Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rant-Reviews--Stuff I Wanted to Write About

Spurred Some Writing
Sometimes I will read a comic and not have much to say besides if I enjoyed it or not. Other times I have a number of thoughts I feel like sharing. I recently read these books and found they all made me want to at least say a chunk of something about them, so let's roll with it and do a batch of reviews!

The New Stuff
Michael Cray #4
Spinning-out of the first arc of "The Wild Storm," I have been really enjoying, "Michael Cray," so far. It seems to be following a bit of a routine of taking popular DC heroes and presenting them in a more twisted and evil version that Cray and his team have to confront. It's been clever and fascinating to see such wild designs of folk like Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, and Arthur Curry, with the book taking full advantage of how this is based in the new Wildstorm-verse and is of course removed from the main DCU (the whole merging of the worlds basically fell apart, didn't it?), allowing weird stuff like what we've witnessed.

It hasn't been too clear how some of these plot elements will relate back into, "The Wild Storm," but I don't mind as since this split-off from the main title it has been its own stellar little story. Michael Cray is a fascinating fellow who isn't just a skilled agent, but very sad and empathetic. He carries a solo title well and I'm eager to see what other murderous and imposing versions of DC heroes he comes up against in future issues!
5 out of 5 stars.

Motherlands #1
Look, I usually love Si Spurrier as a writer, but this new title from Vertigo (yes, that line does still exist) is a confusing mess. It has something to do with alternate universes, bounty-hunters, the entertainment industry, long-lost brothers, and I was just completely lost. I imagine Spurrier has some idea of where he's taking this, but I was just left scratching my head at the majority of this book. It still had some decent jokes and I understood a tiny bit, so it wasn't all bad. Still, talk about a really underwhelming start.
2 out of 5 stars.

Blind Justice #2
I feel like this book was delayed forever, as it is the last of the first, "Season," of the All-Time Comics that Fantagraphics put out. That said, it is a well-written and gorgeous book. I know some people didn't really like the whole throwback theme Fantagraphics had going with these books but I loved them and personally am immensely excited for when more issues come out in, "Late 2018," as the back of the book promises. This issue follows the titular, "Blind Justice," as he dons his heavy protective equipment to go fight a serial killer. It also furthers the overall, "All-Time Comics," plot with this being I believe the sixth issue released under that banner. It's more pulpy fun, which sums-up what these comics have been overall too.
3.5 out of 5 stars,

Twisted Romance #1
A four-part weekly anthology from Image Comics coming out in honor of how February is a month of love in all kinds of wild forms, this series of, "Twisted Romance," lives up to its name in the contents of the first issue already. Alex de Campi writes and Katie Skelly illustrates a stellar short piece about literally heartless people who basically make a business out of their ability to siphon life from people. It's delightfully strange and Skelly's stellar art abilities mesh perfectly with de Campi's darkly humorous writing. There also is a solid prose piece about supernatural creatures and a super-abstract comic on the opposite side of the book (you flip it around and upside-down). Alex and Katie's story is for sure the main attraction here, however, and boy is it a great star for the first issue to get people interested in future ones!
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Jessica Jones #16
Brian Michael Bendis is of course leaving Marvel for DC, but has to wrap-up some stories he's been doing before some of the books end and others are handed-over to other writers. Jessica Jones has always arguably been his baby (besides his, "Ultimate Spider-Man," works), a character he created for the first-ever comic under Marvel's line of, "MAX," comics with the title, "Alias." It was an amazing comic and Jones popped-up in other books afterwards, getting married to Luke Cage and having a child with him named Danielle, but the book truly recently returned when Bendis did this series with original,"Alias," artist Michael Gaydos. The title was of course changed as since the, "Alias," comic existed there was that television show with Jessica Garner of the same name, and the Netflix show which drew from the comics was simply titled, "Jessica Jones," as well. Anyways, all this lead-up is basically to establish that I'm sad to see Bendis leaving this character, but boy is he doing it with a bang.

Jessica Jones biggest archenemy is arguably The Purple Man. A sociopathic villain with the ability to make people do whatever he says, the original, "Alias," comic established why Jones hates him so much (he basically abducted her when she was an active super-hero and nobody noticed) and he's returned for what seems to be the climax of Bendis' run on this book. What at first seemed like it would be a standard, "Beat-up the bad guy," story has spiraled into something much weirder, with Purple Man not exactly wanting to be a good guy, but basically so exhausted of being evil he's willing to try the opposite. It's a bizarre twist and could very well be a ploy, but I'm genuinely off-put by it (in a good way) and curious where this could be going. We're about at the end of Bendis' time on the book so I hope he sticks the landing--this is one of his shining jewels of his time at Marvel so I imagine he will.
4 out 5 stars.

Check Your Local Comic-Shop!
As these books all just recently came-out (besides, "Michael Cray #4," which is a few weeks old) and you can most likely buy them at your comic shop without much of any trouble. Therefore, I encourage you to visit your local comic store and buy whatever of these titles appeal to you, or anything else there you want, I'm not trying to boss you around or anything!

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