New comics are here again, but this time around I look to the familiar licenses on most of these. Some faces are familiar to film and TV, though not always under the best directions 9and some are). Still, there is that wide cult recognition that drives further curiosity at the comic stores, I think. Here in the comic lands, such faces present better under creative direction through well-assigned writers and artists. The results are interesting, with much in my notes below.
Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…
Equilibrium #1 (American Mythology Productions), by Pat Shand, Jason Craig
I love the movie Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale as John Preston, the Grammaton Cleric turned revolutionary for the “sense offenders.” Here, is a story of the after the very open end, where the movie left off. Now, we see the continuation from the perspective of a new renegade Cleric seeking John Preston. The trail leads him to new allies, and revelations on the new distribution of the emotion reducing Prozium drug. The first issue is intriguing as a sequel that feels somewhat spirited to the movie with its high action and dystopian 1984ish elements. But off-putting is some particular moments of odd and unnecessary gore, which I think seems almost cartoonish. I am on board for future issues, but hope for less bloodletting, and an evolved more satisfying conclusion to the movie’s original end.
Silver Surfer #6 (#200?) (Marvel Comics) by Dan Slott, Mike Allred
I love Mike Allred’s take on Silver Surfer, but tire of the Dawn Greenwood character. I was much hoping that our Surfer would go far back into the stars as the cosmic lonely traveler. Yet, he is still Earthbound for much of this issue, and we do get some touching moments. Also, we got a fun team-up with the other Dan Slott written favorite, Spider-man. It’s overall camp, with more Silver Surfer adjusting to Earth life and the Greenwood family. There is a little curiosity to where the result of Mike Allred’s run will eventually go. Though I am not as emotionally invested in Dawn Greenwood as a character, there is a bit of odd sweetness that adds to the Surfer’s angsty life. Such, I ponder if such will add to the tragedy, and that’s the drama that keeps me interested beyond the gorgeous art and colors.
Sage #37 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
So much of this feels very ominous, especially after much on the happy endings and then the time hiatus. Someone is going to die soon, and such will be again, very unexpected. I hope it has nothing to do with the cute cliffhanger in the end, but there something putting me at unease. Anyway, there is some new expansion to the Sagaverse, which is always welcome. But, we also have some tender moments between the longtime beloved characters (with more Lying Cat!). Also, Robot’s very erect penis. I get the feeling that was put there to perhaps troll the complainers of the series explicit nature. Still, there is a huge question as to what exactly the erotic nature of Robot’s dream signify in the overall layout of events ahead. What could any of this mean, is anyone’s guess. But, the fun is to keep reading and just let things happen, no matter what may happen.
Afterlife with Archie #10 (Archie Comics) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli
Yay, another issue though not as long wait as the earlier issue. Still worthwhile and though it’s part 5 of an arc, this issue serves a chilling and thrilling tale on its own. Here, is a flashback that sets the stage for Josie and the Pussycats to enter the zombie-infested Riverdale town but with a twist as the issue flashbacks to their vampiric secret origins. For over 100 years, the group has toured under different names, some very familiar. The story itself is a real page turner, predictable but fun to where it all leads (and fun to speculate how they fit in the overall horrific picture). The art is exceptional, with some of the best vibrant red colors ever in comics history.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #1 (IDW) by Kevin Eastman, Paul Allor, Bill Sienkiewicz, Damian Couceiro, Freddie E. Williams, Tom Waltz
A good first issue that works up the expansion of the TMNT IDW universe that I feel has been the one us older fans have wanted. Different cliffhanger stories are afoot (and one about the Foot), though I was hoping for a better variety without the presence of the Half-Shelled Heroes. Though the main TMNT series via IDW is good, I have enjoyed so much more the Mutanimals, Bebop and Rocksteady, April and Casey and other odd one-shots and limited series. I hope there will be some fun chances to explore this “universe” with stories on side characters and perhaps some obscure returns familiar to the classic comics, toys, and cartoon runs. Meanwhile, this issue is off to a good start but not “universe” enough.
Predator Vs. Judge Dredd vs Aliens #2 (Dark Horse) by John Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Michael Heisler
A fun romp that so far hasn’t been as violent as I hoped, so far. The second issue still feels like a set-up for the whole VS. thing, where other factions come into play within the world of Dredd. Still, I like that all three of the major franchises in play are somewhat manipulated to some degree by a mad scientist who managed to experiment with various life forms. The end of this issue reminds me of some cheesy cliffhanger of the old 60’s Batman. How will Judge Dredd get out of this? I laugh to myself. Tune in next month, same Dredd channel, same Dredd time!
That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read? Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!
Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.