Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers. Jake here, from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bagged 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 week’s best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out the latest comic book titles you should be reading.
The Twilight Children is a strange & pretty little story. It’s the second title in Vertigo’s ambitious relaunch, and one can’t help but think that DC saw what was happening in the indie world, specifically at Image, and thought, “We can do that!” It’s cowritten by Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) and artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier), who are well-matched. Set in a small, seaside town in South America, the story follows several local residents and how their lives change when giant, glowing orbs begin to randomly appear & disappear. Everything about the book – the pacing, the art & dialogue – is so smooth and gentle that you don’t particularly worry about where it’s going, it’s just so pleasant to read. You get plenty of story in the first issue, but I wouldn’t have minded if it just kept going.
For the second week in a row, Marvel stomps all over your new comics Wednesday with its All New, All Different releases. While it’s tempting to mock the umpteenth reboot of their series and the numbering, the truth is that the new titles we’ve seen so far have had quality content. This week’s Uncanny Avengers is the third volume with that name and remains true to the concept – that Steve (old Steve, now) Rogers has formed a superhero team of mutants and avengers to promote peace & unity. And this time around, he’s added Inhumans to that recipe. It’s a fun book with plenty of superhero-ey stuff. Gerry Duggan knows his way around a team dynamic and the writing is solid. Ryan Stegman manages to draw thinner legs & ankles than even Art Adams. That, and other anatomical distortions in his work are disconcerting, but otherwise his particular flair fits the book. Oh, yeah – this first issue already features the intro of a new Avengers villain. Spec alert!
I wanted to like I Hate Fairyland more than I did. The premise is a good one. Think of all those stories where a little girl, like Dorothy or Alice, is swept away to a magical land. Now imagine that rather than finding her way home after an adventure or two, they end up stuck there, continually searching for the way home. The little girl, now an adult, would probably begin to lose her s***. Writer & artist Skottie Young is clearly having fun doing this book. It’s full of references to movies and books that he’s parodying, and his imagination fills the pages. The one-note joke got old for me by the end of this first issue, though. It’s not helped by the fact that our protagonist is joyless and reacts violently to everything. I Hate Fairyland is not a poorly done book, but humor is so subjective. I’m sure there’s an audience that will love this, particularly since there isn’t anything else quite like it being done right now.
As a huge fan of Nick Spencer’s work on the recent Ant-Man, I was expecting something lighter from Sam Wilson Captain America. Instead, it’s a dense and thoughtful interpretation that balances the current political state of the country with a few humorous moments. When I say “dense,” I mean there is a lot that goes on in just this first issue, as well as a lot of different ideas. He juggles them well, though. And it flows nicely out of Rick Remender’s run on the character that we saw last. Remender’s inner monologue for Sam was about who he was as a person and who he needed to become to fulfill the Captain America legacy. Spencer takes it to the next step, as Sam now questions who Captain America needs to be in the face of the country’s divided politics. The first issue is both fun and intelligent and I’m very excited to see what mark Spencer leaves on the title.
Look, I’m not a strict capes & tights kinda guy. I like lots of indie titles, like Black Mask’s recent Young Terrorists. But I’m gonna come right out and say that I think the buzz around Clandestino may be a case of the emperor’s new clothes. To be sure, the talk about this book is fueled partly by speculators who start foaming at the mouth because small press books like this have a lower print run, making them more sought after. The book itself, though? The art is uneven and makes me think of how a high school art student would depict the situations, particularly a violent fight scene at a gas station. The story is overly plain. A military coup results in widespread executions & poverty for a country’s citizens, until a small group of revolutionaries begin to fight back, led by Clandestino. There isn’t a hook that made this interesting to me and the dialogue was dull. I was pretty surprised, given the inventive and original storytelling we’ve seen in Black Mask series.
It’s been a few days since New York Comic Con ended and I’m just now getting my head screwed back on. At 43 years old, I’m honestly not sure how many more of the mega cons like NY I can do. The standing & walking for several whole days in a row takes its toll. Most of the time, I’m fueled by the adrenaline that comes from such an otherwise terrific experience. I saw a couple of hiccups, but for the most part, the organizers did a fantastic job. Seriously, if you really look at the pressure cooker a con like NY is, it’s a wonder it goes smoothly at all. In fact, the minor hardships of waiting in line or being pushed around by giant crowds seem to bring out a sense of camaraderie in the attendees. “We’re all in this together.” It looked like there had to be more people in costume than not. Sometimes that would disrupt the dealer’s floor, but for the most part, cosplayers tend to gather at one end where the loading entrance is. So again, a much better experience than there is potential for. Let’s face it – in another year, the aching feet and sore back will be forgotten and I’ll return to join the masses. The sweaty, sweaty masses.
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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