I’ve spent a costly amount of time on Amazon this week this week searching for a third item to add to my cart–along with Art Scott’s gorgeous The Art of Robert McGinnis book and a Colossal Boy figure that has steadily decreased in price here but rarely sells below thirty dollars on eBay—to qualify for free shipping. This nearly completes my Legion collection, minus Mon-El and the embarrassing DC Direct Timberwolf, with his weird hula hoop shoulder pads and tighty-whities over his baby-poop colored footie pajamas. He looks like Wally Cleaver as a teenage paraphilic infantilist.
The Mon-El is almost as bad, with his otherwise monochromatic outfit seemingly blossoming open just to reveal blue panties underneath his almost maternally high-waisted yellow belt. But, I’m considering his sub-thirty-dollar eBay asking price simply because he would significantly raise the value of the rest of my collection should I have to resell them, which frankly wouldn’t bother me that much considering I was suckered into the line with Tim Bruckner’s Lauren-Bacall-in-space sculpt for Saturn Girl. The rest are pale comparisons in recycled, inarticulate bodies.
Did I mention the third item yet? It was a jar of white ink (something useful for a change!) I’ve been fascinated with it since seeing David Mazzuchelli’s liberal use of it for Daredevil: Born Again. Jack Davis and others from the E.C. cartoonist stable often applied whiteout/white ink to add kineticism to speed lines, volume to splashing water or to cut through the blackness with torchlight. However, Miller’s meditative script (at least for the first four issues) allows Mazzuchelli to experiment with in a painterly fashion that I’d love to study for the dreamlike song adaptations I’m planning.
Speaking of Daredevil, the End of Days hardcover came in the mail today. Between this and the surprisingly mature Grell Green Arrow run I started the other day, it’s strange how I’m just getting to the TV’s two hottest superhero properties years after I purchased most of the runs for cheap on eBay (though I read Miller’s DD run, at first when I was ten or eleven—shortly before the film came out—and many times after that.) I finished Bendis’s run around the time I was picking up Waid’s in single issues off the library newsstand in high school and never got around to Brubaker’s despite owning it all.
The first three issues of the HC are solid, although Sienkiewicz’s inks over Janson’s pencils recall post-Sin City Frank Miller in an interesting but mercenary way, like it’s pushing back against Bendis’s distracting, poorly-conceived-as-ever double-page layouts that its focus is confined exclusively toward economical storytelling. But, while Sienkiewicz’s nightmare visions are cramped into tiny blink-or-you’ll-miss-‘em panels, co-writer David Mack seems to get too much space to breathe in his Echo sequence, which is beautifully drawn (because David Mack), but conceptually uninspired.
Story-wise, the yarn seems to be a clever (unnecessary?) dissection of Matt Murdock’s Catholic disregard for contraception use throughout his career. There are enough mini-Murdocks revealed in the series thus far to justify a future Batman, Inc.-style crime fighting network should they ever decide to take up their father’s mantle. The fact that a couple of them were wrought from Matt’s irresponsible habits with Typhoid Mary might be more disturbing to me than to possibility that he beat the Kingpin to death in the street.