Comics Club mailings went out for September! I read a lot this month! Here’s some brief thoughts:
Godland #1 (Image) - Godland #1 (Image) - Scioli does Jack Kirby-as-genre, and buddy he does it well. Stellar art, pacing, and layouts, yet brought down a bit for me in the writing department. I’m not familiar with Kirby’s body of work, so maybe this over existential and self-reflection prose is par-for-the-course. The lack of sound effects is also unusual. It felt like everything was happened in a vacuum. I guess with so many dots, streaks, and shines panel real-estate for Scioli is at a premium.
Darker Image #1 (Image) - Collection of three Image stories I assume from the darker (darkest??) side of Image comics. Enjoyed the MAXX because it’s the MAXX. Blood Wulf; Liefeld being Liefeld; it looked absurd, read absurd, and was terrible and great all at once. His floating motor-jet-bike was actually a big gun! Just aces. Finally, Jim Lee’s story was well drafted but good god the story is … I could see the gravel pouring out of all the square jaws as they talked. It’s just the pits. Typical sampling of what Image put out at the time, and a good vision of how our chests would look if our small hearts grew three times that day (with murder).
Ultraverse Hard Case (Malibu Comics) - So god damn gory. I missed this over-the-top gore in super-hero comics trend that saturated the market in the 90’s, so this was a treat to read*. With hit characters like DJ Blast eating it before we even learn their name (though I bet it did wonders for his publicist’s career. Oh did I mention the heroes have publicists?). The whole book has a weird secondary color scheme going on which I sort of dig. Overall dumb, trite, and everyone looks absurd.
*Please note this was not a treat to read
Greylore #1 (Sirius Comics) - Greylore is our anti-hero swashbuckler, and a terrible unlikable shit. Woman only exist in this world to bone Greylore, apparently, and he’s pounding so many of them that he’s the twin worlds to shift out of balance. So a wizard says “Um hey… you gotta slow your roll and take up a life of adventure or whatever to undo what damage you did”. Art charmed me a first but the coloring is terrible and over-saturated. Kudos to the book for squeezing in a bar right, a coach robbery, and a chandelier swing into 32 pages, but I guess at the expense of cohesive plot. Also shout out to the brigands riding ostriches.
Nightmask #1 (Marvel) - More New Universe super serious business. This stuff is so serious! The “white event” let’s this kid jump into dreams. He fights an enemy called “the Gnome” who, design wise, I thought was great, but it was a bearded monster with potions and shit on his belt so they clearly got my number. Art and writing were basic ho-hum passable house style for the time art and writing, I guess. A lot of telling and not a lot of showing, though. Overall just heaping helpings from Marvel’s no-fun-allowed New Universe.
Runner Runner #2 (Tugboat Press(@TugboatPress)) - Free sampler from Tugboat Press, based out of Portland, OR. Stylish mix of black and white comics. Mostly journal/bio style comics, which judging by my reactions to the stories I might be getting over? I guess I don’t relate to them much anymore. Highlights were three one page stories; Sam Sharpe’s “Perspective”, Drew Weing’s “The Hunt”, and Sam Alden’s “Cave Kids.” Overall great little freebie.
Wild C.A.T.S. #1 (Image) - The second Jim Lee joint I read this month. All the woman are introduced with full page pin-up format spreads, and described in a Sin City style dame-to-kill-for language. Everyone is a ridiculous shape. Grifter was especially irritating; like a Gambit with guns or something; just terrible. I did like the scene of the down-on-his-luck would be leader guy going big-time, but then over the weekend ending up in an ally drunk anyway. Drafted well, again, but everyone just looks absurd gritting their teeth and yelling all the time.
The H.A.R.D. Corps (Valient) - I think the concept is (I’m not looking it up dammit!) some dudes have special powers, but this company has developed a way to insert a chip or some shit into people and then switch their powers on and off on command via number designation, which the heroes yell out mid battle. And they are battling other heroes/corportations with the same situation for some reason? The art is solid, but everyone looks like the god damn same person in this book so I don’t know what’s going on.
Icarus (Hardia Comics) - The art in this one was interesting; Mark McHaley’s technical drawing style shows compliments the choice of layouts and pacing. Some of the panels got a little lost in the details, but over all the art was un-ironically fresh for a comic. The story, however, was not. At all. Similar to the Marvel New Universe, it’s about a super hero guy ground into the dirt of reality. What WOULD happen if a guy got super powers? How would he “come out to the world.” Would he be charged for violating air-space laws? Otherwise he’s spent his time punching purse-robbers and beat-em-uppers.
Bloodstrike #8 (Image) - I’m noticing that unforgiving smart-ass is a quality that 90’s Image comic gun-muscle-men have in spades. And gosh all these terrible people, forced to work together, love letting everyone know how much they hate each other. Terrible plotting at a pace that makes it even less interesting than it already is. Also these characters are just Xmen; I mean it’s clearly just Cable and Wolverine with a palette swap. No more of these Sean; NO MORE!
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Trajectory Classics Illustrated) - A good example of winner’s write history. I’d love to believe that some of these stories truly did end without blood-shed, but as they go on it’s still hard not to make the RCMP look like anything but bullies. Typical adventure style layouts, poses, and pacing common to the adventure-serials of the era. Take away lesson learned in how many hat styles the RCMP cycled through the years.
The Age of Heroes WEX (Image) - James Hudnall’s Age of Heroes story struck me as typical b/w sword and sorcery, but I was totally okay with this. Any way our wizard hero is taking back the mystic triangle the orc-adjacent race man-eating awfuls stole from his temple and it pretty much wraps up in this issue thanks to the mysterious appearance of some army we’ve never heard of. Part of a larger series that I will keep eyes peeled for thanks to nice and cluttered, no-space-wasted b/w art (my cat-nip).
Runner Runner #1 (Tugboat Press(@TugboatPress)) - Another curated and successful Free Comic Book Day book of shorts by Tugboat press. Most were one-page stories, which I really dig. Surprise multi-page story about a cute old-man-dog written by Minty Lewis, too! Also features nice Kazimir Strzepek one-pager, too, but he’ll never know I read it I don’t think he actually exists. Alec Longstreth has a bio comic in here, too. Really all around great stuff, no stinkers.
Spider-Woman #40 (1980) (Marvel) - I actually had some fun with this comic. Villain Rupert Dockery was very upfront about his motives, but he just wanted them dollar bills. And so does Spider-Woman! She’s just cracking skulls for the bounty money. Imagine if her and Rupert got in cahoots. What a world! Anyway it was pretty silly, all around, but it didn’t take itself to seriously and wrapped up pretty nice for an issue 40.