Happy birthday to the best movie ever made. And if you don’t like Big Trouble In Little China, we have comic books for soulless husks, too! Reviews of books from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, and Boom! reside under the jump.
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1
The Marvel cash-ins begin! This book, a slight story of Groot and Rocket with a bounty on their heads paired with a Thor reprint, is amusing enough, but Andrea Di Vito’s art is a little too generic to push Will Corona Pilgrim’s plot up beyond what it is. Amusing for fans, but probably not worth the cover price.
Deadpool Vs. X-Force #1
Get a noseful of ’90s nostalgia with this book, which technically takes place before Cable and Deadpool meet. Seriously, this book couldn’t be more ’90s if Ben Reilly made a guest appearance. As such, some of the humor will be lost on newer readers, but if you remember the heydays of mullets and pouches, this is a fun trip down memory lane.
Rocket Raccoon #1 and The Legendary Star-Lord #1
Lumping these two books together may seem a wee bit much, but bear with me; I’ve got my reasons. Both of these books essentially revolve around the same gimmick, namely the hero discovering that he’s not so unique after all. Both have mysterious cabals after them. And both are about smart-assed rogues chasing across the spaceways.
That said, Skottie Young’s take on Rocket is a little looser and funnier than Star-Lord’s, if for no other reason than Star-Lord feels a bit been-there-done-that. Of the two solo books, Rocket’s is the one to pick up.
Tech Jacket #1
The digital miniseries gets its stripes and hits print as a full ongoing. And honestly, it’s not hard to see why it’s popular; it’s a slight book, but certainly quite a bit of fun to read.
Hack/Slash: Son Of Samhain #1
The fundamental mistake of the Hack/Slash books is that Cassie Hack is not really all that interesting of a character. Take her out of the goofy concept, which is what later books have done, and you have a painfully generic anti-heroine. And unfortunately there’s little Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley, or Emilio Laiso do to resolve that. Laiso’s art is solid, but not terribly inspired in terms of creature design or layout, and the plot is your fairly standard story of an old gunslinger being brought back into the fold, only we see her tummy more. I know this book will sell well, and it’s not bad so much as just indistinguishable from others on the stands. But, hey, great cover!
Ever wonder how Joshua Williamson feels about gun registration laws? Let him tell you! For far too many pages! Comic books can (and arguably should) get political, but it needs to be a little more subtle than this; it’s not nearly as bad as, say, Evil Empire, but it’s painfully clumsy. Fortunately, there’s Carlos Magno’s drawing and inking, and Marissa Louise’s carefully faded color palette to make this book substantial eye-candy. Worth a read, but it’ll be better if Williamson starts using an icepick instead of a sledgehammer.
Weird Love #2
IDW’s utterly insane reprints of old romance comics continues with lost classics like “Too Fat For Love” and the worst biography of Ronald Reagan you’ll ever read. If you want to explore the bizarre side alleys of comics history, this is a good place to start.
Big Trouble In Little China #2
It’s like old Jack Burton always says; if you can’t get a sequel to one of the greatest movies ever made, get a damn good comic book instead. Churilla’s MAD Magazine-style art can take a slight bit of getting used to, but John Carpenter and Eric Powell deliver a killer mix of gags, monologues, and utterly silliness that make this a wonderful book to read every month. Highly recommended.
Honestly, this book is worth picking up just for the funny central “suspense” section, which is a hilarious goof on cheesy killer cliches and exposition dumps all at the same time. It could be a little snappier in the pacing, but it’s a fun horror book to say the least.
Southern Bastards #3
Jason Aaron’s gritty, sweaty noir bumps it up a couple of notches, both in how dark it’s willing to get and how rich the characterization of our ‘hero,’ Earl Tubb, really is. Jason Latour’s scratchy, sweaty art just underlines the whole thing, and makes this easily one of the best books Image is putting out right now. Highly recommended.
The Woods #3
The book’s turn for the Lord of the Flies, complete with the evil gym teacher, really does it no favors, but the concept is still so vivid, and Michael Dialnyas’s art so vivid and well-done, that the book can cruise for an issue on looking good and plot momentum.
White Suits #4
Toby Cypress’s art is much cleaner and clearer here: Less New Yorker cartoon, more Chester Gould. But unfortunately, Frank Barbiere has to cram the script full of exposition, and it drags down what should be a crackerjack finale to this book. It’s an OK finish, but disappointing in that it could have been better.
Moon Knight #5
After a few issues of ghost stories, Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have a book that’s twenty-two pages of Moon Knight beating the ever-loving sh*t out of people. Simple plot, packed with action, and badass like you wouldn’t believe; sure, it’s clearly inspired by The Raid and video games, but who cares when it’s this awesome? Highly recommended.
Original Sin #5
So it turns out Nick Fury, in addition to being the head of SHIELD, has also spent the last few decades murdering demons, burning planets to ash, and generally protecting the human race in the darkest and ugliest way possible. It’s an intriguing idea that promises to have some worrying fallout, and it makes this gritty detective story all the more interesting. Highly recommended.
Quantum And Woody #12
The series ends hilariously, right down to riffing on “educational” comic books and the unspoken origins of the dreaded goat. They won’t be gone long: Quantum and Woody are joining The Delinquents. But we’re still going to miss this book. Highly recommended.
We return to the Farm, probably the most interesting Fables area, and the “clamor for glamour” that deals with the non-human Fables and their isolation. It’s a fascinating plotline, but it does depend on your knowing the books a bit better than just being aware of them, and is a wee bit less accessible to casual readers. Worth a look, however.