DC goes Death Metal on new comic racks this summer

DC’s acclaimed creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo will not be going soft in 2020, as they take its comics multiverse into a new phase of Death Metal, this summer.

Dark Nights: Death Metal is the comics sequel to the over-the-top hit series 0f 2017-2018, Dark Nights: Metal, which brought widespread changes to the DC universe and introduced fans to the Dark Multiverse and its super edgy evil Batman from the Dark Multiverse, the Batman Who Laughs. This will be a six-issue miniseries, with the first issue released on on May 13, 2020. Like the original series, there will be several “Metalverse” one-shots throughout the full release, expanding the story.

Joining the Snyder and Capullo team, is inker Jonathan Glapion and colorist FCO Plascencia.

“I’ve been waiting to do this story since we finished Dark Nights: Metal,” said Snyder in a recent press release. “As much as it was a complete event, we left some threads hanging there for sure. I’d hoped that if people liked the first series enough, we’d have a chance to set up something bigger, and that’s our plan for Death Metal.”

“For all of us, Dark Nights: Death Metal is about the fun factor,” adds Capullo. “Comics should be fun, bombastic, and over-the-top. This series is going to be exciting and jam-packed with great ‘metal-esque’ moments that will make fans lose their minds when they see them.”

This new series spins out of the events of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run and the Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen miniseries by James Tynion IV. The Earth has been consumed by Dark Multiverse energy, having been conquered by the Batman Who Laughs and his evil lieutenants, corrupted versions of Shazam, Donna Troy, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Hawkman, and Commissioner Jim Gordon. Some heroes, like Wonder Woman and the Flash, have made compromises as they negotiate to keep humanity alive in this hell-born landscape. Others, like Batman, are part of an underground resistance looking to take back control of their world. Superman is imprisoned, cursed to literally power Earth’s sun for eternity.

But a mysterious figure provides Wonder Woman with vital information she might be able to use to rally Earth’s remaining heroes to resist the Batman Who Laughs. Can the Justice League break away from the Dark Multiverse and defeat Perpetua?

Dark Nights: Death Metal will kick off on May 13, 2020, then continue June, and July, then resuming in September, October, and November. Check your local comic stores and popular digital comics apps for more release information and incentive covers.

Captain’s note: Absolutely loved the hell out of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman: Last Knight on Earth. It’s that bonkers, ridiculous, unhinged storytelling that I feel refreshing when dealing with generation-spanning superhero icons.

SW reviews: Superman Smashes The Klan #1

Superman Smashes the Klan

Superman Smashes the Klan

  • Writer: Gene Luen Yang
  • Artist: Guruhiru
  • Published by: DC Comics
  • Pages: 79, Publish Date: October 16 2019, Price: $7.99
  • Notes: The first of three books, published in a glossy thin paperback, traditionally sized for younger readers.

Synopsis:

“The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman! While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story. When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action-with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers-he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?
Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) presents his personal retelling of the adventures of the Lee family as they team up with Superman to smash the Klan…”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

Superman Smashes the Klan is a superhero story challenging and exposing of real-life racism-based terrorism. The story for which it’s loosely based on the old radio play, “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” exposed the growing white supremacist group to a wider audience for its evils and inner-workings, giving it a much-needed negative exposure throughout the USA during the Golden Age of comics.

But now, we have the revision of the story, which may not make as big of an impact, but still relevant to our time as racism is still a thing, with many sinister groups out seeking to carry on the original ideals of the KKK, and other hate groups inspired by such and similar.

Which brings about the question…what does Superman have to do with any of this?

And it’s not so much on the whole concept of Superman taking on racism, but his superpowered existence whose skin color and American face of the caucasian male. He lives that privilege of being more accepted in American society of the time. But, he also chooses to be the superhero that has to combat the evils in all its forms, including those who abuse that privilege and imposes it upon others as a symbol of nationalism, and genetic pride.

