July 12, 2006
"The Leading Man" (by B. Clay Moore and Jeremy Haun) disappointed us, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, because the thing that disappointed us is that there wasn't more of it. It's got a grabby, high-concept sort of hook: a suave Hollywood actor who plays secret agents and spies is actually, in real life, a secret agent and a spy. It's such a cool idea, but the book lingers over it just a little too long, making sure we see how cool it is from every possible angle before getting down to brass tacks of thermal suits and creepy caves. And once those brass tacks are finally gotten down to, it's time for the issue to end. Grr, issue-one cliffhangers! Look out, everybody, there's an Artist at work. "Babel #2," by the vaguely-identified "David B," is a cozy mosey through memories of a childhood steeped in war. David apparantly came of age in French-speaking Algeria, where people were fighting and tribes were doing scary things and soldiers lived on squalid little boats. As is kids' tendancy, he felt desperately curious about the fighting, and it permeated his dreams, and his games with other kids, and his readings of Paris Match. Ooh, we got to mention Paris Match in an article! We feel so Continental Can anybody really tell any of these hero books apart? Seriously, guys. Honestly. They print billions of pages of this stuff, and for the life of us, we can't tell why the "52" series is any different from any of it, aside from that, bizarrely, there is no immediate indication who the writers or artists are.