Before I decided to re-read New X-Men in order to give my Unpopular Opinion a couple weeks ago, I was in the middle of a very different Morrison title, The Filth. Throw in Dynamite’s Essential Painkiller Jane collection and I’ve got myself a couple trades that waited for me.
The Filth - Once I got my Unpopular Opinion written, I finished this 13 issue maxi-series. One thing I quickly realized is that I don't dislike Morrison's writing as much when he's just doing his own thing and not trying to squeeze familiar characters into his unfamiliar, and sometimes out-of-character, plots. Overall, I liked The Filth and the fun and twisted stories. Of course, what’s not to like about Communist talking chimps, microbiotic Teletubbie-like civilizations and a porn star with super-potent black jizz? Unfortunately, those are only subplots and when the book is focused on The Hand, the wacky government organization that deals with horrible things the world doesn’t need to know about (see super-potent black jizz), the story gets lost and Morrison seems to have a lot of disconnects in his scripts. The art by Chris Weston, Gary Erskine and Matt Hollingsworth is fantastic. Every character is completely unique. Every face is expressive. And every page pops with color. Nothing I'd really read through again, but worth it for the hardcore Morrison fans or those that like twisted, adult content in their funny books. B-
Essential Painkiller Jane - To be completely honest, I have no idea why I bought this six-issue collection of the original Event Comics series. I have the comics in the basement. I could break them out whenever I want. I could savor the awesomeness that was any Event comic’s “back matter” - Cup O’ Joes, Jimmy's Box, Ads for the fan club....all that fun stuff that a huge JoeyQ & JimmyP fanboy like me loved. Oh, and a fun story too.
Speaking of which, the story here holds up better than I would have ever imagined. Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn spin three very good plotlines over five issues, with pitch perfect art from Rick Leonardi and Jimmy Palmiotti. The zero issue that leads off the collection--and muddies the waters of Jane’s origin more than it clears them--would be a decent capper to the series if it was actually at the end of the book instead of the beginning. Overall, I’m thrilled that these stories still hold up and, while I prefer the issues to the trade, would recommend this to anyone who digs action or crime comics. A-