This Week: Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #2, Cyclops #4, Dream Police #4, Ghostbusters #19, POP #1, Savage Hulk #3, Star-Spangle War Stories #2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time #3, The 7th Sword #4, Transformers vs G.I. Joe #2, Wayward #1.[toggle title_open=”The long and short of it…” title_closed=”Here’s how this works…” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]We are Living Myth Magazine, and we are here to read comic books! Every week, we go and feed our addiction (single issues mostly online, trades mostly from conventions or Big Pete’s). And every Wednesday we respect Woden, the God of Comics, and we speak of the stories that he, in his greatness, has brought us. We speak of it on twitter. That’s a preview, though, and there’s times we don’t pick up the things we were looking for or end up picking up things we didn’t talk about.
Since Aaron Golden is taking a week off to memorize the battle stats to all of the Digimon, Gregory Milne (that’s me) is filling in and providing his take on some of the books he’s into. Normally Aaron uses a whole star-type rating system, but Greg really hates those. So he doesn’t do that. He’s in charge this week, dammit. He’s also talking in the third person, which is starting to weird him out. Moving on.
All clear? Everyone with us so far? Cool. Lets do it.[/toggle]
So the first thing that strikes me about the two issues in that this story seemingly has nothing to do with Ash getting married at all. It may have been mentioned in their somewhere, but that’s about it. Actually no, that’s not true. The first thing I noticed was the lazy looking Jae Lee cover. It may well be the weakest art I’ve seen him put out. But the fact that Ash’s wedding isn’t a part of the story was noticed soon after. Those two points aside, this is a very fun book. The rest of the art is solid. Really enjoy being back in the Army of Darkness past world. And the villain is quite creepy. Very worth checking out. And hopefully Ash does get married. She seems like a nice lady when she’s not possessed and trying to eat souls.
When I found out that the Cyclops solo-book was going to be a space-pirate adventure with teenage Cyclops, I was baffled. However, it has proven to be quite a strong title. Yes, whiny Cyclops is even whinier as a teen, but the heart of the story is a kid and his long-estranged father trying to reconnect. No matter where you set that, that can be a very powerful story, and this book is doing it very well, especially this issue which sees both men marooned on a distant planet, the father (Corsair) quickly running out of his medication and facing death. The space aspect does add some colorful flair, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the core story. Recommended!
When J. Michael Straczynski is writing I’m almost always on board, and for the most part, that’s the case with Dream Police. Dream Police reads as if it were episodic television (in fact, many elements remind me of the vibe of Real Ghostbusters, for which Straczynski wrote several episodes). This is kind of good and bad. The cases are one-off’s or monsters-of-the-week. They are interesting given the dream world that the characters are in, but it’s the stuff happening between the cases that is the truly interesting elements of the story. Unfortunately, those account for a small fraction of each issue. That said, the strange happenings in this surreal place are coming more to the forefront in issue four. The leads know something is wrong, they just aren’t sure what. Looking forward to seeing what happens from here.
The art in the series is solid, but sometimes it feels not weird enough to me. Its the world of dreams, but it is essentially just a faux-New York city. It fits the Dragnet vibe of the characters, but I would just want it pushed a little bit more. Personal taste, I guess. But I definitely recommend the book. Especially fans of things like Dark City.
Man, am I going to miss this book when it is done. So much. Mass Hysteria is in full effect and the Ghostbusters are wedged in the middle of a war between two Gods: Gozer (from the original film) and his/her sister Tiamat. And those Gods are wedged in Ray’s brain. This is a tough one to get into without some big spoilers, but being the penultimate issue, I can say that it sets up the big finale beautifully and with a breath-holding cliffhanger! The art is the same level of awesome as always, with the added treat of the Gods constantly shape-shifting as they spare in Ray’s mind. Dan Schoening gets a workout on this one! Highest recommendations!
Robyn Hood has always been my favorite character from the vast Zenescope roster and I was very excited to find out that she was getting her own ongoing title. Robyn has bounced back and forth between our world and ye olde fantasy land, Myst, a few times now. The premiere issue takes place in the here and now, with she and Marian having set up a private eye business of sorts, dealing with the strange forces at work in the city. It sounds like a bit of a cliche set-up, but I really enjoy Robyn Hood doing the urban street-level thing, doing some sleuthing, even using a little tech here and there for a change. The book is a strong launch, introducing what looks to be a very sinister villain. Worth checking out.
