|Issue #14||Release Date: 7/27/11||Vol.#10|
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: THE INFINITE #1
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY: 1969
THE MIGHTY THOR #4
PROJECT SUPERMAN #2
SECRET WARRIORS #28
UNCANNY X-FORCE #12
TERMINATOR/ROBOCOP: KILL HUMAN #1
Advance Review: In stores today!
THE INFINITE #1Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Rob Liefeld (pencils/inks), Adelso Corona (inks)
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo
If you have a nostalgia for 90's Image comic-booking, then by all means: buy the shit out of this book. Buy all 7 variant cover editions. You will be transported back in time, and you'll love this new series. If you have a less...enthusiastic view of the 90's and that decade's place in comic book history, maybe skip this one. Also, if you are one of the 5 people that will be upset about me speaking ill of your lord Rob Liefeld: skip this review. You'll be mad at me.
I'll be honest: the ONLY reason I picked this book up was the fact that Robert Kirkman wrote it, but I'm not even sure I believe that to be true. By the time I finished this issue, I was sure that Liefeld just pretended to be Kirkman to add some cred to his book. Mr. Kirkman is, right this second, bound and gagged in Liefeld's basement, being force-fed Grape Nuts cereal and wearing a wig while the former superstar penciler wears a hobo's face as a mask and dances around. I'm certain of it.
But for the sake of an argument, let's say that isn't the case. I know that writers, when paired with certain pencilers, tend to write to that artist's strengths. But what do you write when said artist's strengths consist of lipless, grimacing teeth, shoulder pads and pouches? Well, let's just say that my opinion of the writing matches my opinion of the art in this book. I know I'm breaking Mama Destructo's cardinal rule about saying nothing if you have nothing nice to say, but good god. Let's go back to the aforementioned pouches. On page 2, our main man Bowen has an entire belt rigged with no less than 9 pouches that are in view. Yet on page 5? They've gone away. Page 6: there are 2. So on and so forth. The same applies for the character's completely useless arm and leg bands. Also, there's a very important belt in the beginning scene. It's nowhere to be found until it becomes important, as if Liefeld only read the panel descriptions as he drew them and then decided "Whelp...too late now! Eff that belt and its utter importance to the plot." At least the very awkward and improbable shoulder pads are mostly consistent. Quick note: the villain's emblem is the Image logo upside down and on his head.
To be writing a review this negative about a book that Robert Kirkman is involved with hurts me. I wish I felt more positive about this experience. I went in hoping that even if I wasn't into the art, the story and dialogue would be interesting...but there's nothing here I haven't seen before. In the 90's.
JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY: 1969Writer: Alan Moore
Illustrator: Kevin O’Neill
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Reviewer: Stones Throw
Last week, Alan Moore decamped from his Northamptonshire townhouse to alert readers of the Guardian newspaper to a distressing development. “These days, the majority of the comic book audience is 40-somethings. There is a large nostalgic component in there. They will want their story to refer to stories that they remember,” he warned.
“It becomes very incestuous. You get stories that have become weak through inbreeding.” The bearded writer, a veteran of the comics industry, pined for the days when he was writing for “nine to 13-year-olds”, with any unsavory older influence limited to “maybe a few 18-year-olds”.
It would be uncharitable to quote Oscar Wilde on “the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass”. Alan Moore must own a mirror buried somewhere in his house, though, judging by his appearance, which has remained more or less the same since the titular year of this latest installment of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, he doesn’t look in it very often.
No one could accuse Alan of having played a part in pushing comics away from nine to 13-year-olds, towards the nostalgic 18-year-old. WATCHMEN. THE KILLING JOKE. 1963. MIRACLEMAN. SUPREME. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW? The primary appeal of none of these classics was nostalgia, or references to stories the older reader might remember.
Alan, in his visits to his local comic shop, where he signs his latest, scrupulously clean and child-friendly publications, deplores the current crop of X-MEN comics, in which formerly innocent juvenile adventure heroes have been supplanted by ever more sordid tales of adultery and violence.
