Behold my readers! The great tradition returns!
In the late 90’s, a group of friends were avid comic book readers. Every Wednesday, we would pick up our comics, read them, and share quick reviews with each other. It was fun and we did it pretty much every week from 1996 to 2005. Eventually, we tapered off, some stopped reading, some of us lost touch with one another. As this blog has grown over the last 4 years, I feel a need to write more things for all of you to read. So, Comix this week is reborn. As with my movie reviews, this is not comprehensive. I cannot afford to read every comic, nor will I illegally download them, I respect the artists and writers too much for that. Every week there will be a “pick of the week”. At the end of the year, we will have a retrospective and choose the best comic of 2014.
I use the cover images of these comics, and they are owned by the various comic companies- Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image in today’s case. They own this stuff, I do this for fun, not money. Enjoy.
Green Lantern 28
Writer Robert Vendetti, Pencillers Billy Tan and Martin Coccolo
After the classic run on this title by Geoff Johns, we find ourselves in the midst of a new era for Green Lantern, and I am sorry to say that it seems to be a lesser era. Johns set up an expanded GL Universe where there are many power ring corps, each based on a color (roy g biv). This new storyline bases itself on the idea that the spectrum of light that the Lanterns tap into is actually a finite resource, and every time a power ring is used, the universe steps closer to oblivion. It is an interesting idea, but once enacted it creates a big problem- the magic, the power of these rings is diminished. The GL Power Ring was the coolest thing about this character. Johns embraced and Vendetti, for better or worse, has chosen to break that magic down.
This issue is naturally weak as it is a reactive issue, rather than proactive. Recently, Hal gave control of a space sector to the Red Lantern Corps, unfortunately they chose 2814- where Earth is located. The Blue Lanterns were destroyed with Saint Walker being the only one left- and he has lost his hope and descended into despondency. An Alien race called the Durlan, shapeshifters, are leading a rebellion against the GL Corps. This issue follows up on these events. Hal returns to Earth to say goodbye to his family as war looms, Saint Walker mopes in the jungle, and Hal sits down to talk about a plan of action with his advisers.
Overall, a subpar issue, but it could really only get “so” good with this set up. The art was ok, but I’ve never been a fan of this multiple artists sharing a comic due to deadline issues, but its pretty good.
Forever Evil 6
Writer Geoff Johns, Penciller David Finch, Inker Richard Friend
This incredibly strong event nears conclusion. An alternate universe Justice League has taken over the Earth, banished the JLA from existance, kidnapped and unmasked Nightwing/Dick Grayson in public. Now, Batman, Catwoman, and a series of “villains”- led by Lex Luthor, are working together to take down the Injustice Society and free Nightwing. Of course, Nightwing is hooked up to a “murder machine”. In 5 minutes a nuclear bomb explodes. The only way to disarm it is to stop Nightwing’s heart. Luthor, of course, kills him. It all ends in chaos as Batman tries to kill Lex and an alternate universe Lex Luthor is Mazahs! The Alternate version of Shazam!
This is a good comic. It is allowing the villainous characters the opportunity to stand forward and be the heroes. I just wish the rest of the DC Comics line, save Batman, wasn’t such a mess.
Captain America 18
Writer Rick Remender, Artist Nic Klein, Colorist Dean White
The awesome “out there” version of Captain America that kicked off with the Dimension Z storyline continues as Dr. Mindbubble brainwashes S.H.I.E.L.D. and causes them to unleash a doomsday weapon version of the Helicarrier. Cap and Falcon race to the scene and have a fight with the Agents. A fairly straightforward story, and decent artwork. What is kinda cool is Dr. Mindbubble- a 1960’s scientist that tried to mix the supersoldier serum with LSD. Having no volunteers, the Doctor injects himself and gains crazy PSI powers. Insane, but fun.
Writer Greg Rucka, Art Toni Fejzula
A woman awakens in the subway, covered in rats. She seems disoriented and rambles a lot, while being naked. She wanders the streets and runs into a rough crowd that wants to have their way with her. A man named Dante takes her, clothes her, and wants to get her helped. She names herself Veil. While in his apartment, the guys from the street arrive with guns to force their way with her. She then uses some sort of mind powers to make them shoot themselves. Dante leads her out of the apartment as the cops are enroute.
An okay first issue, but the art is the real star here. So stylized, and very distinctive. The above cover is how the art appears throughout the book. I will probably give it a couple of issues, but the story needs to actually…develop beyond a woman ranting gibberish and using mind powers. It’s a first issue though, and I thought it worked very well. Check out Fejzula’s blog for some more great art.
Writer Mark Millar, Art Goran Parlov
The “Millarworld” expands with this newest take on a “Flash Gordon” style character. We are introduced to Duke McQueen, the classic space hero of the Golden Age of comics. He is a test pilot that gets sucked through a wormhole and ends up on the planet Tantalus. he beats the evil dictator and frees the universe. He takes the wormhole home before it closes and returns to Earth. Where this get cool is that when he returns, Duke tells everyone what happened to him, and no one believes him. He gets married, has children, and lives his life. Then, his wife dies and he loses touch with his children. He is alone, and old. One rainy night, he hears something outside and sees an Alien Spaceship decloak. He past has returned!
This is an ideal first issue. The story is easy to jump into, and the art was terrific, evocative of those classic comics. Millar has a habit of taking comic book tropes and twisting them into something new. I strongly recommend this one to any lover of comics, or classic pulp comics.