The Haul: Dethducks
October 8, 2010 1 Comment
Sorry this one’s a bit late, I had a rather massive haul of comics this week, some of which I chose not to review, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Red Robin being one of them, which I’ll get to when the rest of continuity catches up and I actually read it. Starting next week, these review columns should be up by 6pm AEST Fridays.
Metalocalypse: Dethklok #1 (of 3)
Small, Schnepp, Barlow, Marangon, Francisco
Based on the popular Adult Swim cartoon and written by series creator Brendon Small, Metalocalypse: Dethklok is another in a line of Dethklok comics published by Dark Horse. This time however the comic is a limited series, rather than a one-shot. Fans of the cartoon will find themselves right at home with the book, with all of the same ridiculous and sometimes horrifying humor in play, which in this issue focusses on Dethklok breaking into the frozen food market with predictably disastrous results. The art does a decent job of replicating the cartoon’s style, and features such as the Dethcopter look great, but I can’t help but feel that the art should have attempted to follow in Darkwing Duck’s footsteps and be merely reminiscent of the series and not just a copy. One last complaint is that Doctor Rockzo’s speech is very grating because Small has opted to use (and over-use) his ‘stuttering’. Despite these small faults (not a pun), I do highly recommend this book for fans of the cartoon.
Uncanny X-Force #1
Remender, Opena, White
I think it’s enough of a testament to this book that someone like me, who rarely shows interest in an X-book, decided this one was worth the $3.99 cover price. And after reading it, it really was worth the price. The new X-Force team has some real winners, with Fantomex and Deadpool in particular really making this book stand out. Both of these characters get a bit of a spotlight in the book, without taking anything away from Angel, Psylocke or Wolverine. Fantomex sort of takes the role of a narrator in this book, and it fits, with him drawing contrasts between X-Force and the X-Men. I should also mention that Remender’s Deadpool works, but so far he comes across as a little more Spider-Man than crazy, but the scene where he sings is hopefully a sign of things to come. Opena’s art really suits the story, and Adam would kill me if I didn’t at least mention the Optimus Prime cameo Opena slipped into the issue. The book is an amazing start to a series I’m almost disappointed to like. But not quite.
Hickman, Weaver, Strain
This entire series has been nothing short of incredible, and this latest issue is filled with yet more intriguing twists. After two issues of building characters we finally get to see Leonardo Da Vinci interact with Isaac Newton, as well as find out more about the overarching plot (which involves a Celestial and the so-called Foetus of God). The pacing of this issue picks up a bit of the slack that was felt in the last two, essentially both finishing at the same point and feeling like they slowed down the entire plot. The plot is still largely unexplained and hard to follow, but you can see all the threads moving into place and Hickman is doing a great job of making it all interesting. Weaver’s art is excellent, and a two-page spread in this issue with Leonardo Da Vinci flying near the sun is just awe-inspiring. This series is one of those books you just have to experience, because it’s just so out there and different.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Back in Quack
Moore, Brooks, Height, Wong, Mossa
Here’s a weird one. Howard the Duck and Beverly Switzler being brainwashed by J. Jonah Jameson supported S.O.O.Ph.I with Spider-Man coming to the rescue to knock the sense back into ‘Cynical Duck’. The plot is a big strange mess, but enjoyable enough, with some clever Spider-Man lines. The art’s a bit of a sore point though, with Brooks pencilling the first 12 pages and Height pencilling 13-22, and the shift in art is jarring. Brooks’ Spider-Man is pretty great though, but both artist’s Howard comes across a little wrong in some panels. Not a book I can really recommend in all honesty. Includes a Man-Thing back-up by Stuart Moore and Joe Suitor.
Taskmaster #2 (of 5)
Van Lente, Pal, Beaulieu
Van Lente has packed this series with some really surprising humor, and a cast of characters who are so insane they wouldn’t be out of place in Deadpool’s circle. In this issue we meet The Don of the Dead (El Don de los Muertos) and are given something of an origin for Taskmaster, which I was pleased with. The writing really gets across Taskmaster’s lack of direction and understanding, but also shows him as a capable character and creates an interesting contrast. The art may take a little getting used to, but it fits Taskmaster and even moreso with the Don and his men. Van Lente’s created a solid, funny little series here with some nice twists, and this should appeal even to non-Taskmaster fans.
