Let me start off buy saying Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Holidays! Happy Black Friday! Oh, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us and we have all been busy with family and friends and turkey and football and… ah crap. I am a Canadian and I can’t use that as an excuse for why we’re doing new comics Wednesday late on a Friday. As a Canadian, I celebrated Thanksgiving weeks ago and we don’t really have a ‘Black Friday’ here unless you count the odd solar eclipse. My usual jaunt to the local comic store this week was delayed by a combination of day job computer server troubles and acts of Sasquatch.
Better late than never, here’s some light reading for your holiday weekend, regardless of where you are take make the next couple of days a holiday, you deserve it.
I want to quickly touch on an industry tid bit that dropped this week, and well other weeks. Digital same-day comic publishing. Between DC’s rather awkward deal with Amazon to Mark Millar’s little ‘don’t buy digital‘ marketing ploy, its been back in the news lately. I will admit, some of my retailer friends are not fans and worry that it will slowly erode their already shrinking customer base. That is fair. To play devils advocate, I don’t disagree with the publishers feeling that releasing comics on digital platforms is a way to increase revenue and tap into untouched markets. Hell, one of the main reasons I own an iPad is because its so nice for reading comics. Yes, every week I will digitally buy an issue here or there, mostly back issues sold on the cheap, but there is no culture on Comixology, message boards and twitter will never replace hanging out in a place that has an odd smell and stacks of crappy 90’s comics on sale for 50 cents mixed in with other crappy 90’s comics for $20 bucks. I’ve said it before, I just wanted to say it again.
Enough of that, we have 4 comics to quickly run through, and one of them is 4 all in one (in price at least)! We also revisit one of the boobtacular comics from DC’s New 52, check in on the return of a fan favorite and also, based on a semi-anonymous tip, check out ‘best superhero comic book in the universe’, all coming at you now!
|KICK-ASS 2 #5||MARVEL COMICS: Story by Mark Millar; Art by John Romita Jr. Cover by John Romita Jr., Tom Palmer, Dean White, & Bryan Hitch|
|I’ll be honest, when I picked up the first issue of Kick-Ass 2, I was underwelmed. I can’t really say what it was other than the story didn’t hook me as deep as the first series, (which I loved BTW) and I more or less forgot about it. When I picked up and read issue #5 ‘Death By Cosplay’ I realized the mistake I had made. Millar is in high gear here and Romita’s art is such a good fit for this book, his renderings of brutality and innocence lead you through the story nicely.It has been a long road for Dave Lizewski since first putting on the green wetsuit and becoming a real superhero. Yes he inspired many others to do the same, both good and bad, but now we find him dealing with the fallout of what he has created. His dad is in prison, for apparently saying he was Kick-Ass. There is a seriously pyschotic villain movement on the rise, led by The Red Mist (now going by a name that your mother would be ashamed to hear you say outloud) and things are just generally shit.The Mother-Fucker (thats The Red Mist’s new name btw, sorry mom) is doing his best to make Heath Ledger’s Joker look like a girl scout. He is killing, really just blindly killing and being a dick about it. Of course he still has a huge chip on his shoulder over Kick-Ass and, with Dave’s dad in prison, he gets his eye for an eye revenge.
This is not really a great issue to hop on board the Kick-Ass 2: Balls To The Wall train. There is a lot of catching up to do here, but the good news is, it looks like it is well worth it. The book closes with Dave’s father’s funeral and a blast. Literally. When you close a book with the main character being kidnapped by his nemisis and Hit-Girl brandishing a weapon and ready to open up a whole can of pre-teen ass kickery, it’s worth picking up the back issues.
|VERDICT: I hate telling anyone to wait for ‘the trade’- but it is pretty late in the game and Kick-Ass 2 is about wrap up, personally I’ll be scouring the shelves for the issues. Either way, this is something you should be reading.|
|INVINCIBLE #85||IMAGE COMICS: story ROBERT KIRKMANart / cover CORY WALKER|
|So, if this is the ‘best superhero comic book in the universe’ I should really pick it up right? Yes, before the flame war starts, I have never read Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, and yes I am aware many say it is his best work. I am a few pages in, and as near as I can tell, space Burt Reynolds likes banging and aliens don’t have door locks. Ok, I am going to go and research this book a little more and come back to it because I am very lost.Thanks to Wikipedia, I have a little more to work with here. So space Burt Reynolds is also known as Omni-Man and he’s Invincible’s dad; he’s banging the titular characters mom because they are on a long space voyage and thats, you know, what you do on long space voyages. The orange one-eyed alien is talking to the blue one about a coalition and then there is the kid, wait, that’s not Invincible… who the heck is that? Damn it, I am still confused. The dude with the akward wispy mustache at the comic store said this was the start of a new era and a perfect starting point. Um, message boards maybe?Ok, so that is young Omni-Man (aka Oliver) and the orange alien and the blue alien also do it a lot and … you know what, this is not a good issue for a newbie. For one, Invincible doesn’t even appear and clearly we are in the middle of a very very long story.
Do not get my wrong, as lost as I was, I did like what I read. Kirkman does shine here, his strength is the dialogue he writes and he writes it well. Cory Walker (whom I understand returns to the title with this issue) is damn amazing, the weird aliens are wonderfully expressive, sure anyone can draw humans but when you make a giant one-eyed orange dude pop off the page, you’re doing damn good.
