Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil 1 (October 2017)

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1

The panel composition. David Rubín sometimes spirals the panels in double-page spreads, sometimes just moves action horizontal, always guiding the reader’s eye. It’s a visual treat, which is particularly awesome given it’s a talking heads issue.

Set before Lucy Weber joins Black Hammer, Sherlock Frankenstein and Legion of Evil has her investigating arch-villain Sherlock Frankenstein (think a mix of Sivana and Lex Luthor) in hopes of finding her father and the other heroes. Writer Jeff Lemire paces it well–he clearly loves writing Lucy Weber, the comic’s got first-person narration–and even the hinted revelations have a lot of weight. Though Frankenstein is probably incomprehensible if you haven’t kept up on Black Hammer.

Rubín’s art isn’t just amazing for the double-page spreads, it’s the single panels too. The way he visualizes Spiral City, modern technology amid grime, it’s breathtaking.

So good.

CREDITS

Whatever Happened to Sherlock Frankenstein?; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, colorist, and letterer, David Rubín; editors, Cardner Clark and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Fu Jitsu 1 (September 2017)

Fu Jitsu #1

Despite graphic violence and very high stakes (the end of the world), Fu Jitsu is a delight. The comic opens with Fu in an isolation tank in Antarctica. He’s the world’s oldest boy, clocking in at a hundred and twenty or so years, and he’s trying to get over a girl.

Writer Jai Nitz opens the book with Fu deciding it’s time to come up and have a burger and get on with life. Good thing too, since his arch-enemy has sent James Dean (who apparently didn’t die but because a bad guy super-assassin) to kill Fu. The bad guy, Wadlow, has escaped from the future and only Fu can stop him.

Wadlow gets a great villain monologue (and a couple amusing sidekick thugs). Fu gets a little less backstory, which is fine. Nitz has a lot of fun on Wadlow’s exposition and artist Wesley St. Claire beautifully visualizes the flashbacks. St. Claire also does well with Fu’s training regiment, which includes some kind of yoga and very tasty hamburgers. There’s a nice bit of panel design and composition, but also a lot of movement.

Got to have movement with the kung fu. And there’s lots of kung fu.

Fu Jitsu is off and running.

CREDITS

Curse of the Atomic Katana; writer, Jai Nitz; penciller, Wesley St. Claire; letterer, Ryane Hill; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, Aftershock Comics.

Copperhead 15 (October 2017)

Copperhead #15

Copperhead is back after a little longer than expected, particularly since last issue had a big cliffhanger. The issue’s good–with Faerber comfortably moving from character to character, hinting at reveals, doing reveals. This new arc has Sheriff Bronson in trouble and everyone banding together to help her. For one reason or another.

She’s not in the issue much, which is probably the biggest surprise, even if Faerber tries to pretend the closing revelation is somehow a showstopper. It’s not, but he’s already done well enough he can go out on it.

Moss’s art is a tad loose. Overly agitated might be the best description. His lines are a tad erratic, hurried maybe. It does make the comic read more immediately, which turns out to be a drawback given Faerber’s soft cliffhanger.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Angelic 2 (October 2017)

Angelic #2

Turns out all Angelic needed was some teched-out manatees to turn the book around. Young hero Qora is alone on the beach, waiting to be married off to an icky priest monkey. She just wants to keep her wings (she loses them at marriage). The manatees show up and offer her a deal–help them save their god.

Their god is a malfunctioning drone scanner robot thing; doesn’t matter.

Spurrier paces out the issue beautifully. The back and forth between the Mans (manatees) and Qora is great, with the young Monk (monkey–Spurrier doesn’t go too far off with the dialect and its eclectic nouns). And then the second half, with a Mans and Qora questing, is even better. Spurrier’s able to draw their characters out right away, all nature introduction stuff. Deft.

Lovely art from Wijngaard. He’s got a lot of concise detail, but with thick, emotive lines. Gives the book a lot of its feel for the talking heads. Manatees. Whatever.