Thor for Asgard #3 (of 6)
Rodi, Bianchi, Silvestri, Peruzzi
A growing trend at Marvel at the moment is Thor limited series. We’ve got Mighty Avenger, we had the Power Pack’s Thor and the Warriors Four, First Thunder and a number of others. Thor for Asgard is one of the better ones, mostly because of Bianchi’s art, but Rodi’s story is compelling too. The book is released under the Marvel Knights imprint, which I had thought was dead, but apparently not. The plot of the book deals with Thor being unable to wield Mjolnir and doubting himself as ruler of Asgard with many challenges, such as impending mortality for all Asgardians, ahead of him. The art is incredible, and the panelling is a big feature in the book, with irregular and refreshing page layouts. A must for Thor readers.
Pilot Season Crosshair
Silvestri, Katz, Jefferson, Terragona, Atiyeh
Pilot Season is a series of one-shot comics from Top Cow that will get voted on and one will get some sort of ongoing or mini-series. Velocity, a book Adam is currently following, was a Pilot Season winner. The latest season presents a book that I couldn’t avoid, Crosshair. A really interesting concept pulled off with some awesome action, this is an all-around good book that I would follow in an instant were it an ongoing series. The book follows Justin Weller, an ex-special forces assassin whose suburban life is suddenly turned upside-down by his old unit, and his conditioning to kill the President within 48 hours is triggered and he has to try to stop himself while searching for answers about the attack on his family. Jefferson’s pencils pack the book with action, but I think the colours are a little too vivid for a book of this nature, which I imagine as something bleaker (something more in-line with Silvestri and Sunny Gho’s amazing cover). This is a book built for lovers of tv shows like 24, and just action movies in general. Get on it, seriously, and vote for it in Pilot Season.
Freedom Fighters #2
Palmiotti, Gray, Moore, Scott
Palmiotti and Gray have struck gold. Not only do they have a fan-favourite team, with the badass Uncle Sam at the helm, but they’ve also worked the story into an Americana mystery which is unlike anything else on the market. This issue opens with an origin for the Renegades shown at the end of issue one, and the idea of shamans as old-world Native American ‘super-heroes’ is clever and really cool. The dialogue is a little clunky, with all the characters expositing and narrating their actions, and they all seem to refer to each other by full codenames, which is a bit grating (I can sort of understand with Phantom Lady, but hearing everyone always say ‘Human Bomb’ really detracts from the realism). The art is some of the best from my haul this week, with the pencils and inks really working well. Overall, this is a fairly different superhero book and one which I wholeheartedly recommend.
Red Hood: The Lost Days #5 (of 6)
Winick, Haun, Reber
Now this is the issue I’ve been waiting for. While Winick’s book has been a fairly average read so far, this issue lifts Jason Todd up to where he should be. We finally get to see some of Jason’s snarky side with lots of sly comments, as well as delving deeper into the core of this vigilante. In his mind, he’s not the bad guy, and we can clearly see he’s trying to help (after all, he’s stopping explosives from going off in London), he’s just a little more on the extreme side than his old mentor Batman. When we see the Red Hood in Gotham, he’s always the bad guy, because he’s being compared to Batman and Robin, but here in his own title he has the chance to take down criminals in his own way and it all works. The issue is filled with action as Jason races against the timed explosives and fights against the Russian mob. And I’ll admit, Haun’s art hasn’t hooked me, but in this issue I really appreciated what he was doing with it and I’d be a real jerk to try to fault it. With this issue, the book has, in my mind, fulfilled the hopes I’d had for the whole series and justifies my purchases. Get the trade.
Batman Hidden Treasures
Marz, Wrightson, Nowlan, Sinclair, Wein
I think it’s worth mentioning Adam’s reaction when he saw this, which was ‘that’s not a comic’. And he’s pretty much right. The book is composed of a prose story by Ron Marz with full page illustrations to go along with it. Not something everyone’s going to be interested in. However, the art really is great and the format is enough to make this one stand out. Marz’ story is interesting enough, mostly through the narrative voice he’s employed, making this seem like a sort of ghost story someone’s telling about Batman fighting Solomon Grundy. Overall it’s rather cool, but not going to be everyone’s thing. The book also includes Len Wein’s ‘Night of the Bat’ which was a Batman/Swamp Thing crossover.