Thoughts on comics, things based on comics, and things that look like comics from afar but actually turn out to be something else entirely

After reading (and obsessively stroking) the awesome Batman: Hush last week, I’ve been hungry for all the comic action I can lay my hands on.

Inspired by Hush, I picked up a recent issue of Batman, only to find out that it wasn’t so much a comic as an illustrated short story. I don’t mind reading prose based on comics, but it was a bit disappointing, especially given Grant Morrison’s excessive use of similes. He’s a great writer, but this isn’t his thing.

Disappointed by Bats, I got an issue of Catwoman (who is one of the more interesting elements of Hush) and was pleasantly surprised. I love the cover art of Adam Hughes, and the fact that during this issue Ms Kyle teleports though twelve feet of concrete using nothing but a MacBook and a couple of car batteries.

After six issues of being a bit pants, I stubbornly bought the seventh and final part of Marvel’s Civil War, just to be a completist and in the hope that maybe, maybe, it would get interesting at the last moment. Complete waste of time. It’s not a comic, it’s a marketing catalogue over-populated by obscure characters shouting each others’ names at each other.

Ironically, one title that originated as a marketing catalogue has become one of the best comics out there. IDW’s run of Transformers is going from strength to strength, but I’m concerned that it’ll all get crapped on by the upcoming movie.

On top of all this paper-based fun, I’ve also watched the first series of The Batman. I was mostly impressed, but they have messed with some of the villains. Mr Freeze is stripped of his interesting back-story and The Joker is just plain awful. Catwoman is handled well, but she does appear to be wearing a snood.

It’s not completely dovorced from the comics though. There are sly nods to classic batcomic The Killing Joke (but this is a kid-friendly show, so although insanity and body-horror are okay, shooting people in the spine is definitely off-limits), and I’ve heard that there’s a later episode set in the future a la Dark Knight Returns.

So, some good stuff, some bad stuff. Now I just have to save up my pennies for the soon-to-be-published Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween…