[review] Mister Miracle no.1

“Of course this title was going to be his pick of the week no matter if it turns out to be a turd sandwich served with a glass of warm Natursekt.” is probably the first thought when i declare that Mister Miracle no.1 is my comic of the week. And that is true because i already enjoyed last weeks New Gods Special more than is warranted.

Jack Kirby’s creations, and the figures from his Fourth World in particular, all have an aura around them; an honesty that has become a mainstay in contemporary comics but even years after their first publication feels like nothing else.
And in the centennial of the King Of Comics DC-Comics publishes a continuation of one of the most beloved figures and the Fourth World he inhabits that evokes an almost equal buzz as when i read Mister Miracle’s premiere issue.

Of course, DC made sure this book would cause a wave by giving writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerards the keys to the Hot Rod that Grandpa built back in the day but Dad put a blanket upon because he did not get the time to continue the work (which is an elaborate metaphor for Grant Morisson’s work on the characters).

The comic opens with a facette that always was there in the beginning of Scott Free’s existence as the greatest escape artist there is, but twists it to the ultimate conclusion: only the best escape artist can built the ultimate trap for himself. But not only does the contraption put Mister Miracle in chains; the whole pantheon of the New Gods is trapped with him.
And as if that isn't enough to push against; Darkseid is.

But the story of this escape act would not work as well as it wasn’t for Mitch Gerards. He makes the characters stand out of their surroundings; gives them the boldness that is associated with New Gods and Forever People. But while Kirby gave us figures that feel like springs under permanent tension declaring their readiness to expand any moment by emanating the famous Kirby crackle, Gerards relies on their presence to instill the awesomeness of the figures.
He deepens the unrealiable nature of what we see on the page by working with distortions and in one instance even by placing pieces of adehsive tape on the page.

A downside to this issue is that a person that reads this issue without prior knowledge of the characters and their relations to each other and the larger DC-Universe could put it away with the thought of it being nothing more than DC trying to copy the “artsy fartsy” approach Tom King brought to the Vision or the Omega Men. But like with the two mentioned series, he examines an aspect of the character in his way, or in this case rather focuses on an ignored one: Scott Free was sent to a life of torture at the hands of Darkseid and Granny Goodness to secure a peace treaty that only was honored until it afforded Darkseid to further his power.

While i am counting the days until the second issue is officially released (September 13th) the sentence above presents the biggest stone in the way of this title to become more than just a Kirby acolyte’s favourite contemporary comic. But the events unfold in the broader continuity of the DC Universe, and when Darkseid is mentioned there is more at stake than just the city a hero is located at.

Mister Miracle no.1
published by DC-Comics
written by Tom King
art by Mitch Gerards
lettered by Clayton Clowes

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[read] The Omega Men tpb (2017)

With the Tom King train on full speed, i decided to check out Omega Men, which i ignored during it’s publication in single issues.
That title left me devastated, like any other King title, but the path to that final punch in the nuts is a fascinating one. The lines that are usuaally drawn in heavily pigmented black ink isn’t clearly defined, and in the middle of the fog of war is Kyle Raynor; trying to navigate the grey zone as well as possible.
The artwork further drives the point across that no one in this comic is acting out of true altruism. Everything seems to have taken a short bath in a black wash that won’t come off.

[read] Kamandi challenge No.1 (2017)

Kamandi_Challenge_no1_2017

Great idea: twelve different artists/writer teams write an installment each month, leaving the cliffhanger to be solved by the next team. In the next issue the team from the preceding issue will write their idea of the conclusion for their cliffhanger in the letters section.
I don’t buy the paragraph about DC not being able to settle on a team for an ongoing.
That aside, i dug the issue. Picks up a lot from the classic first issue, Giffen and Eaglesham are doing their best to honor the King while retaining their styles while the story moves at a rather fast pce for our decompressed age.

