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275

God of Comics – John Wick #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 5, 2017

John Wick #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

The real world impact of John Wick was about as explosive as the character.

It’s a weird thing to think, but original concept action movies are kind of dead. Everything Hollywood produces these days is attached to an existing property, it seems, so when John Wick was announced no one had any idea what to make of it. The advertising was not existent and it was shuffled out and, I imagine, expected to be a forgotten piece of nothing in first quarter filmic flotsam.

Word of mouth carried it further than anyone might have expected it to go. I’d say going further than it had any business going, but that would be a lie – this was a movie that was brilliantly put together, a shocking wave of violence and fury that made sense and introduced a shadowy world that co-existed with the one we know, a world where gold coins have currency and the rules of the Continental are everything.

The title character needs no establishment; the world fears him. You can see it in the weather, at the funeral, in every interaction he has with anyone that crosses his path. And, thing of it is, the world of John Wick does feel like a world. It’s lived in, a place where people play and breathe and kill. It’s a world the first and second movie only scratched the surface of, a world where John is already established, a force of nature unlike anything else in that place.

One question remained unanswered, though: how did John find himself in that world?

Greg Pak is looking to give us the answer. Yes, that Greg Pak, the writer of Planet Hulk and a list of incredible comics long enough to fill whole shelves worth of trades. He’s joining an angry young John fresh out of prison, a John with a lot of raw talent but an utter lack of refinement as he crosses over from the world we know to the one he will be a legend in.

That’s worth the price of admission alone.

John Wick‘s world is one that the movies only hint at, giving us just enough information for the sake of story but never pushing mythology over action. The mythology is there and that is enough for the need of story, but those of us with questions sometimes need those questions answered. What is the Book of Rules or the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? What was John like before the world hollowed him out and left behind the Baba Yaga?

Greg’s been paired with artist Giovanni Valletta, a name you might know from some rather moody work in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. His work shines when dealing with shadows and the nuance of expression, and this is one of those perfect pairings between an artist and a story. We’re expecting great things from this, and you should be, too.

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267

God of Comics – Elsewhere #2

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 4, 2017

Elsewhere #2 (Image Comics)

This comic is the best kind of weird.

Exhibit A for this would be last month’s issue, where two furry prisoners escaped from a floating island and came across Amelia Earhart, who was stuck in a tree by her parachute. They rescued her, she came to terms with being on an alien world with flying islands and nabbed herself a flying beast before being captured as part of a plan by the former prisoners. From there, she was taken to the prison by soldiers in service to the Great Dark Lord and was given a cell to share with someone who looks like Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks.

He’s not Dale, though. Or even Dougie. His name is Dan and he prefers to go by DB. His last name is Cooper, though, and if that name sounds familiar, good on you for knowing your history: DB Cooper was the name given to a man who hijacked a plan back in 1971 and then vanished from the face of the Earth.

Literally, or so this comic would have you believe.

Writer Jay Faerber isn’t one to keep that sort of thing hidden. He’ll tell you immediately that every human in this fantasy world he’s put together is from our world, a refugee brought over by forces unknown and forced to survive in some very out there circumstances. This is a series that he’s been planning for a while and he’s got some secrets and some tales to tell in a series of four-issue arcs, depending on how this one goes.

And it should go well. That last issue was amazing.

A good chunk of that amazing can be placed at the pencils and inks of Sumeyye Kesgin, a Turkish artist with a knack for wild imaginings. All her strengths are highlighted with the script that Jay has given her, and then both of their works combined are given a shining sheen of colors moody and heroic by Ron Riley.

So – talented people behind the book, interesting premise that has been brilliant realized, and a solid schedule that involves four issue arcs, a month off, the release of a trade, a month off, and then the start of the next arc. A self-contained high-fantasy story involving historical figures that could come from any point in time, given that Amelia vanished in 1937 and DB vanished in 1971 and they both look to be about the same age as when they vanished – and DB looks like he got to this world before Amelia.

We’re in. We love this. Adore it. And we urge you to pick it up and give it a shot, as one of the world’s best pilots teams up with a notorious hijacker to escape from a tyrannical warlord’s flying island fortress… which is, conveniently, where the wreckage of Amelia’s plane was taken.

Stuff like this is why we love comics and why we write this articles. Do not miss it.

