Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.11.27, Catching Up


Behold, some new comics this week.

Yet only a few. Though, I have been lacking in prior weeks in logging new reads here on SW. So for this week, I add four more notable reads from the prior weeks. Take a look below, and ponder what I have wrote, and think perhaps if you agree or not (with minor spoilers).



Night’s Dominion #3 (Oni Press) by Ted Naifeh

“Emerane and her companions narrowly escape the Cult of Uhlume and the relentless Furie, exhausted but no richer for their efforts. Going their separate ways into in the pitiless streets of Umber, they each find a dead-end waiting. Now penniless, Emerane’s quest to free her younger brother from debtor’s prison seems more hopeless than ever. Until a possible solution comes from the most unlikely ally imaginable—the Furie himself. But his help comes with a dangerous price.”

Still a great series with interesting characters and stylish art. However, there suffers the problem of too much exposition, and missing back story I felt lost upon me. While much of it falls back to her Emerane and quest, there is too much drama and lacking the fun of the last two issues. Perhaps, I should be patient where much could be merely a set-up for better things to come.  The ending cliffhanger does bring some excitement but reserved for next issue it seems. The Furie meanwhile is an interesting switch from the usual genre of superhero, where he seems to a sort of villain in all this. Much of it is a big change of direction for what I thought things headed in the last issue, where some interesting characters from the last issue are put to the side, for now.

Chew #60 (Image) by John Layman, Rob Guillory

“Last issue. Double sized. Epilogue”

The end of the long great series has finally come. And, its not a typical ending, which fits. This is not a typical series. It’s not so much an end to the story I feel, as the opening epilogue shows life will go on for the different Chu, and there will be more food fight. Yet, the second half is the finale to the alien arrival, where Tony lost loved ones and suffered much to now please the alien visitors. All makes great sense when the aliens show their faces. The abrupt ending act shows that he has enough of the story, and perhaps the series. I felt a little upset, that there still remains a gap between the epilogue and the alien landing. Apparently, everything turned okay and the aliens made peace. Perhaps, the point is Chu being the hero, sacrificing all for a better world; yet, becomes conflicted himself and gives in to the eventual unacceptable ending. Such is fitting I think, and only excusable for the amazing creative team of Layman and Guillory.

Cage! #2 (Marvel) by Genndy Tartakovsky

“TRAPPED in the jungle a thousand miles from home, HUNTED by savage beasts that walk like men, Luke’s got just one thing going for him: Ain’t no cage that can hold Cage!”

I love the art, with this cartoonish interpretation of Luke Cage. Much of it fits Genndy Tartakovsky’s style while, which many know better from his creative animated work on Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. His storytelling relies much on visuals, where the actions clearly speak louder than words. However here, the panels are overly large and story a bit too simplistic. To enjoy it, would be to admire the artwork more than the story, which lacks for this issue. It’s more of a display of emotions, ranging from anger and fear while feeling lost and eventually dealing with hallucinatory toxins. The issue is still fun, though I think better suited as new animated work should Genndy Tartakovsky translated this work upon the Cartoon Network.

Brittania #3 (Valiant) by Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp – Release date: Nov 16, 2016

“At the border between civilization and the magic-laden lands beyond, Rome’s first detective is haunted by violence and visions of dark forces that defy all sense? Antonius Axia’s disturbing investigation in the frontier colony of Britannia deepens…and with each disturbing new clue he uncovers, the farther his mind sinks into disarray! Connecting the clues behind the grisly rumors of horror in the empire’s northernmost reach, Antonius must gain an ally as dangerous as the darkness that now surrounds him. But who is this mysterious new partner, and will she lead Antonius toward the bright light of truth and salvation?or into the cold flame of eternal damnation?”

I think this is the best series loosely based on historical elements, of which I have read in a long time. I think it’s all in the unearthed elements of Roman history, mythology, superstitions, and age-old thinking on chaotic magic vs. logical reasoning. It’s also feeling more a bit of Evil Dead in Roman times. I feel a bit more empathy for Antonius Axia, as he fights for his soul in a strange land slipping further away from Roman control, and the loss of his family. The art feels a bit more changed since the first issue, with larger panels and more exposition detail. The character growth is more focused on Axia, whose strength carries the story, hopefully toward a thoughtful conclusion.

Supernaut #1 (215 Ink) by Michael David Nelsen – Release date: Nov 9, 2016

Coherent Wave Interference Pattern
A 21st-Century cosmic hero myth, this is SUPERNAUT! Reality-hopping thieves join the newly ascended consciousness of Astronaut Stephen Haddon – now known as the Supernaut – pulling trans-dimensional capers across the Macroverse! Strange artifacts on the Moon, meeting God and stealing a map to the land of the dead from a secret pyramid beneath the Pentagon. A mystical, cosmic, sci-fi adventure like no other!

This book feels very different, and not what I expected. Supernaut presents the finest of what one could want out of some metaphysical cosmic melodrama. The colorful art, playful expositions, over-the-top universe building with a ridiculous set of characters one should not take to seriously. There is a bit of fun in all that, especially with the protagonist and allies. I love the exposition and inventive deprogression of time, and how somehow the Pentagon being an inverted pyramid. Also, I feel like some of this is poking fun at Grant Morrison. Overall, a great first issue that only a certain type of reader will enjoy.

Ether #1 (Dark Horse) Matt Kindt, David Rubin – Release date: Nov 9, 2016

A science-minded adventurer gets mixed up in the mysteries of a fantasy world in this charming new adventure from an award-winning creative team. Boone Dias is an interdimensional explorer, a scientist from Earth who has stumbled into great responsibility. He’s got an explanation for everything, so of course the Ether’s magical residents turn to him to solve their toughest crimes. But maybe keeping the real and the abstract separate is too big a job for just one man.

A surreal over-the-top world of magic met with a man who seeks to rationalize it all. While there is trouble afoot, there is much for both the main character and the reader to sort out. The visuals, sequential presentation, and gorgeous colors are superb, and help submerge the reader into the strange world of Ether. The wit and odd thinking of Boone Dias, keeps his character a bit unique, though the world around him is a bit overwhelming in concepts and bizarre designs. It’s a book overall best enjoyed slowly with the crazy concepts and strange mystery about. The ending puts it best to perhaps trust the storytelling in future issues, where perhaps “everything can be explained.”

Flintstones #5 (DC Comics) By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh – Release date: Nov 2, 2016

It’s time to “Bedrock the vote!” With the Bedrock mayoral race heating up, the local middle school decides to join in on the fun by holding their own election for class president. Will Ralph the Bully punch his way to victory? Or is there a new kind of candidate waiting in the wings to start a revolution? Meanwhile, Fred and Barney reminisce about their days fighting for their city as part of the Water Buffalo army.

It’s a good issue, but not the best of the series. Yet, this issue carries on the emotional depth we could otherwise never expect of prehistory’s first family. The most interesting are the subplot of where Barney’s dysfunction in producing a child for his wife, Betty. Such is part of a flashback to his war days with Fred, filled with propaganda and war, rich in satirical tones. A conclusion is sweet, which benefits Barney as he adopts a war orphan. Such heart shows perhaps why he and Fred are such great friends, as both are noble in their special ways. Meanwhile in the “present” day, getting “punched in the beef” becomes a major campaigning point for one bully running for class president in Bedrock’s middle school for children. While this is amusing, it’s timing with the current Election points out the absurdities of election perception to fear and power are merely illusions, to which is up to voters to accept the presentation of such. Overall, Flintstones currently remains the most clever and brilliant monthly comic on the new shelf.

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


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