Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.28, More Recent Reads..

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Hey, some more comic read from the previous weeks!

Here are my notes on the following books worth checking out (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/21, 2017:

Animosity #5 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

“A safe haven looms on the horizon, but the walled city will not take all of Jesse and Sandor’s companions. Who will live, and who will die to save the pack?”

PICK OF THE WEEK! I love this particular issue, which practically reinvents the series to where I thought this going. This is a good thing, as I was hoping the writing would stay away from the novelty of talking animal apocalypse melodrama, and straight into something oddly more serious and emotionally driven. This being the relationships between humans and animals, now that we have this surreal understanding. Everything about this issue is great, from the intro of philosophizing shrimp to the chilling foreshadowing hinted ahead. In between, are fantastic moments and thoughtful character development, especially of Sandor the dog; who comes off as a badass, yet caring. Jesse also develops, in more than ways than I expected (a very surprise moment I best not spoil). The art and coloring continue to give this series set the tone, with an added touches that flesh the world of Animosity into a strangely believable one.

The Old Guard #1 (Image) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia—“Andy”—and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find and afford their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.”

A good concept from a favorite writer. There is something about the set-up that seems bothering. The soldiers after living the long runs, seem somewhat unfulfilled on what to do with it all. I would hope there is some direction in the way of making sense of it all. Though, they find themselves easily manipulated. For what reasons, we shall soon see. The problem is not having as much to identify with the characters, in an ugly horrible world of war and death around. I like the art and interesting use of panel storytelling, especially the high point of intense violence. I feel there is something worth a payoff in the overall story, but not visible yet.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5 (IDW) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“The hit new ongoing series continues with this special story focusing on Jaylah, the breakout alien heroine from STAR TREK BEYOND! Learn the secrets of Jaylah’s past as she prepares for a bold new future at Starfleet Academy!”

The Star Trek Beyond film is my favorite of the new Trek films. Much of that because I liked the character of Jaylah, but felt there could have been more to her. This particular issue delivers her back story, and strengthening her character further. To what direction could this mean? I wish she did not join Starfleet, and kind of continued on a sort of anti-hero or rebel. Still, I hope for something new and fresh from her in this new Star Trek series, and not rehashing old elements (like recent Borg storyline in the previous arc). The art was all right, but hoping for something a bit more vibrant in the coming issues.

Drifter #17 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

“Pollux has been searching for the truth ever since he arrived on Ouro. But now the truth finds him, and sometimes that’s the worst thing that can happen to you..”

Finally, comes a satisfiable explanation to much of the mystery of this great series. Its time was very much due, and such is more than expected, all with the usual awesome coloring and art. Pollux’s back story prior to the series is interesting, towards a reaction of where emotions can vary, depending on the reader. Pollux sudden actions to an impossible situation ends tragically. The fact that he lives through it all and not succumbing to regret and despair; enabling a good hero for the tough times ahead. I look forward to seeing where his character and overall story arc heads and ends. Then, I will reread the entire series to fully appreciate the added dimensions, which felt a hidden in the earlier issues.

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. 

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.12, Some Catching Up Done..

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Well…

Some time has been lost and we have some catching up to get done. After a month of absence, I found myself needing to target my eyes upon some personal favorite titles (and maybe yours too). Now is the time to share my thoughts.

Below are my further notes on the following books, mostly released in mid-January (with minor spoilers). I plan to catch up, with further recent reads in the following weeks…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED BETWEEN 1/11-2/1, 2017 :

Karnak #6 (Marvel) by Warren Ellis, Roland Boschi

“The end of “The Flaw In All Things.” Karnak has it in his lethal hands to save humanity – or end it. And nobody knows what he’s going to do.”

The end to a very underrated mini-series. Warren Ellis is at his best when it comes to underused characters, and developing them with as much richness as any top-tier character, for development and establishing an identity for his characters. For Karnak, his quest is at an end, as he finds himself with the boy sought after from the beginning. The result is troubling to himself, the boy, and others. He is bothered with his own sense of morality, I think. In the end, we see he has found the flaw in himself. Though the last issue much delayed, I find the overall arc worthwhile. I just hope there will be more to Karnak, with perhaps Warren Ellis back in control of his mind, and power.

