Saturday 4 December 2010

Clint #4

Nemesis is the undoubted highlight of each issue of Clint: a pacey, brutal, blood-soaked war between Commissioner Gordon and an evil Batman; terrifically exciting stuff from Mark Millar. Steve McNiven's artwork is vivid and dynamic but precisely controlled and gorgeous: Frank Quitely without the big chins.

Turf runs it close, though. Tommy Lee Edwards has done some terrific work over the years in titles like Gemini Blood and The Invisibles, and Jonathan Ross's story of gangsters and vampires suits his moody artwork perfectly. There's something about the way Edwards draws a flying vampire that is extremely disturbing.

The other strips entertain without quite matching the heights. Rex Royd is interesting but it's not very clear what's going on or why we should care about it. American Jesus is a slow burning Second Coming. Kick Ass 2 is fun but reading it in bite size monthly chunks is frustrating, and the art seems over-inflated at this size.

Two writers contribute for the first time to this issue. Stewart Lee writes The Property, a decent one-off with good, loose Steve Yeowell art. Muriel Grey somehow resists the temptation to throw Geoff Widders in a grinder in her story, Best Man, a funny little short illustrated by Des Taylor.

As ever, the features are a mixed bag. There to fill the space between comics and stop the reader racing through the issue too quickly, most range from embarrassingly tacky ("Sexy Chavs") to simply dull. The brief, depressing interview with Kevin Smith seems to be a couple of years old: it doesn't mention his last film, Cop Out, or his next, Red State.

Best of the features is the Badass Cinema 101 column by Vern of Ain't It Cool News, writer of the hilarious Seagalogy. The magazine needs more features like this, and less like "Worst Christmas Ever". Passion, excitement and enthusiasm, not deliberate, cynical trashiness.

Each issue presents a substantial selection of action-led comics at a great price, and is highly recommended if you like that kind of thing. Good to see a Garth Ennis strip will be joining the magazine next issue. It was surely only a matter of time: this is very much a post-Ennis comic in its aesthetic.

Clint #4, Titan Magazines, 98pp, £3.99.

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