[quick review] Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Soooo, now that i’ve seen it in its entierty thanks to the phenomenon that is binge watching i thought i’d sum up my thoughts:

Although the looks and mannerisms of the titular character as well as Max Landis involvement put me off at first it did not come out as bad as i thought.
While this iteration of Dirk Gently has almost nothing in common with his counterparts (my guess is that down the line we’ll learn about alternate worlds in which the the print/radio/other tv version is a reality) it works in the context of the story. And embracing the holsitic detecting is one of the saving graces of the show. It is the curiosity of seeing the prestige at the end of the magic trick you’re wittnessing that kept me watching as well as all the props used in the trick.
It isn’t nice to call the actors involved props considering that their performances are another positive aspect of he show, but it works with the magic trick reference. Sorry.
Even if i’m not keen on Samuell Barnett and Elijah Wood as the main characters i see that their chemistry, which is a mix of recent Doctor Who and Sherlock interactions, will be something that the audience will grab on to as an anchor to center them in the seemingly random events unfolding around them.

This all sounds more negative than it actually is. I enjoyed the show because it truly feels new and not like it is trying to utilize my nostalgia for it’s gain.

[review] Star Wars day pt.2: Episode VII review

Before i start, i must apologize. I falsely assumed that this post was already made official last year, but it still sat there in WordPress’s Draft section. With a new Star Wars movie on it’s way to the theatre screens, and the fact that i saw Episode VII four more times since i wrote this post the first time, i thought perhaps it is a good time to get “nostalgic” and talk about the start of the “new” Star Wars movies.
Continue reading “[review] Star Wars day pt.2: Episode VII review”

comic reviews [31/2016]

Ms. Marvel no.9 (2016)

msmarvel9

A lot of Marvel titles are making Captain Marvel’s precog determined arrests a topic, and while i can see ex-SHIELD personel being on board because they have witnessed some shit over time and need more time to process, the kids in Ms. Marvel march to the drums because they get to use their powers to do good. And oftentimes they want to do their job a bit to good.
The people that get hurt here aren’t fortunate enough to have had their name on a cover in recent time, it’s the mostly regular janes and joes suffering for the greater good.


Lucky Luke Homage 1: Der Mann der Lucky Luke erschoß (2016)

luckyluke

Not being able to read the french original i got the german translation. It captures the spirit of the classic comics, but Matthieu Bonhomme’s art, leaving out the Dalton brothers, injecting a drop of A Fistful Of Dollars as well as giving nostalgia a character lets the book feel modern despite the classic dressing of the cover.
I’ll ask my Dad if he could lend me his collection so i can give my memories a new coat of paint.


Giant Days no.17 (2016)

giantdays17

This issue reminded me of the years spent hunting for a job that could “secure” my future for a while. No matter how legit people made things out to be, i was participating in dubious matters and my silence was bought rather than my work compensated.
Long way to say: i enjoy the book. Story and artwise its another great example of the John Allison brand of entertainment being a hyper realistic look into how we imagine the world to be.


Paper Girls no.8 (2016)

papergirls8

I don’t know how Mr. Vaughn does it. “Nothing” is happening, but you’re looking forward to more.


Black Science no.23 (2016)

blackscience23

Black Science stays as awesome as ever. Even if Grant’s monologues get on ones nerves, it makes the stress situation he’s in more authentic. He’s not better, his focus just shifted to trying to make everything right.


Superman no.4 (2016)

superman4

So far except for Aquaman, Rebirth has been a disappointment. But this issue managed to get the Superman feeling going. Seeing Clark and his son work together is a joy to watch. Supes finally taking on the role that was his from the beginning is an actual progress.


Klaus no.7 (2016)

klaus7

The perfect comic to read with your loved ones once the holidays come around. I immensely enjoyed this title and am looking forward to see what Morisson does with the Easter Bunny.
But seriously, the Superman iconography in this issue make it a festive treat. Oh, and aliens are responsible for everything of course.


