Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.10.18, Checking Out..


Something new, something fresh…

The following below are mostly what I found of interest for last week in new comics. Some of these are fresh enough with me just finding the cover and art enough reason to check out. Others catered to my love for classic icons and history. Were these comics worthwhile reads? Find out below (with minor spoilers).


Scooby Doo Team-Up #37 (DC) by Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela

“Part one, Zatanna’s father Zatara has gone missing! With the Justice League off on a mission, it’s up to Scooby and the gang to unravel the magical mystery by joining Zatanna to blaze a trail through the spookiest corners of the DC Universe!”

Zatanna is a favorite among the DC Comics magical users, with a most fitting and awesome intro into the world of Scooby Doo.  She meets Mystery Inc. as they try to solve a new mystery. which takes them through the DC magic realms. Many cameos familiar to hardcore DC fans appear, including Doctor Fate, Sargon, Felix Faust and more (though sadly Constantine is only implied but hilariously noted). Overall, a fun issue that gives much fan service, while inviting though story to the potential new young readers to learn of the many classic characters appearing. I hope in the following conclusion and future issues, for more surprise encounters. Most of all, I would much enjoy a team-up encounter for Scooby and the Gang and meet Etrigan the Demon. The possibility is closer than ever thought now and needs to happen.

Britannia #2 (Valiant) by Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp

Duty has led to darkness… Dispatched to the remote outpost of Britannia by Rome’s highest power, the ancient world’s first detective – veteran legionnaire Antonius Axia – has found himself on a horrifying journey that will challenge everything he knows about death, destiny, and the limits of reality itself. But in this wild and pagan land, far removed from Nero’s control and influence, how will he grapple with the witches, demons and deities that lurk just out of sight? These are aberrations beyond the comprehension of a citizen of history’s most civilized empire…and, as Axia searches for the truth behind their making, he must first ask himself: Are these monsters truly creatures of myth… or creations of his own mind?

This is my favorite read from Valiant Comics now. Everything about Britannia is entertaining and interesting.  The world remains a mix of lost folklore with a bit of modern drama and horror mixed in. Antonius plays off more of his detective role (or detectioner), as he uncovers pieces to a greater mystery, which can go anywhere. I find his part as misplaced, yet a constant thrill to the dangers faced in a strange land. Meanwhile, Emperor Nero’s portrayal is every bit as twisted and sick as one could imagine of his hedonistic ways. I hope for more of his part in all this. Overall, the detailed art and brilliant coloring carry the story further, with a style that works best for this dark period of human history. Much results overall with the varied styles of Rome and the British Isle in appearance and mood, leading to a feeling of distance and contrast; where the connection Antonius must make, and keeps the overall story interesting and worthwhile.


Reborn #1 (Image) by Mark Miller, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion

“Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you—the good and the bad.”

An interesting premise, though the set-up takes patience in establishing back character details to get through. Still, there is no end to the fantasies and mysteries of the afterlife, of which is interesting for new ideas. Such here is not among the freshest of notions, though being put in some fantasy war is an exciting one. Otherwise, the entirety of the first chapter sets the stage, giving us plenty of background of our main character before the situation. The art style and visual concepts are simple, with nothing too complex or inventive just yet. I hope there is much more to it all, other than the simple fantasy of a more exciting afterlife. I am intrigued enough to see where this all goes.

Darth Vader #25 (Marvel) by Keirron Gillen, Salvador Larroca

It has all built up to this! Vader’s trials against Cylo’s creations! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids! All comes to fruition “in an ending you can’t miss!”

A fitting wrap-up to an excellent run of the current Marvel era. Our most famed Sith Lord spends much of this final chapter wrapping up loose ends, cutting out rivalries and making with boss Palpatine. More important to fans of the series is the last settlement of his bond with Aphra, to where the situation is bittersweet and final (or is it?). We know the Star Wars universe shall never die, but for Darth Vader, I think this is the definitive tale of his character for any expanded universe set-up. The result is good, and about time for the end. I am pleased.

The Electric Sublime #1 (IDW) by  W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo

“Art is anything you can get away with… destroy it all.” Welcome to THE ELECTRIC SUBLIME—where art history, madness, and expression meet in a Pollock-splatter of thrilling crime adventure! When a mysterious change in the composition of a famous painting begins poisoning the minds of its spectators, Margot Breslin—director of the Bureau of Artistic Integrity—must pull famed “art detective” Arthur Brut out of a mental institution and back into the insanity that sent him there in the first place. Featuring a treasure trove of classical works, under-the-radar art, and a seven-foot talking mannequin, this is comics, imitating art, imitating life.”

An interesting new series I feel, with much mystery and intrigue. Yet, there are questions in direction and characters. I love the set-up, to where question reality and the situation itself. To where it all goes is interesting as the work of art in plays, and open to interpretation on its direction. The winking Mona Lisa is very creepy. Such the overall story feels original, yet needing more. With the fantastic art to match, I can see much potential overall for this series. But too early to foresee this being a new masterpiece. The ending has me wanting answers, for I feel there is much potential for this as the next big standalone suspense thriller from IDW comics.

Mosaic #1 (Marvel) by Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph

“Professional basketball player and world-renowned celebrity, Morris Sackett, gains extraordinary abilities, at the grave cost of his own mortal body. Imbued with the ability to jump from person to person like a ghost, he controls the bodies and memories of those he inhabits. With his own body destroyed, the one-time superstar athlete must rely on others to survive. The saga of the newest Marvel Inhuman MOSAIC begins here!”

The art is super cool, and the story feels fresh for Marvel, especially when there is much pushing its cinematic properties out there. I also find Mosaic as refreshing in bringing a brand new character to the Marvel line, with no ties to any popular icon. Yet, the story and art feel incredibly enclosed, apart from the Marvel Universe. Knowing of a connection with the Inhumans, such is only a matter of probably short time before we start getting appearances by familiar Marvel characters. Given the style of writing and art, I wish this more of an indie book, giving itself a more honest approach and not Marvel reaching out to a new demographic, reader of which I feel some of the attempt at work here.  Much of the press for this is off-putting, putting way to much emphasis of Marvel adding a new black character to the mix. Nothing wrong with such, but I would rather see him as a new superhero first, not as a trophy for the sake of diversity. That being said, the main character seems very thrown into the overall situation, jumping into other bodies and feeling trapped. Such would feel more of a curse than a superpower. Yet there is that responsibility to do good, a cornerstone of what makes a true Marvel superhero great. I like the concept, yet could better itself as more separate from the current Marvel Universe.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  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. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.