From what I read via the internet, the book has never had a good jumping on point, which is to bad because as lost as I was I did enjoy it. It was a fun book, with aliens and super-powered folks, exotic planets, and wild technology.
|VERDICT: If you are already reading Invincible, then yes you know whats going on and are enjoying a great issue. For the rest of us? This isn’t a good place to start and if the internet is true, its hard to find them. If you are willing to invest in a huge stock of back issues, worth a look at least.|
|FANTASTIC FOUR #600||MARVEL COMICS: Written by JONATHAN HICKMANPenciled by STEVE EPTING, CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO, LEINIL YU, & FAREL DALRYMPLECover by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO
Variant Covers by JOE QUESADA, JOHN ROMITA JR. & ART ADAMS
Sketch Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
|50 years and 600 issues of ‘the worlds greatest comics magazine’ brings us, rightfully so, one of the greatest milestone/aniversary issues I have ever ready. Fantastic Four #600 was really a full 100 pages of great reading that I will have a hard time packing into one of these little squares, and I’m really not a fan on the Fantastic Four. They have always been a team I’ve been overwhelmingly ‘meh’ on (unless you count the two big budget movies they insulted us with, then I hate them.)My expectations leading into this issue where not the best, I was sour on a couple of concepts coming in. Namely Spider-Man being part of the team (seriously, that is as stupid as Wolverine being an Avenger) and *spoilier that the internet long revealed* Johnny “Human Torch” Storm being resurected. Allow me to talk about that for a moment, Storms ‘death’ as part of Marvel’s ‘kill a major character a quater‘ mandate still annoys me. Yes, I know publishers kill characters to boost sales, but why be so blatant and obvious about the money grab? It cheapens the industry, Marvel, and it cheapens the death and worse, the resurection.Or so I thought. How Johnny comes back and how all plot lines of the seperate chapters work together to tell the story, well done Jonathan Hickman, very very well done. For the team of artists listed above that worked on the book, also very well done. Unique styles that all worked and flowed nicely together. Another great thing that this anniversary issue does different? There is no filler. None. No cover galleries, no reprints of ‘classic tales’. Nothing, just page after page of great work by all involved.
The story starts with the climax Hickman has been building to for awhile, a Kree invasion that sees earths heroes fighting in a wondefully classic Marvel massive style. Buildings burn, space ships fly. It was solid, albeit basic, at this point I wasn’t overly impressed. Sure the cuts dealing with turmoil in Latveria and conflict in the Baxter Building was all right, but for the most part a lot of it seemed wooden. Sure it was cool that the Kree invasion was also on the same day that Annihilus planned to lay waste to all humanity (Monday’s, am I right?). Then the big reveal, Human Torch is back and a bad guy, maybe? Oh noes. Again, was not impressed. What followed changed that.
We find out what happened to Johnny Storm after his death in the Negative Zone (yes, he really was dead, and even sealed the deal dying a few times since then), getting tossed in with The Universal Inhumans, becoming a gladitorial fighter and fighting to still save the earth.
Beyond that we also get a cosmicly chilling tail of Galactus, a look into Blackbolts mind, and finally something good and unique for Franklin Richards.
For me, the best thing about the comic book medium is how you can tell a story with the tools at hand, in these 100 pages Hickman does just that.
It starts with a Kree invasion and ends with the stories I used to imagine myself when I was Franklin’s age (minus his cosmic powers)
|VERDICT: Yes, I know it is $8 bucks, and normally I rage against over priced books, but it feels almost worth it. While I am more on the DC side, this book reminded me of swiping my older brothers books when I was 6 years old and just getting into comics. Besides, how often will you get to buy an issue 600 now that the great reset to number one is happening with both major companies.|
|VOODOO #3||DC COMICS:Written by RON MARZArt by SAMI BASRI and HENDRY PRASETYACover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER|
|If you recall back when DC’s New 52 came out, Voodoo was a book I ranked among the lowest, if not the absolute bottom. That was disappointing because I do like Ron Marz usually. Well number 3 was time to revisit it, mainly because Marz tweeted “Hey, kids, pick up Voodoo #3 today. It’s got Muppets in it! (And by “Muppets”, I mean weird space aliens.)”, how can you argue with that?It wasn’t the 22 page strip tease that bored me at the start (if you are a stripper and what I said offended you, I am sorry, I do like the female form, some might say too much, but it didn’t make for an entertaining read for me, in that way). In fact, damn it was almost the best of both worlds. It had story AND damn fine female renderings on the part of Sami Basri. For art, its not just the attractive ladies that Barsri displays so well, both the pretty and the pretty ugly sides of humanity (and alienanity?) come out in his work. Voodoo is out of the park on art alone.Let’s talk story; there was enough of it to make me wish I’d picked up issue two. Shapshiffting alien stripper, Voodoo, is on the run from goverment agents that want to dissect her. Awesome, I am a sucker for good ‘on the lamb’ stories. Ok, she is not so much on the run, but heading to a meeting with others like her, in the form of redneck mechanic and two (yes, incredibly hot) females. These aliens have an interesting view point on us humans to say the least.
The meeting is broken up by a Green Lantern, one that Marz knows well. Yes, Kyle Rayner swoops in and the wise cracks and fists/tentacles fly. Kyle discovered some offworld transmissions being made and like the good space cop he is, its time to dispense some emerald justice! Well, investigating is more approriate, but ’emeral investigating’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
This issue didn’t hook me, but it did teach me a valuable lesson in judging a book by its over, or in this case a book by its gratuitous boobs and bums.
Thank you Marz and crew for showing my I can have my cheesecake and story too.
|VERDICT: Like I said, I am not totally sold on this book just yet. I will however be picking up the next issue or two to get a better feel on it.|
That’s it for this week on Attack of the New Comics Wednesday, see you next week, on Wednesday. I promise. As always, if you have a book for me to check out, I’d love to hear what you have to say.