Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rant-Reviews: Checking-In

Time To Check-In
There are a number of comics I read and enjoy whenever they come out, but don't necessarily always post reviews of. I thought it might be good to check-in on these titles and see how good a job they are doing of continuing to hopefully entertain me!

How's It Been Going?
Redneck #4
Donny Cates has been blowing-up lately, with superb books like, "God Country," and the recent news he will be writing titles for Marvel. I've of course been a fan of his since the amazing, "Buzzkill," and continue to enjoy his work on titles such as, "Redneck." A comic about a family of Vampires who mostly keep to themselves in Texas until all kinds of fighting breaks-out, this book in some ways reminds me of the stellar, "Southern Bastards," which also comes out from Image in its focus on the South and how it has horribly broken people as main characters. That isn't to say, "Redneck," is at all a copy of that book, as this baby is its own unique weird mixture of Western, Horror, and a bit of a Supernatural-yarn too, what with the Vampiric element. Still, Cates himself has said to simply call this a book about vampires would be highly reductive as it is about a lot more.

This is a book about family, and the terrible lengths we will go to for the people we love and care about. A lot of this issue involves one vampire as she uses her psychic powers to go into another's memories and provides us readers with some more back-story. This background helps give the current-day events a lot more context and also helps to illustrate how whether we are humans or vampires that escaping the constant cycle of bloodshed within life can be quite hard. Violence begets violence and no matter what era we live in people seem to find an excuse to fight. It's tragic and fascinating to read, making, "Redneck," one of those books you've probably heard a lot of hype about and might be surprised to learn actually lives-up to all the accolades!
5 out of 5 stars.

Deathstroke #21
21 issues in (well, a bit more counting the, "Rebirth," one-shot and a recent cross-over) and Christopher Priest continues to make a character I had never cared about a fascinating lead in a really good book. Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke has always been a horribly flawed person and a villain, but what if he tries to be a hero? Is such a thing even possible? Well, as of this issue Priest is starting to explore that concept and making it clear even a, "Heroic," Deathstroke is pretty dangerous. This was one of my favorite comics of 2016 with Priest being one of my favorite writers last year too, and, "Deathstroke," continues to impress.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Black Hammer #11
Jeff Lemire's comic, "Black Hammer," has slowly grown from an intriguing little title to something really special and fascinating. A super-hero book that isn't in fact a hero-comic in most definitions of the word, we follow some heroes who were able to stop a great evil, but then ended up trapped in some weird normal-ish town removed from the rest of reality. The book works so well because it isn't just a nostalgic look at Golden-age heroes or a dark post-modern take on the concept of heroism it is just an earnest exploration of people who have powers and are stuck in a weird situation and trying their hardest to make the best of it.

In this issue a recent joiner of the heroes from the, "Real-world," continues to investigate how odd this town is, a character I adore almost (but thankfully doesn't) die, and things just get more and more mysterious and ominous. In other words, more stellar comic-making. I personally feel this is one of the best books coming out currently from Dark Horse, and one of the best books in comics in general!
5 out of 5 stars.

Jessica Jones #10
I was a huge fan of, "Alias," back when Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos were doing that O.G. Marvel Max title. Later Jones of course popped-up in various titles but we didn't get any more, "Alias." This is the closet to that as it isn't a Max title, but still slips in some stronger language than most Marvel books and features that original creative team. Some of the old magic is for sure there, but instead of being a mostly self-contained kind of book this draws heavily from recent Marvel events and whereas, "Alias," could have been read mostly independently of other Marvel stuff this will leave you scratching your head should you not have at least Googled what Marvel's been up to (two major plot points in the first arc came from the recent, "Secret Wars," and had a minor character from, "Civil War II," involved as hiring Jones. In other words, this is good, but different from the classic, "Alias."

I should be annoyed with how reliant this book is on the rest of Marvel's events that are going on as opposed to being more self-contained, but Bendis' still gives us such a compelling character in the form of Jones and Gaydos is an artist whose work I always enjoy. Gaydos splotchy and borderline-abstract style just really appeals to me, I guess. This book isn't perfect, but it is still good fun.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

I Hate Fairyland #14
Skottie Young continues to use his ability to make cute child-friendly images to take those adorable drawings and draw them swearing and being violent. The saga of Gertrude AKA Gert as she has struggled to escape Fairyland has been hilarious to witness, with this issue continuing a recent them of Gert trying to be a good person in the hopes that will assist in her actually getting-out. In this issue that involves her working through a confusing labyrinth full of random and creepy dudes who in a hilarious running-gag want Gert to marry them, with her observing it is a strange cliché how in magical realms all these older dudes want to hook-up with young chicks. Young's combination of writing and fantastic artwork makes everything delightful in its twisted-humor and the shocking last page that shows Gert might actually--gasp--become a good person has me eagerly awaiting the next issue to see how it all goes humorously wrong (which I would bet it will).
4 out of 5 stars. 

All Caught-Up!
It is good to see a lot of the books I've been liking have continued to be at least good and sometimes great reads.

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