So, it feels great to have him start this story combatting a cartoonish Nazi villain, perhaps reestablishing the ideal of truth, justice, and the American way. And, he enjoys doing it.

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And that is the Superman I love.

Which, leads to a bigger story of where this goes, into the perspectives of the incoming Lee family, the newest immigrants to Metropolis of Chinese descent. They are like any new family moving into a big city, with two kids reacting to a new life ahead, and the father taking on a new job. Metropolis is well-known as this all-American city very similar to New York, and it’s where Superman lives. So here, sets up a dynamic of promise, that life will be exciting for the Lees.

And that’s where much of this story brings a smile to this reader, seeing Superman being more of a neighborhood hero to this large city. Eventually, we get to know the Lees through their perspectives on Superman, Golden Age Americana, and the immigrant reactions they face in Metropolis. This carries on the side story to the center, where the Lees seeks to integrate and become part of the American dream, which includes a typical suburban life and baseball. There is a fascination that what is real, and should be real.

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Meanwhile, the human side of Clark Kent deals with his own self of being somewhat a stranger from birth, feeling the inner conflict of being different. His reflection on his past, where the idea of an alien in a magazine is that of a scary monster. He looks to the present, seeing a reflection of might have been. Superman has the luxury of his appearance, but what if he did look more alien? How much would he have to hide, how much would society fear him before accepting him as the premier superhero?

So, the developing story leads to the Lee family being terrorized by the Klan, though their signature cross being burned on their front lawn. Its terrible act leads to elevated threats of lynching. This real-life horror cuts through this otherwise innocent setting of Golden Age heroism backdrop, as the Lees deal with this real problem. The stakes may not be as high as an evil scientist with world-domination plans, but there is a sense of urgency that Superman responds to.

And that’s what I love about this story. It’s Superman standing up for those in need, against a real-life threat to its time, that has changed and shifted into an evil that still festers today.

I also love the art, set for younger readers to enjoy with a slight manga appeal to it, but with solid coloring and traditional sequential art transitions. The facial expressions are defined, given a mix of liveliness and heart to Superman’s world missed in the most recent cinema incarnations. The settings of night and day, suburban and city, home life and work life, add a homely, identifiable nature to Metropolis. The contrast of the Klan presence as dark and fiery shows where the danger is, waiting for Superman to eventually expose it all, hopefully in upcoming chapters.

Superman Smashes the Klan is not a traditional comic book, in both its story and its format. Readers will find in a smaller paperback form similar to a young adult read, targeted for younger readers. There is less collector value and more reading value, and that’s welcome in any format and any age. Also, there is small yet very informative retrospect by Gene Luen Yang, with more a focus on the real-life history of organized racism in the US.

Overall, I like this short read and look forward to the next issue of this three-part series.

 

SW Best Comic Book Reads of 2016!

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2016, another great year for the comic book and graphic novel industry.

Also, a new era for big changes and shakeups. The big Marvel and DC publishers went back to revamping their flagship superhero titles, again. Image strengthened the creator-owned market with a plethora of well-received new and continuing titles. IDW, Dark Horse and Boom! held strong with their licensed properties, but also brought some creative driven original content to the shelves. Aftershock proved itself as an underrated new dog, with a number of good books that deserve more appreciation. And, there were surprises from other companies, old and new.

Here below, are the best of what I enjoyed in 2016, according to what I had time for and caught my interest across the comic stores, digital fronts, and my local library. For each title, consider just the work done in 2016. The list was very last-minute, so very sorry I could not display detailed reasoning for each. Just see for yourself, should you come across any of these wonderful titles!

