Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers, Jake here from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bag and boarded professional. My passion (and business) is to read, write about and sell comics. In an alliance forged in the stars, The Hall of Comics will be dropping by Nerd Bastards weekly, to bring you the latest word and the weeks best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out what latest comic titles you should be reading.
When asked, my stock answer used to be that I’m not a fan of Kieron Gillen. But after two of this week’s new titles (and Darth Vader), I’ll have to rectify that. Siege has one of the more interesting concepts to come out of Secret Wars, even if it does fall victim to one of my few criticisms of the event (the title is somewhat misleading since it has nothing to do with the Marvel book it was taken from, unlike Civil War or Old Man Logan.) Abigail Brand, the head of S.W.O.R.D. in the normal MU, is charged with the security of the Wall, Battleworld’s defense against the Wasteland where all sorts of nasties, like zombies and Ultrons, are waiting to attack. An esoteric cast of Marvel characters make up her security force, and Gillen’s dialogue as she manages them is razor-sharp. Siege ties into the safety & future of the main title critically enough that it may turn out to a very important player in this whole game. Yay to the story, boo to the fast & loose art.
There just shouldn’t be any DC events unless Geoff Johns is writing them. The amazing Darkseid War going on in Justice League is further proof Johns is a fan first, then a writer. There are bunches of moments in this week’s #42 where I could see him pulling from DC continuity and referencing older story lines, like Crisis on Infinite Earths – not in an obscure, look-what-I-know, Grant Morrison kind of way, but in a wow-isn’t-this-an-exciting-story kind of way. More than one panel at the end of this issue will be talked about at length over the next few days. Batman fans may want to start reading this story arc if they aren’t already. There’s a magical lasso moment that’s a great example of what I mean about Geoff Johns and how he gives us what we want to see, even if we didn’t know it.
Part two of my Kieron Gillen policy change comes from Avatar. Gillen’s own description of Mercury Heat is that it’s a little Tank Girl, a little Judge Dredd. But I think a more accurate analogy would be the movie Outland, with Sean Connery, crossed with Greg Rucka’s Whiteout. Whatever – a cyber-enhanced, aspiring police woman finds herself investigating a murder on the planet Mercury. Gillen makes wonderful use of the locale, explaining on the first page that one side of the planet will melt a person and the other will turn one to ice. But at the border between the two it’s possible to survive if you can outrun the dawn. Omar Francia’s art is satisfying to a point, but when the action begins, his heavy lines and inking blot out the detail and it’s hard to tell what’s what. Still a stand-out title in the ever-growing genre of strong female characters in remote and dangerous areas outer space.
The smartly titled (hear that, Siege?) Guardians of Knowhere is Secret Wars’s straight-up GotG title – no alternate reality versions of the characters, no revisiting of past story arcs. I enjoyed this first issue, but wanted more of what was good about it and less time spent on setting-up the premise. Brian Michael Bendis is best when he’s writing dialogue, and this first issue could’ve used more of that. Mike Deodato’s pencils are just stunning – watching Rocket deliver lines by Bendis while being realistically rendered by Deodato is how it ought to be. Things begin to shift in Doom’s reality, much like they have for Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, as the Guardians begin to wonder, “Is all of this real?”
Let’s stop pussyfooting around and just say that Postal is one of the absolute best titles being produced right now. Not convinced? Issue #5 takes it to a level above the unique murder mystery with a twist in the first four issues. It’s a stand alone issue that demonstrates how the story thus far has changed our protagonist. Mark is a postal clerk with Asperger syndrome who lives in Eden, a town populated entirely by criminal fugitives. He’s the one resident without a rap sheet and his mom happens to be Eden’s mayor. Writer Matt Hawkins (The Tithe, Think Tank) moves successfully between voices – Mark’s inner monologue, the story’s villain – a Charles Manson wannabe with a poetic bent, and all the other characters. He creates a tone that’s not overly dark, rather desperate and a bit sad with danger lurking in the background even in mundane settings. This is a series that will be name-dropped after it’s gone away, like Y the Last Man and Cerebus and V for Vendetta.
We’re still reeling from all the comic book movie goodness that came out of this past weekend’s San Diego Comic Con. And isn’t that the only thing we really expect from SDCC anymore? The biggest toy reveals are usually from the annual Toy Fair. Comic book announcements come from the publishers themselves on a regular basis. But big name movie trailer reveals? That’s become the big draw for SDCC. So much so that we’ll happily watch a blurred image at a 130 degree angle that occupies only 12 percent of our computer screen, just to see the Deadpool trailer before everyone else. Between Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Deadpool I’d say it was worth it. X-men: Apocalypse? Ehnnn, not so much. But love ’em or hate ’em (and why isn’t it okay to feel something in-between?), you can’t deny that it was quite the spectacle, the way they captivated the online geek community for three days. Thanks internet, for allowing comic books to bring us together/split us apart much the way that only sports and politics do.
Alright kiddies, that’s it for me this week. Tune in next week for another addition of “Meanwhile at The Hall of Comics”. Wanna know what else is out this week? Check out the full list of releases at The Hall of Comics NEW RELEASE page HERE.
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