Two more comic books, and then I’m all caught up for the moment...

First, Ed Brubaker’s Sleeper, vol. 4: The Long Way Home . This continues to be an interesting series, but more importantly, it finishes being one, too. I hadn’t realized it, but this was always intended as a series with an ending — which is good, because all the quintuple-crossing and iocaine powder mindfucks would have gotten tedious and implausible in an ongoing series. This provides just about the right amount of all that, and ties things up in a nice little... well, anyway, it ends. Now that I’ve read the whole series, I can unambiguously recommend it for fans of noir-flavored double-agent superhero comics.

Next, Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina, vol. 2: Tag , which continues the tale of a super-powered mayor of New York City. In the foreword to the book, the Wachowski brothers talk about how they admire the book for doing the forbidden thing and marrying comics and politics. It is admirable to try to expand boundaries, sure, but after reading this volume, I understand why nobody tries it often: One of the big subplots here is about the mayor marrying gay couples, which is just so 2004. I’m sure it was very fresh and ripped-from-the-headlines when it came out, but now it feels stale and embarrassingly too-topical. Still, it’s a decent enough read, and there’s clearly a big story lurking underneath waiting to break out, so I’ll keep reading. But Vaughan should really get a move on, as this thing’s been lurking for way too long now, and could use some time in the sun.


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