Paper Girls #11 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson

“A BOLD NEW STORYLINE STARTS HERE! The Eisner and Harvey Award-winning “Best New Series” from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG returns, as Erin, Mac, and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ…only to encounter some horrifying new threats in an unexpected era. “

Many happy returns for this fan (and personal) favorite. Also, a bit of a reunification and on to a new displacement. Where or when are they now? I doubt for any solid answers, as we find this story likes to take its time. We meet a couple new characters, one a native and the other not-so-native. Where all this goes, we shall see. But for much of the issue, we get some character bonding between 3/4 of the gals in a good old-fashioned campfire moment. Such is calm, not quite realizing that Mac is in some potential danger. Such feels troubling, for not being paranoid enough in a strange land, time, possibly dimension. The art is distinct as usual, bringing additional mood with each establishing shade and defined stroke.

Flintstones #8 (DC) BY Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“While Bedrock’s new mayor, Clod the Destroyer, goes to war against the Lizard People, Betty and Wilma decide to take a vacation in the country to visit something called a “farm.” With the women gone, Fred and Barney are left to face the greatest threat of all…their teenagers!”

Another fantastic issue filled with brilliant social satire and brilliant characterization. We also catch a more of Fred Flintstone’s assertiveness as the moral compass and everyman of the Bedrock town, defining man’s proud nature in service to women and children. But what really got to me, was Wilma’s back story as a runaway teen avoiding her being traded away for goats between two men. The heartbreak is with her mother, who feels for her daughter having a life of her own. The later reunification is sweet, and joyful, especially toward the end where the mother sees how her daughter as happy, with a wonderful family of her own. And, she appreciates the passion in Wilma, through her art. It’s an emotional issue, that still retains its humor and light-heartedness.

Saga #42 (Image) Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

“END OF STORY ARC: “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” The Epic Conclusion! Hell is war, as Hazel and her family learn the hardest way.”

Finally the end of the seemingly lengthy war for Phang, which didn’t focus much on the details of winners and losers. You just need to know, that losses are heavy and hurt the ones less deserved of such pain and suffering. This issue is a very sad issue, of which is so much of an emotional twist, that some pages are blank; leaving the reader to process the sadness of death on a small and grand scale. Such is sad, and a continuing theme I have felt since the beginning; of the troubling effects of widespread violent conflict.  What will this mean for Hazel and her surviving family? Hopefully, a rewarding both in the long run with more than this climatic depression.

Animosity: The Rise #1 (Aftershock) by Marguerite Bennett, Juan Doe

““The Animals thought, spoke and took revenge. The dust has settled and the blood has dried, but a new force is rising in the West, ready to help Animal-kind seize power in the dark new world to come…” Spinning out from Marguerite Bennett’s hit new series ANIMOSITY is this special one-shot, illustrated by AMERICAN MONSTER’s very own Juan Doe! Witness the devastating effects of “The Wake” and how it affected other parts of the world on that terrifying day!”

A nice entry into volume two that somehow makes a good jumping on point also, though it would be best to pick up the first volume. Here, continues the dark violent new human sides of nature, yet with wider implications of a sinister direction. Also, some developments on how the revolution started and an interesting anti-hero wolf creature with plans to up the dark science into something even more ridiculous. The art is awesome, with much dashes of dark humor mixed in with apocalyptic overtones.

Ether #3 (Dark Horse) by Matt Kindt, David Rubin

“Boone is investigating a murder mystery in another dimension. The Blaze was a great hero of the Ether, sworn protector of the weak. Her murder was an attack on the Ether itself. As Boone hunts for clues to solve the crime, he makes powerful enemies and unexpected allies.”

A great third issue, though feeling deeper in its own unique world. There is a uniqueness to Ether, more from Matt Kindt’s writing, though I enjoy the visuals. The settings, creatures, bizarre situations feel like an escape as our main hero takes the reader along. As after a Golem encounter, Boone and Glum end up in the Faerie Kingdom, a land of fresh odd visualizations for the eyes to get carried away with. After a troubling meeting, there is a sudden flash to the past; leaving the reader to ponder the meaning of it all and expecting answers soon. The structure of the story and style is different, intriguing; and for that, I shall look forward to seeing the story unfold.

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.