Thursday, October 04, 2007

Doctor 13

It's always nice to see a author write something outside of their comfort zone. I can' think of a clearer example of this than Brian Azzarello's comic collection Doctor 13: Architecture & Mortality. Azzarello is a writer mostly known for telling brutally dark crime stories. His series 100 Bullets is one of the few true masterpieces to have come out of the medium in a while.

And now he's written a meta-satire focusing on the more absurd corners of the DC Universe. The protagonist of the series, Terry Thirteen (a former supporting character of the Phantom Stranger) is a professional skeptic who adamantly refuses to believe in anything out of the ordinary. The absurdity of this being that he exists in a world in which things like aliens (Superman) and mystical beings (Wonder Woman) are not only accepted, but are fairly commonplace.

Throughout the course of the story he encounters a number of DC's other oddities, ranging from the relatively well known Haunted Tank to the truly obscure Anthro (a French cro-magnon). Together they go on a mission to defend their own existences against the forces of the architects (a very thinly veiled grouping of the writers behind DC's 52) who wish to make their fictional universe more relevant.

This book was simply the most enjoyable thing DC has produced in years. To see a story like this come out of a company that seems to have all but lost their sense of humor was something on the order of a small miracle. To see it come from the mind of Brian Azzarello just made it all the better.

No comments: