This week was awesome mainly because it saw the arrival of several DC books that are new and very good. If you know me or you’ve noticed what I have been writing about, there has not been a lot from DC that I have been connecting with. I hope that with the passage of Convergence and the arrival of a new status quo that this is just the beginning of an exciting new era of comics. So let’s kick off the comics wrap up with this week’s comic of the week, none other than DC’s
Prez #1 – Comic of the Week
I know right. I am as surprised as you are. In all honesty, looking at the cover I did not want to read this but I know how negative I have been to DC as of late. I wanted to experiment with these new DC books so I took the plunge on Prez. Written by Mark Russell, with pencils from Ben Caldwell, and inks by Mark Morales Prez is set in the near future and the United States needs to elect a new President. There are your typical pundits but the level of ridiculousness is far beyond reality. You could say that this reality is a caricature of where we are now, much in the same way the movie Idiocracy is. Anyway, in this future people have the ability to vote for President on Twitter. Jump forward and our main character, a teenage girl named Beth has become an online sensation. She was in a video that went viral in which she accidentally burned her hair in a fryer and became known as Corndog Girl. Later during the actual election the group Anonymous led a campaign to get Corndog Girl elected president (in this future there are no legal differences between teenagers and adults). We later see a collection of corporate entities who appear to be pulling the strings that indicate they think Corndog Girl could be just what they want.
The issue ends without a resolution but judging by the covers and what this story is supposed to be, Beth is obviously going to become President. As far as the content goes, the story was a funny satire of our planet. Equal parts funny and sad. There were a couple of moments that I was not crazy about. I think that some of the characterizations were a little too out there and a bit more judgemental than they needed to be but overall the laughs were delivered. The art was very cartoony and detailed. There weren’t any excessive lines and the colors popped off of the page. I can’t wait to read the next issue.
Astro City #24 – Borrow
Astro City is a long time favorite of mine and writer Kurt Busiek is an all time great of his generation. In all honesty, Astro City has always appealed to me on the writing front more than the art front. Artist Brent Anderson is a product from a bygone era and while his art is not bad, it’s not great to me either. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me and sometimes it does. This issue was the 2nd part of a story started from last issue following a Gorilla known as Sticks who has taken up residence in Astro City as a musician and part time hero. The story is fine but that’s about all I can say about it.
Black Canary #1 – Borrow
Black Canary is another of the new DC books and is coming off of the Batgirl book that has been very good since the introduction of a new costume and a new feel. Black Canary as a character was a minor character in that book and is carrying that momentum into her own. The story here is written by Brenden Fletcher with art by Annie Wu with Colors by Lee Loughridge. We follow Dina Lance as she has picked up a gig as a lead singer for a band and is being attacked by some unknown threat. This issue was fine. I may have had my expectations a little high because of how much I liked the new look and feel Batgirl. I liked the book but the story didn’t do much for it. It’s worth the read but is not a must own.
Doctor Fate #1 – Buy
Doctor Fate is (broken record) new DC #1. Doctor Fate is a character that has been around for some time and has not really gotten any play outside of the Earth 2 book. I am not terribly familiar with the character and it is steeped in Egyptian deities so there are some things that seem a little foreign. These foreign things don’t hinder the book at all but I don’t even want to talk about the story. The story is not bad but the star of this book is the art by Sonny Liew and colors by Lee Loughridge. The character art reminds me of a cleaner more commercial version of Fabio Moon and Gariel Ba. The colors are generally muted unless Doctor Fate’s helmet is in panel at which point you get this bright yellow. Additionally when Khalid (Doctor Fate) puts on the helmet the colors go crazy and the art gets really trippy. It’s pretty awesome and the change in styles makes for great effect. This book was definitely in contention for Comic of the Week and I have high expectations for for future issues. This is a MUST BUY.
Doomed #1 – Pass
Well…you can’t win them all. I have never read anything by Scott Lobdell that I have liked. The art is detailed and actually kind of nice and the story is fine but I don’t really have anything to say about this book. It’s the definition of meh and I can’t recommend it.
Ghost Busters: Get Real #1 – Pass
My desire to try out new things did not stop with DC comics and I decided to try out the first issue of this Ghost Busters miniseries. I’ve never read a Ghost Busters comic so this was new ground. In this story we start off with the titular Ghost Busters of the children’s animated series who are transported to another dimension and encounter their proxies from the movie. Strange is a good one word way to describe this.That is not a bad word for the Ghost Busters but this is not a book I can recommend. The art is actually not bad but the way the characters are represented – one team is animated just as they were in the cartoon and the others as some comic book adaptation of the movie characters. This difference in style makes for a good mechanic to show the difference in the characters but I’m not feeling it and can’t recommend it.
JLA #1 – Pass
Yay a new JLA book right? Brian Hitch! Yay… Nah, just kidding. Brian Hitch just is not the Brian Hitch that he used to be. He is known for that widescreen, cinematic style but it just does nothing for me. While this is better than the last thing I saw him on, Age of Ultron, it’s far from great. I also was a little taken aback at how this broke with continuity. I know DC said they would do this and I don’t mind if it’s being done in favor of the story but I kind of need to be into that story for me to look past it. If you still dig Hitch check it out. I don’t and I won’t.
Lazarus 17 – Buy
Lazarus is one of the best books being published by Image. I believe every issue (except for the last, let’s forget about that one) would be a buy. Greg Rucka is a stud as a scribe and Michael Lark is a great artist. The world that they are building with Lazarus is deep and rich. This book already has a lot of back story and I simply don’t have the time and space to go into it. Just do yourself and the creative team a favor and go buy all the issues you can find. You won’t regret it.
Low #7 – Buy
Low is another book from Image comics that is written by Rick Remender and has art by Greg Tocchini. Low is a story set in a future where Earth’s surface temperature has gotten too hot for humanity to remain on the surface. In an effort to find a better way humanity sent beacons to look for survival. This issue follows some new characters and is more of a general dystopian tale where things are bad and people are oppressed. I won’t go into any more detail on the story, you really just need to read it. The art by Tocchini is great and unique. He uses a painterly style and you can see his brush work intermingled in the fantastic color pallet. It’s truly beautiful work as long as you don’t mind a bit of the exposed female form.
Magneto #19 – Borrow
I’ve mostly enjoyed this Magneto series. The places it has fallen down have been when it got tied up in events.It got weak during Axis and has gotten weaker with the Secret Wars popping up. The writing by Cullen Bunn is fine and the story is following Magneto as he seeks to up his power levels to save Earth from another incursion event. The art by Paul Davidson is good but I’m a little disappointed that we had a change on art. Ultimately with this book you kind of know that it just doesn’t matter because it is taking place just before the beginning of Secret Wars. If you’ve been following this book you will probably want to read the issue as it is the next to the last one but if not, move along.
Manifest Destiny #14 – Buy
Manifest Destiny is yet another great Image book. It does not get the play and attention of other Image titles but it is easily deserving of attention. The story follows Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition to explore and chart the American wilderness. In this revisionist tale the wilderness is wilder and crazier than any nonfiction tale would have you believe. This crew of military and criminals have encountered monsters of assorted varieties along the lines and continue this journey. Have you ever thought you needed a fictional tale about Lewis and Clark and them stumbling upon a culture of small blue demon birds that speak English and have poisonous bites that they can heal with their urine? No? Well me neither but it’s cool.
Martian Manhunter #1 – Buy
Another new DC title here with a former A team Justice Leaguer who gets treated like he is on the B team. The story of J’onn J’onz, the Martian Manhunter is taking a different approach and introducing the idea that Martians are a genuine threat and J’onn was actually sent to prepare for an attack in which the Martians will take over the planet. I’m a little skittish on this change in the character but the issue was good and the art very good.
Old Man Logan #2 – Buy
I made Old Man Logan #1 Comic of the Week the week it came out. This is like that but more of the same. The art’s great and the story is good. If you want more go read the wrap up from that week.
Southern Bastards #9 – Buy
Southern Bastards #1 was almost Comic of the Week. Football. Crime. The South. Great ingredients for a delicious comic book recipe. So delicious in fact that this book may end up getting adapted for television by AMC. The first arc of Southern Bastards introduces us to Craw County Alabama and sets the scene of a small town dominated by high school football coach, Coach Boss. The 2nd arc gave us the back story on Boss and now this issue picks up giving us back story on the county’s sheriff. Southern Bastards is the spirtual successor to Aaron’s Scalped and artist Jason Latour’s dirty style definitely fits the book well. Read. This. Book.
Squadron Sinister #1 – Borrow
Squadron Sinister is another Secret Wars tie in and follows a team of bad guys led by Hyperion that is seeking to gain control of new territories. The story was forgettable but the Carlos Pacheco art was nice. Pacheco is hit or miss for me and there’s something about THIS Pacheco that reminds me of Nick Dragota, whom I love. It’s worth reading but you won’t be missing anything if you don’t.
Thors #1 – Pass
Thors is a murder mystery set in Secret Wars’ Battleworld and focuses on the Thor of the Ultimate Universe and Beta Ray Bill. They are investigating a serial killer and we learn that a Thor can be stripped of his hammer if Doom finds them inadequate. There is increased pressure on solving this case for these Thors. Anyway, it sucked. I hate to say it because I love Jason Aaron but I just didn’t care about the story. The art didn’t really do anything for me either.