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343

God of Comics – Planetoid Praxis #6

God Of Comics, Reviews

September 1, 2017

Planetoid Praxis #6 (Image Comics)

There might be a more vicious look at colonial capitalism dystopia sci-fi out there, but you’d be hard pressed to find it.

A group of people – human and otherwise – were enslaved by a corporation through debt, and then enslaved again to a species of aliens that took their inspiration from the American South as much as from Nazi Germany. They conquered and enslaved people, wiped out whole solar systems, took the corpses and still-living captives to make art, all that horrible stuff. A small group of their victims rebelled and took advantage of a random planet’s radiation field to get away from everything and build their own isolationist civilization, only to be found and explored by the corporation that had enslaved them way back when, a corporation that has since made peace with the aliens that were doing so much damage to everyone else.

There’s a lot to unpack here – a generation that remembers the horror of being enslaved not once, but twice. The sheer conditions they’ve had to live with and the sacrifices they’ve made to get there, followed by a younger generation that knows nothing of that horror and only sees the cool technological advances that the corporate incursion has brought with them. Never mind that the corporation is doing what colonialists do – engaging in sabotage to destroy indigenous life and trying to take advantage of the supposed naivete of that life to better themselves.

As proof of concept, look no further than when the corporation starts charging the survivors for use of the sun, and then uses their technology to block it off.

Sign our contract,” they say, “we need you to sign this thing you don’t understand to protect you.” Ask any of the unjustly imprisoned people in the far east how well that works, or any of the First Nation tribes of North America. Thing is, our heroes are plucky and savvy and they know their shit, though they are sometimes working at cross-purposes because they are all people and they are all dealing with their trauma as best they can. There’s a lot of survivor’s guilt here, a lot of complexity and a lot of characters coming from different experiences and education. This is a meaty, meaty comic.

It’s the child of a man named Ken Garing, who handles all the writing and art. This is his masterpiece, the narrative that he’s devoted his life to, and it shows. Every issue and page bleeds some new moment, either a quiet reflection or deep meditation or tragic aftermath. There are undercurrents here that will follow you long after you put the comic down and try to move on with your day, undercurrents that will find you picking up the comic to read it again and again and maybe one more time. Stakes get raised and the consequences are obvious, the cost insidious.

Highest possible recommendation.

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349

God of Comics – GWAR: Orgasmageddon #3

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 31, 2017

GWAR: Orgasmageddon #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Okay. Alright. Not quite sure how to start this, because GWAR isn’t a band or an experience so much as a time and place, a hellscape dimension between rock and metal and exists through sheer willpower and insanity. GWAR is, GWAR is not, GWAR becomes. It’s… it’s a thing.

GWAR kicked off in the mid-eighties, this metal band that took a look at the concept of pumping everything to eleven and said “fuck it, we can go higher.” The crazy thing is that they did and they made it work: GWAR has been touring ever since, using a unique blend of an alien invasion, science fiction, black magick, social commentary, political satire, and shock rock.

They are a time and place that overlaps with the reality we know and then conquers it, like some mad fae-touched nightmare locale that only brushes the world every now and again. They eat sacred cows for breakfast and put on a hell of a live show while doing it, covering screaming fanatics with blood and other juices without pity or remorse. You cannot escape a GWAR concert, but you might survive one. Buy the ticket and take the ride.

If you do, well, they regularly murder effigies of celebrities of every stripe, vivisecting American presidents and movie stars and pop singers and historical figures. They pull no punches: Al Gore and several popes have gotten the treatment. Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson. Bill and Hillary Clinton. Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump.

They parody literature, mythology, anything they can get their talons around, and they do it with a sense of style that is hard to stomach and difficult to deny. They are the people that got a music video called Phallus in Wonderland nominated for a Grammy through sheer force of will.

Hell, they have their own annual BBQ event, GWAR-BQ, that has been running since 2009.

Not bad for a band that used to open for something called Death Piggy.

All of this is to warn you that this comic is not going to be for everyone. This is likely to be the sort of thing that Garth Ennis used to write before he fell into a hatred of the medium and the people that read it while still drawing upon that hatred because this is GWAR and they are capable of anything. Read this at your own risk. Be aware of what you are getting into. We good? You ready? Great.

