Wednesday Comics #1
Wednesday Comics is the product of DC’s continued experiments with the weekly comic format, and in many ways I think it’s the culmination. For many people, this will be the Ultimate Newspaper. It’s certainly mine. There’s something about opening it out that makes the experience that much more exciting. And while the whole format is a throwback to the Sunday comic strips, and the stories themselves a throwback to the Silver Age; it’s just so brimming with comic magic that it can’t help but feel fresh and new. Each page is devoted to a DC property, written and illustrated by a star-studded roster including the likes of Brian Azzarello, Dave Gibbons, Kyle Baker, John Arcudi, Lee Bermejo, Kurt Busiek, Neil Gaiman, Paul Pope, Adam Kubert, Joe Kubert, and Walter Simonson. The hook is this: these creators get to tell stories of whichever character they damn-well please. The plan is virtually fool-proof. Here’s how it went:
Author: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso (with Robins & Mulvihill)
Not a whole lot of action as yet, but we have a good setup here. Batman finds out he has until midnight to save an investment banker from being murdered. Problem is, it already is midnight. Azzarello makes an interesting observation on Commissioner Gordon’s relationship with Batman.
Author: Dave Gibbons
Artist: Ryan Sook
The opening shot is classic Kamandi, but I’m also getting hints of “Tales of the Black Freighter”, which is interesting because this time Gibbons is writing, not drawing! Gibbons highlights the awesomely clever origin of Kamandi’s name too.
Author: John Arcudi
Artist: Lee Bermejo
Bermejo’s Superman is absolutely gorgeous. This has got to be the most intriguing story of the bunch as well…
Authors: Dave Bullock & Vinton Heuck
Artist: Dave Bullock
Letterer: Jared Fletcher
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Deadman is too talky and too simple for my liking. As far as noir goes, though, it does talk the talk, especially in the art department.
Author: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Joe Quiñones
Busiek and Quiñones revisit the Hal Jordan of the 50s, and if Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier was anything to go by, this should fit like an old pair of shoes. (Comfortably, that is.)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate Piekos
This was probably the funniest of the fifteen comic strips. Gaiman has put himself right into the Silver Age for this one, forcing foibles and attitudes of the time period to great comedic effect. Michael Allred also channels Jack Kirby with his bold, no-nonsense approach to the panels.
Author: Eddie Berganza
Artist: Sean Galloway
Loved the art style. The writing – not so much…
Author & Artist: Paul Pope
The biggest surprise for me was Paul Pope’s choice of character in Adam Strange. I had him pinned as a Batman-only writer, but boy, was I ever wrong. This pulp-style sci-fi is probably the coolest of the bunch.
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Amanda Conner
This is pretty much just an intro, but a cute and funny one nonetheless. After all, isn’t that what these Sunday comic strips were all about?
Author: Dan DiDio
Artists: José Luis García-López & Kevin Nowlan
Anyone who’s ever read a ‘DC Nation’ column was probably as surprised as I was when they realised that Dan DiDio’s Metal Men is actually quite funny. And clever!
Author & Artist: Ben Caldwell
While I found Wonder Woman’s conversation with the pigeons to be quite amusing, I thought the rest of the page was cluttered and confusing. I think Ben Caldwell is trying to cram too much in here.
Sgt. Rock and Easy Co.
Author: Adam Kubert
Artist: Joe Kubert
Kubert and Son join forces for a striking first effort. Joe’s depiction of Sergeant Rock’s brutal interrogation is all kinds of visceral. I’ve never read Adam Kubert’s writing before, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Authors: Karl Kerschl & Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Karl Kerschl
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colorist: Dave McCaig
It’s good to see Karl and Brenden really experiment with the form. The Flash page is split into two parallel stories: a Flash action sequence in a race to stop Gorilla Grodd; and Iris West, about to leave that unreliable, good-for-nothing Barry Allen! Can’t wait to read the next one.
The Demon and Catwoman
Author: Walter Simonson
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze (with Steve Wands)
What *appears* to be a rather wacky combination of characters proves to be rather dry, as Selina Kyle takes a tour of Jason Blood’s mansion. Hopefully things will heat up when the Cat and the Demon come out to play…
Author & Artist: Kyle Baker
A great note to finish on. The entire story is told from the perspective of a hawk as Hawkman leads his avian allies into battle.
I never thought it would happen, but I think DC may have finally nailed that magic weekly formula. If each of these stories advance at a steady pace, then we should be in for a real treat.
A word to the wise, though: *probably* don’t carry this one on the bus, or out in the rain…
This entry was posted on 8th July, 2009 at 12:00 pm and is filed under Comics, DC, Wednesday Comics with tags Adam Kubert, art, artist, artwork, author, Barry Allen, batman, Brian Azzarello, Catwoman, colorist, comic, comic book, comic books, comic strips, Comics, Commissioner Gordon, Darwyn Cooke, Dave Gibbons, dc, dc comics, DC: The New Frontier, Deadman, Eddie Berganza, Flash, green lantern, hal jordan, hawk, Hawkman, Iris Allen, Iris West, Jack Kirby, Jason Blood, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Kubert, John Arcudi, Kamandi, Karl Kerschl, Kurt Busiek, Kyle Baker, Lee Bermejo, letterer, Metamorpho, Neil Gaiman, New Frontier, newspaper, noir, Paul Pope, pigeons, review, Sean Galloway, Selina Kyle, Sergeant Rock, Sgt Rock, Silver Age, Sunday comic strips, superman, Tales of the Black Freighter, Teen Titans, The Demon, The Flash, Ultimate Newspaper, Walter Simonson, Wednesday Comics, weekly comic, weekly comics, Wonder Woman. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.