Angelic just got a whole lot better.

CREDITS

Heirs and Graces, Part Two; writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Caspar Wijngaard; letterer, Jim Campbell; publisher, Image Comics.

Punisher: The Platoon 2 (December 2017)

Punisher MAX: The Platoon #2

I think three times this issue there are full page panels with the credit “Ennis/Parlov.” I’m not sure if they’ve got their first names on it. They’re heavy panels. Ennis is doing a Vietnam story. He’s got the vets, he’s got the author, he’s got Frank. The vets get most of the time, whether telling the author their story or just in flashback. The author opens it, introduces some details and some unexpected reality (a former Viet Cong officer being a happy old man visiting the U.S. frequently).

Ennis saves Frank. He and Parlov do a lot with the violence, starting with the Viet Cong launching an attack and the Americans having to go to bayonets. But then they go farther. They go so far you’re scared to see Frank again.

No one but Ennis could take what should be a Punisher cash grab and deliver The Platoon. Anyone else would be foolish to try, but with Ennis, his ability to plot this thing… it’s unreal. Reading it, the world off the page goes silent.

CREDITS

2: Ma Deuce; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Goran Parlov; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Kathleen Wisneski and Kathleen Lowe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Damned 5 (October 2017)

The Damned #5

The Damned finishes off its first arc, full of sadness and demons and misery. And beautiful Hurtt art. Achingly beautiful Hurtt art.

It’s a wonderful Eddie issue, following him around, everything else–the flashbacks, the subplots–happening in this completely different world. One with possibility. Eddie’s world, as usual, doesn’t have any. Even when he thinks it does.

Great writing from Bunn, which is particularly nice. As I recall the original Damned limited series didn’t end particularly well; this one’s reassuring. Bunn can close it down now, open a window. Such great dialogue throughout. It’s real good.

CREDITS

Ill-Gotten, Chapter 5; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

The Comics Fondle Podcast | Episode 41

An on-time release! We know you’re all impressed.

Vernon starts off the show talking about Marvel Legacy from a retailer’s standpoint. Then we review the latest failures of “pitch” comics.

But then the fun starts, because amid all these comics we discuss, there are some truly great ones. Listen to find out which!

Comics discussed: Angelic, Godshaper, Black Hammer, Sherlock Frankenstein, Kill The Minotaur, Damned, Divided States, Ruff & Reddy Show, Kaijumax, Slam Next Jam, Jimmys Bastards, Punisher Platoon, Dastardley and Muttley, Batman White Knight, Mr Miracle, Spy Seal, Fu jitsu, Cinema Purgatorio, Copperhead, Atomahawk, Maestros.

Then we talk about these trades: Mr Miracle by Kirby, Flintstones vol 2, Unquotable Trump, Nick Fury, Alack Sinner.

you can also subscribe on iTunes

Kaijumax: Season Three 4 (October 2017)

Kaijumax: Season Three #4

If Season Three had gotten off to a good start, Cannon might have some leeway for this issue. He’s ambitious and absurdly overindulgent; it’s the perfect example of creative lane changing. The issue has a framing device. The Kaijumax Musical Theater group is putting on a shoe. Their performance cuts to various other activities going on, which all happen to have something to do with a subplot. No one involved in subplots is watching the show. They don’t like musicals, I guess.

Cannon’s not a lyricist. He’s gimmicky. Kaijumax is already pushing it with the gimmicky dialect for the prisoners. The more he expands the world, the less likely his stuff makes sense.

The rest of the comic’s pretty darn good. The subplots aren’t exactly interesting, but they’ve got a pulse. And Cannon executes them all well. There’s an awesome Kaijumax moment with the doctor, where Cannon’s art and writing perfectly intersect; it’s been a while since he’s had one of those moments. Kaijumax used to be full of them.

