Hellboy and the B.P.R.D 1952

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 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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