Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wednesday is Geek Mardigras

It's new comic day and the cover of Matt Wagner's Batman and the Monster Men #5 is tasty, pulpy goodness.

I'm sure a lot of people are waiting for trade on this one - I'll probably pick up one as well to have a durable reading copy because this series has been a lot of fun.Wagner seems to have distelled all of his approaches to Batman down to it's purest expression here. His Batman/Grendel books, the LOTD Two-Face story many covers and now this stylized little melodrama of heightened mood and noir darkness set right after Year One.

It took awhile to get the story rolling which might read better in the inevitable trade but it's building to a sweaty adventure serial finale now with mad scientists, monsters, gangsters and doomed love - the relationship sub-plot seems straight out of Mask of the Phantasm so far but I trust Wagner to throw some changes in.

Wagner's art and Dave Stewart's coloring have been darkly luminous from start to finish. It's visually just a beautiful book and one that probably couldn't even have been printed effectively a few years ago. The covers have been, month after month the most eye-grabbing on the stands.

I think this is such a lovely pop artifact as well as being a cracking good Batman story that it's going to be remembered as a high-water mark.

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