The return of old characters either hint at a different last two for this series or maybe the Season Four plot. Either way, it’s too late to even be too little. Even when the comic’s good, it’s still lost.

CREDITS

A Special Effects Fantasy Series; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

Maestros 1 (October 2017)

Maestros #1

“You know, I’m sorry but, I didn’t mention it earlier but actually I preferred to be called Maestro.”

How can you not think of “The Maestro” just a little in Maestros, which is about an obnoxious wizard king who rules fantasyland. Earth is just a magic-less world created to amuse those who have magic. And the Maestro visited modern day (or close enough) Earth and there he did become bewitched with a fetching Earth woman and take her to be his bride he did.

A son was born. And now, in the future, the son–never intended for the throne–will be king.

And there’s some awesome gory art from Steve Skroce. His writing is good too, but he’s mostly just going for comedy. Not low brow comedy but somewhere in the middle. The jokes hint at depth and back story and they do keep things moving. This first issue doesn’t just have major action sequences and well-paced dialogue exchanges, it also kicks off a flashback into the already introduced leads, the Earth woman and her son.

The monsters are awesome. Everyone’s hair looks fantastic. Skroce gets lost just the right amount in detail; he never lets it go too far. The story comes first. And the story means to amuse.

Maestros is off to an excellent start; it should be fine so long as Skroce never lets the art falter.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Steve Skroce; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

Spy Seal 3 (October 2017)

Spy Seal #5

Spy Seal continues to be a precious, precise delight. Spy Seal and Kes continue their mission with Seal’s crush just getting more and more intense. It doesn’t help their mission has he and Kes’s cover a married couple, leading not just to mission essential necking, but also figuring out the sleeping arrangements.

Tommaso does his big action in small panels. He does the precise, thin lined European backdrops. Spy Seal is a special book, with Tommaso letting the art style determine how the narrative reads but not how it progresses.

It’s great. And, unfortunately, it’s almost over.

The Corten-Steel Phoenix; writer and artist, Rich Tommasi; publisher, Image Comics.

Kill the Minotaur 5 (October 2017)

Kill the Minotaur #5

Kill the Minotaur has run out of narrative momentum. Writers Pasetto and Cantamessa throw in at least three surprise reveals for the Athenians stuck in the Labyrinth and a few more for those outside it. The reveals spin up interest for a panel or two, page at most, before they become inert. The momentum is gone, at least for the story.

Ketner’s art is a different situation. Without the narrative doing anything, the book falls on Ketner and he delivers. Not when they try panel juxtaposition. There’s a few pages of it and it’s a complete flop. But everything else. The action, the energy, the expressions; Ketner makes it work. He doesn’t even make it look like he’s dragging Minotaur towards the finish line.

But he is the only one getting it there. Hopefully he make it all the way. One more issue.

CREDITS

Writers, Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa; artist, Lukas Ketner; colorist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Arielle Basich and Sean Mankiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Stewart the Rat (November 1980)

Stewart the ratStewart the Rat is a depressing book to think about. Writer Steve Gerber had just been fired by Marvel from his masterpiece Howard the Duck, and his career was in a time of transition. Fans of the duck could look to this book as a supplemental substitution, though they would have had to know about it specifically to place a special order with their direct market comics shop – neither this nor anything else by independent publisher Eclipse Enterprises would be showing up on the newsstand next to the latest Rom the Space Knight or Master of Kung Fu. Non-fans of the duck were still forewarned by the front cover, in horror film red-on-black Courier font, that this was “By the creator of HOWARD THE DUCK.” Even if you’d never heard of Howard, you’d know this book was something off-brand. Something that should not be. An aberration from a proven success, born either out of necessity or sheer desperation.

