Shaft comes to comics this week, in a smart, well-done book. We review that, plus a look at some of this week’s notable comics.
Secret Six #1
Gail Simone brings back her beloved team of supervillains, and it’s… not what you might expect. They’re six very, very different people, ranging from the relatively stable Catman and Big Shot to Strix and the Ventriloquist, but they’re all in the same boat and one way or the other, will have to work together. It’s a bit slow-paced in some ways, but a heck of a lot of fun, and definitely worth a read.
Wolf Moon #1
Cullen Bunn goes after the werewolf myth with this book. It’s more or less the story of a virus; the werewolf hops between hosts, unleashing chaos and then departing the host, leaving them struggling to put their lives back together. If they’re lucky, that is. The first issue is interesting but a bit lacking in focus, but the idea is definitely promising.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1
Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Stephanie Hans, and Phil Jimenez have all been thrown at Angela in an attempt to make her interesting, and it’s… pretty standard stuff, really. One of the problems is that Angela is very much the dull ’90s antihero, and she’s just not that interesting as a character. Pretty off-putting, actually! The art’s quite good; Jimenez and Hans work well together, handling different parts of the book. But overall, it’s just a basic, middle-of-the-road Marvel fantasy comic.
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #1
Hellboy’s first mission is the focus of this new miniseries. It’s mostly setting up the plot this issue, but that just gives us ample room to enjoy Alex Maleev’s art, which is actually some of the best stuff he’s put down in a while. Highly recommended, especially if you want to get into Hellboy.
Escape From New York #1
And here you heard this franchise was dead. Chris Sebela and Diego Barreto have a tall order tackling this classic cult movie, and they do a solid job of it. Barreto’s art is a little clean and precise for what should be a scuzzy, nasty book, but he does a decent job with the action, and Sebela’s script, while less than subtle, fits the movie quite well. In all, a good read for fans.
Valiant-Sized Quantum And Woody #1
Quantum and Woody are brought in to save the planet. That goes almost as well as you’d expect, in this Christmas-themed one-shot. It’s pretty funny, and there’s one running joke in particular that’s pretty gutsy for any comics publisher, so if you’re a fan of this duo, this is well worth the money.
Taking on a character that looms as large as Shaft must be as intimidating as hell. But from David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely’s quiet, smart take, you’d think it was a breeze. Picking up before Shaft became the hardass private eye we all know and love, it lays out a lot about the character and his moral choices, giving him a depth that goes beyond being an action star, while Evely’s art has a nice ’70s Marvel feel to it while also being distinct and subtly refining the mood. It’s both a great tribute to the character and a strong book that can stand on its own, and definitely worth a look.