All-Star Western 26

all-star western 26

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing All-Star Western 26, originally released December 31st, 2013.

Drew: I’ve always been suspicious of happy endings. Not that I’m a grump or a pessimist (or, not just because I’m a grump and a pessimist), just that I think the tendency to wrap stories up with a nice bow tends to make them same-y. Knowing everything will work out in the end robs stories of most of their drama, and more importantly, they tend to ring false. Still, there’s something undeniably alluring about a happy ending — a gentle reassurance that the characters will be okay specifically, and that things tend to work out generally. It’s incredibly tricky to acknowledge both aspects of the happy ending, but Alan Moore’s classic “For the Man Who Has Everything” does it beautifully by presenting (and ultimately rejecting) a classic “what if” scenario. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti aim to tap that same magic in All-Star Western 26, but as is the case with most comparisons to Moore, they come up just a little short. Continue reading

Superman 23.1: Bizarro

Alternating Currents: Superman 23.1: Bizarro, Drew and PatrickToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing Superman 23.1: Bizarro, originally released September 4th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

villain divDrewWhy do we like Bizarro Superman? Is it his goofiness? The absurdity of the premise? For me, I think part of the appeal of Bizarro stories has always been the way they reveal Superman’s compassion for even his exact opposite. Then again, I also just love a good backwards-joke and sentences that begin with “me am.” Whatever it is that draws us to Bizarro — and might make us pick up an issue with his name on the cover — Sholly Fisch willfully avoids in Superman 23.1. We may have expected a story about a goofy, unintentionally dangerous oaf, but instead, Fisch seems content to offer us one about a hyper-serious, willfully antagonistic genius. What we get is so perfectly the opposite of what a Bizarro story should be, it almost achieves a kind of fevered meta-genius — a Bizarro story of Bizarro stories — but it’s simply not good enough to deserve any kind of benefit of the doubt. At least, not beyond how fitting it is that it features a totally senseless monster exploding into a pile of messy goo. Continue reading