An interesting science fiction story about pop stars who are manufactured at products. In the literal sense, not like an agent assembles a boy band. Like grown in a lab. One idol-to-be has escaped and was taken in by an average good citizen. Given the glitz and glamour of the world its satirizing, the art is decidedly minimal, and it works. What works a little less is the thinly-veiled references to current pop stars. It starts taking me out of the story really quick. I rest my case on celebrity Dustin Beaver. Yep. This issue is mostly set-up, but will be interesting to see where it goes.
After the strong-started Indestructible Hulk series went south so quickly, I have been dying for a new Hulk series to satiate my smashing needs. I’m not sure that Savage Hulk has done that. Oh, it has smashing, but it’s a bit of an odd duck. Savage Hulk is a retro titles set in the 60’s/70’s with the original X-Men line-up encountering Hulk for the first time. It’s a weird vibe. But the creators make the most of it. When Professor X tried to cure Banner in the previous issue, the excess gamma radiation flooded into Jean Grey, creating a super-intelligent, telepathic, telekinetic Hulk. Let that one sit in your brain for a moment. Yeah. If you’re into a good throwback, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
This will feel like a retread of my Army of Darkness review from earlier, but this book has the exact same issue. You can’t call your book Star-Spangled War Stories if it doesn’t take place in the war. You also can’t call the book G.I. Zombie if your zombie isn’t, at present, a part of the general infantry. He is a zombie at least, so that’s something. Also, like the Army of Darkness, lazy looking cover. But the book, like Army of–you get it, is very strong. Our semi-titular zombie is actually a spy in this storyline, aiding an undercover agent uncover the truth about some biker arms dealers and a possible terrorist attack. Great story, great art. These first two issues are definitely worth a read.
What is throwing me a bit going forward is the teaser at the end that the story is going to fast-forward five years and be set in Gotham. Not sure how that is going to work. Ever chance it could be awesome, but every chance it could be the opposite. It does seem weird to switch things up so early. Time will tell.
This series has been interesting along the way that’s for sure. The art style (and sometimes tone in general) has changed dramatically issue to issue. I can’t lie, the animated series style dinosaur adventure in the first issue is my favorite so far, but the more serious second issue built on some of the storylines in the Micro Series and was quite compelling. This pirate story meets somewhere in the middle. It’s fun. It’s pirate-y. It sets up some possible consequences going forward. Writing and art are both strong. Worthwhile read!
The classic tale of a stranger who finds himself protecting a struggling village against invasion by a tyrant is given a Kurosawa meets Mad Max meets… something with a bunch of robots. I’m drawing a blank. Anyways, while the story itself is something that’s been seen before, the angle of a samurai in the post-apocalyptic future is cool. The creative team has been delivering the goods each issue thus far. Worth a look.
I don’t understand this book. I don’t understand anything about this book. I don’t understand the choice to make it look like the artwork from old toy instruction manuals, or in some cases simply like toys were being played with. I don’t understand the bizarre, ever-changing color palette. I don’t understand the faux aging. And I definitely don’t understand the mess of a story.
Okay, some elements I understand. They had meant this to be a throwback to the old Marvel books, right down to the aging, but IDW had already done that, and much more successfully with their Transformers: Regeneration series with the original creative team. In this case, everything is just a giant mess that makes little sense and is a headache to read on every level. I would skip it.
Half-Irsh, half-Japanese Rori Lane, who looks entirely Irish, moves to Japan to live with her mother. It turns out that Japan is kinda like most anime would have you believe. Cat-girls, kappa demons, katanas, vending machines. It also turns out that Rori Lane has special powers that are starting to surface. Very curious to see where the story goes. The characters are quite engaging, it has a strong sense of humor and the art is phenomenal. My only qualm is that the cover isn’t very indicative of the book itself. It’s not creepy, it’s colorful and kinetic. But if that’s the worst I can say I’d say you’ve got a good debut happening. Recommended!