The Pork Chop Express returns after far too long away, and this time, Jack Burton is coming to take over comics. A full review of that book, plus looks at comics from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios and Dynamite.
Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1
This book has a great concept that, alas, is wasted by the fact that Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman take their pacing cues from the old series. This feels talky and padded, even if Ty Templeton is enjoying the art considerably, and ultimately not worth a pickup.
Tiny Titans: Return To The Treehouse #1
Art Baltazar and Franco return to, well, what they do best, making short strips for kids. Honestly, this book feels a little too herky-jerky in the pacing to really flow, and that may not hold the attention of kids for 22 pages. But, hey, it’s cute, at least.
The Superannuated Man #1
You see the name Ted McKeever tied to a comic, you know it’s going to be weird. This is the guy whose last miniseries was about a tiny Jesus. But man, this book, apparently a goof on Kamandi, is weird even for McKeever. Beautiful, poetic, disturbing… but also just plain weird.
Rise of The Magi #1
You know, you’d think, when you were dumping somebody in an alternate world, you wouldn’t choose a place like Times Square to fetch them up in. Marc Silvestri’s writing is unfortunately not really clever enough to carry the cliches, although Sumeyye Kesgin’s art has a fun sense of whimsy. Read it for the art, if you read it at all.
Big Trouble In Little China #1
Eric Powell of The Goon is unleashed on one of the most beloved movies John Carpenter ever made, and the result is… well, completely insane. And we wouldn’t have it any other way; the tone and flavor of the movie is captured almost perfectly, albeit Brian Churilla’s art takes a little getting used to. And, truthfully, Churilla needs an inker. But with a book this funny, it’s a minor concern: Highly recommended.
Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1
Oh, great, yet another comic book about hot chicks who are also ninjas and sometimes lesbians. If we’ve got to keep putting cheesecake books on the stands, could they at least make some sort of effort to be original?
The Dresden Files: War Cry #1
Harry Dresden and a bunch of rookie Wardens have to defend a bunch of scholars from a vampire death squad. This particular Dresden comic picks up after the classic Dead Beat, and it’s got all the hallmarks of classic Dresden: An action movie setup with a noir hero who figures out what’s happening with the audience. If you’re still jonesing for more Dresden after finishing off Skin Game, this’ll do the trick.
It’s taken me a while to chew over this particular book. It’s an interesting mix of New Age spirituality, intrigue, and dystopian science fiction. Honestly, it’s worth reading just for Bruce Zick’s vivid, jagged artwork, but Stuart Moore juggles a lot of elements here in an intelligent, engaging way, and the core concept is quite a lot of fun. Highly recommended, especially if you like your heroics a little more involved than just punch-by-numbers.
Buckaroo, OR, is one messed up place, as we rapidly learn in this second issue. The mystery Joshua Williamson weaves is solid enough, and Mike Henderson has appropriately creepy art, but this book needs to pick up the pace a little to pay off its concept.
The Woods #2
In James Tynion IV’s and Michael Dialnyas’s first issue, a high school was transported to an alien moon full of things that wanted to eat them. In this issue, things get worse. Tynion balances pulp adventure with a Lord Of The Files-style political dynamic, and Dialnyas turns out some beautiful, lurid alien creatures. It’s becoming a deeply engaging read, and highly recommended.
Valiant’s 4001 AD initative continues with this book, an interesting throwback to the dystopian science fiction of 1980s. It’s chock-full of cyberpunk, robots, Japanese fetishism, and the like, and plenty of Matt Kindt’s specialty, intrigue. Clayton Crain’s gorgeous art certainly helps the proceedings as well, and makes this book well worth a read.
Original Sin #3
Well, say this for this miniseries, it doesn’t wander far off the point. After last issue’s absurd yet threatening reveal, for the sake of avoiding spoilers let’s just say that we know who the triggerman killing all those mystical creatures is by the end of the issue, and leave it at that. Highly recommended.
Moon Knight #4
This is one of my favorite books on the stands right now because its one-off structure and the sheer versatility of Declan Shalvey and Warren Ellis means every issue is something clever, something new, and you can just pick it up with no need to read the other issues. You might get an action movie, or a ghost story, or in this case a straight-up urban legend-styled horror story. No matter what you get, it’ll be beautifully illustrated and superbly written. Highly recommended.
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster! #4
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi continue their riff on the violent pulp heroes of yesteryear… but there’s a lot more to Lobster Johnson than just the brands he leaves on foreheads. This issue actually hints at a more supernatural origin for the guy… and it’s some pretty interesting stuff. The massive fight with the giant robot gorilla also helps.
This book gets some very much needed character development as we visit Ghost when she was still alive… and ten years old. It’s a heartwarming story that takes a painfully dark turn, and some of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s best writing in a while. Definitely worth a look, especially if you’re just getting into Dark Horse’s superhero books.
The New 52: Future’s End #5
Can I just take a moment here to say that the idea of Firestorm keeping one of his elements trapped in his head for weeks is actually really disturbing and much creepier than this book plays it off as? Seriously, Ronnie Raymond is more or less a complete psycho now. All we need is for him to tell Jason to put the lotion on his skin.
Anyway, it’s fairly clear as this book progresses that it’s a rewrite and mash-up of unfinished storylines from canceled DC books, which isn’t a bad idea in theory. But man, if they’re all as bad as Firestorm’s, maybe we dodged a bullet here.
It was really only a matter of time before Magneto’s tendency to commit property damage and kill people looped around to bite him in the ass. But Cullen Bunn doesn’t make it a huge moment here. It’s a simple one, a careful reminder that Magneto may be on the side of right at the moment, but he’s still a monster. And people still hate him for a reason.
Five Weapons #9
Jimmie Robinson’s manga-esque riff on the “high school for assassins” trope takes a rather goofy turn, but it manages to sustain it and stay the highly entertaining and witty book you should be reading. Definitely pick it up if you haven’t already given it a shot.
Quantum and Woody #11
Valiant’s most hilarious book builds up to an absurd conclusion in this issue. Wilfredo Torres and Erica Henderson are well-suited to James Asmus’s script, which is especially tart and funny here. If you like funny superheroes, they don’t come funnier.