Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Afternoon Rant-Reviews--Some DC, Boom, Image, and Other Indie Comics

As I spent the morning discussing Marvel comics, I thought it would make sense to now discuss some of the other varied stuff I've enjoyed/had to endure lately.

3 New Stories
Dash Shaw is a fabulous artist, and even if these three new stories are mostly just funny weird yarns it still is a pleasure to read them. As these are short tales you get nothing as expansive or insanely complex as his other works, but sometimes bite-sized chunks of an otherwise gigantic meal can be satisfying in their own way too.
4 out of 5 stars.

Storm Dogs #5
David Hine is a great writer and this mixture of sci-fi and police procedural is fascinating stuff which proves his skill. In the span of these five issues I care so much about these characters and really hope this sells well enough to get more "seasons" as it is stated by Hine he is eager to do. Plus, the book does a spectacular job asking questions that make you think, be it about sexuality and gender, or what it means to try and "save" a culture by basically destroying it (in this case that culture being all the native aliens our team encounters). Superb stuff even if all the plots being juggled can result in one needing to slow down and think about everything that is going on--but is it ever a bad thing if a comic actually makes you think?
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Green Arrow #20
I honestly did not read this series at all until I heard about it getting what was basically an entirely fresh start under Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, with them providing quality writing and beautiful art, respectively. Once I learned of this soft-reboot (that basically followed the Nu52 hard-reboot of the character, but whatever) I checked the comic out and was extremely impressed by the aforementioned writing and gorgeous drawing. I've been enjoying this series since and this issue was no exception. We get some conclusion to Oliver Queen's conflict with "Komodo" but clearly a lot of the story is still just beginning. Pick up that first Lemire & Sorrentino issue and give this a chance, you'll be glad you did--even if just for the amazing art.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rogues #1
Ah, the debut issue of new publisher "Amigo Comics" pirates-tale (that actually features a cast from past comics, apparently). This is basically pure fan service with its violence and sex, but the comic's writer El Torres says in the back of the comic book that is kind of the whole point of what he is going for with this series--bringing back that feeling of 1990's excess. It helps that he has the spectacular Juan Jose Ryp on art as there has never been an attractive woman or spurt of blood Ryp would hesitate to draw the heck out of. That said, it is unfortunate that the art is the biggest selling-point of this book because Ryp is no longer doing it after this first issue. Still, it might be worth a glance along with the other upcoming releases from this new comic imprint.
3 out of 5 stars.

Parker VS Aliens #2
I picked both this and the first issue up at once because I have enjoyed watching writer Paul Scheer in his normal work as a comedian ("Human Giant" is one of the best comedy shows ever, for real). That said, while this comic does finally pick up some steam in the second issue I still found myself a bit bored by the plot, characters, and--worst of all considering Scheer wrote this--the jokes. We have the various cliches making up the crew of space deliverymen and the requisite mystery on a strange planet they set off to explore where things unsurprisingly go horribly wrong. It's just all so dull, which is quite unfortunate as I really was hoping for this book to be good. Oh well.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

Suicide Risk #1
Mike Carey returns to hero-styled comics! I enjoyed his work on (the older) "X-Men Legacy" and his contributions to the "Endangered Species" back-up/mini that a lot of folk hated but I loved was some of his best stuff too--not that "The Unwritten" is bad, I just kind of quit reading it when I moved almost two years ago and didn't bother to start picking it up again. Anyways, we've now got Carey writing this whole new world where it seems by having a special genetic marker you can pay to have something done to you that grants you superpowers. The problem is that most of the people with these superpowers seem to be villains, so being a hero is a...Suicide Risk (and now you see where that title came from). Carey faces the classic 1st-issue problem of trying to build up a new world and introduce us to our main character, a police officer named Leo. The thing is, Carey takes that problem head-on and does a pretty good job making us care about Leo and also be intrigued by this depressing universe where there are more bad-guys than good. I still am not quite sure what possesses Leo to try and gain powers at the end of the comic (I'm not spoiling anything, the solicit for this series said as much happens) as opposed to just shutting the dealers down, but perhaps as the issues continue things will become clear. A good return to super-heroes for Carey and I am eager to see what happens next.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Justice League of America #3
This is interesting enough, with its mystery of just what a secret society of super-villains could be up to. However, as it has already been basically revealed that all of that ties-in to the upcoming "Trinity War" cross-over I suppose I'm not too excited as what seemed like an interesting story-line is in fact just a lead-up to a big event (kind of like how that Bendis-penned "Moon Knight" series was a big 12-issue promo for "Age of Ultron"). Still, the book looks pretty snazzy, is written decently, and otherwise is an example of how a comic can be good enough to be better than average, without achieving anything resembling greatness.
3 out of 5 stars.

Between my morning-post full of Marvel comics and this afternoon one of a variety of stuff I would hope there is a comic I've discussed that you now know to go and pick-up, or one you are now aware you should avoid like the plague. Whatever the case, have a great rest of your day.

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