The modern incarnation of GWAR is doing a little bit of time traveling to hunt down and kill an old enemy that’s gotten loose in the timestream or something. What do you want? It’s a story about GWAR mixing one part revenge to two parts bloodlust. Along the way, you’ll get to see GWAR’s influence bleed into modern innovation and more figures of history are hunted down and killed for sport before GWAR stops by a morning talk show taping, because those talk shows were things they used to do while commenting on media hypocrisy on the topics of sex and violence.

What this means for you, dear reader, is that old GWAR is going to meet new GWAR, and one of the minds behind GWAR is helping to pen this comic. That would be Matt Maguire, aka Sawborg Destructo, who is bringing along Matt Miner of Liberator and Critical Hit notoriety. It’s a good fit, obviously. The art is being handled by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and the mad orgy of GWAR itself.

This is going to be weird, but if you like the weird you are going to love this way too much.

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314

God of Comics – Faith and the Future Force #2

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 30, 2017

Faith and the Future Force #2 (Valiant Entertainment)

I think I mentioned this last week, but Valiant has their first live action video project due out soon and it stars the Green Ranger and looks fucking awesome.

Awesome though it may be, however, we’re not here to talk about that today. Here, now, we’re here to talk about representation in fiction, the awesome writering of Jody Houser, and a damn fine comic that you might have missed that you really shouldn’t. That comic is, of course, this one.

What else would I be talking about?

Faith and the Future Force is really the story of a budding friendship between the living conscience of the Valiant-verse and the protector of time who might also become time’s greatest enemy. She’s also an Indian doctor and the inventor of time travel and she inherited a bunch of knowledge from a man named Ivar, an immortal being who made use of the things she taught him so that he could teach her because time travel is confusing and recursive.

Anyway, Neela Sethi is the aforementioned inventor of time travel, a Doctor who travels through the past, present, and future with her sentient human-sized dinosaur companion. The two of them go on adventures to save time and recently they’ve been running across a nasty artificial intelligence that is unwinding time from finish to start because it is basically the worst parts of /b/ and thinks ending everything that is, was, or ever will be would be best done for the lulz.

Faith is a plus-size superhero, a former fangirl and fanfic writer who gained the power of flight and carrying others with her from a third-rate messiah. Her infectious joy, sense of social justice, and compassionate conscience were already with her, and the reason why some people decided to frame her and drag her reputation through the mud – there are always going to be those that want to ruin good things simply to distract themselves from their own pathetic and often self-inflicted miseries.

Sort of like the worst parts of /b/.

Which brings us back to the artificial /b/intelligence. Neela believes that Faith is the only one that can stop it and Faith doesn’t stop to ask why because she’s a hero and a good person and if she can save everything from non-existence she will and also she’s really super excited to go time traveling. The catch is that Neela’s walked her through this before and Faith has died before, but Neela can always go and reset the clock and try again some of the time hopefully.

Most recently, Neela has let Faith know that maybe they should grab some other heroes – a task that Faith is more than happy to do and that others are more than happy to help with because everyone likes Faith. The question becomes if even those heroes can help her stop the /b/intelligence, or is everyone doomed to die and be forgotten as every possibility is lost?

Only Jody Houser knows the answer, and her telling is in the comic. She’s joined by Barry Kitson, Diego Bernard, and Juan Castro on art, with Ulises Arreola handling colors. Their combined work results in something beautiful, something that fans of the Doctor will certainly enjoy. It’s a lot of fun, and the introduction to some of Valiant’s best and brightest is all kinds of great.

Check this out.

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339

God of Comics – Darkseid Special #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 29, 2017

Darkseid Special #1 (DC Comics)

The other company (you know, the one we’re not reading these days), is doing a thing with their big purple guy that has little to no connection to the rest of their universe and is better off for it. Are we going to see the same done with Darkseid? If so, writers Sam Humphries and Mark Evanier are the people to do it.

I met Sam briefly when he was in town doing a podcast. He was working on Star Lord at that point, building a relationship between Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde that was built perfectly before Marvel decided to wreck it for another tired retread. He was charming, reserved, the sort of writer possessed of a decency that never should have become archaic.

Mark Evanier is a man I’ve never met but who was taken in by none other than Jack Kirby. The King kickstarted him but his drive and talent helped develop everything the Hanna Barbara animation studio ever did and helped build up DC Comics’ New Gods, a property that Jack Kirby invented and that Darkseid is a part of.

