On Brian Wood

The Pull List:

X-Men #30 - Marvel Comics
Ultimate Comics X-Men #13 - Marvel Comics
The Massive #1 Dark Horse Comics (Not yet read)
Batman #10 - DC Comics
Batgirl #10 - DC Comics

This week was a pretty unique week. I actually matched my number of DC titles with Marvel titles. And this can all be attributed to one person; Brian Wood. It seems more and more that Brian Wood is the big name that showing up in comics. He is now on these big two titles and you may of heard about him recently. Hold on a second while I put on my hipster glasses, a deep V t-shirt and a scarf. I have been reading Brian Wood way before he was writing X-men books. Okay, hipster me goes back in the box. Here at SUU, they have 4000 level English classes that are variable topic, major authors. You get Hemingway, Faulkner etc. If I was teaching one of those it would be ENGL 4430  Brian Wood. Okay, I would probably name it a bit different, but I will someday teach a Brian Wood Class. My favorite comic book writers are my favorite because they have a particular book that I connect with on a very deep level. The more books that I connect with, the more I like the writer. Brian Wood is unique though, I have never picked up a Brian Wood book that I wasn't just blown away by. Northlanders, The New York Four, Demo, Conan The Barbarian, DV8: Gods & Monsters and of course, DMZ. I'll be honest with you all, DMZ had me crying at the end, and I yelled at my ipad when I read the news announcing that Northlanders was coming to an end. Admittedly, these two works are quite a bit different from X-men books, and that did add a bit of anxiety to my excitement over these two books. I get that way about big projects like this. I have been harboring secret worries about the new Batman movie. Well, all my worries and fears went out the door when I read Ultimate Comics X-Men. In three pages of this book, I am suddenly in New York, I feel like I am in the middle of this anti-government demonstration. If the mark of a great writer is to transport you somewhere new and different, then Brian Wood is a great writer. If you know anything about X-men or not, you can easily jump on to both of these books and get ready for a great run.

Brian Wood also wrote the, as yet, unread The Massive #1. So I realize it seems a bit counter intuitive to talk about how great I think he is, but not read this book. Well, there is a reason I didn't, and it goes back to how much I just like his stuff. So, a story. When I was an undergrad, I took a class on fiction of the 90s and that class got me really interested in Brett Easton Ellis. I had read everything he had written and suddenly, out of nowhere, Brett released this new book Lunar Park. It took me a while to read that whole book. Not because it wasn't good or I didn't enjoy it, but because I loved it so much. I didn't want to reach that moment where the book was over, I had no more of it to read. That's why I haven't read  The Massive. I don't want to reach that last page and realize I can't read the next part for four more weeks. I even recently bought the new collected trade of his Channel Zero, but am reading it very, very, very slowly. I want there to always be some Brian for me to read. My recommendation for this week, read something of his, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Batman is a continuation of The Court of Owls and gives us a big twist that I don't want to spoil. If you don't feel like trying to dive into and back track all of this crossover, the trade should be coming out soon and you can get a nice hard back copy to go on your shelf - I will probably end up getting that even though I have all these issues - and then you can get the full story with all its twists and turns in one tasty bite.

I have noticed a major difference in the way that Gail Simone is currently writing Batgirl and the way I perceive most Batman books; Batgirl is the 99%. Yeah, Batman is out there fighting crime in the slums and trying to help the middle class, but he can afford to lose a few batarangs around town. I imagine Barbra making sure she gets all of them back before she heads home, because that shit is expensive. Barbra lives in an apartment with a roommate, she eats at greasy spoon diners, Barbra is a bit more like me than I will ever be like Bruce Wayne. This doesn't make one book better than the other. I expect to see Batman in Gotham City, I expect to see him in Wayne Manor. But I do like the difference. Because of the diversity of the cast, the grittier surroundings and the more average Barbra is makes it feel like Batgirl could be living in parts of Salt Like City...well, maybe not SLC, there are definitely more non white people in Batgirl.

As I was saying last week, I've been feeling this strange urge to get outside the superhero genre that I get a pretty steady diet of. So, my goal for next week, no superhero books, and I'll start off with a solid look at The Massive.


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