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Doktor Sleepless Nos. 1 and 2

Published by Avatar. Plot and script by Warren Ellis. Pencils and inks by Ivan Rodriguez.

The Deal: Warren Ellis is one crazy motherfucker. He's the man behind mind-bending comics like Planetary and Transmetropolitan (among many others), and Doktor Sleepless is his latest ongoing series. On top of that, it's Ellis' latest work from independent publisher Avatar. Honesty, I'm not exactly sure what the comic is about, but it seems to center around the adventures of a "mad scientist" named Doktor Sleepless. I wish I could tell you more, but I'm still processing all the bizarre stuff I just read.

The Good: If you like Warren Ellis, you'll love this book. Sounds clichéd, but it's true. The "hero" of the book -- Doktor Sleepless -- follows in the footsteps of Ellis protagonists like Spider Jerusalem, Richard Fell, Desolation Jones and more ... meaning he's smart, he's a rebel, he's an outcast and a complete bastard. Of course, Sleepless seems to be more of a bastard than usual. Ellis has set up an interesting mystery here of who exactly is the good Doktor and what he wants; I'm interested to see where this is all going. What's got me hooked? I love the brain-numbing amount of off-the-damn-wall science speak, and I love Ellis' hilarious and often rude dialogue. Here's an example of some of the crazy shit that Doktor Sleepless spouts off in, like, every panel: "Electricity can only be replenished by whisky. This is actual physics. Do not argue with me. I am a doktor." Crazy, eh? Regarding the art, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality. No offense to the folks at Avatar, but most of the art I see in the company's books is pretty crappy. Ivan Rodiguez's work, however, is tinged with a classic "Marvel" style. Think Keith Pollard, but with lighter line work. His storytelling technique is logical and fluid, and he's able to craft dramatic action scenes.

The Bad: Like I said, if you like Warren Ellis, you'll love this book. But if you hate Ellis -- and all his crazy ideas and bastard heroes -- you'll hate this. Also, as much as I like Rodriguez's art, it is a bit too minimal. A little more detail wouldn't hurt.

The Verdict: Hey, I'm in it for the long haul. Ellis kills me.

Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special No. 1

Plot and script by Judd Winick. Pencils and inks by Amanda Conner.

The Deal: Longtime DC Comics super couple Green Arrow and Black Canary are, at long last, getting married. This special tells the story of their action-packed wedding day and all the chaos that follows. And the book features dozens and dozens of guest stars from other DC super folk.

The Good: Writer Judd Winick has crafted a funny and fun read here. And this is a nice payoff for people (like me) who have been following the characters for years. Ultimately, I see this as a lead into the new Green Arrow and Black Canary series that starts next month; so, in that respect, Winick has done a good job. Amanda Conner's cartoonish art fits the tone of the story. Why doesn't Conner draw a regular series? It amazes me that no one has tapped her for a monthly gig.

The Bad: The ending sucks. I won't spoil it, but it really sucks. And not because it's a cliffhanger -- because it is -- but because it's so pointless and I just don't give a rat's ass. Read it and tell me what you think. I read it and thought, "Oh, that's dumb. Who cares?"

The Verdict: Well, I will pick up Green Arrow and Black Canary No. 1 -- but not because of the cliffhanger at the end of this comic. I'll pick it up because I genuinely like the characters, and I'm hoping the series is good.

Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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