BEST NEW SERIES of 2016

Black Hammer (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

The Flintstones (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

Animosity (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett, Rafeal De Latorre

BEST LIMITED SERIES of 2016

Vision (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Superman: American Alien (DC) by Max Landis,, various artists

Divinity II (Valiant) by Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine

BEST ONGOING STORY EPICs of 2016

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

I Hate Fairyland (Image) by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Paper Girls (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

BEST CREATIVE USE OF SEQUENTIAL LAYOUTS in 2016

ODY – C (Image) by Matt fraction, Christian Ward

Lady Mechanika: La Dama De Las Muerte (Benitez Productions) By Joe Benitez, M.M Chen

Shipwreck (Aftershock) by Eric Gapstur, Mark Englert, Marshall Dillon

BEST USE OF COLOR in 2016

Paper Girls (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

Night’s Dominion (Oni Press), by Ted Naifeh

Bandette (Monkeybrain) by Paul Tobin, Collen Coover

BEST UNSETTLING HORROR SERIES of 2016

InseXts (Aftershock) by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina

Demonic (Image) by Christopher Sebela, Niko Walter, Dan Brown

Glitterbomb (Image) by Jim Zub, Djibril Morisette-Phan, Michael Russel

BEST DRAMATIC STORYTELLING of 2016

Animosity (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett, Rafeal De Latorre

Vision (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Tales from the Darkside (IDW) by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez

BEST PARTLY HISTORICAL-BASED FICTION in 2016

Lake of Fire (Image) by Nathan Fairebairn, Matt Smith

Britannia (Valiant) By Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp

Rough Riders (Aftershock) byAdam Glass, Patrick Olliffe

BEST FANTASY SERIES in 2016

Monstress (Image) by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda

Hillbilly (Albatross) by Eric Powell

Seven to Eternity (Image) by Rick Remender & Jerome Opena

BEST STRANGE NEW WORLDS and IDEAS in 2016

Ether (Dark Horse) by Matt Kindt, David Rubin

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

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staple

BEST USE OF SCIENCE FICTION ELEMENTS in 2016

Hadrian’s Wall (Image) by Kyle Higgens, Alec Siegel, Rod Reis

Faster than Light (Image), by Brian Haberlin

Ancestor (Image) by Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward

BEST SINGLE ISSUE COVER ART in 2016

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Covers by Fiona Staples)

Scarlet Witch (Marvel) by James Robinson,  Marguerite Sauvage (Covers by David Aja)

Black Hammer (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart (covers by Dean Ormston)

BEST CREATIVE USE OF POP-CULTURE ICONS in 2016

Scooby Apocalypse (DC) by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Howard Porter

Klaus (Boom! Studios), by Grant Morrison, Dan Mora

The Flintstones (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

BEST FULL-LENGTH GRAPHIC NOVEL STORIES of 2016

Dark Knight: a True Batman Story (DC) by Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso

Mooncop (Drawn and Quarterly) by Tom Gauld

Ghosts (Scholastic), by Raina Telgemeier

BEST REPRINTING OF COMICS HISTORY in 2016

The Don Rosa Library Collection (Fantagraphics) – Volume 4-6

Moebius Libary: The World of Edena (Dark Horse)

Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All! The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics)

That’s all for now. Thanks for checking out my list. I would love to read your thoughts on my pics or suggest some of your own, in the comments below.

Orion T

 

Hardcover Comics, Graphic Novel Holiday Gift Guide 2016

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Tis the holiday season, to give something new for the sequential art lover you know…

Below, are my hardcover comic book volume and graphic novel suggestions. Why such things for gifts? Because, the hardcover format gives a lasting quality, and adds a bit of deserving specialness to it. The sequential art form within can hold deeper, longer lasting appreciation to those holding a hardbound shell, when prominent on their home bookshelf or coffee table.

So, these picks below are hand-picked favorites by us, having read and enjoyed each one. Each pick is likely available through local comic and retail bookstores. Ordering online is good too, but part of the fun for the holidays is also visiting local shops while humming Christmas tunes. So, print or write these out, and don’t forget the wrapping paper!

SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN

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  • Writer / Artist: Max Landis / Various Artists
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: October, 2016
  • Pages: 224 Price: 24.99 ISBN: 978-1401262563

“Screenwriter and Eisner Award nominee Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN) presents the seven-issue miniseries that chronicles Clark Kent’s development into the archetypal hero he will eventually become. With the tone of each issue ranging from heartwarming and simple, to frighteningly gritty and violent, to sexy, sun-kissed and funny, SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN is unlike anything you’ve seen before. This new hardcover includes special bonus features.”

