Monday, March 13, 2017

Last Week's Comics Today - 03/13/2017

There were a few new #1s this week, but they weren't quite as good as those from recent weeks and I'm leaning toward not adding any of them to my pull.  In any other month, they might have made the cut.

Pick of the Week
Lady Killer 2 #4 - Gorgeous art, great writing... honestly, I can't understand why more people aren't reading this.  I've said it before and will repeat it again here - I hope Lady Killer continues as a series of mini-series since I'd love to get more and this arc is nearly over.

Gotham Academy #7 - I enjoy a good mind-fuck, and this has a great one, going back to the very beginning of Second Semester.  Olive's in trouble, Colton's expulsion remains stalled for another issue, and Pomeline finds a disappointing (to me) secret.  I expect quite a lot to happen next issue.

Honorable Mention
Edena - This would have been my Pick of 2016, if I'd actually read the collection when Dark Horse published it last fall.  I had no idea how to describe the series other than using words like "mind-blowing" and "beautiful" which don't really do it justice.  So I wandered over to Wikepedia to see how they did it.  (I don't recommend doing this yourself since it gives a high-level overview of the early chapters and I think readers should go into this with as little preexisting knowledge as possible).  A spoiler-free sample describes it thusly:

Questions are posed about dreams, nutrition and health, biology and sexuality, the human desire to live in a structured society, and archetypal good and evil. All of these philosophical elements are organically embedded in deceptively 'light' stories.

It's ultimately about humanity, which seems vague and unhelpful now that I've written it out, but it really is about all those things in the quote while actually being about two people struggling their way through a wild series of adventures and unexpected turns.  The ride is just as wild for the reader, the story escalating ever more until it ultimately, couldn't support itself any longer.  The end caught me by surprise.  Within a few pages I was disappointed, confused, and finally overjoyed.  Yes, it ends well, even though I just said the story collapses in on itself at the end.  Just read it, you'll see.

Regarding the art, "Moebius restricted himself to a 'Clear Line' style (Ligne Claire), with minimal details." ... which, sure, is true, but strips the description of life.  Basically, you could take any page out of this book, frame it, and stick it on a wall.  It's gorgeous and I found my eye lingering on the art more than once.  

Highest possible recommendation.

Everything Else
Grass Kings #1 - Recommended for fans of Briggs Land.  There's something weird going on in an otherwise sleepy town.  Sleepy-ish.  Sleepy as long as they're left alone.  It's interesting but it's also entirely introduction.  There's simply not enough meat here to sink my teeth into it.  It might make a good collection, though.

Green Valley #6 - I don't believe I've spoiled this series up to this point - and I'd like it to say that way - which makes talking about anything from this issue rather difficult.  I guess I can say the cast confront the wizard again and things go even less well now than the last time.  If Landis can stick the landing on this, I'll grab the collection for my shelf.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys #1 - I nearly forgot about this one.  I was going to publish this piece when I saw Nancy on top of the stack waiting to be filed.  If this comic were a TV show, I'd watch it.  It's very well written, but it should have had a better artist on art.

Planetoid Praxis #2 - ruh-roh.  Another time-jump and lots of new people join this planetoid.  It's good and I'd rather not say anything more than that.

Redline #1 - Minor spoiler here, but the issue ends with the main character getting hit in the head and lying on the ground with a gash in his head.  I recently read a comic where a dog gets shot at the end of one issue and it's revealed he's not dead the next... so this seems survivable, though I'm not assuming anything.  It's a mystery/comedy in a sci-fi setting with military and action elements.  It's entertaining, though not quite enough to get me to add to my pull list.

TMNT Universe #8 - The story of Metal-Don ends here... or at least for now as he's put on the shelf, hopefully to be re-visited again.  I don't really like what was done with him, but to offer my alternative would spoil all the developments.  The series continues to be nice supplemental material that's not as good as the main series.  The back-up would have been a nice article since it's interesting though the art doesn't really add anything to it.

Wicked & Divine #27 - The problem with double-page grid layouts is I always question whether I should be reading left-to-right across both pages or just the one and then move to the next row.  Sometimes glancing at the panels is enough to determine which way to read, other times it's an awkward jump in conversation that tells me I'm reading it wrong.  This issue has both, and only the background color swaths helped me figure out which was right for the given situation.  Gods here are more wicked than divine as various things are set in motion.  It's entertaining, despite the confusion.

Logan - In short, I liked it.  The violence seemed fitting, never gratuitous.  The swearing, however, did tend to venture into gratuitous territory.  It's like once deciding the movie would get an "R" rating, the writer changed every expletive to "fuck."  I tend to favor more variety in my swears.

There's still the usual problem with the bad guy's plan not really making any sense, but I found that fairly easy to overlook until Dr. Rice showed up.  Pierce made sense.  His motivation and intent were simple.  Then there's the suspension of disbelief-breaking cell phone video that'd clearly received some post-production editing and things take a turn until the on-creeen performances of Jackman, Keen, Stewart, Holbrook, Merchant,  and a surprise appearance by Eriq La Salle captivate the audience enough to forget the details.

I'd been thinking what made the movie work so well was how it focused on people, not powers, then my wife said nearly the same thing over the weekend.  So many X-Men movies have tried to show off everyone's abilities they forget to tell a decent story.  Whenever I talk about Apocalypse, I say, "It's a great Magneto movie."  Other than a nice bit about Mystique stepping up, the heart of that movie is Magneto and Quicksilver.  Everything else is forgettable.  This should be the take-away for Hollywood, but I fear they'll see an "R" rated movie make a bunch of movie and draw the wrong conclusions.