What a fun issue, holy crap. Brass Sun turned up the fucking heat this week. There is so much more to this title than gruesome fight scenes, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a big showdown between a couple of bad guys. Culbard's art is always on, but this is the best so far within this setting. The fight between these villains was over pretty quick (if it is, in fact, over), and it occurred in a fairly small space. But it felt BIG, and the character designs themselves were the stars of the pages as much as the action was. This was a fun way to keep things moving and introduce a new layer to this already multi-faceted, beautifully creative world.
Dredd one-shots are usually the Progs’ best exercise in showing efficient visual storytelling, and this week was no exception. "Islands" introduces a quirky young character who seems very cut out to be a Judge. It's an interesting look at a generational element we don't usually get to see, but also an effective, quick little mystery.
Sinister Dexter is doing a fantastic job of running two stories in parallel: the eponymous taking of the Michael and the ensuing investigation of the murders. I don't think stories like this are easy to pull off in general, since they require that the writer keeps a very tight grip on how he or she releases information to the reader. If the investigators in the present give away too much, the flashbacks are uninteresting, but if too much is loaded into the flashbacks themselves, then the contrast between present and past seems gimmicky and uninteresting. Abnett has done a great job with this script, and the artistic pair of Goddard and de la Cruz do a great job visually juxtaposing the two timelines.
Defoe and Bad Company are such cool exercises in how differently you can approach black and white comics. Obviously there are tons of examples of black and white comics (Japan's best export), but here these two are among a series of other comics in full color, and still they have such distinct artistic personalities that it's hard to lump them together. Again, I know it sounds stupid, but credit is due for the simple but important editorial decisions to split up these titles and let Culbard and de la Cruz jam your face full of the color spectrum in between Gallagher's heavy inks and the half-tones of Dayglo and McCarthy.
A lot of fun in this issue of a lot of different kinds. One of those rare issues where you could probably show it to somebody with little knowledge of any of the titles and, despite the fact that most are in the middle of a story, they very well may want to jump on.