Xpress Reviews: Graphic Novels | First Look at New Books, February 1, 2013

Week ending February 1, 2013

Brubaker, Ed (text) & Michael Lark & Sean Phillips (illus.). Scene of the Crime. Image Comics. 2012. 128p. ISBN 9781607066323. $24.99. F
The long-awaited graphic novel release of Brubaker (Fatale) and Lark’s (Daredevil; Gotham Central) Eisner Award–nominated, classic PI crime fiction begins when PI Jack Herriman is hired for a simple missing persons case. Herriman soon discovers there is nothing routine about the case, and he has no problem finding the missing person, Maggie Jordan. But when Jordan is discovered dead the following day, Herriman feels the need to uncover the real story behind her disappearance and murder. His investigation eventually reveals Jordan’s dark family history with Mitchell Luna, the patriarchal leader of a cultish free-love group called Lunarhouse. The book also includes a short story featuring Herriman (“God and Sinners”) and an extras section with excerpts of the script, pencils, and inks.
Verdict This title is representative of superior writing and its importance in launching Brubaker’s career. It should appeal to all graphic novel readers but even more so to crime fiction aficionados working in film and other literary genres.—Scott Vieira, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX

Johns, Geoff & Richard Donner (text) and Gary Frank & Adam Kubert (illus.). Superman: Last Son of Krypton. DC. 2012. 160p. ISBN 9781401237790. pap. $19.99. SUPERHEROES
This collection consists of two separate stories originally published in Action Comics: Last Son, written by Johns (Aquaman) and Donner (director, Superman: The Movie), with pencils by Kubert (X-men), and Brainiac, by Johns, with pencils by Frank (Justice League of America). The former begins with the sudden arrival of a boy from a rocket plummeting into Metropolis. Superman takes a liking to the youth, but his origins are a mystery, and soon General Zod and his cronies, who have escaped the Phantom Zone, are following the boy. Zod challenges and successfully defeats Superman (his only challenge to world dominion) and banishes him to the Phantom Zone. The collection’s latter story reintroduces Superman’s long-ago foe Brainiac, a superintelligent alien who collects civilizations in order to absorb all their knowledge. Readers begin with a backstory in which Brainiac steals the bottled city of Kandor from the planet Krypton before moving forward 35 years to the present Metropolis, where we learn the disappearance of Kandor plays an important role in the origins of Supergirl.
Verdict Recommended for the usual fans of Superman and the DC Universe, with Last Son appealing to fans of the original Superman movies, too.—Scott Vieira, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"