An assortment of interesting comics have come out lately. I read them and then review them, you know how it goes. Shall we?
A Variety of Things
The Multiversity #1: Mastermen
I've been greatly enjoying "The Multiversity" and its titles so far, going so far as to say the "Pax Americana" comic was my favorite single issue of a comic in 2014. "Thunderworld" was fun and the guide-book turned out to be a fascinating mixture of storytelling and encyclopedia-styled facts. Therefore, after that amazing guide I can't help but feel a little let-down by this entry in the series, even with the famous Jim Lee supplying some pretty art.
As this series of loosely-connected comics from the mind of Grant Morrision proceeds, the little ways everything links to everything else are becoming more and more apparent, as well as the theme that almost every issue ends with the world ending or barely surviving a massive cataclysmic event clearly brought about by the ever-so-evil Gentry. Within this issue we see a world where good ol' Superman accidentally lands in Nazi Germany and deals with the fact that his innate Supermanly-goodness really doesn't sync-up with the evil and murderous Nazis--which, if you think about it, there isn't anything in real-life more evil than Nazis. It's expertly-drawn, interesting, and all-around solid.--just not as amazing as some of the other entries in this series.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Lady Killer #2
Joelle Jones continues to supply art and story (with co-writer Jamie S. Rich) for a comic that has a strange dichotomy of taking place in the "simpler" and "wholesome" time of the mid-1900's but revealing how things weren't necessarily any less violent or disturbing back then. This issue has us continue following, "Mrs. Schuller," someone who clearly has been a contract killer for some time (15 years), yet at some point softened enough to marry a husband and have two kids--with the balancing act of being a hitwoman and happy housewife proving quite difficult. I'm not sure just what sort of agency our protagonist works for, as I at first thought it was maybe a government-type job, but am now not so sure. Watching our "hero" try to have two different lives has made for a neat comic so far, however, and clearly things are going to come to a head soon. I'm excited to see what happens.
4 out of 5 stars.
Secret Identities #1
This surprised me in that I liked it. I mean, another comic focused on what heroes are "really" like out of their costume, haven't we had that enough? Perhaps not, as this comic actually sets us up pretty well with a cast of people who are interesting and complex, with their lives outside of their "hero" activities actually looking potentially interesting. There is the cliche of someone joining the team who secretly wants to take it down from the inside (that's occurred countless times), but the little variations from what we might expect keep this fresh. A super-speedy hero who uses his power to the advantage of having two families (sleazy, but clever), one crime-fighter who is also the President's daughter, someone else who tells lame jokes while in costume and can't get a break in the comedy-scene in their regular life because, well, their jokes are lame. I can see this comic going either way of being intriguing and fun, or falling into genre tropes and being an uninteresting mess. Right now it looks promising, however.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Well, this took forever...and it still has one more issue to go. I recall how exciting it was when the "Hawkeye" comic was first coming out, between Matt Fraction's great writing and David Aja's incredible art it was a marvelous read. Then it started to get delayed and other artists came in. Then it got even more delayed and felt like it was full of fill-in issues (the one that took place in a cartoon was cute but wholly unnecessary). Eventually it was announced this series would end, and finally here we are limping alllllmost to a conclusion before the book re-launches with a new creative team (because if Marvel has shown us one thing lately, it is that they love re-launching titles with a shiny new "#1"). This all leads to the most important question about this series and its penultimate issue though: Was this good? Yes, yes it was.
Even though it is starting to look like "All-New Hawkeye" is going to come out before the 22nd and final issue of this, at least we are going to eventually get the ending to a story that Fraction and Aja want to tell. Aja actually illustrated this whole issue and did his usual wonderful thing of artsy-meets-action while Fraction gave us more of that now-classic "bro"-talk and hints of just what the overall mystery of all this is (that safe and redhead from the start of the series seems to be integral to all this after-all). It's extremely solid comic-book-reading and a shame it has taken so long for it to approach the finish line. Basically, this is going to read fantastically for anyone who buys the inevitable omnibus and is able to ingest everything in one long sitting-session. Although, for those of us who bought this in single issues and still have some time before the conclusion it has been a basically equal measure of reading-pleasure and waiting-pain. Now to see how long it takes for the final issue to actually come out.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Finish Line
That was a good assortment of titles, wouldn't you a agree? Nothing too bad, and some quite impressive stuff. Yeah, this was an overall solid chunk of material.