The New Gods are exactly what they sound like; Jack wanted to develop his own ethereal mythology and DC Comics let him do it, building up a divine dichotomy that flavors the backdrop of DC’s operatic nature. Darkseid is a part of that, the absolute evil that beats at the core of DC Comics, the monster and shadow that rips at people’s souls.

He is not the Devil. DC Comics has their own version of Satan and Hell; the New Gods were a step beyond other religions and Darkseid doesn’t need to carry the weight that comes from other mythologies. He is his own monster and all the more fascinating because of it, the God Emperor of the planet Apokolips, a world he murdered to feed his own ambition. He’s built an empire and this is where he gets interesting.

Yes, he is one of the most powerful beings in comics, but he’s a being a perfect order rather than chaos. He sees free will as a curse and wishes for all souls to abdicate their responsibility and choices to him, for his intellect and drive to inform every decision made by every living being in the cosmos. To this end, he’s been seeking to unravel something called the anti-life equation, a metaphysical sum based in the maths that underlie everything that he believes will give him perfect control of the cosmos for all eternity.

To him, no cost is too great for this. His every crime and atrocity can be forgiven and the horrors that others carry out in his name are just in his eyes provided they get him closer to his goals. He is the big bad of the entire DCU, the one being that everyone is afraid of.

Even Superman, who once led a revolution on Apokolips to overthrow Darkseid… and failed.

Beating Darkseid is possible some of the time, but the chances of surviving him are always somewhere between slim and none. He twists the good things in life into terrors, deals in cosmic abstracts and breaks them. He adopts whole worlds of children and turns them into disposable zealots willing to live and worship and die for his name, all of them raised by monsters he’s created and crafted and built to serve his purposes.

Every now and again, though, one of those children escapes. That’s where this comic starts, with a group of cosmic orphans fleeing the tender care of the greatest tyrant DC can offer. He is incensed. He is infuriated. And he’s putting his best hunter to the task of collecting those that would run from him, as yet unknowing that one of the escapees holds a secret even from the darkest of all gods.

Scott Kolins turns his tight pencils to the art of this story, and he’s the perfect person to do so, what with his background in science fiction and superhero comics and this being a melding of those two genres. Steve Rude, meanwhile, is handling things on behalf of Sam Humphries, and the two of them are combining their efforts to tell a classic tale in the vein of the King.

This sounds like a comic for people that love comics. We do, so we’re planning on reading this and you should, too.

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376

God of Comics – War Mother #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 25, 2017

War Mother #1 (Valiant Comics)

Hey, did you know the Green Ranger is going to be in an official Valiant movie? True story. Check out the teaser below:

That looks really goddamn cool. It’s kinda awesome to see how far Valiant has come in so short a time – they relaunched just a few short years ago and have sort of gone out of their way to put out some of the best comics since. That initial run of X-O Manowar, for example, remains one of the best comic stories you’re likely to read. Bloodshot did a lot of interesting things and played with a host of genres while Harbinger and Imperium delved into the complexities of politics and greed.

But the minds behind Valiant weren’t content with showing people what mature superhero comics looked like; they also poked fun at conspiracies and the grimdark philosophies of some companies with Archer &Armstrong and Quantum & Woody. Also, Jeff McHale has signed up to play Woody in an upcoming project, so that’s exciting.

All of this is a roundabout way of getting to one of Valiant’s most intriguing concepts: their 4001AD line. Valiant jumped a couple thousand years into the future and began to explore what their world would look like and how the technologies they had developed in our time would complicate the future going forward. The first title in this series, Rai, slowly exposed those complexities while investigating a murder in the floating city of Japan.

From there, we got to see that our planet was turned into a desolate wasteland through fascist politics and corporate greed, with only a handful of places managing to hold back against that onslaught and the consequences that followed. One such place was called the Grove, the final vestige of pure scientific knowledge protected by a prosperity born of biotechnologies.

There are, of course, people from outside the Grove that would love to get their hands on what’s inside the Grove, but they have a protector that keeps them safe and knows the horrors of the world outside: they call her the War Mother and take their lead from her and her sentient sniper rifle because comics. Thing is, the Grove is dying. War Mother might have a way to save the world, but doing so means risking everything and everyone she’s sworn to protect.