Aquaman no.4 (2016)

aquaman4

My favourite Rebirth title. This issue might have gone a rather foreseeable way it feels like finally something is done with the character. And that is something that i miss with the relaunch. Not that nobody is trying, but here it feels like a path has been mapped out.


all photos taken for review purposes, copyriht lies with the repective woners

comic reviews [30/2016]

I missed last weeks reviews and am late this week. But i did not have much time to either read or think about comics to much so i’m trying to catch up here. Not the most fresh things, but i was reminded this week that the weekly grind isn’t that important.

Without further ado, let’s start.

Dark Night: A True Batman Story (2016)

darknight

Talking about this comic is hard. First of all, it is a very honest look into a very difficult period of Paul Dini’s life, and while other writers pack their life lessons into fictional stories, we get a certain part of the truth with this. Works such as this take me some time to read. With such a serious matter one has to be in the right frame of mind and create a save enough environment.
First of all, let me say that the artwork by Eduardo Risso feels uninspired. He never was my favourite artist, but what makes him stand-out is the sheer savagery and brutality in his work. He manages to portray the animals that we still are, and while it suits the part that becomes the catalyst of the story told, it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the book[1].
The story….well, it is part of a therapeutic process. A very open part of the process, but different strokes for different folks. And i think this comic was not written with the intent of putting it’s author under a spotlight, but rather as a reminder that we are all existing in the same reality, and that it takes bravery, honesty and asking and accepting help to overcome obstacles.
And sometimes, we are our own obstacles.

[1] But if you ask me who might have been a better fit to illustrate the story the only name that comes up is Frank Quitely, either of the Ba/Moon twins or Darick Robertson.


Rumble no.12 (2016)

rumble_12
We take a look back to when Rathraq paved the way for mankind and slew the Esu-King Asura, who is currently in possesion of his body while Bobby is haunted by nightmares.
i love this book. Even in a set up issue like this one it manages to be full of frenetic action and emotion.
Furthermore, after a rather black and white start, the border between good and bad guys becomes more and more diluted.


Aquaman no.3 (2016)

aquaman_3
It feels to me like all the wrong books in DC’s Rebirth continuity are becoming all the attention. Aquaman has a good comic and nobody seems to talks about it….seriously, this title could be the one to “end all superhero comics”. Yes, it might use themes and imagery seen in Man Of Steel, but i guess Dan Abnett will take it on a more thoughtful route.


Civil WarII: Chossing Sides no.2 (2016)

choosing_sides_2

It was good to see Misty Knight again. I juxt wish that one issue in which Danny and her had a kid and were happy would be canon. The rest of the book feels….i don’t know how to put it, but even though the outcome of Civil War II will set up the next few months of stores in the Marvel Universe, it doesn’t feel to have an impact on the day-to-day business of the Marvel Universe.


Lazarus no.23 (2016)

Lazarus no.23

This issue closes with a statement that sent a chill down my spine. The whole issue feels like a caged animal, sitting coiled up in the corner of its cage as it hears a keeper unlocking the door.


Scooby Apocalypse no.3 (2016)

Scooby Apocalypse no.3

Still doing new things. Disturbing things taking the material it is based on. The flashback was a downer at first, but working it into dialogue or another action sequence wouldn’t have worked given the state of the gang at the start of this issue.


Star Wars no.21 (2016)

Star Wars no.21

We get a look at what has been unleashed on our heroes, a fist carrying a scalpel. The empire strikes back indeed. But we also get the motivation behind the new Sarge of the squad, whom we know as the imperial double agent in Fabio-Jabba’s arena. Everything used to be black and white.


Future Quest no.3 (2016)

Future Quest no.3

I still like the series and was excited about Steve Rude on art, but with the rather long backstory that introduces us to the Herculiods, it feels like a plan b issue. Doesn’t matter, it was a fun read that still conveys the feeling of a Hanna Barbera cartoon, this time a Birdman solo one.


Jupiter’s Legacy vol.2 no.2 (2016)

Jupiter's Legacy vol.2 no.2

Like with the first issue, the art fells off. But i look at this panel and what i saw of Frank Quitely’s process in the What Do Artists Do All Day documentary about him and get a new appreciation.
The story, well, the rebellion is underway. Neat ideas and further revelations about the ruthlessness of Brandon and how little he thinks of his parents values.