Get this for: Superman fans of any age, short story readers, those who like a little art variety, fun-loving campy readers, fans of the Flash TV show (also Smallville.)

ALEX + ADA: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION DELUXE EDITON HC

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  • Writer / Artist: Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughan / Jonathan Luna
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: November, 2016
  • Pages: 376 Price: 49.99 ISBN: 978-1632158697
  • Age Range: 16 and Up

“Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse puts the work of a master storyteller back in print—with some material in English for the first time! Stel and Atan are intFrom JONATHAN LUNA (THE SWORD, GIRLS, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter, Ruined) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids, but after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot and takes a huge risk to unlock Ada so she can think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. Can they survive the consequences? This oversized hardcover collects issues #1-15”

Get this for: Science fiction drama fans, android lovers, Black Mirror fans, futurists

MOEBIUS LIBRARY: THE WORLD OF EDENA

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  • Writer / Artist: Moebius
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: October, 2016
  • Pages: 360 Price: 49.95 ISBN: 978-1-50670-216-2
  • Age Range: 16 and Up

“Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse puts the work of a master storyteller back in print—with some material in English for the first time! Stel and Atan are interstellar repairmen trying to find a lost space station and its crew. What they discover about the universe and themselves on the mythical paradise planet Edena, though, changes their lives forever. Moebius’s long-out-of-print World of Edena story arc gets a deluxe hardcover treatment, with its five main chapters—Upon a Star, Gardens of Edena, The Goddess, Stel, and Sra—collected here!”

Get this for: Fans of Moebius art, fans of classic Heavy Metal magazine and similar art of the late 1970s, early 1980s style, imagination lovers, science fiction fans

RIC AND MORTY BOOK 1

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  • Writer / Artist: Zac Gorman / various artists
  • Publisher: Oni Press
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: December, 2016
  • Pages: 296 Price: 49.99 ISBN: 978-1620103609
  • Age Range: Older Teen and up

“The hit comic book series based on Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s hilarious [adult swim] animated show RICK & MORTY is now available in its first deluxe hardcover collection! Join the excitement as depraved genius Rick Sanchez embarks on insane adventures with his awkward grandson Morty across the universe and across time. Caught in the crossfire are his teenage granddaughter Summer, his veterinary surgeon daughter Beth, and his hapless son-in-law Jerry. This collection features the first ten issues of the comic book series, including ““The Wubba Lubba Dub Dub of Wall Street,” “Mort-Balls!,” “Ball Fondlers Special,” and more, along with hilarious mini-comics showcasing the whole family. This special hardcover edition also includes an exclusive sound clip of Rick and Morty and all the cover art from the first ten issues of the comic book series!”

Get this for: Ric and Morty fans, of course. Also, those who like to laugh and not take a lot of things too seriously.

BRIEF HISTORIES OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS

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  • Writer / Artist: Andy Warner
  • Publisher: Picador (Imprint of Macmillan)
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: October, 2016
  • Pages: 224 Price: 20.00 ISBN: 9781250078650

“Brief Histories of Everyday Objects is a graphic tour through the unusual creation of some of the mundane items that surround us in our daily lives. Chapters are peppered with ballpoint pen riots, cowboy wars, and really bad Victorian practical jokes. Structured around the different locations in our home and daily life—the kitchen, the bathroom, the office, and the grocery store—award-nominated illustrator Andy Warner traces the often surprising and sometimes complex histories behind the items we often take for granted. Readers learn how Velcro was created after a Swiss engineer took his dog for a walk; how a naval engineer invented the Slinky; a German housewife, the coffee filter; and a radical feminist and anti-capitalist, the game Monopoly. This is both a book of histories and a book about histories. It explores how lies become legends, trade routes spring up, and empires rise and fall—all from the perspective of your toothbrush or toilet.”

