Star Spangled War Stories: Futures End 1 (November 2014)

Star Spangled War Stories: Futures End #1

I’m a little shocked, though maybe I shouldn’t be. For their “Futures End” tie-in with G.I. Zombie, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti tell the last G.I. Zombie story. Maybe all the “Futures End” are the last issues in imaginarily long series (I don’t think I’ll find out). But what they do here works out.

They’ve got their butt-kicking protagonist, G.I. Zombie, who doesn’t just fist fight or monster fight, he also gets in an old crop duster and has an air battle too. It’s a lot for artist Scott Hampton and the art is fantastic. There’s a lot going on; Hampton excels at it.

But there’s also the sidekick and the nemesis, not to mention the end of the world. It actually would have worked better as a first issue than the third of Gray, Palmiotti and Hampton’s Star Spangled War Stories but whatever… it’s absolutely great comics.

A 

CREDITS

United States of the Dead; writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist and colorist, Scott Hampton; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, David Piña and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

Ragnarök 2 (September 2014)

Ragnarok #2

Why do I even talk? Why do I ever say nice things like Ragnarök isn’t going to be some non-Marvel Thor knock-off?

Because I then end up with egg on my face when Simonson does the big reveal this issue. No, the comic’s not about the lady elf who kicks butt or whatever, it’s actually about a zombie Thor resurrected in a strange land after the Asgardian gods have fallen.

Yawn.

And Simonson spends the entire issue setting up the reveal of it being Thor, even after he brings the hammer back into it. So the entire comic is one scene, the resolution to the previous issue’s cliffhanger. There is a talking rat, however, and I like rats. But a talking rat is not enough to make this comic–or this series–worthwhile.

Maybe Simonson think it’s his great last Thor comic but the deceptive narration kills it.

C- 

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Laura Martin; letterer, John Workman; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Pop 3 (October 2014)

Pop #3

Even though Copland’s art is better than last issue–he gets really dark here and has a nice panel layout for all the talking heads–Pop has sort of, well, popped. Pires spends more time with not just his supporting cast, but with background characters than he does with his protagonists. He has nothing for them to do here. Except stand around and wait for something to happen.

At one time, it seemed like Pires and Copland were going to explore the mystical with Pop. Instead, now Pires concentrates on making it all realistic and rational, scientifically explained. It’s rather boring. The art’s nice, but the story’s boring.

Worse, there are reminders of when Pires was going to do something more with his protagonists. It’s a concept without anything else to it, which is unfortunate because Copland deserves better and so do the characters Pires created in the first issue.

C 

CREDITS

Shot in the Dark; writer, Curt Pires; artist, Jason Copland; colorist, Pete Toms; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Roxy Polk, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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