Eclipse Enterprises was, at least according to Wikipedia, the first publisher of graphic novels although that term hadn’t yet been coined. Stewart the Rat is only 44 pages but with its magazine-sized European “comic album” dimensions and stiffer, heavier paper stock it feels a little more important, but still takes no longer to read than an issue-and-a-half of classic Howard. The higher quality paper is actually a nuisance. The pages don’t turn as easily as a normal comic and feel as though they could be bent irreparably if you held them too carelessly. The spine cracks like gingerbread every time you open it. The prestige format makes you feel burdened if all you want is some more Howard the Duck adventures by your pals Steve Gerber and Gene Colan.

Gene Colan’s art, with assistance by Tom Palmer, is typically masterful but suffers from being in black and white compared to the lush coloring his work was receiving at Marvel, except for the de-evolution of Howard into a black and white magazine after Gerber’s firing – but that magazine’s art had better rendering as well as more pages per issue than Stewart.

The most exciting experimentation Gerber uses with the larger, more ostentatious format is getting textual as well as meta-textual, by opening with a lengthy prologue explaining Stewart’s origin story from the perspective of Stewart himself. This part is so well written it actually overshadows the rest of the experience, leaving you wondering what a full length novel by could have been. Echoing the mutation of Gerber’s funny animal id from duck to rat, Stewart begins his existence as Stewart Dropp, a human being (and dead ringer for the author) who unexpectedly dies a grim death (the text is his murder-suicide note) and leaves behind a giant rat who can walk and talk thanks to an infusion of the human Stewart’s own genetic material. In a strange way this prefigures Alan Moore’s reinvention of Swamp Thing as a pure swamp-creature born of human influence, rather than of human origin. Disappointingly, the details of Stewart the Rat’s creation never come back to play any role in the overall story, its just Gerber flexing other creative muscles to set the narrative in motion. Stewart may as well have stayed Of Unknown Origin.

The titular rat’s adventure is, unsurprisingly, a Howard the Duck type of adventure. He winds up in Los Angeles, rather than Howard’s usual Marvel Comics haunt of New York, where he meets a Beverly Switzler surrogate, Sonja Lake, being menaced by a Doctor Bong surrogate named Wayne Fossick. Gerber himself had gone Hollywood irl, working on Thundarr the Barbarian for television, and makes many informed jibes at Los Angeleno culture. The villain Fossick is the best part of the book, possibly the best villain Gerber ever wrote – the ultimate purveyor of New Age claptrap, L. Ron Hubbard by way of Charles Manson. His made up self-help jargon and speeches are both hilarious in their parodies of Werner Erhard platitudes, and dizzying in their hip, banal nihilism. It could have been a great arc for a couple issues of the duck; Beverly goes to LA and Howard has to save her from this megalomaniac. Instead we have these surrogates who barely have enough pages to be characterized before the action starts. In emulating but not distinguishing this creation from his similar, previous comic hero, Stewart can’t help but constantly remind the reader of Howard, especially with the Colan art. There are swears, and tiddies, but Howard the Duck never needed either to be great and Stewart doesn’t gain anything from them either.

Gerber would embrace the absence of Howard and comment on it directly a couple years after Stewart with Destroyer Duck, before sneaking Howard into his run on Sensational She-Hulk some years later and eventually getting to make the denouement on his creation with a Howard the Duck MAX mini-series in 2002 – where he was, incidentally, transformed into a mouse as a commentary on Disney’s lawsuit against Marvel claiming that Howard’s design copied Donald. Ironically, this scandal preceded Stewart. It’s not polite to speak for the dead but I’d like to think if Gerber ever saw what Chip Zdarsky has done with the character recently, he’d kick his smug hipster teeth in.

Stewart the Rat is easily recommendable to any dedicated Steve Gerber fan, but Howard fans may find the experience slightly melancholy. The world conjured up for this relatively slim volume is a hollow one, existing only under because of the author’s frustration over not being able to tell the story using his preferred cast of characters. Stewart was ignominiously born, briefly lived, and quickly abandoned by his creator, who always preferred the company of waterfowl to rodents.

CREDITS

Stewart the Rat; writer, Steve Gerber; artists, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer; letterer, Tom Orzechowski; publisher, Eclipse Enterprises.