Get this for: History and obscure trivia lovers. Those who engage in silly small talk. Those who need a new coffee table book. Anyone who likes to laugh and learn.

KLAUS

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  • Writer / Artist: Andy Warner, Dan Mora
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: November, 2016
  • Pages: 208 Price: 34.99 ISBN: 9781608869039

“Who is Santa Claus? Meet the man before he became a myth.He’s a myth. He’s a legend. He’s loved worldwide by children and adults alike . . . but does anyone truly know the origins of Santa Claus? Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the origin story of Santa Claus. It’s the tale of one man and his wolf against a totalitarian state and the ancient evil that sustains it. Award-winning author Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, The Multiversity) and artist Dan Mora (Hexed) revamp, reinvent, and re-imagine a classic superhero for the 21st century, drawing on Santa’s roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism, and taking in the creepier side of Christmas with characters like the sinister Krampus. Klaus finally answers the burning question: what does Santa Claus do on the other 364 days a year?.”

Get this for: Grant Morrison fans, Santa Claus, Krampus fans, dark humor lovers, those who enjoy a mix of clever writing but not take it too seriously.

TURN LOOSE OUR DEATH RAYS AND KILL THEM ALL!: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF FLETCHER HANKS

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  • Writer / Artist: Fletcher Hanks
  • Publisher: Fantagrahics
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: December, 2016
  • Pages: 376 Price: 49.95 ISBN: 978-1606999677

“Fletcher Hanks was the first great comic book auteur: he wrote, penciled, inked, and lettered all of his own stories. He completed approximately 50 stories between 1939-1941, all unified by a unique artistic vision. Whether it’s the superhero Stardust doling out ice cold slabs of poetic justice, or the jungle protectress Fantomah tearing evildoers from limb to ragged limb, contemporary readers are stunned by the pop surrealism and outright violent mayhem of Hanks’ work. Originally featured in two paperback volumes, this deluxe hardcover collects―for the first time―all of Hanks’ previously published material, plus several gems newly discovered for this volume, making this the very first complete collection of the works of Fletcher Hanks. Full-color illustrations throughout.”

Note: Comics history buffs, vintage pulp lovers, classic Golden Age art fans.

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL BEATS UP THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

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  • Writer / Artist: Ryan North / Erica Henderson
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: October, 2016
  • Pages: 120 Price: 24.99 ISBN: 978-1302903039

“Proof that we’re living in the best of all possible worlds: THERE’S GONNA BE A SQUIRREL GIRL GRAPHIC NOVEL! It’s a stand-alone adventure that’s both great for new Squirrel Girl readers, and also for people who ALREADY know about how she can talk to squirrels and also punch really well! Behold: a story so HUGE it demanded a graphic novel! A story so NUTS that it incorporates BOTH senses of that word (insanity AND the weird hard fruit thingies) (they’re fruits, did you know that?) (I didn’t until I looked them up just now, so looks like we’re all learning science from this solicit text for a comic book!) Squirrel Girl has defeated Thanos, Galactus, and Doctor Doom. TWICE. But in this all-new graphic novel, she’ll encounter her most dangerous, most powerful, most unbeatable enemy yet: HERSELF. Specifically, an evil duplicate made possible through mad science (both computer and regular) as well as some Bad Decisions. In other words, SQUIRREL GIRL BEATS UP THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! YES. I CAN’T WAIT, AND I’M THE GUY WRITING IT..”

Get this for: Marvel fans, squirrel lovers, Deadpool fans, fun people.

ODY-C: CYCLE 1 HC

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  • Writer / Artist: Matt Fraction / Christian Ward
  • Format: Hardcover Publication Date: December, 2016
  • Pages: 400 Price: 49.99 ISBN: 978-1632159274

“ODY-C, modeled after Homer’s Odyssey, is a psychedelic, gender-broke science-fiction epic that tells the story of three legendary warrior-queens, Odyssia, Ene and Gamem, returning home after a centuries-long battle. Told in verse with a visual sensibility that redefines the very possibilities of the comics medium, this gloriously oversized hardcover also has exclusive bonus materials including essays by classicist Dani Colman, teaching aids, and a massive 10-page fold-out previously only available in the sold-out first issue.”

