I love comics.
In the past month I've attended my first comic book convention, been sniped on ebay several times attempting to complete my Gruenwald Captain America run, and spent an unhealthy amount of time reading the "funny" books on my computer and in print.
I'm a story guy.
Flashy artwork is nice while mediocre art can definitely hurt a tale, but if the story is strong, I'm more apt to remember the issue and even go back and re-read it.
For my money, I've always been a MARVEL guy. I broke into the habit by picking up G.I.JOE #97 at a drug store. The enticing subscription ads in the back compelled me to branch out to other Marvel offerings and soon I was becoming enlightened by the world of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and the Uncanny X-Men.
DC never really did it for me.
Batman was cool but every time I picked up an issue of his he seemed to be gasping in a very un-Batman like expression.
I knew Superman from his movies but the comic character seemed so boring!
The Flash tv show was AWESOME but the comic seemed so confusing with Captain Chilly's ray gun or whateverTF he had going on.
However, then you have THE JOKER.
The Clown Prince of Crime is easily the most malevolent and memorable evil creation to ever grace our mischievous magazines. When done right, the Joker shows us a dark side lurking within our being and makes us ponder - all that separates us "normal" people from the criminally insane is one ReALLy bAd DaY!
Today, I stopped at Borders book store to kill some time while God's laser light show accompanied the angel tears pouring down from the heavens. While sifting through their cluster of recent back issues unsightly wedged in a wire spindle, The Brave and the Bold # 31 caught my eye.
I knew the title was a team-up of sorts and I knew The Atom was the DC version of Ant-Man (or vice versa. Does it really matter? Ant-Man was lame. My mind associated that lameness with The Atom. I was sure they drank from the same miniaturized SUCK fountain.) so why would an obvious villain like the Joker be teamed with a tiny good guy?
Then I saw the name of the writer. Stracynski. J. Michael Straczynski.
I loved Stracynski's run on Amazing Spider-man and was curious as to what he would do with a character like the Joker. I sat down and read it.
What he did was show us a side of the Joker I've never seen- his childhood.
What he did was show me that The Atom isn't lame but actually quite funny and human in the conflict and morality he needs to gauge.
What he did was make me want to read more DC comics, at least the ones he's writing.
I came home and jumped on Wikipedia like a mental trampoline. Seems JMS has been writing The Brave and the Bold since issue 27 ( the series is coming out with #33 soon) so I have a few dishes to taste from the JMS chef.
For those who like a tasty Joker tale, pick up this comic and give it a try. The story is superb. The artwork is wonderful. The Border's off Lyndale and 494 has comfy chairs and plenty of copies jammed in their spindle.