The Cipher 06/23/10

June 23rd, 2010 by | Tags: , , , ,

Battlefields #7: Motherland, Part 1 of 3. Written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Russ Braun, colored by Tony Aviña, lettered by Simon Bowland. Cover art by Garry Leach. Read the preview.

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?
I could really use a wish right now…

Hey, women in comics! People talk about that! Or at least women in superhero comics, which I guess is a little different. This, though, is what we should all be talking about. It’s great. Garth Ennis has taken his War Stories to Dynamite and has managed to keep the quality more or less as high as it was at Vertigo. In Battlefields, each story is three issues long and skips around in the European and Pacific theaters. I reviewed Dear Billy last September.

The third of this current cycle of Battlefields is “Motherland.” It’s the return of the main character from my favorite story from the last book. Anna Borisnova Kharkova is a member of the Night Witches, a group of all-female Soviet bombers in World War II. Read up on them, they’re pretty interesting. In the first book, Anna was a little wet behind the ears. By the time this one comes around, she’s been hardened by battle and seems pretty unhappy with her lot in life. She’s stuck in a situation where she is going to be just one of many soldiers being used for cannon fodder against the Germans. The base she’s operating out of is building up to the Battle of Kursk, for better or for worse. Honestly, judging by the odds, it’s just gonna be for worse.

This is a good one. I’ve read it already and it may end up being my favorite of the latest cycle once again. There’s a couple things that feel a little pat (the plucky girl particularly), but seeing Anna all mean… it works. I’m hooked. Bravo. If you want to get familiar, cop the Battlefields HC. Three stories, nine issues, twenty bones. The individual trades will cost you like ten a piece, so might as well double your dollars for three times the tales.

Also on my list for this week: Amazing Spider-Man #635 (Joe Kelly/Michael Lark), Heralds #4 (Kathryn Immonen/Tonci Zonjic/James Harren/Emma Rios), Joe the Barbarian #6 (Grant Morrison/Sean Murphy), King City #9 (Brandon Graham), and Thunderbolts #145 (Jeff Parker/Kev Walker).

Well. That’s a pretty good looking batch of comics there. I wish that Heralds was all Zonjic, but Harren was okay last time and Emma Rios is pretty talented. And really, when my biggest complaint for the week is “I wish one good artist had done this instead of a few good ones,” hey. That’s a good week.

Big news this week: DC’s joined up with comiXology to push hard on digital comics. Comics Alliance has all the news you need right here, and will have updates throughout the day, including an op-ed from yours truly and an interview with Jim Lee. Here’s the main details.

Digital comics! Time to put up or shut up. How long until I can buy a comic digitally and then grab the trade when that comes out? Someone make that happen. We can do business.

What’re you buying this week? Are you going to take the digital leap on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch? I tried to check it out last night when it went live, but apparently my poor widdle first-gen iPod Touch isn’t ready for the app. It crashes whenever I try to download. I’ll try again later, since I know several people who have had no trouble at all.

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2 comments to “The Cipher 06/23/10”

  1. Woah no comments yet? That’s bizarre.

    Anyway I picked up Shed today and read it. Bachalo’s Art is great as usual and like you and Uzumeri have been saying it does violence better than most things out right now.

    I picked up the Octopus Pie book, which is definitely worth looking at, by the way.

  2. This week’s Authority: The Lost Year follows up on last month’s in a story by Giffen and DeMatteis where the team ends up in a world where the Authority is made up of JLI-type comedic douche bags, only this issue has them fight their villains who are all based on JLI (Maximus, the Narcissist, Dung Beetle, Hot Girl, etc). It’s an awful lot of fun.

    Speaking of which, JL: Generation Lost is turning out to be really good in my opinion. I like that it’s taking a unique turn past “Max fucks with the team and they can’t do a thing about it.”

    Green Hornet is a strange case. It’s readable enough that I pick it up every month, but not good enough for me to even look at the million tie-in comics Dynamite releases.