Alan steers well clear of such profanity. How could their writers, “a generation of comic book fans who would have paid to have written these stories”, so defile their charges? The “nine to 13-year-old” market turns sorrowfully away from the “weak, inbred” offerings of DC and Marvel to Alan’s books, where they happily find the heroine of Bram Stoker’s Gothic Victorian novel DRACULA experiencing a “bad trip” and enjoying promiscuous lesbian sex.
Or Allan Quatermain, of H. Rider Haggard’s ripping yarn KING SOLOMON’S MINES, engaged in a ménage-à -trois with the aforementioned heroine and his bisexual lover.
Or a host of obscure characters from the 1960s, forgotten by everyone but those resolutely un-nostalgic, forward-thinking creators, Alan and his illustrator Kevin, also having lots and lots of sex.
Gay sex, oral sex, lesbian sex, rape, voyeurism, molestation of a woman passed out from a drug overdose. Nothing is here for tears, no weakness, no contempt, dispraise or blame!
We have Alan’s word that the nine to 13-year-old reader, the type of imaginative boy or girl who would thrill to DRACULA or KING SOLOMON’S MINES or THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE, will also get a kick out of Alan’s book.
Those unfamiliar with Alan’s kid-friendly ouevre might suppose it was aimed more at the stray 18-year-old, or perhaps even the 60-year-old who “will want their story to refer to stories that they remember”.
Anyone younger would not likely remember the admittedly never widely-known, characters that fill the pages of this baffling book.
Still, the nine to 13-year-old who is, for whatever reason, blind to Alan’s charms has plenty of healthy fiction to turn to where that came from. Perhaps he runs, ruddy-cheeked, from the school gates to pester his newsagent for the latest installment of LOST GIRLS or NEONOMICON.
No one could accuse those books of “weak, incestuous, inbred” tendencies.
As he reflects upon the publication of his latest work of fiction, Alan sat reclined in Northampton – or perhaps supine before his shrine to Glycon – and could feel satisfied with a work well done, preserving our valued fictional inheritance for the continued enjoyment and edification of the younger generation, taking a lonely but not profitless stand against the prevailing corrupting influence of graphic fiction.
MIGHTY THOR #4Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: Oliver Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I have a hard time reviewing comics I really like. I find myself wanting revert to my 8 year old self and just yell out what parts were cool with little to no explanation as to why said events were viewed as such. So I’ll refrain from…FUUUUCKK!!!! I can’t do it…this comic was sooooooo cooooool. Asgardians in space! Thor vs. Silver Surfer! Galactus vs. Odin! Thor vs. Galactus! Seriously, this may be my favorite issue this year! This issue is just balls to the wall (hate that expression but it fits) action. If you like superhero comics, this issue is a must read. I know I just slagged Fraction for FEAR ITSELF but like I said, I like the man’s writing, just not that series. Actually the last INVINCIBLE IRON MAN was badass as well, Tony Stark saying ‘fuck it’ while getting drunk with the Asgardian weaponer gnomes…good shit. Anywho, this comic was a blast; let me tell you why.
The story thus far is that Galactus has sensed a power that he must feed on, and this power is located smack dab in the middle of Asgard, which is smack dab in the middle of Earth…anybody see a conflict here? Odin is being his stubborn self, Li’l Loki is doing something that he believes is helping his brother, Thor is brash and whooping ass, and…um Sif was naked last issue and lost a lock of hair. I really feel like this would have been a way better story to put an event behind. Earth’s Greatest Superheroes vs. Asgard (yeah, I know “Siege” kind of was but not really), Asgard vs. Galactus which inevitably means Galactus vs. Earth’s Mightest Heroes (to me that’s a conflict and a half); where does Thor’s loyalty lie, whose side is the Surfer on, Odin’s obviously not going to do what Earth tells him to but I guess it’s a little close to “Siege” so I’m fine with this being contained to this title.
