Nobody does crime like Donald Westlake, and nobody adapts Donald Westlake quite like Darwyn Cooke. A review of the latest Parker graphic novel, Slayground, as well as looks at books from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant, and Titan.
Slayground breaks with the format of the previous three books in this series in that the heist is secondary to what comes after. After an armored car robbery goes straight to hell, Parker finds himself trapped in an amusement park with $73,000. Unfortunately, some mobsters know he’s in the park, and they want the money.
Too bad they’re up against Parker. Cooke’s adaptation is largely a silent affair and more straightforward than previous books, but there’s plenty of his trademark style and beautiful layouts to go around. Yes, buying a hardback graphic novel is expensive… but when it’s this good, it’s worth every penny.
So that’s one comic to read this week; what about the rest of this week’s books?
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What happens when you clone the Justice League a thousand years in the future and decide to make ’em fight the supervillains of the future? Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Howard Porter are tasked with finding out. It’s not a crucial book, but it’s a highly entertaining one, especially since Giffen and DeMatteis are allowed to essentially do what they want. If you’re a fan of anybody involved, pick this up.
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Matt Kindt, Paul Davidson and Jorge Molina expertly use the conventions and tropes of social media to look at what it might be like for a teenager to get superpowers. It’s a story that’s simultaneously clever and painful to read, and a very good spin on a classic Marvel plot. Recommended.
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Joe Keatinge and Piotr Kowalski get together to have the Hulk trash France. Well, to have Banner wake up with no memory in France, and get chased by Hulks; it’s complicated. But it’s fun, as well, and worth reading if you’re a Hulk fan.
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Justin Jordan and Matteo Scalera start off a somewhat conventional crime/action book. But it’s a pretty interesting one if for no other reason that Jordan doesn’t screw around; he gets right to the action and starts filling in his characters on the way. Scalera has a facility with action that helps the books substantially, and makes this all in all a solid start to the miniseries. Worth picking up if you’re a crime book fan.
This fairly conventional book is built around an undeniably funny idea: The Secret Society of Santa Clauses, faced with being depowered in an attack by the Sugarplum Fairies, unleash Krampus, kind of an anti-Santa that used to be deployed to beat naughty children. Mostly the gag is that you’ve got everything Christmassy doing superhero stuff, and that’s enough to sustain Brian Joines’s script, especially with Dean Kotz’ note-perfect art behind it. Good if you want to get in the Christmas spirit.
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The first Halo ongoing gets off to… well, it gets off to a fairly standard, if action-packed start. The main issue with Chris Schlerf’s script is that it assumes you’ve played all the Halo games and care, deeply, about the mythology; it’s very much for fans. Similarly, Sergio Ariño and Juan Castro feel a bit limited by the license. But for fans, it’ll likely be a lot of fun.
Barry is a regular guy. He’s not smooth with the ladies, he has an OK job and a family that’s kind to him, a lazy roommate, and is generally trying to figure out where he goes in life. Then he gets shot, with the bullet stopped by a flask… and now everyone thinks he’s a superhero.