As many of you know, I've really become quite a cynical bitch about comics lately. There's just a resounding sameness to so many of them, and too many writers are "writing for the trade" (rather than trying to make each single issue a compelling read in an of itself). In far too many weeks, I think the alright stuff is really just all right in comparison to other, lousier, comics.
Well, I read a comic that I genuinely liked in and of itself this week, and I want you to read it as well, That comic is XOMBI #1.
XOMBI gave me a thrill, because it's full of crazy ideas just tossed out there, like a good Grant Morrison comic -- seriously, it features a team of Catholic superheroes, one of whom is named "Nun The Less", whose superpower is shrinking -- and, in this incarnation, it has some REALLY GOOD art, by way of Frazer Irving.
XOMBI was a Milestone book -- part of the third wave, if I recall correctly, released after the market had decided, actually no it didn't want the Milestone books, though, looking at comics.org, I'm a little shocked that it lasted 22 issues back in the mid-90s.
It was an idea machine back then, too, but it kinda suffered from art in v1 by JJ Birch -- well, Joe Brozowski under a pen-name, and he's one of those artists who actually has a lot of wonderful fundamentals, but whose actual rendering style isn't too exciting, really. Everyone looked a bit stiff and angular.
This isn't a problem now with Frazer Irving doing the art -- man, this stuff just sings.
This series clearly follows from the first, but I understood every word that I read (and it's been like 14 years between issues, so I'm telling you this as a plus), and it felt very much like a proper first issue.
If I had ONE criticism of the book, it would be that it's a full 22 pages for the $2.99, instead of the now-usual 20-pages-for-a-DC-book, which means that issue #1 doesn't have a letter's page, and, thus, doesn't have any kind of "introduction and here's what we're thinking!" kind of text pieces that all of the best first issues have.
Here's how much I liked it -- so far today, I have not LET a single customer out the door without a copy of the book in their hands. I don't think I've done THAT since the SANDMAN days, actually. The downside of THAT is that, as I write this, I have exactly one copy left for sale, and I'll be sold out in the next 10-15 minutes. (reorders, sadly, take 2 weeks to turn around in the current system, unless you're willing to pay usurious shipping rates)
Which leads me to the next "here's how much I liked it" -- I've just placed a reorder equivalent to nearly 200% my initial order.... and I'm not sure I've ever quite gambled that big (well, proportionately) in a long-ass time.
So, yeah, when you go into your LCS, tell them you really would like a copy of XOMBI #1 -- it's a pretty exciting comic -- and if they're out (which they might be, I bet most stores ordered just barely above pre-orders), tell them it's Diamond order code is JAN11 0259, and that you want them to reorder it for you.
I thought XOMBI #1 was absolutely EXCELLENT.