A quick graphic novel round-up:

  • Dan Slott’s She-Hulk: Single Green Female isn’t a book I would normally read — She-Hulk is kind of the definition of lame — but Jim Henley said good stuff about it, so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Verdict: It’s okay, but not great. The problem is that it sets up a character arc that it never quite resolves (She-Hulk starts off as an arrogant bimbo, and by the end... hasn’t changed much), and in general just sort of amiably flops around pointlessly. Call it competent fluff.
  • Mike Carey’s My Faith in Frankie is something I definitely would never have read without a recommendation, because the packaging aims it squarely at teenage girls — it’s even in a weird small-paperback format, rather than the normal graphic novel binding. I’m glad I did read it, though, because it’s fun. The premise is that a now-college-age girl has a personal god, and there’s a bit of a conflict between her devotion to her god and her newfound interest in boys; complications, you may be sure, ensue. Not super-great maybe, but enjoyable enough to be worth getting past the pink, heart-speckled cover.
  • Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street and Transmetropolitan: Lust for Life are the first two volumes of, yes, Transmetropolitan. The books have interesting stories that are nearly fatally drowned by a toxic injection of lame attitude. The protagonist is one of those idealistic-cynic types who are all pissed at the world because it’s corrupt and blah blah blah, and Ellis is far too eager to be cheaply transgressive. There’s all sorts of elaborate vulgarity, there are people giving the finger (frequently), there are steaming piles of shit, and pretty much all the other stock icons of lame-ass teenage transgression. (Why, yes, there is an episode where the protagonist gets all pissed-off at religion! How did you know?) It’s tired and tedious, which is a pity, because there occasionally seems to be something interesting struggling to get out from underneath all the calculated punk attitude. Probably not worth wading through the sewage for the occasional good bit, though.


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