Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Comic Reviews for 08/14/2013

Every week in the comic book world lately seems to be the equivalent of the release of a summer blockbuster. Marvel and DC continue to churn out event book after event book, and it might be burning some people out. I am definitely one of those people, so this week I focused mostly on the great creator owned titles being put out by a number of different companies.

Deathmatch #8

This is very under appreciated book and it truly deserves a bigger audience. Paul Jenkins is killing it with this series right now, he takes all of your favorite characters from DC and Marvel, changes their names, tweaks their powers, and then puts them in 1-on-1 deathmatches. That is the basic idea behind the series, but reading to this point I can't help wondering what happened in the past of this wonderful world that Jenkins has created. He packs a ton of character development into a series that kills off a couple of characters in every issue.

In issue #8, we are down to the remaining 16 heroes/villains, with the Superman clone, Meridian, going head to head with his nemesis, Anti-Meridian. It is a lot cooler than it sounds, believe me. There are limbs ripped off, guts ripped out, and a bunch of other shit goes on that is crazy. The whole time you read this series, you can't help but put characters from the Big Two in the places of the awesome characters that Jenkins has created. His Dragonfly character, the Spider-Man of this universe, seems to be much more interesting than Peter Parker is at this point in time and I am actually pulling for him to make it out of this series alive.

This is an awesome series that is accessible and easy to read. Check it out at your local comic shop.

East of West #5

This is along with Lazarus, my favorite title that is currently being produced by any company. The story that Jonathan Hickman has created if fantastic and the world he has created is fascinating. He has managed to make the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, a sympathetic character that you actually root for. He is out to kill anyone who is willing to get in his path and seeing his back story slowly unfold has been incredible to this point.

In this issue we get to see him actually interact with his long lost wife, Xiaolian, who also happens to now be the ruler of New Shanghai. This has been the moment that we have been waiting for since the first issue and now we see that she holds a bit of a grudge against him. You can feel the tension in their interactions with each other come right off the page. He is expressing his love for her, and at the same time she is voicing her utter contempt for him. Hickman is masterful in these smaller moments away from the brutal action that has dominated a large portion of this series. We also find out what the item Death was searching for is, and you won't believe what it is. Don't worry, I am not going to spoil it for you.

Loved this issue. The art is just as stellar as ever and Hickman seems to be getting a better hold of the world and characters that he has created with each new issue. This is a must add to any pull list in my honest opinion. Keep in mind, if you are not a comic fan this series might be a tad overwhelming.

Saga #13

I might be the only comic fan in the world who is no longer enamoured by this series. After a 4 month hiatus, I thought Brian K. Vaughan would bring something new to the series, but we get more of the same. I remember reading the first couple of issues of this series and being completely on board and 100% in with whatever they were going to throw at us. But the series seemed to stall pretty quickly, for me at least. It just doesn't demand to be read every month, especially when it reads better as a trade.

This issue picks up where we left off with Marko and Alana are still on the run with their newborn baby. They find a new planet to check out and will probably get into another wacky adventure. I done with them. The most interesting character in this entire series is The Will, a badass bounty hunter chasing after the couple and their kid. He is not above killing for money but he has also taken in a child, who used to be a former sex slave. He sees visions of his dead ex-girlfriend, who is seemingly acting as his subconscious and trying to guide him on a path out of his current life. Did I mention that he had a giant cat that can tell if a person is lying. BKV really needs to start showing him and his adventures a bit more.

At this point, I might drop this title from my pull list in a few months. I'll give it until October to pick it up or I going to have to drop it. It is a really well done series and I recommend that people try it out. The good thing is it doesn't take very long to realize that you either love or hate this series. Read it in collected form for a better reading experience.

The Walking Dead #113

To round out this week's reviews, we have old reliable, The Walking Dead. This is a series that I love and credit it with getting me back into comics after a long hiatus from them. There has never been a time where I wanted to drop this series and Robert Kirkman always finds a way to rebound from a lackluster issue or arc. The art may be inconsistent from month to month but that is forgivable when you are in the midst of one of the most exciting story arcs in the series' history.

This is issue focuses on the direct aftermath of Rick trying to assassinate Negan. Let's say that things didn't really work out in Rick's favor this time around. Negan seems to be the one character that manages to get the best of Rick at almost every turn more so than even The Governor. Negan also bit off a bit more than he could chew when going after Andrea. I think someone forgot to tell him that Andrea been through a ton of shit and has come out better and strong each time. Sending one guy to kill he simply was not going to work but Kirkman still had me shitting in my pants throughout the entire fight scene. For those of you that are new to The Walking Dead, Kirkman isn't afraid of killing off any of his characters at any time, no matter what readers think. Great issue can't wait to see the war between the groups begin in a few months.

This is an awesome series and I am sure a lot of you already read it. Some of you might have only been exposed to the series through the television show, if that is the case, go to a bookstore and pick up some of the collected editions. It will change your perspective on the TV series and it is an awesome read.