Note: Science fiction fans, epic story seekers, Greek epic tales connoisseurs, psychedelic art lovers, fans of the 5th Element.

That’s all for now. If you have any added suggestions or notes to add, please share in the comments below!

– Orion T

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.12.13, To Keep Going..

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Some new comics from last week, yes!

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 11/30/2016:

Uber Invasion #1 (Avatar) by Kieron Gillen, Daniel Gete

“Kieron Gillen’s reimagining of superpowers and history is back with America under attack! In the waning days of World War II, the Germans discovered a way to enhance soldiers into unstoppable monsters. With these weapons Hitler conquered all of Europe and now has set his sights on the United States. This is Uber: Invasion! The German battleships are on American soil and with the allies struggling to make up lost ground in Enhanced Soldier development; the young country is facing the possibility of annihilation!”

I am unfamiliar with the earlier Uber series, and quite unaware until looking up this title. With that in mind, there doesn’t seem much to figure out. Nazi’s have a lot of terrible technology and they are winning the Second World War. For much of the issue, there seems to be a lot of grim exposition. There is a frightening element on where the worst real-life villains in all of history suddenly given unreal power; a sort of opposite from the Golden Age of comics of its day. Much of the first issue takes a while to set-up, with a terrifying ending that delivers the horror to come.  The art and exposition does it function well, in the meantime; especially with the last pages. Where does it go, and can this world be saved at all from this Uber Invasion? I suppose I must read the next issues to find out.

Motor Crush #1 (Image) by Brandon Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr

“The team behind the critically acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fiction-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush.”

A solid first issue, that really brings out a perfect balance of pencils, inks, colors, story, sequential flow, and overall atmosphere. Much of it feels like a lost animation classic with a mix of Speed Racer and Death Race 2000. The panels of Motor Crush gives much detail in text and visuals for the readers to process, and delve into. Yet, there are moments of motor action, with high-fuel turbo-charged action. The sequence of the story feels like a crazy ride, with some shocking crashes and apparent danger. Then, there is a dead stop with the cliffhanger, leaving the reader to ponder what’s next for the protagonist and her place in all this. I look forward to finding out.

The Flintstones #6 (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“The Great Gazoo is working on his report card for the human race, and so far humanity has earned a big fat “F.” When the Church of Gerard starts selling Indulgences, Bedrock descends into violence and debauchery. Meanwhile, a miner gets trapped at Slate’s Quarry. Might there be an honest citizen in this burgeoning civilization willing to come to his rescue?”

Another great issue for this very underrated series. Here, it seems Bedrock (and the rest of the world) is facing its own doomsday scenario, as the latest in primate science makes a terrible discovery of extinction-level proportions. The reaction is terrifying and fascinating in its satirical take mirrors our society, about how fast our social norms in what’s wrong and right and where religion dogma is questioned, then goes to hell. The hysteria is hilarious, whole others take a more somber approach. Is it about time for this world to end? I hope not, as I love this series and hope to see many more issues (which looks good toward the end, I think). Plus, there is an incredibly touching moment involving Fred’s bowling ball and vacuüm cleaner, as those sentient creatures discuss their sad lives. I felt my eyes water a little reading that.

The Electric Sublime #3 (IDW) by Maxwell Prince, Martin Marazzo

“The only sane response to imperfection is to destroy the imperfect thing…” While Margot investigates the most recent art crime, Arthur and Manny dive into a familiar painting to visit an old friend. And at the institute, in a blank white room, Dylan sketches something horrific.”

