Birthright

Weekly Pull Review: 4/8/15

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.

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Weekly Pull Review 2/4/15

Saga #25- Image

SAGA! Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga! Saga! …Okay, I might be a little excited. Just a little. But… Saga. In all honesty, if I had to pick a favorite comic from my pull, it would have to be Saga. So fucking good. The newest volume of Saga opens up with depressing backstory, depressing story, depressing foreshadowing, dragon piss, an axe wielding baby seal (hi Ghüs!), Hazel being adorable, half a planet, Dengo making poor decisions that are going to draw the family farther into the middle of the war, and… well… Dunno what else I have to say there, actually, because spoilers. (Seriously, though, why aren’t you reading Saga yet?) Despite following up with the majority of the cast, it even finds time to introduce- or at least show- new characters, without it feeling like a particular intrusion into the screen-time of the rest of the cast. Also, Sophie has glasses now, and Lying Cat is being taught tact!

Hawkeye #21- Marvel

After a nearly five month delay, we finally got more Hawkeye- it’s just too bad that next issue is the last of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run. This issue is very much an ode to the John Wayne film Rio Bravo, which is actually the name of the issue. (For those of you who’ve seen of Assault on Precinct 13- that’s basically an updated version of Rio Bravo). This issue, well… it’s goddamn heavy. One of the opening scenes has Clint sending the children and other noncombatants away from the building to safety as they prep the apartment building for battle against the Tracksuit Draculas. This issue is rapidly pulling together all of the elements that Fraction and Aja have been pulling together over the course of their run. Grills even gets a bit of postmortem vengeance. The sheer amount of work that was put into this comic becomes more and more apparent with every readthrough. The good guys don’t get a victory without paying a real, heavy price for it- and not the hilariously forgettable, easily brushed off price you’re used to in superhero comics. This is what a superhero comic should be. Boomerang arrow: it comes back to you in the end.

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Weekly Pull Review 1/7/15

Anyone have any suggestions for a DC title I should give a try? I’ve got Vertigo stuff, but I don’t have anything main-universe DC.

ODY-C #2- Image

Slightly less action packed than the first issue, Matt Fraction and Christian Ward still hit it out of the park with this one. This issue focuses more heavily on Zeus and Poseidon, and really plays up the spiteful, vicious, petty, and dangerous facet of the Greek gods, which largely gets ignored in modern takes on Greek mythology. While Zeus and Poseidon are plotting Odyssea’s downfall, the captain and her crew have arrived at the planet of the Lotophages (The Lotus Eaters), which is a colossal hedonistic park-like planet, with the world-sized, delirious, drug-addled, near-comatose body of Promethene, creator of the third gender sebex, chained to it. This book is insane in all the right ways. Also, it’s written in dactylic hexameter. Matt Fraction is shouldering his way in among the great comic book writers, and Christian Ward is tossing down the gauntlet to all challengers with his gorgeous visuals. If ODY-C keeps being this awesome, I’m going to start being as excited for issues of it as I am for issues of Saga.

Birthright #4- Image

The newest title from Robert Kirkman’s Skybound studio, it once again proves that the Walking Dead creator is absolutely right in chaining up comic book creators up in the basement and depriving them of food and water until they produce art is the way to go. (Kirkman isn’t actually on the production team for this one). Birthright is great, though. Essentially, it’s a what-if title that riffs off the classic C.S. Lewis/ Susan Cooper story, involving children being taken into magical worlds for grand adventures, but it goes a step farther, to explore what happens when the child gets back. (The story archetype goes much farther back, of course- the fairy changelings of European folklore, the fairy rings, etc.) A young boy, Mikey, is stolen into a fantasy world to become a chosen hero. One year later, his family has collapsed. His parents are divorcing, his dad is suspected of murdering Mikey, his older brother is getting in fights at school, the whole thing has become a media circus. Then an enormous behemoth of a man, covered in armor and carrying dozens of medieval weapons shows up in town. (Surprise, surprise, it’s Mikey). Issue #4 opens with Mikey, his dad, and his brother on the run from the cops, and, well… spoilers. Check this one out.

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