Bob and his family, mostly his family, get their first comic book this week, and it’s one you absolutely must buy. Plus I guess there are some other comic books out this week, and we’ll review them, too.
Bob’s Burgers #1
Normally I sort these by publisher and then number, but I’m making an exception because you have to buy this book. This comic so perfectly nails the show and its bizarre sense of humor, and it helps that it’s written by the show’s creators. But it doesn’t feel like a TV show awkwardly crammed into a comic either. It preserves everything that’s great about the show and puts it on the page. It’s a coup for Dynamite, and the funniest book on the stands this week. Buy it.
Jim Zub and Steve Cummings decide there isn’t enough manga starring teenage girls beating up monsters, so they’ve decided to grow it themselves. OK, so that’s being unfair, but honestly, this book oddly lacks Zub’s sense of humor and ability to throw curveballs at goofy genre conventions, and it’s something this book needs. It’s a solid start, but one hopes there’s going to be a lot more to it.
Really, it’s pretty simple: Anybody, in the real world, who goes around in a cape and a mask, do-gooder or bad guy, has got to be nuts.
Well, as you may have guessed, maybe not, in Sundowners. Tim Seeley’s script pretty cleverly balances the Sundowners’ being fairly actually loopy and the possibly real outre threats they face, and Jim Terry’s art is perfect for the tone. A strong launch to an interesting book.
A biological creation (a hot blonde in two bandages, of course) escapes her growing facility and runs into a washed-up comic book nerd and together they team up to make you pass out from how dull, repetitive and trite it all is. The idea of pop stars being, quite literally, grown and turned into mass culture has some fascinating ramifications and could be taken any number of ways, and Curt Pires, for some reason, takes it in the dullest direction possible with the most obvious message. Jason Copland’s art is better than the script, but he can’t really salvage just how standard this book is, alas. It’s not the worst book I’ve read this year, but it’s far from the best.
Vertigo’s strange murder mystery continues, and continues to be intriguing. This book, jumping between the same murder across four different time periods, sounds like a mess on paper, but each of the four timelines has its own distinct style and flavor, and flow together as a cohesive whole. Impressive, smart, and highly recommended.
Star Spangled Tales Featuring G.I. Zombie #2
The action is solid, but this book can’t quite create a sense of stakes; our hero literally can’t die, his partner isn’t enormously interesting, and the stakes are so cartoonish they’ll never happen. It’s a fun read, but a little too slight.
The Goon: Occasion of Revenge #2
Eric Powell goes to some dark places in this stark, vivid book… but then that’s nothing new. And honestly, there is actually a lot of comedy in this book, although it’s dark as pitch to say the least. Still one of the best books on the stands, and highly recommended.
Groo Vs. Conan #2
A pretty good premise, of the mighty Cimmerian going toe to toe with the biggest idiot to carry a sword, is pretty much wasted by a needless plot about saving a comics shop and Sergio Aragones running around naked in Central Park. If you’re a fan of either or both, it’s worth a read, but one wishes it’d stuck to the title.
Baltimore: The Witch Of Harju #2
Burying your monster-hunter buddy in a haunted graveyard? What could possibly go wrong? Joking aside, as always these books exist to showcase the artist, and Peter Bergting doesn’t disappoint. This is a solid little slice of pulp for those looking to have one.
Steed and Mrs. Peel: We’re Needed #2
Ian Edginton and Marco Cosentino turn their tribute to The Prisoner towards the action-packed. This is actually quite a fun little book that captures the style of the old shows perfectly, and it’s a short enough mini at three issues to be worth a look for those who want a little lighthearted action in their pull list.
Dream Thief: Escape #3
Jai Nitz’s mystical noir is one of my favorite books on the stands right now. Tadd Galusha filling in for Greg Smallwood is a little odd, but he’s more than capable and does a superb job with the action. Furthermore the insight you get into how the Dream Thief works is an action-packed and fascinating story in of itself. Highly recommended.
Super Secret Crisis War #3
Louise Simonson impressively balances the tone and style of several different Cartoon Network shows in one gloriously ridiculous crossover, with Derek Charm’s work imitating a bunch of styles while keeping them distinct and putting down some great layouts. It’s a fun, goofy crossover you’ll actually want to read.
Kill Shakespeare: The Mask Of Night #3
There are endless literary pastiches in comic books using public domain characters. They rarely bother to try and get the characters right, let alone try to capture the soul and style of the work they’re imitating. Kill Shakespeare not only has the guts to tackle the works of one of the greatest authors in the English language, they consistently make it work. Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col nail Shakespeare, and Andy Berlanger’s woodcut-styled art is never less than gorgeous. This particular arc, bringing piracy and Twelfth Night into the mix, is particularly great, though. A well-done series, and highly recommended.
Charles Soule rather cleverly balances action and diplomacy in this book, although Ryan Stegman’s art is a little too close to Joe Mad sometimes, and it’s distracting. Still, a solid, engaging, and even smart book from both, and well worth reading.
Chicago’s unionized superheroes go on strike, and you get one guess how that works out. This book is becoming one of my favorites not least because of how smartly it uses its ’60s Chicago setting and labor relations hook, while still offering superheroic action when it makes sense. Definitely a book worth reading.
Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain make 41st century Japan even stranger in this issue. The cyberpunk sensibility on display makes this a fun read, albeit a bit slight and humorless by Valiant standards. Still, worth a read for those who like SF and cyberpunk.
Conan The Avenger #5
Conan fights an undead pig-man. Seriously. It’d be ridiculous if it weren’t so awesome, and if you want some fun high fantasy in your sub pile, this will more than do the job.
Black Science #8
Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s dark pulp takes an interesting turn here as the dust settles, somewhat, from the last few issues. Not that everybody isn’t still screwed and everything isn’t going horribly wrong, but this is as close to a breather as this freight train of a series ever gets. Highly recommended.
Future’s End #17
Why is Superman wearing a mask? It’s something that’s been a question in the New 52, and we finally get an answer. Well, answers. It’s a solid issue with a lot of plot momentum, but all the various threads in this book are a bit annoying to juggle, and it raises the question of why this isn’t just, say, a rotating book with two stories or something. Still, a fun read.
Guardians Of The Galaxy #18
Ed McGuinness has a lot of fun with the layouts, but unfortunately, Brian Michael Bendis just can’t get to the point and… the book ends on a cliffhanger. But it’s got some funny moments, and some great fights, so if you love Marvel’s cosmic universe, this will be a fun read.
The Massive #26
This book of ecological destruction is rushing towards its end, and honestly, it’s a heck of a ride. Mary’s true nature is a bit tough to swallow, but it’s certainly a twist, and the book itself is still a heck of a read.
X-O Manowar #28
This book’s side trip into exploring the past of the Armor Hunters has been a smart turn for the book. Robert Venditti does a superb job exploring why these guys are driven to do what they do, which is essentially kill entire worlds in order to save them. It’s a vivid, rich plot line with a moral complexity rarely seen in superhero comics. Highly recommended.
Geoff Johns and John Romita really start firing on all cylinders here: The comparisons between Ulysses and Superman are becoming much less important than the contrasts, and The Machinist is an interesting villain, here. Good, solid, fun superheroics.