One of the best parts of this series so far was the description in issue #1 about Silver Surfer and Galactus’ relationship. I knew what it was but hearing it told the way Matt Fraction did put a whole new spin on it for me and made me want to dig out the Silver Surfer comics I have acquired over the years and read them with that thought fresh in my mind. I won’t mention who is kicking whose ass in this comic but FUCK! Thor is a powerful SOB and while I knew that, I was still in awe and what he did at the end of this issue and NOBODY in this comic was happy about it (except for me). This scene is rendered so well, and the dialog from Silver Surfer just shows that something epic just went down. Speaking of epic, Galactus vs. Odin is one of those fights you and your buddies debate about intensely only coming to a stalemate where each one of you swear you’re right but can find no conclusion. Sif says it best: “How do beings such as Odin & Galactus fight?!?!” Good fuckin’ question and I’m sure we only see one aspect of this battle but it’s a fuck of a battle. The art in this comic is stellar…I mean really f’in good. Oliver Coipel is one of the top 5 artists Marvel has he shows you why in this comic. Every issue look great…no, every panel looks great!
This is the kind of shit I want to see in a Thor comic: powers being pushed beyond the boundaries of what was previously thought.
PROJECT SUPERMAN #2Writer: Scott Snyder & Lowell Francis
Artist: Gene Ha
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche
How do you solve a problem like Superman? On one hand you have the league of internet naysayers that decry a warranted, if often harsh, cycle of sameness for this eighty year saga. On the other hand, when a writer does try to break our favorite Kryptonian from the inescapable Phantom Zone of continuity malaise, Superman zealots begin to froth at the mouth with more ferocity than Cujo in heat.
PROJECT SUPERMAN has been no different. Since the piece is set within the confines of the alternate reality extravaganza FLASHPOINT, there is a cacophony of chatter stating the piece has no consequence. Let’s look past the fact that no one knows for sure what the events of FLASHPOINT will ultimately do to the upcoming rebooted DC universe. So what if there’s no consequence? The best Superman stories in recent memory like RED SON had absolutely no bearing on continuity, so does that make the piece any less enjoyable to read? For all of you continuity sticklers, allow me to invoke New Krypton, merely a year after ANOTHER PLANET was formed it is nary a whisper now on the lips of anyone. Then there’s another camp poo-pooing Big S in FLASHPOINT because they believe with the fervor of a Southern Baptist that without Ma & Pa Kent guiding a young Clark there’s no way he could embody the virtues of goodness that have become his pillars of being. To the first group, you’re simply being presumptuous. Unless you are Geoff Johns’ personal taint scrubber, you don’t know what FLASHPOINT will do. To the second group, I say read issue 2 of PROJECT SUPERMAN. Goodness can be found other places than a Kansas wheat field.
Snyder and Francis have created what I will consider to be the first (or first at least in recent years) SUPERMAN psychological thriller. For anyone that’s been cut off from civilization and the first thing you did was log-on to Ain’t It Cool, Superman’s rocket ship didn’t land inside Kansas, but rather Metropolis. To up the realism factor, this meteor shower not only rained down the Last Son of Krypton, but also our favorite dog Krypto and a shit-ton of property damage on the town that Luthor built. Fortunately the American Government was already working on their own enhanced super being, the man we know from the last issue as Subject 0. Uncontrollable due to human frailties such as ego and the need humans have to feel part of a greater whole, project top-dog, General Lane, throws 0 into a stasis…a twenty year stasis. Meanwhile Kal-El is kept under lock and key in a different part of the facility. There, that should get you up to speed.
Issue 2 takes off right where one left off, but before the events of the recent FLASHPOINT, where Batman and Cyborg bust Kal out of his cell only to have him say “fuck this noise” and fly away (I was paraphrasing, in case the hyper-literal are reading this piece). This is definitely a flashback of the years leading up to FLASHPOINT. The first cup of eeriness Snyder delivers is by having the whole piece narrated by Subject 0. Remember, this guy can’t move or verbally articulate--think “Johnny Got His Gun” in spandex. However, what Subject 0 can do is think…and see. He watches Kal-El undergo the same poking and prodding he went through years prior. Subject 0 also now has an epic chip on his shoulder for the entire PROJECT SUPERMAN program.
Using the best in imagined science available, Snyder deftly uses the sub-atomic world to allow Subject 0 and Kal to communicate. Here’s where Kal’s innate goodness truly comes to light. 0 does his best to manipulate Kal, to make him as embittered and roid raged as he’s become. Thing is, young Kal doesn’t want to be bad, he just wants to play with his dog and help people. Yet every man and alien boy will have their breaking point…or perhaps not. Despite abuse, being used as a puppet and (SPOILER) watching his dog be killed in the most gruesome fashion, Kal still does the right thing. When General Lane’s daughter Lois visits the facility and is faced with mortal danger, Kal makes the tough decision to do what’s right despite being subjected to conditions that make Guantanamo bay look like a country club prison.
