High Hopes Looking For The Best Comics This Year?

Can Ellis stay true to the spirit of the X-Men (spiritus-superior?) while bringing in elements of his irreverent humour?

Tomorrow is a big day for your pull lists. Two of the biggest names doing erm, well, two of the biggest names.

Warren Ellis takes on the X-Men in the newest incarnation of the Astonishing X-Men, presumably set after all the Second Coming event has come to a conclusion. I like Ellis’ writing, and if he can stay true to the spirit of the X-Men (spiritus-superior?) while bringing in elements of his irreverent humour then this should be a grand ride.

In the meantime, Bruce Wayne works his way back to the future from prehistoric times at the hands of Grant Morrison. Considering that we are promised a Puritan Batman and a Pirate Batman, I’m wondering which direction Grant will take with this title. Emotionally charged stories with a touch of surrealism? Or will his love of the sixties kitsch of comics shine through?

With Final Crisis, Grant showed his love for the more forgotten institutions of DC, with a vast arrange of Kirby legacies both from the New Gods and from Kamandi. (On that note, where is the Kamandi ongoing that was intimated?)

The Tiger-men, Caesar, not withstanding the plague that swept New Earth 51 . I think I got the number right, but then wasn’t it the second time that earth had been destroyed in Countdown? The story was so convoluted that even I lose track now.

Then again, who could forget the reprise of Jimmy Olsen, as Giant-Turtle Boy. Versus Darkseid no less! How cool was that?

Still, if you really want to see Grant’s love of comics history, then you only have to read four issues (the conclusion of his run on Animal Man not-withstanding), and that is of the classic Flex Mentallo mini-series. A presumptuous meta-fiction with many levels of ‘reality’, you could simply feel yourself there with Wallace (or more to the point, teenage Grant himself), devouring comic after comic. The whole series made me remember my first fascination with comics as I discovered hero after hero, world after world.

So let’s see if this weeks offering give us the magic of the Invisibles, the wonder of Flex Mentallo, the humour of Nextwave and the paced story-telling of Planetary.

Oh, and Siege finishes, and the other Blackest Night/Brightest Day spin-offs commence. But I think my attention has wandered already.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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