This weekend’s comic book reading

This weekend, I’ve been reading random stuff on Comixology. Mostly stuff I got for free some time ago, and never got around to reading.

A bunch of the stuff I read would fall into the “chaff” category, but a few things might qualify as “wheat,” or were at least interesting enough for me to look into maybe reading more.

I enjoyed Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1, by Brandon Graham. It was a weird story, with very imaginative art. It reminded me a bit of some of Paul Pope’s work. There’s a good review of it on CBR.

I also enjoyed Elephantmen #1. I may buy more of that series on Comixology, since it’s currently on sale. When this series (and the related “Hip Flask”) first came out, I avoided them, thinking that they were probably just a gimmick, and not really something that would have any substance. This issue, though, was actually quite engaging. It introduces the (somewhat monstrous) main character and his world and history via the trope of having him engage in a conversation with an innocent little girl. (I’m calling this a trope, since I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it used before, but I can’t remember specifically where.) It’s done effectively, with nice art and good storytelling.

I also read a number of the free Marvel #1s that they gave away as part of a promotion some time ago. Today, I read through a bunch of Ultimate Universe stuff. Some of it was pretty good, and some of it I’d read before, in TPB format. Nothing in particular stood out enough for me to want to buy any back issues or new TPBs though. The last thing I read was the first issue of Ultimatum. I was curious about it, as it was a really big event, basically doing a “reset” on the Ultimate Universe, if I understand correctly. The first issue was interesting, with some really nice art from David Finch, but when I sought out reviews of the series, I decided that I definitely didn’t want to buy the rest of it. The reviews were almost universally bad, with Comics Alliance putting it in the “Worst of the Worst” category, and a couple of bloggers (here and here) writing interesting but not exactly positive reviews. So, in a nutshell, it really doesn’t sound like the kind of thing I’d enjoy.

In general, lately, when I dip my toes into any recent Marvel or DC stuff, I’m usually not finding it to be terribly interesting. I’ve stumbled on some good independent stuff though, like the Brandon Graham and Elephantmen stuff.

[Edit: When I was trying to remember an example of the “monster and innocent little girl” trope, clearly I was thinking about Frankenstein. Or maybe Young Frankenstein. Though in this case, the girl doesn’t get thrown in a pond. Or launched through a window.]

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