One could argue that Kal’s actions were spurred by his love at first sight encounter with Lois; certainly the exceptionally crafted last page of the book will lead you to that conclusion. But is that all that’s going on? Personally, I don’t think so. Was Jesus good because of his parenting by Joseph and Mary, or was he simply innately good? How you answer this question will definitely eschew how you read PROJECT SUPERMAN.
Gene Ha’s art continues to add the other dose of creepy to this title. Snyder’s balloons hang on a bleak and dreary backdrop. Even X-ray vision is presented as a burden more than a blessing, always going too far on the translucent scale for comfort.
I could truly care less where FLASHPOINT ends up. There have been more than enough expertly crafted side stories in this event to make me fully appreciate the ride even if the destination is one Cadillac jump into a chasm of nothing. PROJECT SUPERMAN stands ahead of the pack, but there are quite a few other titles nipping at its heels of awesomeness.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2011 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.
SECRET WARRIORS #28Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Alessandro Vitti
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy
You Can Take The Soldier Out Of The War....
SECRET WARRIORS ends this week, meaning that's three series I loved either marked with the black mark (SECRET SIX) or already dead (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN). SECRET WARRIORS focused on what is to me at least, one of the more fascinating corners of the Marvel Universe: Nick Fury, super spy, and his never ending wars. Hickman, in twenty eight issues, helped flesh out Nick Fury beautifully and explore who he is and why he does it. The issue, apart from a few small problems, is a nearly flawless finale to the series.
Writing: (4/5) As always, Hickman writes a solid script that never fails to impress. It shows clearest with the dialogue, almost each and every conversation crackles and flies fast. The back and forth between Fury and Contessa snaps, and reveals some guarded hidden emotion under both. Duggan and Fury is a well written moment as well, but the best moment is when Hickman explores the relationship between Steve Rogers and Fury. It reads with a certain bittersweetness, and feels like old friends departing down separate roads. It conveys so much about Fury and his own ideas of the world, especially post war with Strucker. This is a Fury who has lost many of a small group he called friends and family, and has since learned a certain regret not affiliated with the character. When Steve Rogers, a fallen friend now returned, thinks they should destroy the statue in Arlington of him, Fury replies they should make it bigger.
Now, it's just preference, and it may not slow down any other readers, but I think it ends too well. This series has worked brilliantly its entire run, and one of its strengths came from the unpredictable nature, and the darker nature of the series world. Main characters are maimed, killed, and betrayed left and right. It gave the series a very real feel (even when they were fighting people with black demonic star fish on their faces), and invested the reader magnificently. However, the conclusion to the series is rather upbeat. The surviving cast reunites, the heroes win, and Fury disappears into his next mission (which I'd give anything to read). I think it's too neat of a bow. I'm not saying I wanted it to end in a bloodbath or a broken world, but by the end of the story, really only Nick is affected by even a bittersweet twinge. And even then, it's Nick Fury, who trudges onto his next mission. I would have preferred a slightly more down ending. I just don't think it meshes perfectly into the rest of the series.
It's really a preference thing. I'm bothered by the nice ending, so 4. If it doesn't bother you that it departs slightly, then 5.
Art: (5/5) Vitti is a fucking great artist. I loved his work on this series. It works well in fight scenes, but even in a book infected with Bendisitis (heads talking with heads for four pages in a row), the characters stand out. Their designs and look feel real, and make for some fantastic pacing and framing. The shot of Fury and Steve looking at the statue might be one of my favorite pages in a while.
Best Moment: "I'd build it higher."
Worst Moment: For me, the ending.
Overall: (4/5) Pooooooooooooooooossibly a 5. Damn it, I'm going to miss this series.
Hickman: "So, again, thank you. It was an honor." And thank you too!
