Here we go, another headfirst dive into the stacks because its a new comic book Wednesday! Now before we leap I want to tackle something that has been heavily talked about over the last few weeks. Yes, the ‘new’ DC Comics Logo. You’d think after a week and half it’d be talked to death, but no. Just this evening at my local comic shop, the nerd rage continued. I’ll admit, when I first saw it pop up on Bleeding Cool I was a little sour on it, well more cynical than sour but I am old. That was soon replaced with mild apathy and then gradual acceptance. I used up most of my logo related rage when ‘the spin’ came out in ’05. On topic, check out this video (lifted from Bleeding Cool), a very accurate representation of the average reaction to the new branding :
MORE AFTER THE JUMP
Like I said above, I’m already (mostly) over it, heck some of the character related variants seem kind of neat. Besides, it’s a logo, a tiny little brand in the corner, before the movie, during the load screens on the video game. It’s whats on the inside that counts, right? Well, that leads to one final thought. Why isn’t it on the load screens or the opening credits. Two of DC’s rather large properties outside of comics are still branded with the spin. The forthcoming DC Nation block on Cartoon Network (which is also owned by DC’s parent company, Time Warner) still sports the spin in all its promos. The PC/PS3 based MMO DC Universe Online is in the same boat, hell it’s still running with a pre-New 52 continuity. *Gasp* Dark Knight Rises trailer that’s still running in theatres? Same deal.
Was this a rash short sighted move on the part of the comics publisher as it continues to try and reinvigorate its place in the industry? Well, if *I* was trying to rebrand a company that has intellectual property spanning across multiple media, I would have had the new version ready to roll out across each and every one of them, since it’s a freaking rebranding. Dump the old so we just have the new and we’ll all accept, forget and move on a lot quicker.
Alright, if I don’t stop bitching, we’ll be here all night. Wanna see whats on the racks? Are you into the stupidest numbering since that issue #0 garbage? DECIMAL POINTS! DC has Unwritten #33.5 on the shelf and Marvel has Deadpool #49.1., oh how gimmicky. For plain old number one’s there is a whole new Avatar: The Last Airbender (for those of you that still care after the terrible M. Night Shyamalan movie) and fresh starts to King Conan: Phoenix On The Sword and Bulletproof Coffin. Speaking of fresh starts, The Walking Dead and Secret Avengers kick off some new and promising story arcs, Alpha Flight ends and for some damn reason Archie featuring rockers KISS. Let’s grab three books and see what we’ve got, shall we?
Your fast and dirty reviews start now.
ALPHA FLIGHT #8 – MARVEL COMICS – Story by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente, Art by Dale Eaglesham, Colors by Jesus Aburtov, Cover by Carlo Pagulayan & Leinil Yu
Starting off on a downer, this is the last issue we will see of Alpha Flight (until it is reboot in a year or so). I have honestly lost count of how many attempts at making this book work there have been. Oh I’ve on board for most of them, the good ones and the bad, and I’ve never full understood why it hasn’t worked. It was created by the legendary John Byrne, Jim Lee was on art for a stint, hell Wolverine has even been sorta part of the team, isn’t that what it takes? Maybe it’s because it is Canadian.
Well, I’m a Canadian, damn it. Wait, please keep reading.
So, with this latest volume, I was in for the first few issues and for no real reason beyond lack of time to read it, it fell off my radar. I am sorry for that because it really was a good run. Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente gave us a heady tail of the great white north under the oppressive heal of ‘the Unity Party’ – your run of the mill fascistic government secretly backed by an immortal caveman that has alien technology. Brave making The Master of the World your big baddie, I respect that. Through the whole run, Dale Eaglesham‘s art has been stellar, the heroes are heroic, the action is dynamic and seeing at it is Canada the lush untamed wilds are great.
Now, as this is a finale, it’s what you would expect. The conquered Canada is freed by the hero lead rebellion. It does feel pretty rushed in some parts, I’m guessing that after the book was granted ongoing status Pak and Van Lente had spread the story out over a few more issues than they ended up with. Pak, Van Lente and Eaglesham take the curtain call on this series with some threads left dangling and final page that isn’t so much a good bye but a see you soon.
