Hadrian’s Wall 1 (September 2016)

Hadrian's Wall #1

Hadrian’s Wall opens with a paragraph explaining the setting–it’s set in an alternate future because it has an alternate past (the U.S. and U.S.S.R. nuked each other in 1985 so the future’s different)–but then it’s just a traditional future cop sci-fi thing. And it’s pretty good at it too. Writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel just have one major mystery for the cop to solve–who killed his ex-wife’s new husband? Who she initially had an affair with, who got him fired, who shot him four times.

The protagonist is now a painkiller popping wreck of a man. Will he be able to unravel the mystery out in the stars–Hadrian’s Wall refers to the ship where there a limited number of suspects. And we already know someone isn’t what they seem.

Basically, it’s an excuse to look at some gorgeous artwork from Rod Reis. The dialogue is fine–it’s pulpy future cop stuff (and it’s hard to believe it didn’t start as a screenplay)–the characters are okay. The art on them is great. I mean, it’s not an ambitious book, it’s just a solid one.

CREDITS

Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artist, Rod Reis; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

Kaijumax: Season Two 4 (September 2016)

Kaijumax: Season Two #4

Cannon doesn’t offer a breather after a heavy previous issue. He sends Electrogor under the sea into the old gods’ territory (with Cthulhu showing up at the end) and it’s a real downer. I feel like it’s the first time he’s branched into different monster mythologies to this degree in Kaijumax–I mean, Cthulhu’s never been a kaiju (right?). Most of Electrogor’s half of the issue is spent with him feeling terrible, which is sort of his thing, but for really good reason as he meets the residents of this hidden, undersea slum. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying, but not in for any predictable reasons.

At the same time, Chisato the good mecha, gets herself a new partner and has to work vice, which provides Cannon the opportunity to do some mixed size action sequences. It doesn’t necessarily seem heavy, but then Cannon sticks the reader right at the end of the issue. He’s heavy on the “real life, real crime” parallels, which isn’t as successful as just when he sticks to the complicated world of Kaijumax.

Season Two is working out to be far more successful than the previous one, which is no small feat. Between Chisato and her character development–it’s not like the humans in Kaijumax have ever been particularly sympathetic so seeing someone try to be more like them is rather effective; her new partner–the burnout human–is a wonderful contrast, of course.

It’s such a good comic. It’s just brutally downbeat.

CREDITS

The Seamy Underbelly; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

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