Retcon 2 (October 2017)

Retcon #2

Cypress’s art almost makes Retcon worth it. Almost. I’m not entirely sure if I’m done or not, but if I come back, it’s going to be for Cypress. Without him, it’s just this jumbled narrative with the guy from the last issue in trouble with NYPD–they’re going to kill him (they think he’s a terrorist) for 9/11 payback. Except they can’t kill him at the station so they dress him up like an infectious hazard and take him somewhere else?

I think it’s supposed to be dramatic, but since Nixon does so little work on the characters, it’s hard to get invested. The dialogue’s all functional, the characters are all thin; is the protagonist really in danger or is it just Nixon spinning wheels.

It’s spinning wheels. All of it. All of this issue is setup for the next issue (and maybe issues beyond that one). It’s not a bridging issue, it’s an epilogue to the previous issue. One without anything happening.

CREDITS

Shadow-Run; writer, Matt Nixon; artist, Toby Cypress; letterer, Matt Krotzer; publisher, Image Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 4 (October 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #4

Well. I’m not sure what to think of Jimmy’s Bastards right now. Ennis goes broad with the humor, giving Braun what becomes a litany of sight gags involving the villains’ mass disaster plan. And the usually careful dialogue gives way to a bunch of inferences and interrupted thoughts. Ennis returns to his undercooked (still bleeding) “attack” on social justice and basically just fills pages with it until the mass disaster strikes. Then it’s time for Braun’s art fest, then it’s off to the cliffhanger setup.

Take

It’s technically all right–mostly Braun’s art–but Ennis isn’t putting Jimmy’s Bastards is a good spot for a strong finish. More like he’s hobbling it and reducing its ambition.

CREDITS

Takeable-Pissable; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Punisher: The Platoon 1 (December 2017)

Punisher: The Platoon #1

Punisher: The Platoon is Garth Ennis doing a Vietnam war comic with Frank Castle. Young Frank Castle. Green Frank Castle. An author has tracked down Castle’s first platoon to interview them for a book; the author is never seen. Is it Ennis? Peter Parker? Maybe we’ll find out by issue six.

The Vietnam stuff is excellent. Castle’s just become a second lieutenant, it’s his first ever command, his first ever time in a war zone. Platoon is a colorful story, almost jarring the reader from Goran Parlov’s art. It’s precise and tranquil. There’s no violence until Castle arrives.

Ennis is using a couple different points of view devices for the flashback. Subjective narration, presumably objective events. It’s interesting. Art’s great. Seems like Ennis found something else to say about Big Frank. And, if not, hopefully he can get a new car from the Marvel bucks.

CREDITS

1: Crack the Sky and Shake the Earth; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Goran Parlov; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Kathleen Wisneski and Kathleen Lowe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Spirits of Vengeance 1 (December 2017)

Spirits of Vengeance #1

The world is coming to an end and only this ragtag team of Marvel supernatural characters can stop it. Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider. Blade the Vampire Hunter. Damian Hellstrom the Hellstrom. Satana Hellstrom the scantily clad.

Sadly, Spirits of Vengeance does not read like a tawdry seventies comic (and looks less like one). Instead, it’s just a by-the-numbers setup issue with Johnny searching down Hellstrom. David Baldeon’s art is so slick it’s like he’s doing marketing materials for a Disneyland ride, not an end-of-the-world horror comic.

Writer Victor Gischler keeps it moving–a little too fast, the end is hurried–and tries to get in occasional personality moments. But, in the end, it’s just another bland modern Marvel comic; wish they knew what to do with their supernatural characters. There’s got to be something better than this Vengeance.

CREDITS

War at the Gates of Hell, Part One; writer, Victor Gischler; artist, David Baldeón; colorist, Andres Mossa; letterer, Cory Petit; editor, Chris Robinson; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Retcon 1 (September 2017)

Retcon #1

Retcon is about these secret paranormal military guys going out and killing secret paranormal ex-military guys. There’s a lot more back story on it and a fair amount of details–nothing really on the characters, just events and magical stuff–but the main story is pretty fast.