It’s exactly the sort of writing that Fred Van Lente excels at, as those of us that have followed his run through Valiant know all too well. He’s been paired with Stephen Segovia, who does some interesting things to highlight the dangers and risks and beauty of the world to come while delineating the differing circumstances the people of that world have had to live with. If you liked Mad Max: Fury Road or the Wonder Woman movie, you will dig the hell out of this.

Hunt it down. Read it. Love it. You will not be disappointed.

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258

God of Comics – Lady Killer 2 #5

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 24, 2017

 

Lady Killer 2 #5 (Dark Horse Comics)

Question: when is the monster in your life not a priority?

Answer: When there are bigger monsters.

Josie is a fifties house wife with a loving husband and a pair of twins. Her husband’s mother lives with them and takes care of the kids while Josie works a side job, bringing in a supplementary income as a freelance saleswoman… or so she tells him. Really, she’s a killer-for-hire and one of the best in her field. She worked for a secret clandestine operation in the past but had a falling out with them in the previous series, but she’s a big of a go-getter and not going to let a little thing like having to clean up the bodies get in the way of her making a living by making other people die.

Sure, there are problems. Her mother-in-law saw her in action and erred on the fight side of the flight-or-fight response, though she’s wise enough not to actually pick a fight with Josie in her advanced age. We know the old woman has always had her suspicions and is tough as nails, but this thing is getting a little more complex.

Last issue, we got a bit of reveal: Grandma is a Nazi War Criminal. Her son doesn’t know about that any more than he knows that his wife is an assassin, and Josie didn’t know it either – not until she brought an even bigger monster into her family’s lives.

See, she met someone, an older gentleman looking for a little work on the side, a man experienced at cleaning up messes and making them go away. He should be a Nazi War Criminal, too, but he’s not because he was too much a monster for even the Nazis. His favorite game was finding people looking to escape the war and arranging transport for them out of Europe and to America, smuggling people for pay.

Makes him sound like a hero, doesn’t it? Thing is, he was killing the families and keeping the money and all their things. He was killing Nazis who looked into it. Grandma was the investigator tasked with looking into him and is the one who found the truth, but he escaped using the pathways he’d set up to make his side business look legit and has been murdering his way through America ever since.

The allies never knew about him. But grandma does, and so does Josie and the various other killer agencies that work in the shadows. Josie was looking at becoming a member of one of them, a union of killers, but they won’t touch her as long as she’s with the older gentleman and he won’t just take the hint and leave.

He did, in fact, try to inject himself into Josie’s personal life. He started showing up at random times and that’s how Grandma spotted him. And now that Josie is trying to get rid of him he won’t take the hint – doing things like killing her husband’s pervy boss and shoving his corpse in her garage freezer or complicating her work life and now assaulting her home.

Something has to give and some people are going to have to die, but at least Josie and her mother-in-law are finally on the same page.

Joëlle Jones handles the art and writing and she’s a master at both, setting up heavy inks that tell her story through a black comedy’s pacing, timing, and expression. She’s working classic noir tropes but doing new things with them in a way that makes me think of her lead as Agent Carter’s less patriotic and more pragmatic sister. Michelle Madsen is handling color, and she does some incredible things with washes, light, and shadow, bringing Joëlle’s art to grim and perfect life.

This is awesome and weird stuff that plays hopscotch in moral grays and comes out smelling like roses. It’s fun, low key, and utterly lethal, chalk full of good advice and developed relationships and fifties cliches turned on their heads. Highest possible recommendation.

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552

God of Comics – Hi-Fi Fight Club #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 23, 2017

Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 (BOOM! Studios)

This comic makes me impossibly happy.

Do you understand the weird lives of late-eighties and nineties kids? Caught between ever-increasing technologies? We were born to 8-tracks and were there when cassettes gave way to compact discs gave way to burned discs and finally digital music. We were around to watch the face of music change from one medium to another and the weird liminal spaces where that changed and some of us worked.

Have you seen Empire Records? We all worked at places like that, or knew someone who did, or wanted to. I was lucky enough to work at two places where that sort of magic held sway until one of them was demolished to make condos and the other one sat empty until the whole lot was torn down. There’s something both glorious and sad about that change, though the better comic stores still have that same feel.

Save the Empire. Damn the man!

