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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Spirit and Criminal

Ok. So I have been enjoying Mr. Cooke's newest iteration of The Spirit up until the last few issues. Let's talk about this, shall we?

First three issues? Great, great stuff. Last three issues, not so much. # 4 wasn't all that horrible, but 5 & 6? Pure crap. Blue? Spirit Beans? After reading both issues last night, I was curious exactly how much of those stories were reworked versions of Eisner's source material. This early in the game, I am quite sure that they are just that. Are the originals that bad as well?

And Mr. Cooke's art doesn't have the same Pop! for me that it did in New Frontier. Maybe when he is walking the super hero beat, the work shines. Cooke's semi-urban gritty pulp noir stuff doesn't seem to sit too well in my aesthetic nether-regions. Same can be said for his work on Batman Ego. Cooke can still draw himself some pretty girls, though. However, 6 issues in and I am dropping it. To see such a decline in quality does amuse me at all.

I also got a chance to read Brubaker and Phillip's Coward trade for their Criminal Series. I bought the first issue then decided on waiting for the trade. Its good, but its not amazing. Thinking back to their Sleeper work, it took a couple rereads for me to really enjoy it. Criminal works well, but I feel like maybe my standards were set a little high. Then again, this is the first arc which are notorious for lagging a bit. Reviews of issue 6 have been good and I figure now is a good time to give the single issues another shot and see how it goes from there, because, well......its god damn Bru and Phillips!


Jason said...

I would stick one more issue on The Spirit since Cooke sits the next one out and has some fun-looking short stories. That said, I still haven't picked up my comics from last week, but #5 was pretty dissappointing (what, with the bird-fucking and all). Hopefully the month off recharges Cooke's batteries.

As for Criminal, I think it read a lot better as a monthly. Also, the backmatter essays were very good, I doubt they were reprinted for trade though. There was a great discussion of noir movies that led to a very dark period in my Netflix queue. I'm going to stick with the monthly and wait to find the trade dirt-cheap.

Spencer Carnage said...

The info dumps in the back of the single issues is what entices me to go monthly because they are not in the trade. However, as easily as I can get into some good movie stuff, I can just as easily gloss over all of that depending my patience and mood. Especially if the story reads better as one big piece of fiction instead of little bits here and there.

And I didn't know about Cooke taking time off. I can give that a try. But dude, issue 6.......it doesn't get any better.