Bitch Planet 2 (January 2015)

Bitch Planet #2

This issue of Bitch Planet, as far as DeConnick’s technical writing goes, is amazing. It’s the best plotted, best constructed comic I’ve read in a long time. The balance of talking heads to action sequences, how DeConnick and De Landro work those action sequences out, it’s phenomenal.

But I still don’t care.

DeConnick reveals the future is a little bit Hunger Games, little bit Rollerball, little bit Running Man, all mixed in with a seventies exploitation film. The characters are amusing–oh, wait, the bad guy is even a Mr. Big-type villain–but the cast in the prison is amusing.

The best thing Bitch Planet has going for it is DeConnick’s script, which makes wonderful connections and is very gradual, very careful with how it leads the reader through the narrative. The rest of the comic is the MacGuffin. Would it be nice if it all connected?

Eh.

Maybe?

CREDITS

Writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick; artist, Valentine De Landro; colorist, Cris Peters; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Lauren Sankovitch; publisher, Image Comics.

The Dying and the Dead 1 (January 2015)

The Dying and the Dead #1

The Dying and the Dead sure seems like it’s got some good old fashioned zeitgeist elements to it, like the ancient protagonist who’s still an action movie badass. What would aging Hollywood actors do without mainstream “indie” comic book writers coming up with new projects for them to turn down?

Writer Jonathan Hickman does change some stuff. He’s got a Bond villain organization but they’re secretly immortal and clones and the only person who can stop them is this old guy who has a dying wife and nothing to lose. Except the dying wife, presumably. Guess they didn’t have kids.

Ryan Bodeheim’s art is really detailed and occasionally interesting to read–and the comic does go on forever (it’s a double-sized issue) so it feels very full. It’s just nothing original and nothing special. It’s decently executed, just empty.

And that title’s not going to get Liam Neeson’s attention.

CREDITS

Writer, Jonathan Hickman; artist, Ryan Bodeheim; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Rus Wooton; publisher, Image Comics.

Big Trouble in Little China 8 (January 2015)

Big Trouble in Little China #8

Well, Big Trouble in Little China is definitely going places. This issue, which is mostly (amusing) exposition and (great) banter–with a lot big action set piece thrown in–moves the series to an unexpected cliffhanger. Powell is getting closer and closer to needing to establish a point for the series past the gimmick of its very existence. He seems to be almost there.

The only problem with the issue is Churilla’s art. He’s hurried in places, not putting a lot of thought or time into his compositions. There’s the action set piece and it does work out, but it’s a small part of the issue. The build-up to that sequence has some wonky, disjointed moments.

Powell’s script has a good amount of surprises alongside the humor. The conclusion’s unpredictable (unless I missed something in the previous issues); it probably shouldn’t be. Powell artfully uses the laughs for misdirection.

CREDITS

Writers, John Carpenter and Eric Powell; artist, Brian Churilla; colorist, Lisa Moore; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Princess Ugg 7 (January 2015)

Princess Ugg #7

Naifeh seems like he’s forecasting quite a bit of what’s to come in Princess Ugg, which is fine. The comic has seemed somewhat listless and wandering, but this issue has Naifeh not just giving readers an idea of the situation beyond √úlga’s school, he also gives her a real supporting cast.

Her fellow princesses finally stick up for √úlga against the evil princess, who’s revealed not just to be an evil in a Mean Girls way, but actually evil. Naifeh gets in all the information he hasn’t been giving the previous issues in a few sentences here. Combined with a transcendent surprise sequence, it’s probably the best issue of the comic, if not the most entertaining.

The characters are getting far more complex, with Naifeh still able to fit in crowd-pleasing moments. Ugg has had its bumps, but Naifeh’s more successful turns more than make up for rough patches.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

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