ELDRITCH! #2Writer: Aaron Alexovich
Artist: Drew Rausch
In the first issue of ELDRITCH! I wished that the writing matched up with the artwork. In the second book, it looks like Aaron Alexovich has caught his stride and leveled up to Drew Rausch’s drawings.
In “A Hiss from the Cradle” Anya Sobczek follows her brother Owen to his friend’s pool house. There a crazed cult has grown that follows the mythos that Owen and his friend dreamed up as kids. Anya is almost in over her head when Owen gets a call from his mom. Next night, Anya gets in the way of Owen’s babysitting and finds something even darker at the pool house.
The writing is still very talky, containing tons of dialogue. But this time the writing is rich with even a touch of humor. Owen’s cellphone ring tone for his mom, “Jump Magic Jump” from Labyrinth. Along with the humorous elements, there are the mythological components, both original and H.P. Lovecraft-esque. The story itself is more controlled and streamlined, much easier to follow. Even with several flashbacks, the transitions are smooth and even creative. If the series continues in this way then I’ll definitely find it worthy of winning DC Zuma’s contest.
If I had to compare the art style, I’d put it up with INVADER ZIM. Crazed and dark, the drawings fit the tone of the comic beautifully. While the last issue appeared chaotic, Rausch continues to harness such chaos in a controlled manner. He’s the Joker of this comic’s team, an agent of chaos.
It is nice to read a horror comic that doesn’t have to do with zombies or vampires. Originality is rare out there. Maybe others will find more connections than I do, but I’d rather remain in ignorant bliss.
Lyzard is actually Lyz Reblin, a film student at Chapman University. Lyz’s love for comics stems from an internship at Dark Horse Entertainment as a freshman, which may explain why some of her favorite comic book writers are Gerard Way and Steve Niles. You can find her on Facebook, but only if you follow her band: Castle Town Convicts (possibly a Zelda reference?).
UNCANNY X-FORCE #12Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche
I’ve always enjoyed the expected X-FORCE experience. Their mission-to-mission black ops adventures have tickled that portion of my heart that is steeped in the juices of schadenfreude.
This arc, though, is something different. It’s not just because this adventure takes place in my favorite alternate universe, the Age of Apocalypse, nor is it simply because it highlights doppelgangers of old friends like Jean Gray and Nightcrawler. We all had expectations when this book first hit the stands, thanks to Marvel’s airtight brand control. We knew this would be a fringe team. We also knew that certain character traits would be firmly in place like Deadpool’s sarcasm, Angel’s brooding, Wolverine’s surliness, Fantomex’s laissez-faire ambivalence and Psylocke’s gravity-defying ass. What this issue does though, is take these characters beyond the surface traits that have made them so famous. Remender uses this arc and specifically this issue to peel back the onion and see deeper than the pathos or the surface experience to truly examine who these people are beyond Scott Summer’s hit-men.
Since this is the middle of the “The Dark Angel Saga,” some stage setting might be in order. There’s a true irony to this arc name because the solitary moments are so engrossing you easily forget the overarching mission. In short, Angel has been going batty for some time in X-FORCE. Psylocke’s best psychic dampening efforts and sweet sweet counseling still can’t break the downward spiral of Angel becoming the next Apocalypse. For a deeper history on Warren’s relationship with old trout mouth go buy a freaking omnibus. When Psylocke’s tenderness and ass fail to draw Warren back into the light, X-FORCE decides to enlist the aid of my favorite Age of Apocalypse refugee, Dark Beast. After all, if Apocalypse could be defeated in that reality why not ours? Through some science mumbo-jumbo the team shoots over to the reality that gave us a caring Victor Creed and one of my favorite characters from the aught years, Blink, in search of the Life Seed. Dark Beast naturally betrays our heroes, but again thankfully they run into the AoA X-Men, a team complete with their very own Jean Gray and Nightcrawler. The first issue of the arc did a wonderful but expected job with the revelation of these characters. However, Part 2 took these relationships to a level unseen in an X-story, alternate universe or otherwise.
