Archive for Vertigo

Second Amendment Solutions

Vertigo Resurrected #1

Primarily a collection of reprints from other Vertigo comics, this one is getting attention because it’s the first time that Warren Ellis’ decade-old “Hellblazer” story about school shootings has been printed anywhere. In this one, our main viewpoint character is a federal investigator looking into a rash of school shootings for a Congressional committee. There’s no pattern, there’s no culprit that can be blamed — can’t blame music or TV or movies or parents having guns in the house — so what is to blame. But the investigator soon realizes that John Constantine, hard-boiled British magician, has been present at way, way too many of the shootings. What’s Constantine’s connection? And what’s going to happen when he shows up in the investigator’s office?

The other stories in the collection include a tale about cattle mutilations by Brian Azzarello, a bleak twist on “Toy Story” by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, a twisted stories of love featuring obsessed surgeons and obsessed literary scholars, a look at a monster-rental firm by Bill Willingham, and a story about love, lust, hypnosis, and zombies by Bruce Jones, Bernie Wrightson, and Timothy Bradstreet.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The school shooting story is a good, ominous take on the issue, and it’s something that I’m disappointed hadn’t been printed before now — it’s not a particularly shocking story now, and it’s hard for me to imagine it was ever shocking. Publishers are just gutless sometimes. The other stories are a mixed bag — there’s a post-Gulf-War story by Garth Ennis and Jim Lee that suffered from a lot of mood whiplash, and a story about torture in turn-of-the-century third-world nations that I really didn’t get the point of. Steven T. Seagle and Tim Sale’s story about the obsessed surgeon was very, very good and creepy, though, and Peter Milligan’s “Death of a Romantic” was clever and funny.

The biggest downside to it is the eight-dollar price tag. If you think that’s worth paying for some stories that are very good and some that are not so good, then sure, go pick it up. But DC needs to be more certain they’re putting a fat wad of quality in these eight-dollar 100-Page Spectaculars…

Batman and Robin #15

The Joker is holding Damian prisoner, and Dr. Hurt has Dick Grayson. Once Robin gets away — a bit conveniently, almost like the Joker wanted him to escape — he manages to save Commissioner Gordon from Professor Pyg, and the adrenaline surge actually manages to break the hold of the viral narcotic. But Damian gets swarmed by Dr. Hurt’s men, and then Dick gets shot in the head with a .32 pellet — not enough to kill him, but enough to cause serious brain damage if Dr. Hurt doesn’t save his life — and he won’t do it unless Damian swears allegiance to him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really, a very fun story, and I’m absolutely loving the art by Frazer Irving — definitely one of the great pleasures of this series that people never think to comment on ’cause they’re enjoying Morrison’s storytelling so much.

Morning Glories #3

Casey knows the sadistic teachers have kidnapped Jade, but they won’t admit to it. Jade finds herself in the school nurse’s office — or rather, in the school nurse’s prison and neurosurgery complex. She meets up with one of the patients, who effortlessly kills four of the academy’s guards. Casey is getting close to some kind of break-through, but there may be nothing that can keep the nurse from torturing Jade.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely weird story. The frequently repeated mantra found written on walls is a very nice touch for ratcheting up the strangeness.

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