Black Science

Weekly Pull Review 4/1/15

Not much to review this week.

Black Science #13– Image

Even for this series, this was a seriously dark issue. A planet ravaged by a fast acting, horribly contagious, and absolutely lethal virus, which they find out is their fault, or at least the fault of their alternate selves. Multiple characters infected by the disease. At least one, and probably two, character deaths. Flashbacks to the terrible home lives of the McKays. That’s not to say that this is ever a particularly light-hearted series, and the cast almost never gets any downtime from danger, but this issue just feels much, much darker. There are a few lighter moments, as well- Grant seems to have finally embraced the role of mad scientist, leading to jetpack escape scenes and such. Apparently, reading the note in the back, they’ve planned out this series to issue 50 already- I wasn’t expecting it to go quite that far, but I’m not complaining. Still, however, I think they’ll need to slow down here and there, and give us and the characters the occasional breather to prevent action fatigue.

God Hates Astronauts #7- Image

So, apparently the America of God Hates Astronauts is ruled by President Rushmore- literally a man with a smaller version of Mount Rushmore with a head. Watching the various presidents try to work together to make a phone call? Priceless. Also, it isn’t even remotely surprising that Thomas Jefferson is a coke fiend. …Actually, on second glance, he’s not even on a phone, Lincoln just has his head by his hand. Also, the White House flies, and there are snakes wearing business suits. Charles Soule replaces 3-D Ghost this issue for some reason, Time Giraffe hits on Starrior, and there’s pig samurai. (Hamurai.)

Eh. All in all, a pretty tame issue for this comic.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #5- Dark Horse

This miniseries started off pretty slowly, but these last two issues have been moving at breakneck pace. I’m not going to say they feel rushed, by any means- the pacing feels fine. It’s just a very different speed than what came before this. Hellboy fighting Nazis never gets old, either. Overall, it was pretty good (though far from the best of the Mignolaverse), but it feels a bit too stretched out. They really should have had three or four issues top for this story, I think.

Weekly Pull Review 3/4/15

Saga #26- Image

Insert obligatory raving about Saga. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are continuing to keep this arc balanced on all three of the main stories so far- Dengo and his captives, Team Lying Cat, and the dads. This arc so far seems to really be one focused on character development, moreso than plot development, which isn’t a bad thing at all. (Especially considering how common the reverse is in the industry.) Dengo especially stands out in terms of growth- not that I particularly expected Saga to have anything less than a fully fleshed out, complex villain. Also, that ending splash page? Hooboy.

Descender #1- Image

Descender starts off with an interstellar (Alliance? Council?) at the height of its power, and on the eve before an attack by unstoppable, moon-sized humanoid robots. It then skips ten years forwards, into a world where over three fourths of the inhabitants are dead or gone, the planet lies in near ruins, and angry mobs have destroyed most of the robots in existence. When a childlike robot companion wakes up on an abandoned mining colony, a hunt for him begins as it is revealed that his model of robot might actually have something in common with the massive destroyers. I’m torn on this one. Dustin Nguyen’s art is fantastic, no question there. Jeff Lemire’s writing is solid in the sections revolving around the protagonist, Tim the robot boy and his robot dog, Bandit. Many of the other scenes, however, have some quite clumsy over-exposition, at least in my mind. There’s a comment I’ve heard bandied around about science fiction, though: That science fiction movies run twenty or thirty years behind science fiction novels in terms of ideas, which, to be fair, is pretty much spot on. I think that the same adage might be applicable to comic books, though perhaps not to the same degree. It’s not a commentary on the quality of the work at all, but it might have something to do with my reaction to the exposition here- it’s stuff that is already old hat in science fiction prose, so it just feels forced.

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Weekly Pull Review 12/24/14

Yes, I know the 24th was a couple days ago. Whatever, it was Ebenezer Scrooge Day. Anyhow…

Hawkeye Vs Deadpool #3- Marvel

If you had told me that one of the enjoyable comics in my pull lately would be one of the bajillion Deadpool miniseries that have been coming, I probably would have… well, maybe not have laughed, but given you a skeptical look. It’s not that most of them are bad, it’s just that they don’t tend to be super interesting. While Deadpool Vs. Hawkeye doesn’t quite measure up to Deadpool at its best, or Hawkeye at all, it does manage to pull in a lot of the charm of both. The characters all click amazingly well, too. Kate Bishop is the real scene-stealer (“Oh god, I blew up New York”), despite Clint Barton and Wade Wilson getting top billing. Watching the bad guys have minor computer problems, like not being able to find a thumb drive on the desktop was the kind of bizarre, mundane, wonderful scene that doesn’t really exist outside this miniseries and its parent series. I’m kinda sad there’s only one more issue left. Also, Deadpool continuing to use Uber (Ooper) to get to and from missions? YES.

Dead Boy Detectives #12- Vertigo

This series just keeps growing and growing on me. The characters feel more fleshed out, the art is really getting into stride… it’s feeling less like just a Sandman Spinoff, and more like its own beast. The philosopher ghost cats work much better as amusing animal sidekicks than the usual addition, which tend to rely on cuteness over actual interesting behavior. The detectives interacting with a medium while she tries to ignore them was confusing, but not in a bad way at all- all of the characters involved in that scene, especially the customer, are absolutely bewildered themselves. It’s a great little setup. Despite the videogame being the cover hook, it doesn’t actually get a lot of screen time, but what we do get looks really good. (more…)