Haven't picked up this week's comics; still going through the last two weeks' worth.
It-Girl and the Atomics is a mixed bag, but I think I'll be sticking around.
The trouble, I think, is that Allred fans are spoiled. Mike Allred's lines and Laura Allred's colors feel inseparable from their work -- to the point that I was actually disappointed when Darwyn Cooke would do a fill-in on X-Statix! Darwyn Cooke! And I don't even remember Paul Pope doing one! (I am older and wiser now and one of these days should really get all those old issues out, read through them, and give Cooke and Pope the respect they deserve.)
So this is a Madman spinoff that doesn't have Madman in it and -- the cover aside -- is not written, drawn, or inked by Doc, or colored by Laura. Instead, we've got Jamie Rich writing, Mike Norton on art, and Allen Passalaqua on colors. And, well, it's not Allred but it's not bad.
First, to the art. Norton does a pretty solid job -- I'm not familiar with his previous work, and his best bits make me feel like he's referencing Amanda Conner or Jaime Hernandez (and Dr. Flem bears a certain resemblance to Dr. Venture), but you know, if he's copying then he's picked damn fine people to copy, and if he isn't, then it's still a pretty favorable comparison. Plus he seems to know how to draw women with different body types, which is unfortunately a rarity in superhero comics.
And, in this age of muddy digital inking, it bears adding that Norton's inks look really good.
To the writing, well, some of it's really good and some of it's mediocre, but none of it's bad. The real highlight is the dilemma faced by the Skunk, the small-time supervillain who killed It-Girl's sister. This being a superhero comic, she got better -- so his conviction's been overturned and he's out of prison, but the experience scared him straight and he's doing his best to walk the straight and narrow.
So, a couple of great things about that setup: first of all, "criminal tries to reform but finds it's not so easy" is a classic premise for a story; it's an easy conflict to relate to and gives you an underdog to root for. And second, it's a pleasing bit of metacommentary on the nature of superhero comics -- and fits right in to the oddball world Allred has crafted in Snap City.
So that's the high point. The low point is probably a segment early on where It-Girl is playing an online game and, interrupted, complains that she has to save her settings or someone will steal the shoes she just got.
Jamie, that is not how online games work. That doesn't even make sense.
But, you know, that's my biggest gripe about this issue, and that's small potatoes. Really I think the comic is pretty good, and I expect I'll be back for the next one.
Special bonus comics thought: Godzilla: The Half-Century War: Oh, IDW, you had me at "James Stokoe". But you're telling me this is actually Marvels in the Godzilla universe?! This is the best "something I didn't even know I wanted" revelation since Charles Stross crossed James Bond with HP Lovecraft with Office Space.