Life Seed, Life Schmeed. For anyone that thought the opening moments of ASTONISHING X-MEN when Wolverine was perched over the bed of Emma Frost and Scott Summers was a pitch perfect remembrance of Jean Gray and the love Logan had for her, hold on to your Cerebro caps. Remender uses the opening of this issue to truly explore the fervent passion these two have, and why it shall forever remain unrequited. While this is not the 616 Jean Gray she’s close enough in genome pattern to get Wolverine’s heart a’ thumping. Wolverine doing what he does best--tries to ignore the intoxicating smell of this almost Jean--but the draw is too great. I can’t do Remender’s words justice so I won’t even try, but his explanation on the draw of Jean as told through Wolverine’s inner monologue borders on poetic. It also doesn’t hurt that Mark Brooks’ art is a lesson on the absolute importance of facial expression details. Honestly, Brooks can create better actors with a pencil than James Cameron ever could with his gazillion dollars worth of equipment. Don’t think for a minute this issue is all talk, even though the moment between Jean and Logan was so well crafted it felt like an eternity; it is but a few scant pages until the AoA’s X-Men hideout is invaded by Sentinels.
The next relationship that seethes across the page and hits you like the Juggernaut on meth is between Psylocke and Fantomex. Not to give too much away, but a bottle of passion has been opened and it explodes like napalm when it hits the air. I think we all saw it coming, but I never expected the sheer impact.
The rest of the issue continues in the hunt for the Life Seed; also, our team needs to find a way back to their own reality by releasing our old Aborigine friend Gateway from a maximum security prison fashioned out of old sentinel parts. The warden of the prison is also a surprise unto itself--one I won’t spoil.
This continues to be one of my favorite X-titles and I believe we are seeing a build-up of the new teams that will be formed when Marvel starts their own renumbering this fall. It’s mere conjecture on my art, but I think the AoA Nightcrawler and Jean Gray will be making it on to Wolverine’s splintered team when he breaks apart from Scott after “Schism.” Again I could be wrong, but the signs are definitely there. For the sake of surprise, I truly hope I’m off base.
TERMINATOR/ROBOCOP: KILL HUMAN #1Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: P.J. Holden
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Well, what can I say about this comic…It’s not terrible?
I got excited when I saw it was coming out because I haven’t read a comic with Terminator and Robocop in it, so I was stoked. The curiosity of how they are going to tie things together is usually what leads me to pick up these kinds of crossovers. Personally, I kind of think a T-1000 would wipe the floor with old Murphy (don’t get me started on the T2) but ultimately Robocop would win because he’s a good guy and he’d find the will power to overcome, which I’m fine with.
This story takes place in the future where (possibly) the last two humans have just broken into Skynet (why they would do that is beyond me but whatevs) and are being hunted down by an army of Terminators (why I wouldn’t do that). I won’t go into how Robocop ties into this but…he’s in there, in a museum weirdly enough. This comic did surprise me at the end, I’ll give it that, but whether it’s enough to get me to buy the whole series I’m not so sure. I will say I’m kind of a sucker for killer robots in an apocalyptic future, so I’ll probably check out the next issue.
The art in this comic…I’m torn…it’s definitely not amazing but there are times where it looks ok and times where it looks pretty bad. I hope the humans in this comic weren’t supposed to be attractive because everyone in this comic is ugly as hell. The art works for the T-1000 but there are parts where Robocop looks weird, like his torso is 3 times too small for his legs. The art looks a little like Rick Leonardi…if he was being beaten about the head, neck and back while drawing (ok it’s not that bad). I realize I’m a snob when it comes to art in comics so someone else may like it just fine but I wasn’t feelin’ it.
The story wasn’t horrible but I feel like anytime Terminators are involved, especially in the future, the story is the same: last group of humans, last ditch effort, last chance, one last hope, etc. I’m sure some people will eat this up because of the fact that both Robocop and Terminator are occupying the same comic space but this issue left me with a ‘meh’ taste in my mouth. I wanted more and maybe next issue will provide that succulent killer robot teet that I was looking for but for now I guess I gotta stick with futurekillerrobotporn.com.
