This week I have decided to write about the comics I have bought before I read them, so you can understand my expectations.
Dan Dare by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine
I like olde comics, so I am a sucker for this kind of Dan Dare reprint. This is written by Garth Ennis, someone I am pretty down on at the moment, but I reckoned I had to buy issue one, just so I could be disappointed by it. I wonder will Ennis insert some of his trademark homophobia and "ironic" sexism into the story?
Still, it could be that Ennis is at his best when engaging in pastiche of olde comics… a lot of the war stuff he has done over the last while has been quite impressive – I'm thinking here of some of the later war comics he did for DC (though not that moronic Adventures of the Rifle Brigade), or Battler Britton. The latter was like the kind of war comic I used to read when I was small, except that it was a lot better.
I nevertheless suspect that reading this issue will make me want to rush out and buy that Rian Hughes comic book with the Dan Dare story he drew to Grant Morrison's script.
Gotham Underground by Terri, Calafiore, and Purcell
Erm, why did I buy this again? It looks like a comic about second division loser supervillains and criminals in Gotham City. Maybe it will be like Gotham Central, only for the bad guys.
All Star Batman & Robin (the Boy Wonder) by Frank Miller and Jim Lee
Like the superior All Star Superman, the idea of this is to get giants of the form working on one of the flagship characters. I have bought the last couple of issues, maybe enjoying the art more than the story. This one has The Joker on the cover, so maybe this will get very exciting.
2000 AD Extreme Edition written by Tom Tully, drawn by a variety of artists, the most famous of whom is Steve Dillon
2000 AD Extreme is where they reprint the weirder and less remembered old 2000 AD strips. This one features the first run of episodes in "The Mean Arena", one of those future sport strips they used to run in the Galaxy's greatest comic. This particular sport was Street Football, a thuggishly violent game played over abandoned city streets. This was a very second division strip, though it did have nice art (by some J. Richardson character) at first, and the story initially packed a reasonable amount of thrill power. Sadly, it all went kind of rubbish as the story went on and on and on, with the slide into shite artists not helping either. My recollection is that the really tiresome thing about the story was the way the rules of the game became more and more outlandish, partially because they were letting the readers make up teams for the protagonist team to play. Still, this issue only has the first run of episodes, so I can stop here and enjoy the thrill power.