Divinity II no.4 (2016)

Divinity II no.4

A little kindness goes a long way, in this case a long way for everybody. But it alao makes on ask if Abraham’s plan will backfire on him.
“Where will this lead?” is my main question. The series was great like the first one, but the ending and set up for the next Divinity series feels odd. Valiant has been careful with each of its releases and they have my trust that the end of Divinity III will make we look for my socks.


The Autumnslands: Tooth & Claw no.12 (2016)

The Autumnslands: Tooth & Claw no.12

With the current political discussions about the rights of an AI, this issue gets a whole new level of relevance. And while we live through the heartbreak and hope is kindled….let’s say that we speak comic and know what comes next.


East Of West no.28 (2016)

East Of West no.28

More set up for the end times and the fallout from lasst issue. But it’s just so enjoyable. This issue was worth the time and money for the humor in it alone.


Transformers: Titans Return (2016)

Transformers: Titans Return

It has been a while since i’ve read a Transformers comic, and i have not a clue what is going on here, but i like the humour and that Autobots and Decepticons are working together now. And it seems to set up Headmasters and the Revolution event which looks insane.

all photos taken for review purposes, copyright lies with the respective owners

[read] Normal pt.1 by Warren Ellis

notmal
via FSG originals

This week i read the first part of Warren Ellis new book, which is getting released in four parts weekly starting this week before going into print later this year, Normal.

The first thing i thought of was it being a Rosamunde Pilcher story for futurists.
Normal Head is a remote location where futurists who are burned out from abyss gazing are sent to recover.
After an episode at a conference, Adam Dearden is the latest addition to the patient roster. But only after a few hours after his introduction to what was planned as a protected journey back into his normal life, things are shaken up in a kafka-esque matter.

I mentioned the author of countless “romantic” stories in comparison with this story, because i am looking forward to reading the second part ver much (which will be available digitally on the 18th of july) and my Grandmother says every time after watching a tv adaption of Mrs. Pilcher’s stories that she is looking forward to the next one. And it is a fact that Mr. Ellis has a similar devoted following to his many works.

What i like most about Normal is the economical writing. Gun Machine felt like story twice it’s size, and Normal already does too.

comics 28/2016

Vision no.9 (2016)

Three more issues. This series needs a complete hardcover edition as soon as it’s over. But with all the character work being done so far, there is a fear that it might be rushed to its conclusion. Lets trust in Tom King shall we?
I never mentioned how Gabrial Hernandez Malta’s artwork while not being typically super-heroic delivers the atronger impact with the emotional beats.


Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior no.9 (2016)

What a fist pumper! Gilad is loose in the Sovereign’s Labirynth and boy, the Wrath is real.
I’ve read that some people are at odds with the pace, but seeing how this and the issue before it unfolded, i must see the pace was just right. The brutal imagery of Gilead’s many death and the struggle he undergoes to return to the world of the living put such a weight on the reader, that it is almost a relief to see him wreak havoc. Sadly, against some goons instead of the instigator of Gilad’s suffering.


Power Man and Iron Fist no.6 (2016)

This issue is the best thing that has so far come out of Civil War II. The reaction of the protagonists to the events unfolding mirrors that of many comic readers. But not enough to warrant Marvel overthink their publishing plan. But while they are brought up to speed on the events, former vilains are being targeted by a group of vigilantes and a group of reformed and acting baddies are hiring Luke Cage and Danny Rand for protection.
Sanford Greene is sitting this one out, but Flaviano Armentaro’s artwork while feeling less fluid fits the book as well.