Hopefully we do. Say just after the X vs A event? Come on, who’s ready for volume 5?
VERDICT: Ok, here’s the plan. We invent time travel, go back 8 months and all buy 3 copies of each issue! I’m going to say this volume, being the quickest out Alpha Flight has had, ended to soon. If you get a chance, pick up some of the back issues.
TEEN TITANS #5 – DC COMICS – Written by SCOTT LOBDELL, Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
Speaking of teams that are their umpteenth redux, I’m still struggling through the DCnU Teen Titans. Until today, issues #3 and #4 were still sitting in my “I’ll get to it” pile of comics. I grabbed isshe #5 and powered into them to catch up. Dovetailing with Scott Lobdell other title, Superboy (which I still have the past 3 issues in the pile) and this super mysterious evil organization known only as N.O.W.H.E.R.E. that’s using him has a weapon to capture new young metas, well obviously the Teen Titans would be in their sites. Welcome to the big bang up battle issue, it’s 5 on one and the Titans are heavily out gunned. It is nice to get both sides of the story and yes it is rather clear where this is headed in each of the titles, but I am still trying to wrap my head around what Lobdell is doing here. It’s been 5 issues of fluffy story really.
The characterization are ok, but almost to cartoony for my tastes. I know he is suppose to be part of the whole diversification movement in comics, but Bunker really irks me at times. When he calls himself the ‘only member of the team that who can rock purple’ I audibly sighed. This is not a terribly deep book, not by a long shot. Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund‘s art carries on this cartoony feel and I found myself struggling at times to work through a panel. There is a lot of visual noise going on here and flashy action that reminds me of watching a ferret race across the room after downing 3 Red Bulls. It’s an alright read and fun in parts, don’t get me wrong. I just feel like it hasn’t really started yet, it still feels like the build up for the real story to kick in.
VERDICT: Well, I’m at the point where I think its down to an issue or two more before stop putting it in the ‘to get to’ pile and just stop picking it up at all. While reading this issue, I found my eyes floating off the page and to a shelf where my copy of The New Teen Titans: Games by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez rests, a tale of the Titans from the 80’s.
THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN: DISINTERRED #1 (OF 6) – IMAGE COMICS – story DAVID HINE, art & cover SHAKY KANE
I had no idea what to expect when I picked this up. Yes I had heard the hype about the sequel to last years indie comic hit The Bulletproof Coffin, no I had never read that. In my typical Johnny come lately style I wonderfully surprised.
A twisted and bizarre homage to the pulp comics of long long ago, I found myself reading the narration boxes in a classic film noir style which I blame on the bang on feel for it David Hine‘s dialogue and partially on my own psychosis. I immediately fell in victim to Hine’s infectious writing style, helped along the way by Shaky Kane’s unique and moody art. Do the characters seem a little wooden at times? Yes, but that was kind of the point.
So, the city has been plagued by a rash of grisly murders that are all linked by a fact that the victims are found decapitated on first night of the full moon. Are there more links? Hell yeah, and ace detective Johnny P. Sartre is on the case! Are the links he comes up with entirely accurate or the result of his own (rather large) psychosis? Yeah… That boy’s not quite right in the head. He does have a gorgeous ass(ed) partner named Ginger but can he trust her? Yeah, probably but that doesn’t stop him. When it’s all said and done, the case is solved (?) and the Shield Of Justice that he day dreamed about becomes a reality!
It felt like a one and done start to an anthology series to be honest, and it was an insanely satisfying read. It did it’s pulp/noir roots a great service without feeling stale of forced and mixed in enough sophisticated modern satire with Sartre’s delusions and paranoia backed up with a healthy dose of McCarthyist fear mongering to make me clamor for more.
VERDICT: Does anyone have a copy of The Bulletproof Coffin they can lend me? I need to read it. Like now. Can anyone give me advanced copies of the nest 5 issues of this book? I would like to read them now too. Best book I read this week by far.