Two agents are tracking a former agent in an AA meeting, they get orders to “disavow” the former agent (in front of the AA members), one of them balks. Then it turns out the former agent has a magic werebear thing going on and the balking current agent has a different magic thing going on.

Toby Cypress’s art is wild, but constrained and thoughtful. Matt Nixon’s script is fine. The comic drags in parts, speeds in parts (especially in the cliffhanger setup), but it’s fine. It’s engaging, even if the characters don’t get any sympathy besides being possible victims.

CREDITS

T.P.T.B.; writer, Matt Nixon; artist, Toby Cypress; letterer, Matt Krotzer; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman: White Knight 1 (December 2017)

Batman: White Knight #1

Batman: White Night is ambitious. Writer-artist Sean Murphy, after years of drawing excellent Batman in middling Batman comics for high profile writers, is trying both hats. And he’s not going to do anything small. He’s going to do the Joker, because Murphy’s not going big and new, he’s going big and old. A deconstruction of the Joker and Batman’s rivalry. Complete with “Batman: The Animated Series”, Batman ’89, a Killing Joke reference, lots more. Maybe a Bat-Mite.

But it’s all modern with Murphy doing the TV talking heads arguing–a little a la Miller, but also just “cable news” and whatnot. He can’t write that scene. His fascist defender of Batman doesn’t have any arguments. So it’s not going to be perfect. Murphy’s hitting a lot of demographics, a lot of zeitgeist, and he’s got it pretty well balanced, but it’s extremely calculated.

And maybe there’s something to the concept–what if Batman’s actually just a fascist brute and the Joker gets cured and decides to save the world from him?

The art’s amazing. Murphy’s got a lot of Batman love on display, from Nightwing, Batgirl, Gordon, Bullock, whoever else. It’s going to be amusing for its details, beautiful for its art, and who knows what for Murphy’s big idea. I hope it stays afloat. The Joker’s whole backstory is already silly–he’s a Batman stan (stalker slash fan) who was a criminal to improve Bats’s crime-fighting.

Anyway.

Maybe it’ll pan out. Maybe it won’t. But it’ll have great art and fun references.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Sean Murphy; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Maggie Howell and Mark Doyle; publisher, DC Comics.

Dastardly & Muttley 2 (December 2017)

Dastardly & Muttley #2

I am now on board with Dastardly and Muttley but with one caveat. As the world descends into an ultra-violent, wacky cartoon mania–so, of course, Ennis should write it–Ennis needs to keep the “President of the United States” gags in check.

The President of the United States killing someone with a giant cartoon mallet during a press conference isn’t as funny as it used to be (and only then if the setup were great). Instead, it’s probably something the world’s going to be worried about in 2019.

But otherwise, Ennis has got the comic set. He just needed to waste an issue doing pointless setup. This issue has much better plotting, much better pacing, much more affable characterization. It’s good. Nice art, again, from Mauricet. He’s got a playful but disciplined style. His dog faces are phenomenal.

CREDITS

2: And You Ain’t No Friend of Mine; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Mauricet; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Brittany Holzherr and
Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

Cinema Purgatorio 12 (September 2017)

Cinema Purgatorio #12

Moore and O’Neil open the issue with a story about stunt men. It’s set to It’s a Wonderful Life–like the plot beats–only it’s about how George Bailey’s guardian angel is really a stuntman. It’s rushed, without much content–though some real nice art from O’Neil–and Moore concentrates more on the mysteries of the movie theater. It is, however, past the point it can disappoint. Cinema Purgatorio has long since passed that point.

Ennis and Caceres do a bait and switch on Code Pru. The opening graphic is a lot more intriguing than the actual entry, which ends up riffing on a very popular “monster” movie. There’s some okay art, but the strip is too far gone.