The Flintstones no.1 (2016)

I take everything backmi said about the Hanna-Barbera “relaunch”. This was amazing! Ok, it takes the franchise into a dark place, but back in the day Fred and Barney were advertising cigarettes, so it stays in line.
Evolution and how progress is driven by violence covered in a sheen of humor is the foundation this issue is built open at first glance, and at the end waits the other end of the spectrum, a gesture that is all to human and has been practiced by everybody through the ages in one form or another.

photo copyrights lies with the respective owners, taken for review purposes

comics [27/2016]

Blaue Pillen (Blue Pills) by Frederik Peeters

blaue_pillen
An autobiographical tale about life with HIV illustrated in a quick and feverish way. Aama already used a similar approach to convey its story about evolution, but here it helps to convey the underlying fear of loss that must be experienced by all parties in such circumstances. The perceived honesty further deepens the experience for the reader, giving us the chance to cheer and fear with the people we’re reading about.
At the end of the book, Frederik Peeters has a dialogue with a mammoth that suddenly appears on his way home. At the beginning of the sequence one could assume that it is just a weird exchange for the sake of art which so far has been avoided, but when it is revealed to be a moment of realization, even growth, it fits great as a point for leaving this part if Peeter’s life.

Empress no.3 (2016)

empress3
I wanted to don’t like this book because of Mark Millar and his recent tendency to write for the silver screen. There are still some kinks in this, but it follows the Millar formula to give a known thing a new spin. And Stuart Immonen is a beast on art. Not-Obi Wan/original draft Luke Skywalker which serves as the titular regality is a joy to behold.
I wonder where the story leads because it leaves a lot of corpses in its way. The chambermaids who dress the Empress in the first issue for example….

Manifest Destiny vol.2: Amphibia & Insecta

destiny2
The expidition into the new frontier continues. The backgrounds and motivations of the crewmembers are explored and in the end upbringing, status and decisions don’t matter because the whole crew sits not only in the boat that carries them across the water, but ride the same one through life. Which is a fancy way to say, no matter how noble one might seem you can’t trust the person to do the right thing.
And i cheered when Lewis slaughtered the title giving amphibian due to a phobia of mine.

Future Quest no.2 (2016)
futurequest2
To sum the issue up in one word: Action! The stakes are set, the heroes seem to face a challenge they won’t overcome and Dr. Quest is a step behind FEAR, the evil organization who’s goal is to invite the big evil that killed the guardian corps Space Ghost was part of, to earth. I’m still digging the series. Story and artwork transport the reader back to the childhood days when the Hanna-Barbera cartoons made us shut up and listen/watch. Hopefully the artist and story changes for future issues don’t mean the numbers don’t add up….

Giant Days no.16 (2016)

giantdays16
Last issue wasn’t my cup of tea, but this one was great again. The energy levels are high, the humor is great and the cliffhanger the issue ends on makes me want to get the next one as soon as possible. I’m always amazed at how relatable the series is despite the overdrawn characters and situations.

Paper Girls no.7 (2016)

papergirls7
Things are moving at a glacial pace. But while it’s slow, it keeps tipping scales left and right. Despite the “modern enviroment” in which it is produced, it still reminds me of watching The Goonies, ET and other movies during my younger years.
This page i took a screenshot of made my eyes glaze over becauae visualizing ourselvea as kids and giving us a hug was a technique we learned in group therapy.
I’m afraid old Erin will die.

Black Science no.22 (2016)

blackscience22
It’s a less action filled issue, but despite the serious matter of Grant trying to attone for his shortcomings as a father, it has some fun moments.
The last dialogue broke my heart. But he has earned that kind of treatment.

Kaijumax season two no.3 (2016)

kaijumax3
Three issues in, but the story already feels so dense. This issue flashes back to the past of high ranking officer of the Security Forces who is happening to inspect the prison while Chisato is trying to deal with the events from the last issue. The inspection also reveals why the world reacts so harsh towards the Kaijus, the story of betrayed trust.
It’s the little things like the entrance in the mech’s sleeve, or Jeong’s new armor, or the Rider 2 inspired police uniforms coupled with the serious storytelling that make me enjoy (almost) every issue of this series.

Like any of the titles i talked about? Don’t like them? Want to contribute? Please get into contact with me and share your view

copyright lies with the respective owners, photos taken for review purposes