Yes, it’s Christmas Eve, but we’ve still got comics on the stands to read. Here’s a look at this week’s notable Christmas presents.
Robin Rises: Alpha
So, uh, Damien is basically Superboy now. That’ll end well. Tomasi and Kubert deliver an exceptionally long and amusing superhero fight with everybody’s favorite Apokoliptan punching bag, Kalibak. It’s perhaps not require reading, but it’s pretty fun, and really, that’s enough.
He-Man: The Eternity War #1
Dan Abnett and Pop Mhan pull off, once again, making an insane cartoon based on a silly toy line feel like an epic fantasy. DC’s work with this license has always been good, but this in particular stands out and has a lot of promise. Plus, Man-At-Arms kicks snake-man butt. Who doesn’t want to see that?
Honestly, long-time Batfans should grab this just for the clever little in-joke Tim Seeley works into the script. But in general, it’s a well-written one-off that, even though you’ll know the plot twist a mile away, is still a nice touch of blarney set in Ireland.
They’re Not Like Us #1
Eric Stephenson and Simon Gane deliver a wallop of a first issue. The best way to sum it up is the X-Men if Professor X were utterly ruthless and something of a cult leader. The highest compliment you can give a comic book is you want the next issue right now, and that is this book in spades.
Gotham By Midnight #2
Ray Fawkes’ book is a solid enough piece of dark urban fantasy, but Ben Templesmith is just simply a poor choice for the art. Yeah, yeah, 30 Days of Night, sure, but it doesn’t quite click here. Still, a decent read and picking up some steam.
Catwoman Annual #2
We get a little peek inside the mind of the woman who took over the Catwoman mantle. Mostly, it’s a chance for Genevieve Valentine to show off that she can do more than mob drama. Pat Olliffe and Tom Nguyen’s art is serviceable, albeit not helped by Lee Loughridge’s monotone coloring; the book feels a little flat as a result. Still, a fun read and a good slice of character, which is always, always welcome.
Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #2
OK, so this book is not terribly subtle in its metaphors; we’re sure Johnny Walker and Marlboro are writing nasty letters to Dark Horse as you read this. But it’s still a good horror tale on a winter’s night, and, hey, it’s still not as lacking in subtlety compared to some books on the stands.
Fred Van Lente’s rather strange tale of a modern heist crew that’s actually a reincarnated Egyptian heist crew moves right along in this issue. It’s a fun read, but Van Lente needs to pay off the concept a bit more; it’s neat but it doesn’t do much, right at the moment.
Colder: The Bad Seed #3
Yes, the Wyeth reference is just showing off, but Juan Ferreyra has earned it. With Paul Tobin on script, these two are delivering a creepily disturbing horror book about a man who thought he knew about insanity… but there’s far more to it than even Declan suspects. A fascinating and thoroughly chilling book, and highly recommended.
Sleepy Hollow #3
“Did you know that Hotel California is a metaphor for canabis and intoxication and is not a ghost story? I was very disappointed.”