Modded has a lot of nonsense speak from Gillen for the gaming and some nice art from Lopez. Not nice enough art its worth reading the comic, but it’s nice art.

Oh, I forgot A More Perfect Union, which actually manages to be the least thoughtful comic in the whole issue. Everyone else is doing something really complicated–or at least somewhat complicated–Brooks isn’t with Union. He leverages Andrade’s art against his “historically accurate” Civil War against the giant ants.

Yawn.

The Vast has evil Russian(?) kaiju. Who cares. It’s funny, Andrade’s art is perfect in black and white on Union, but it really needs color on The Vast. Or better inks.

It’s Cinema Purgatorio; I’m going to keep reading it, but I’m never hopeful it’s going to come through again.

CREDITS

Cinema Purgatorio, It’s a Breakable Life; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Kevin O’Neill. Code Pru, Clever Girl; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Raulo Caceres. A More Perfect Union; writer, Max Brooks; artist, Gabriel Andrade. Modded; writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Nahuel Lopez. The Vast; writer, Christos Gage; artist, Andrade. Letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Godshaper 6 (September 2017)

Godshaper #6

Godshaper comes to its finish. There’s some good art from Goonface, but he literally doesn’t have room again. The concert hall is too small for the giant gods and the pages are too small for all Ennay is supposed to be doing. But there’s some good art and some nice feels to the issue.

Those nice feels, courtesy Spurrier’s shiny happy ending, are in the place of any actual finish to the comic. Spurrier spins things up and drops them in new places. He leverages a lot on the likability of the cast–a whole lot, more as the comic goes on–without doing anything for them. It just wraps up.

Godshaper peaked early, so it didn’t exactly waste potential, but it’s a shame it didn’t work out. Spurrier probably should’ve decided on the narrative tone before the last issue.

CREDITS

Writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jonas Goonface; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Redneck 6 (September 2017)

Redneck #6

Redneck finishes its first arc with a whole lot of exposition. Cates basically uses the final third of the comic to do a pitch for the next arc, without revealing anything about it except who’s going to be in it.

Estherren does get a nice action scene to do, but not even all of it. The action moves off-panel pretty quick. It’s nice art throughout, even during the setup stuff.

Once again, an ongoing indie is ending an arc with a soft reboot of the comic itself. We’ll see if Cates can keep Redneck going. Luckily, Estherren will always be able to make the art work right.

CREDITS

Writer, Donny Cates; artist, Lisandro Estherren; colorist, Dee Cunniffe; letterer, Joe Sabino; editors, Arielle Basich and Jon Moisan; publisher, Image Comics.

Angelic 1 (September 2017)

Angelic #1

Angelic is simultaneously new and familiar. It’s post-apocalyptic, no people, just genetically altered animals. The villains are flying dolphins who hunt the winged monkeys. The winged monkeys live in a patriarchal society with a cult-like religion controlling everything. They look like Wizard of Oz winged monkeys, talk like Planet of the Apes. Well, writer Simon Spurrier gives them their own vocabulary with modified words, which they presumably learned themselves (because in being genetically modified, they learned to speak?).

The lead is a female monkey who doesn’t want to get her wings cut off, which is what happens to female monkeys when they have to become broodmares for some dude. The lead, Qora, is going to be broodmare for one of the high holies. She’s not thrilled. So she goes down to the sea shore to sulk and is attacked by a cyborg cat.

The cat’s real messed up. It appears to want pets.

And then she discovers the world is not what it seems.

Lovely art from Caspar Wijngaard. Spurrier’s writing is compelling enough; he pushes it with all the vocabulary, as the story doesn’t have enough weight to support it (yet). But Wijngaard makes up the difference.

Angelic’s all right.

CREDITS

Heirs and Graces, Part One; writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Caspar Wijngaard; letterer, Jim Campbell; publisher, Image Comics.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: