Monday, February 9, 2015

Indie Corner - 02/04/15

Each week I'll spotlight a couple independent books I've read and may have flown under people's radar.

Much like the first issue, this opens on action and gives us story in the back-half.  The story actually sets up the next issue, or perhaps, issues.  It's so well written and so wonderful to look at, I loved every second of it.  Even though, in retrospect, not that much happens.  It's two issues into a series of five and I'm already hoping this manages to run as a series of mini series.  I want more JoĆ«lle art and I want more of our main character Josie.

The Bunker 09
This book is so good it drives me insane.  If I could, I'd binge-read the entire series so I wouldn't have to wrestle with the question of, "What's going to happen?!"  Instead of a letters page this issue, there's a piece from associate editor Robin Herrera.  In it, she gets right to the heart of this arc: 

Another question to ask, of course, is whether Daniel and Natasha really can save the world.  Or, more specifically, who we should believe in regards to how the future will play out.  Do we trust the older, possibly wiser Grady, who came from the future to make sure everything goes exactly as planned?  Who penned the letter to past Grady, telling him the events leading to the apocalyptic future must go as written, or else something worse awaits?  Or do we take the more idealistic approach, and believe that if precautions are taken, the future can be saved?

I don't like, nor do I trust, Future Grady.  Unfortunately, from the back of my brain keeps coming the whisper, "But what if he actually pulls it off?"

I'm going to stake a claim, based on very little actual evidence, that Brennan is the real hero of this series, not Mikey.  In part because he's on the cover to this issue, and in part because of the "birthright" that gets hinted at here.  Speaking of, how about that last page?  A lot of comics have great last pages in recent years.  I love turning that page and going, "Oh, snap!"  This comic delivered that moment.

I think I'm hooked.  I wasn't sure when issue two wasn't as good as issue one, but I kinda need to know A) what's going to happen and B) how did things get this way?

I wasn't planning on getting this.  I'd read the couple page preview that was online and liked it well enough, but it didn't really get me excited enough to plunk down money for it.  Except, some me from the past added the first issue to my pull, so when I stopped into the comic shop a few days ago, it was waiting in my stack.  I figured, "screw it" and bought it.

Thankfully, the book is good.  One of the reasons I was avoiding this is was because of the excellent Six-Gun Gorilla, mentally linking the two series where no link should exist.  Cluster has more in common with Bitch Planet, but really only the basis prison-on-another-planet premise.  In truth, it stands well on it's own with a good combination of writing and art.  I may not have been planning to pick up the first issue, but I'm now thinking about checking out the next few to see where things lead.

I've said this before, and feel it's even more true now - this series will read much better collected.  Maybe this time it will sink in so that when Morrison does a new mini series I'll just wait instead of trying to read it monthly.  Maybe.

The reason I say it will read better collected is because everything is coming together now.  All those disparate elements are starting to coalesce, which is good because the series wraps up next issue and there's still a lot to cover.  I expect death at the very least.  Possibly life, maybe some redemption, and definitely a big showdown.

It's still good and I'm still enjoying it, but I think it would make a bit more sense if I weren't reading each installment one month apart.  I've been filing comics the last few days, so if I come across the previous issues maybe I'll re-read the whole thing in preparation for the finale.

I read this just after Annihilator, the other Grant Morrison book out this week.  Annihilator, though weird and a bit confusing, makes infinitely more sense than Nameless.

In my reviews, I frequently write, "not much happens this issue."  Meaning, of course things HAPPEN, but the story doesn't really move forward in any meaningful way.  Here, a whole lot of things happen, but there's no real story to speak of tying the events together.  There's a guy on the run... and an asteroid.  That ellipses was me running through: "there's a woman, whom doesn't really do anything", "there's another woman and some dudes in masks", "there's an Inception-style dream theft", and "there's a rich dude that makes the main guy an offer."

A first issue needs to grab readers to ensure they pick up the next issue.  This random collection of events is all mystery with no substance.  I'll keep an eye out for reviews of subsequent issues in the event things get better or make more sense later.  But as of now, I don't plan to pick up issue two.

DAWUUUGGGHH, THIS BOOK!  I just read a line of narration that makes me want to throw this book across the room.

In my review of issue 24 I wrote how I should drop Saga from my reviews of "under the radar" books because practically everyone know about it by now.  In my Best Comics of 2014 list I wrote how I pay Saga to break my heart each month.  Well, it turns out I can't stop talking about Saga because it's not only breaking my heart, but now infuriating too.  I haven't even finished the issue yet, and I'm not sure I want to... but I need to know...

The artist signature on the cover is dated "2012."  Ditto for the cover to issue seven shown at the back of the book.  I read Danger Club back then.  Loved it, great series.  Clearly, there were some problems between then and now.  Issue six is now out, picking up exactly where things left off, but I have to wonder... should it?

Two plus years is a long wait between issues.  I'm not saying it should have come back with a new number one, but a re-printing of the trade would have helped.    Anything, really.  This issue doesn't really recap anything that's come before and next issue promises "a new beginning."  I'm left to wonder whether things should have been re-written to accommodate new readers, or at least not make it so hard to get back into the series for returning readers.  For anyone interested, I recommend picking up the Danger Club trade.  Start there, not here.