This is, to say the least, an astonishingly large amount of comics this week, at least compared to what I have been getting in my pull of late.
Saga #27- Image
Saga, of course, takes top billing. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples abandon the triptych format of the last few issues for an issue that just buckles down on Marko- and it’s a doozy. Marko spends the issue tripping balls on a bad batch of fadeaway, and Prince Robot and Ghus are trying to figure out a way to pull Marko and Yuma out of their overdosed state. This issue really provides a sense of catharsis for much of the tension that built up over the last arc. The rest of the family getting kidnapped, though providing a slam dunk cliffhanger ending for the last arc, nonetheless really failed to provide emotional closure for Marco, and Saga has been building towards this issue for a while now. Both Marko and the story have a much stronger sense of direction now. Since it’s already one of the single best comics coming out, well… If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fanboy out for a little bit.
ODY-C #4- Image
Saga and ODY-C in one week? Fuck yes. Odyssia and her crew have to escape from the cyclops’ den, and the comic gets more than appropriately visceral in the most literal sense this outing, leading eventually, to, well… some windy conditions. (Hah. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.) Matt Fraction and Christian Ward are really getting into the swing of things here. Ward’s art continues to amaze- even my curmudgeonly roommate who hate comics, science fiction, kittens, and fun loves Ward’s art. (He has very, very strict views on the Odyssey, however, so he’s not sold on the story yet, though if I can get him to actually sit down and read it, I have high hopes.) I’d honestly say that ODY-C is one of the chief contenders for best art in my pull- Saga is the only competitor this week, though there’s plenty of other great art on display.
Descender #2- Image
Tim 21 absolutely takes center stage here, skipping the other subplot entirely. This issue is divided between his flashbacks, in the form of a memory upload, and Tim running from the bounty hunters. We get to see Tim meeting his family for the first time, and Tim immediately jumps into the ranks of all those adorable goddamn robots that tug at your heartstrings. Goddamnit, I should have known. (Seriously, why are there so many goddamn touching, wonderful robots? The first Terminator was an amazing scifi horror film, and then in Terminator 2, the robot makes you goddamn cry. FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUck.) The awkward exposition from last issue is toned down quite a bit as well.
Nameless #3- Image
Grant Morrison, woo! Nameless #3 drags the series back into the insane dreamworld of the first issue, pulling away from the more cogent real world that dominated the second issue. Nameless solves a problem that so many comics series have, that of a forgettable action hero protagonist with dark hair, a moderately muscled frame, and a serious demeanor. The protagonist of Nameless solves this by actually being nameless- it’s a bit on the nose, but goddamn if I don’t love that. Chris Burnham’s art is great, and I absolutely love the design of the asteroid Xibalba. (Very beryllium-esque. I’m pretty sure I already said that exact same thing last issue, too.)
Copperhead #6- Image
At the start of the second arc, Clara and Zeke have finally started to acclimate to their new life. Zeke is maintaining a friendship with neighborhood kid Annie and mysterious android Ishmael, and Clara has an upcoming date with a schoolteacher, but also arrests the brother of the leader of a gang of outlaws. A wealthy businessman tries to bribe Boo into helping remove Clara from her position as Sheriff. Structurally, despite all the aliens, this is pretty much entirely a Western, which doesn’t have me complaining at all, since my dad had me watching them from a young age. It does remind me a bit of the short-lived comic Storm Dogs from a couple years ago, but with a smaller, less unwieldy cast, and more of a focus on the Western side of things than the police procedural side.
Five Ghosts #16- Image
The current arc of Five Ghosts has been a little slow, but with only one issue of the arc left, they’ve finally sped things up quite a bit. I’ve enumerated my issues with the current arc before- mostly exhaustion with anything Dracula related. We do find out that the Good Doctor is actually Doctor Moreau, which is pretty cool. I’m hoping for a bit more progress with the overarching story soon- It’s not that I want it over anytime soon, I just feel that we really need some more development to help keep reader investment built up.
Southern Cross #2- Image
I’m not sure if this comic is going for mystery, horror, or something else entirely. It’s apparently just covering one day per issue, and this day starts off with Alex going looking for her missing roommate. The art keeps up the Cowboy Bebop vibe, and some of the dialogue gives off a somewhat anime feel- in the overly dramatic speech sort of way. Most of it’s fine, though. Alex is definitely a more memorable protagonist than many comic book sci-fi protagonists, so that’s a plus for her. The series really feels like it’s building towards a whodunit right now, with Alex meeting all these different characters and developing them as suspects, but the weird horror twist at the end confuses things a bit. The fake advertisements for companies and products from the book in the back are definitely really cool.
Birthright #6- Image
I’m a little surprised that Birthright is already on issue 6, it feels like it should be on an earlier issue for some reason. Mikey and Brennan are doing their brothers in the woods camping adventure, and their dad is now in police custody. Mikey doesn’t yet realize that Brennan knows he’s a servant of Lore, and the Terrenos expats are preparing a surprise of their own for Mikey. The creators are really catching much of the feel of all of those 80’s movies and books that feature kids drawn into magical worlds, but twisting it into their own story extremely well. They even brought in the villainous government agent this issue!
All-New Hawkeye #2- Marvel
I’m still waiting excitedly for the last issue of Matt Fraction’s run, but Jeff Lemire’s run is starting to grow on me. Clint and Kate still feel like the same characters from Fraction’s run, but taken in a very new direction by Lemire. The (watercolor?) flashbacks to Clint and Barney’s childhood are the strong point right now- we get to learn how they became carnies! (It involves a carnie threatening their foster father with a sword! He fears not the laws of man, for he only obeys Carnie Law! …Sorry.) Given that this is a five issue arc, I’m kind of wondering how Secret Wars is going to factor into everything. (You may have noticed, but I’m not a big fan of crossover events, and Marvel’s been going way overboard on them lately.) It’s looking like All-New Hawkeye might survive my ongoing purge of super heroes from my pull).
Invincible #118- Image
Alright, so Invincible isn’t actually in my pull normally, but this issue was a quarter. I’ve actually read most of Invincible (I haven’t added it to my pull because I can’t really afford to buy all the volumes, Sandman takes first priority there) out so far, so I wasn’t particularly lost. Not that I would be, this seems to be a pretty excellent jumping-on point. That’s actually the whole reason they had this issue out for $.25- they wanted to get new readers to jump onboard. If you’re interested in one of the better superhero comics out there, it’s not a horrible place to start, though the comic does tend to get pretty melodramatic at times.
Deadpool #250/ #45- Marvel
Hey, Deadpool doesn’t get bottom billing this time! Anyhow, Deadpool died the way he lived- in a crossover. Welp. Good times. Seriously, they had a $10 issue, and they fill most of it with briefly amusing but forgettable backup stories. Shiklah and Evan don’t even show up, and most of Deadpool’s loved ones get less in the way of emotional resolution than Paste Pot Pete did in the last few issues. Deadpool’s daughter doesn’t even get a single line in the main story. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great scenes- U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. getting absolutely destroyed by Ray Harryhausen style skeletons, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. getting destroyed by Deadpool in a Kansas field… fun, but it doesn’t make up for what really felt like a lack of closure in many ways. Also, killing Deadpool with a cosmic Marvel crossover event? Goddamn crossovers. They were the whole reason that I started souring on Deadpool. Anyhow, Deadpool’s out of the pull now- I’m sure there will be a reboot eventually, as well as some more of those Deadpool miniseries.