Runners up of week 29: Walking Dead 87, Daredevil 1, Screamland 2

2. the Walking Dead #87
I’m betting this book will continue to appear as either book of the week or as a runner-up in the feature because it is just so darned good and has been for 87 issues in a row. This issue didn’t have a ton of action and didn’t particularly move the story along, yet it was still very good. I would have given it a solid 8 if it hadn’t been for the great action scenes of Michone chopping up some zombies. This particular series of panels in the middle of the book impressed me once again with how vibrant and dynamic a story-teller Charlie Adlard is in this bleak black and white tale of survival. The way he frames the sequence, the postures of the characters… I don’t know, he just gets across all the excitement of an action scene without the use of colours and that just amazes me. On the writing side, this issue also scores bonus points for the way it depicts the weird space of mind protagonist Rick currently finds himself in. He seems to have come up with a solution on how to keep his little community safe and this has him brightly optimistic for the future, however this issue also shows the guilt that he carries with him for what has happened to his family and what he has done to others…
Art:8.5  Writing:8.5         Overall:8.5  

3. Daredevil #1
This was a fine issue. Great art and decent writing, yet it just didn’t grab me. This new Daredevil series written by Mark Waid and drawn by Paolo Rivera turns Daredevil’s status quo around and shows him as a fun, swashbuckling superhero instead of the over the edge and menacing protector of Hell’s Kitchen, that we have known for the last decade. His sudden change of character is explained well enough: he just can’t deal with all the crap he’s been though, so he puts up the façade of a jovial jokester as a way of escaping. While there is nothing wrong with this new course and I understand the need to do something different with this character, this is just not working for me. This issue was executed flawlessly and had a beautiful backup by Marcos Martin, but I guess I just like my Daredevil gloomy and skulking though alleyways at night, more akin to the Punisher then Spider-man… The only thing I really did like about this issue was the fact that it turned the superhero trope of secret identities on its head: Everybody knows Matt Murdock is Daredevil and confronts him with it, while he politely keeps denying the accusations.
Art:9      Writing:7             Overall:8.3

4. Screamland #2
The series about classic Hollywood horror monsters, slashers, robots, and Starship engineers turned (washed up) actors continues strong.  In this issue the Wolfman and his friend the engineer commence investigations into the murder of the Invisible Man. They have to, because the cops won’t take a phone call about an invisible corpse seriously… And more importantly they want to intercept a sex tape, which the Invisible Man had wanted to screen during a fan convention. The sex tape is a relic from the sixties in which they and other monsters/actors appear prominently… Both the Wolfman and the engineer have their own prime suspects based on their personal experiences in their Hollywood monster community. The sheer bizarreness and quirky humor of this book set it apart from virtually every other title currently being published. The art comes across as an effective blend of Sergio Aragones channeled through a thick layer of Sean Philips. If you like classic horror movies and to poke fun at geek culture, this title might be something to look into.
Art:7.8  Writing:7             Overall:7.4    

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