A strange little series so far, that I think rewards those who want something a little different in their comics. I love the weird use of real art, mixed into the story. The use of panels, and switching between white and black, and then the balanced and unbalanced edges; is brilliant in displaying the mental effects of the real world and the art our protagonists delve into. There are some very original ideas going on, with some unique characters and twists at play. I think, however, I should know more about the art references being used here, to better understand the bigger picture of the story.

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 2016.12.6, More Fantastic in the Drama..

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Some new comics from last week, yes!

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 11/30/2016:

Savage#1 (Valiant) by B. Clay Moore, Clayton Henry, Lewis Larosa

“Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife –pregnant with their unborn child – disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time… This is the story of how they lost their humanity.”

An interesting first issue, where the present is a well-drawn action-packed moment of a man vs. dinosaur fight for survival. The rest of the issue gives you the background of the man’s birth and parents that brought him there. It’s all right and understood, through uncertain as to where the story goes towards. it’s a far cry from the 1990’s Turok the Dinosaur Hunter, also done by Valiant Comics (and now licensed in the hands of Dynamite, I think). The art is best in the present time with moody colors and heated tones, then a bit dry in the flashback. So far, it’s a story worth giving a chance to, because dinosaurs are freakin awesome when done right.

Superman Annual (2016-) #1 (DC) by Patrick Gleason, Peter Tomasi, Jorge Jimenz

“Now, Swamp Thing comes hunting for the Man of Steel to discover what strange connection this new Superman has to the planet. But their contact is something neither is prepared for, leading to Kal-El battling the Earth elemental who wants to bury him.”

I haven’t read much into the Superman in a while. So here, with an appearance by an old favorite of the DC Universe, the Swamp Thing is here. They talk and fight, as go the way of things of powerful beings. Though, there feels so much more into how Superman’s power connects to the Earth in a more spiritual way, as can only be understood through his meeting with the Swamp Thing. Here, this Superman must find this new Earth as his home, therefore be bonded to it like no other. It’s a good tale of friendship and cooperation via the Green avatar, though not always understood at first. Overall, not a very epic tale but one very much worth reading for those who enjoy the ongoing journey of Earth’s mighty adopted son.

Seven To Eternity #3 (Image), by Rick Reminder, Matt Hollingsworth, Jerome Opena

“The last Mosak charge headlong into battle against the Mud King and his terrifying guardian, the Piper. Will Adam join the fight, even though the Mosak were the cause of his family’s downfall?”

The series is growing on me much since the first issue. I think there is still much to sift and study through on its world building and mythical structure. But perhaps in doing so, one can do in living through Adam and the Mosak’s Knights crazy fight against the Piper. Such takes a good portion of the issue, and the twists and turns feel like some awesome Magic: the Gathering game turned upon itself. The issue gives a bit of optimism in a world that feels against the side of good, with a need for more heroes to take out a great established evil. The art really sings, with exquisite detail and vibrant colors. There is still much for the reader to lose oneself in, for the many unanswered questions on the overall setting and concepts at play. My hopes are in future issues, that more will reveal.

Saga #40 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

“”THE WAR FOR PHANG,” Part Four

It’s all fun and games until…”

Wow, if Robot’s dreams weren’t creepy enough..now the kids can watch them on his face. And for much of the issues, we find Robot far more complex and troubling than us readers have become used to, which much towards his own failure to build his own happy family. The ending is a bit disturbing towards what may be the next big tragic fall in this story. Such is a part of the growing isolation between characters here, even though the Phang War seems to move on to its questionable conclusion. Gwendolyn, Petrichor have their own paths, seemingly going nowhere to anything particular optimistic. The are tough times ahead, with the only bright spot in the universe being Hazel and whoever she manages to make friends with. Such builds the excitement, and the long road ahead for the reminder of Saga for the many years to come.

One a side note, there is one particularly striking shot done by Fiona Staples here, which brings Saga back its limitless realm of imaginative possibility. Amazing, I show you…

photo-dec-02-1-19-15-pm

Seriously, I want a print of this.

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.