While I have absolutely loved this newer take on the FF so far, I have to admit, this and the last issue have left me a bit cold. Not that I don’t like what is being done--lord knows I think more focus should be made on the Inhumans and Kree and what the events of REIGN OF KINGS meant--but as an interlude to the ongoing story that was going down up to it, it feels kind of an iffy move to me. One thing about it that kind of irks me is how it somewhat rushes the return of Black Bolt, which should be a way bigger deal, and two, with so much going on during the main story, effectively this kills a little momentum. Again, I like the events that transpire in this, but the decision, execution, and the art all feel kind of sketchy/rushed overall. I’m assuming the end will justify the means, but effectively my enthusiasm to see how things turn out took a backseat for the past few weeks as these issues kind of “just happened.” - Humphrey Lee
ACTION COMICS #903
I will admit, the absolute downside to the oncoming DC reboot, as I’m sure many a retailer will agree, is that everything that as the current lineup of books winds down, everything feels so…anti-climatic. Take this story that has been running through ACTION the past few months. All the Superman family versus a fuckton of Doomsdays! Much punching and property damage (and the occasional death!) therein! Eh. To pile on the decision (or at least split the blame between it and potentially those involved) it really has seemed very fast paced and occasionally exposition-heavy considering the kind of story we’re going on here, which I will assume comes from the decision as well. So, what we have here is a semi-satisfying story that won’t really mean anything in a month that chances are people like I bought because we didn’t want to see our LCS get screwed over with copies that were pre-ordered. Get ready for four weeks of this, I would imagine. - Humphrey Lee
CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #620
First off, the main thing I have to say about this book is how much of an “Ugh” in a Marvel numbering scheme that makes no sense it is. You can go ahead and mock the DC renumbering in your Previews but it’s not hypocritical to change the title at a number like 620 and have Deadpool #900 and Wolverine #1000 floating around. Cute. But whatever, it doesn’t matter, because I love this book and am happy it exists as I still think Bucky was too good in his revamped form to get rid of and I’m on a “all four dollar books that don’t justify the extra buck must get cut because I just got a new car” kick. More WWII Cap & Bucky, I’ve always felt, should be a must. There really just never seemed to be enough modern traction on all the adventures and horrors those two must have seen. And especially Bucky, who as this issue demonstrates had a pretty rough time of it while growing up one of those “always spoiling for a fight” types. And the Samnee art just fucking kills it. I’m not sure how much traction a book like this is going to have, but I’m hoping it’s a lot because this scratches several itches of mine between the team up, period piece, and just the quality in general. - Humphrey Lee
THE CAPE #1
This book is kind of a hard sell on me given what it is, that being a book where a pretty much POS human being is having his day in the sun being a POS. Not that I don’t like “dirty” books or character with somewhat despicable traits – John Constantine is my all-time favorite character for Jebus’s sake – but I don’t really do well with those who have nothing redeemable about them. Or, in the case of THE CAPE here, a guy who feels a shitty life he more or less brought on himself by being a layabout is justified means to be a villain when he lucks out with powers. All that said, I’m still sold on this book, if more out of how the quality of writing expands the life of Eric, our lead, and how it came to this and just how vile he is willing to become. I’m actually somewhat relieved that Hill has let the character play out rather unsympathetically as it makes me, at least, just go more into observer mode. Instead of getting actively invested in the character, I’m just seeing where the story goes and kind of hoping something bad happens to him. Also, a fucking bear is dropped on two cops investigating the murder he committed while they’re conversing in a car, and that was pretty awesome, so I’m definitely in to see what happens next. - Humphrey Lee
WITCH DOCTOR #2
Issue two of Skybound’s other hit series has a lot of what made issue one so much fun--namely a lot of medical/mystical mash-up terminology and fantastically written scenarios incorporating both. Writer Brandon Seifert continues to come up with new and interesting versions of age-old creatures, while artist Lukas Ketner continues to bring Wrightson stylings into the new millennium with his character and creature design. There’s a lot of “oh no they di’in’t” style humor injected as well, especially in this faerie infected baby issue where the only way they can treat an evil child is by shaking it, of course. Seifert also injects some character in the title character which took second seat to the story in the last issue. The more issues I read of WITCH DOCTOR, the more I think it has legs. Plus the sketchbook at the end which takes the reader through the developmental process of both artist and writer on specific characters is a lot of fun to read. If you’re not checking out WITCH DOCTOR, you need to do so, STAT! - Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G