “what” but the
“how” that sinks this book.
War Angel rants about how she’s going to take revenge
on Lady Death. Then we see Lady Death arm-wrestling in a
bar. Then War Angel appears. They fight.
linearity of the story is downright toxic. You’ll
find more plot in this week’s Garfield. All
the dialogue is dull exposition and name-calling. It almost
defies belief that someone could call this a story.
face it, this comic was made so people could see impossibly
hot chicks fighting. It falls into that weird area between
action comics and soft porn. The kind of thing it’s
completely legal to sell to teenage boys, yet you can’t
deny the overt sexuality.
if you want to see some T&A, Lady Death is still the
girl for you. Like the statuette of her that graced the
counter of the comic store I used to work at, it’s
just something to make horny adolescent eyes bug out. If
you actually want story/character/thrills/laughs, please,
for the love of all things holy, buy something else.
number of “Do not read this book”, “Worst...
comic... ever.”, and “It’s just awful”
comments stood between me and Nextwave: Agents
of H.A.T.E. #9. Trusted friends and strangers
alike warned me off of this series like it was going to
give me a terminal cancerous STD.
finally sitting down to read Nextwave for myself, I realized
I know something they didn’t. You see, I’d read
Transmetropolitan. I’d seen the manic, bloodthirsty
side of Warren Ellis. Well, the OTHER manic, bloodthirsty
side. The one with little conscience and no decency.
who’s writing this book.
the story that tells us after Captain America came into
being, he had to take a leak, allowing a Nazi agent to collect
the “drained” Super-Soldier serum he left behind
to make another Captain... whatever. This is where we find
out that some hillbilly was sniffing gasoline at the place
Hulk was created – but it was GAMMA-IRRADIATED gas,
so now he can do... stuff. This is the comic where the American
government actually gets duped into sponsoring terrorist
attacks on their own cities.
After the Nextwave
team is tricked into finding the location of S.I.L.E.N.T.’s
headquarters, they realize the whole thing is an elaborate
setup. Just before the upside-down floating castle appears
overhead and dumps a few more groups of terrorist-funded
Supergroups on top of them.
To be completely
fair to detractors, this isn’t the most exciting issue
one could hope for. In place of Dirk Anger’s bizarre
rantings, we get Tabby realizing there’s such a thing
as French-Canadians. By making every panel of the floating
castle upside down, we get some good chuckles but lose others
as we twist our necks around to get a good look at the ringleaders
of S.I.L.E.N.T. And there aren’t nearly enough explosions.
but not as meaty as their fight with Fin Fang Foom. Maybe
some of that comes from how played out using knock-off characters
as villains is (What’s it been? 30 years without a
break?), but it could also be due to the amount of blocking
done in this issue. Now that all the players are on stage,
the show can start. Next issue.
2: Planetary #26, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #11...
3: Superman/Batman Annual #1, Ultimate Spider-Man #101...