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.
Hey, I’m giving a #1 top billing this week! Will you look at that? To be fair, none of the usual major heavy hitters came out this week (Saga, Sex Criminals, etc.), so I decided to push something a bit new. That’s not to say Southern Cross isn’t very deserving in its own right- I’m really digging it so far. Even apart from passing the Bechdel test, (the rarity of that in comics is extraordinarily depressing), it’s got solid art with an almost retro-futuristic look. Retro-futurism is most often applied to Buck Rodgers style futurism or 50’s futurism (Fallout), but Southern Cross feels like 80s retro-futurism. (And yes, that was three decades ago.) Grungy space stations and ships, industrial decor, headbands, transparent visors, actual naval outfits for starship personnel- it’s got the tone of so many of my favorite 80s scifi films. (My roommate thought of Cowboy Bebop.) The mystery set up has me interested, though there do seem to be hints of some sort of weird, semi-psychedelic craziness going on in the background- that, or the protagonists dreams are just extremely trippy.
East of West #18- Image
Babylon is really what this comic has been needing for a long time- a character you can actually sympathize with. There are abundant badasses and cool characters, but… yeah, I mention this every issue lately. Anyhow, Babylon gets to play with a giant horrifying demon that he sees as a giant hamster, Death and Lady Mao have a loving farewell, backstory backstory, the Endless Nation and the PRA plan out their war. Good times. I should backpedal on the character sympathy bit- getting to see Death and Lady Mao together actually goes quite a way towards humanizing the Horseman of the Apocalypse and the supergenius cybernetic despot.