Hi-Fi Fight Club is very much a story that takes place in that strange world, that space and cool job that existed halfway between a fading summer and an unknowable dream. It’s a space for people to find themselves and to grow and change, a place where mettle is tested and personhood is achieved through the love of music.

A young girl named Chris gets a job working at a place called Vinyl Mayhem, and they’re all about music new and old, a space for people to find new tunes and appreciate what was. There’s no dragging people down here, just recognizing that different people have different tastes and Lauryn Hill is the fucking bomb, yo.

Jobs like this – when they’re in the right place, the small out of the way specialty stores that employ the right kind of people – have a way of breeding the best kinds of creative madness. The people that work here are always working on something else. They have passion and dreams and are building new incredible things and sometimes professionals drop by and offer their sage advice.

The professionals in this comic are the band Stegosaur, but we have a problem in that their lead singer is missing. By the time we get to this point in the comic, we know the people who work at Vinyl Mayhem and we know how they’re going to take this, what with all those bands going missing. They’re going to girl the hell up and save the day, and whatever else might happen this is going to be great.

Film and TV director Carly Usdin (she directed all six episodes of the television series Threads, which you should hunt down and watch and the oddly heartwarming black comedy movie Suicide Kale) handles writing duties and captures a sense of coming-of-age and identity seeking from that time and place with a perfect grace. Nina Vakueua handles pencils and fashion, teaming with Irene Flores with her light inks and Rebecca Nalty and her stunning color work.

It all adds up to something that’s part Empire Records by way of what Sailor Moon might’ve been, which I think says a lot given the influence and acclaim those two stories have had in the world. Don’t miss this. It’s totally fucking rad.

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231

God of Comics – the Hard Place #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

August 22, 2017

The Hard Place #1 (Image Comics)

Nothing deep about my initial reason for choosing this comic: I liked the cover. It’s beautiful. Look at this:

We get into a lot of depth when talking about comics here and I feel like we sometimes gloss over that comics are a visual medium. Good story does not work without complimentary artwork in comics – it’s one of the reasons that some rather good nineties stories make for unreadable comics now because the art is just terrible.

Art isn’t everything, though – it’ll get people interested but will not hold them if there isn’t enough of a story to keep people on point. Back in the Nerdcouver days, Jenna and Nathan and myself all picked up a comic because of the eye-catching cover and then talked about how the story was lacking. I don’t even remember the comic, which I think proves my point.

This comic doesn’t look like it’s going to suffer a lack in either department, though: on the writing side of things you’ve got Doug Wagner, and the art is being handled by Charlie Kirchoff and Nic Rummel. Cover artist Brian Stelfreeze isn’t handling the interiors, sadly, but Charlie Kirchoff and Nic Rummel aren’t anyone to just pass over, either. Charlie’s been doing some interesting color work over on Doctor Who, and you might not know Nic Rummel’s inks now, but you will. Soon.

Doug Wagner is the warped mastermind behind Plastic, a serial killer romp that you should be reading, and Average Joes – and if you’ve read either of those then you know what sort of quality you’re getting into here. Moving away from supers and psychopaths, Doug is flexing his cranial muscles and introducing us to former wheelman and living legend, AJ Gurney.

AJ Gurney has just spent five years in prison and has every intention of going straight. His dad has a garage and he’s feeling pretty good about going to work there and vanishing, letting the legend fade away as he goes about his life. Things seem to be going okay for him until he makes a stop at a bank and a robbery takes place.

Here’s where things get weird: he’s recognized by the robbers and they’re fans – such big fans that they want him to be their getaway driver. He refuses, so they take a hostage and threaten to kill her if he doesn’t do what they want – but she’s the daughter of a local Russian mob boss. And the police, well, AJ is a man of a color and an ex-con and they aren’t going to take his word on anything.

So now a man who paid his debt has been put in a situation where no one wants to listen to him and it looks like there’s no way out; the Russian mob is going to use their every asset to find him, and the cops assume he’s guilty the same way they do with most people of color. And, of course, there’s the two robbers who are also fans because nothing is ever easy.

Told you that Doug Wagner is a warped mastermind. He’s on a level with the likes of an Ed Brisson or Joshua Williamson or Brubaker when Brubaker is on a rant, so if you like their stuff you’ll dig this a lot.

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