Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book of the Week 2/20/08 Checkmate #23

Written by Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
Cover by Kalman Andrasovfsky

I've picked up random issues of Checkmate in the past and can admit that it's always been a fine book. I thoroughly enjoyed the "Checkout" storyline as well. For some reason or another I've just never bought the book on a regular basis. However this week provided me the opportunity to jump on at the beginning of a new story arc and I can tell you I'm on board for the foreseeable future.

This comic hits all of its marks. It has great espionage stories without trying too hard or being overly dramatic like some television shows. The cast of characters also play well off one another. This issue revolves around Checkmate trying to get one of their undercover agents out of a Kobra stronghold. In order to accomplish this with minimum loss of life, they must enlist the most unlikely person to be involved in shady government operations...Superman. It's great seeing how Clark works with Sasha and the rest and the conflicts Clark has about getting his hands dirty. Really it would have been more reasonable to see someone like Batman in this role but I love that it was Clark who was tapped.

Rucka creates a great story here that anyone can jump into without having read the book in the past. I'm sure this story will pay off even more for longtime readers but I'm happy that with a book that has such a large cast and is fairly reliant upon DC history, anyone can jump on here.

Bennett and Jadson do a terrific job on the art. While not overly complicated, the art is reminiscent of Rags Morales with a slightly more "developed" look to it. They especially did a great job portraying a "darker" Superman.

This book did a great job of drawing me in and providing an intriguing story that will have me coming back for more next month. Kudos for also giving me a sneak preview of the new Titans book in the last several pages too!

The Final Crisis is almost here

DC comics has released the cover to the first issue of Final Crisis and it looks pretty sweet. I've been pretty vocal about not liking this idea but I'll try out the first couple of issues. J.G. Jones' is a skilled artist and these covers are looking good(although I think they may be a slight knock off of John Cassaday's Astonishing X-men variants)But good nonetheless!