This week: Young Avengers #9, Scarlet Spider #21, Batman ’66 #10, Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #9, Batman/Superman #3, The Shadow: Year One #6, Green Hornet #5, Grimm Fairy Tales: No Tomorrow #1, Itty Bitty Hellboy #1, Overtaken #1
We are Living Myth Media, 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 time we don’t pick up the things we were looking for or end up picking up things we didn’t talk about on twitter. So, here’s what comics we got this week and what we think about ‘em after the reading.
Once again it’s Gregory Milne here subbing in for this week’s God of Comics Afterthoughts. Aaron Golden, your regular host, likes to rate things on a five star scale. I, however, am not Aaron Golden. He’s much more svelt. That said, I’m not big on ratings myself and since I am in charge this week, I say to heck with the rating system!
We good? Cool. Let’s do this:
Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
A throwback to old Sunday funnies, the characters of the BPRD are re-imagined as children in a collection of short strips. Very cute and quite entertaining. This was brought to us by the creators of the Teeny Titans and they’ve knocked it out of the park again.
Batman ’66 #10
This book has to be one of the most consistantly fun, entertaining and creative books going right now. It’s the old Adam West/Burt Ward dynamic duo, but if the show had a huge budget. All the camp and cheese is in full effect and its just gold. This particular issue sees our caped crusaders voyage to Jolly Old England in pursuit of The Mad Hatter, who is stealing various crowns around London. The scene where Hatter gives a soapbox speech mid-heist to impress upon the present crowd the importance of hats is priceless. And two words: British Batmobile.
Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #9
In a lot of ways this is a comic book adaptation of the recent Wolverine movie. It follows very similar paths story-wise. The difference is that it is set in current Marvel continuity so it features Sabretooth, Sunfire and the current incarnation of the Silver Samurai. Much like Batman ’66 does, Japan’s Most Wanted takes full advantage of its digital format giving a sense of cinema to the story and movement to the action. It’s been very exciting along the way. This issue takes a sidestep into being damn near an anime episode with Wolverine battling classic tiny elderly master character, this one a fire-wielding member of The Hand.
This surreal and nightmarish time and universe-hopping tale continues. I’m not sure if it has gotten any clearer as to exactly what is going on, but its has still remained interesting. Jae Lee was a perfect choice as an artist for this series. Everything seems just off and that helps keeps the tension going. Unique to this issue is flashbacks (done by a different artist) showing us the first childhood meeting of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent that really illustrates the common ground these two different characters stem from. Darkseid is being introduced to the story and his herald is prophetically teasing the necessary death of one of the characters. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
The Shadow: Year One #6
This series has kept me swaying on whether I enjoy it or not. Matt Wagner definitely keeps the script strong as one would expect, however it has been for from the original tale that I went in expecting given the title. It ends up being just another Shadow book, although that is hardly a bad thing. That aside, its the art that honestly throws me. It often feels inconsistent and swings from perfectly moody and noir to bordering on overly cartoony. While there are always campy elements to The Shadow, at its core -and especially in this iteration- is a serious crime book, and that isn’t being reflected in the visuals like it is in Dynamite’s regular series. The story itself does make it worth a read still.
Green Hornet #5
Given the recent modern updates on the character (both in the film and Dynamite’s Legacy series), its great to see The Green Hornet taken back to his roots in 1941. The city is gritty and ruled by mobsters. This dead-serious take on things has been hitting every note perfectly. The only real change to the costume is Green Hornet’s new full-face mask which I love. Both more mysterious and intimidating. The story has gotten very meaty with Hornet and Kato parting ways and alter-ego Britt’s plan to expose members of the crime world blowing back in his face. Do pick this one up if you like crime books.
Grimm Fairy Tales: No Tomorrow #1
The latest in Zenescope’s flagship Grimm Fairy Tales umbrella begins this week. Not really a fairy tale this time around per se, but rather the Grim (Grimm?) Reaper. I would definitely say that this issue hooked me. The Grim Reaper in question (a gorgeous woman in Zenescope’s regular style) is present at two back-to-back disasters, an earthquake and a building collapse. The sole survivor of the collapse being the only person to have seen her. It was a tough read in the opening for me given the tragedy of the material, something that while brief, wasn’t shied away from.
Speaking of first issues, Aspen’s newest series debuts this week and I have to say that was a fun read. Now I do need to note that the seven page introduction establishing the war of the aliens was kind of tedious and likely exposition that belongs later in the series, the remaining pages were a nice ride. A couple from Chicago move to the small town of Turtle Creek and we’re introduced to the colorful small townsfolk. This leads up to what seems to be an old school alien abduction story. The teasers for the next issue, however, give me the impression that the series will be headed into more of a John Carter of Mars/Flash Gordon direction. I’m just fine with that.
Young Avengers #9
This issue seemed to be teased as a big finale and it really wasn’t. That serves me for reading the previews I guess. It was still a solid issue however and Young Avengers has never failed to be one of the very best books in Marvel’s line-up. Our heroes find their way back to Earth but are still being teased by a spectre in the form of deceased team-mate Patriot and Speed is still missing. Even in all that, Young Avengers does what it always does best and focuses on the relationship and lives of the teen heroes and in the regard we do get a big shift (that I will leave spoiler free).
Scarlet Spider #21
This is the first time that I have ever been able to say that I’ve been disappointed in an issue of Scarlet Spider. Much like Young Avengers, its not to say that it wasn’t a good issue but there were elements that let me down. The cliffhanger from last issue was Kaine still having his scars and theoretically dying a slow death again. Having that resolved about fifteen pages later felt like a bit of a cop-out, even though it served the story. The same can be said for the arrival of the thought-dead Ben Reilly, the original Scarlet Spider (also a clone of Peter Parker). This also seemed (especially where the story ends up this issue) as something that could have been strengthened by stretching it out even one more installment. At the end of the day still very much worth a read.