Thursday, March 17, 2005

Comics Read: Atomika, Human Race, Star Wars General grievous, Young Avengers

This week's books were largely unexciting for me - lost of Super Heroes and not too much else. But I did pick up a few to read anyway.

Atomika #1 actually came out last week, but we sold out of it quickly so I had to wait for the next batch this week. Let me just say I LOVED it! I'm not just saying this because the artist is coming into the store in June for a signing, but seriously, this is a GREAT book. The writing was excellent - I got so lost in it that I hardly looked at the pictures the first time around. It's the story of the evolution of industry, to the point where it takes over Mother Russia. It starts out in 1929 in Russia, after the first World War, and is told by a man recounting his childhood. But the story is not one necessarily of reality, but of the evolution first of the government of the Soviet Union, controlling all even religion. Then the destruction of a woman who is the living symbol of old Russia - it's people, their spirit and hope and safety and love. The boy is taken by Arohnir, the state made flesh, and his monster-machine minions, and eventually evolves into man made into machine, a god who would serve the new state, the essence of power, technology and the future it held. If you have not picked this one up, do so. Give it a try! It's one of the best comics I've picked up in a while - its not for young children, but even high school students could discuss the analogies and evolution that come to life in this comic book.

Human Race #1 was OK. Very science-fiction and future based. Boy whom everyone thought would amount to nothing graduates class valedictorian, but then runs away the day of his graduation, because he found himself looking and feeling very different that morning. It turns out he is the only one to ever be infected with an alien parasite and survive. His change in look and feeling are manifestations of the parasite as he becomes one with it. A group called Delta Chi Delta have found him and are trying to protect him, as well as the human race, from the bad guy's group Omega. Dr. Damien Masters, now called Paracelsus, is the bad guy - formerly a member of Delta Chi Delta he got too power hungry and sought to combine alien and human DNA in order to create a more perfect human race. He has been unsuccessful - all test subjects died, but he now wants to get his hands on Ulysses, our human/alien parasite high school student, because Ulysses has survived the combination and could hold the key to Paracelsus' success. I felt like the story tried to give me too much action, and not enough story. Things were happening without much reason, the characters were a bit hard to follow because they were not developed yet. In time it could be a good series, but I thought it started out weak.

Star Wars General Grievous #1 was pretty good, especially if you are a follower of all things Star Wars. I don't know much of the General, so I don't know how he came to be, but he is a Jedi killer. In this issue a few Jedi and their Padawan want to stop Grievous before he kills them all, as seems to be his goal. But the Jedi Council do not think it is appropriate - murder is beneath them, even if it is of their worst enemy. Self defense is apparently their preferred method of addressing Grievous, but he is so fierce as are his armies of droid soldiers, that so far no one has been able to conquer him. This small group is going to try to put an and to Grievous, but it so far seems impossible for them to do. This book is drawn very cartoon-ish, similar to the Clone Wars Adventures style. All in all I thought it had some good aspects to it (a bit of action, mystery, drama and of course cool Jedi fights), so any Star Wars fan, young or old, should enjoy this one. Personally, when it comes to Star Wars I say only the movies will do - they are a treat for the eyes and ears. So, the comic didn't get higher accolades from me. But for those who want SW in any form, check this one out.

Young Avengers #2 was as good as #1. A fun story of teen-agers with super powers. This one was focused less on action and more on the back story of some of the characters. While I do like an action-packed book, I enjoy it more when I know more about who the characters are and why they are fighting/what they are fighting fore. So this issue was good for developing the story into something that could be long-lasting. We find out the secret of Iron Lad, and we meet Ant-Man's daughter. There is a lot of discussion about the current and past Avengers and the devastation of the whole Disassembled thing that recently took place. But it's not so tied in to the disassembled story that you'd be lost if you didn't read that - because I didn't follow the Avengers Disassembled other than casual conversations about the main points of the story. I like the art and the characters are getting a little more interesting, and they're introducing some women to the "teen team." If you are a fan of super hero stories, you will like this. If you like Avengers, give it a try too. And if you have a child (10+ age, in my opinion) that you want to introduce to the Avengers, this would be a fun book for them - characters that are probably more "relatable" to them than the old Avengers you grew up with.

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