Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I realized that I haven’t given any comic book reviews in a while. Partly because I’ve been busy and haven’t been reading much, and then also because I just haven’t.
Well, the end of August is a slow time for TV, so I have been bringing some books home to read. I am going to give you some brief reviews on some of the stuff I’ve been checking out.
Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, published by Dark Horse. It is definitely an alternate reality—basically set in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s but Martians landed on earth and after a war, earth has advanced technology. The main character is a female news reporter who is being thrust into crime and adventure she wasn’t expecting but seems to welcome. I read issues 1 & 2 and think this has some potential. The first issue was a bit slow and I was not at all sure where they were going with the whole thing. But, by issue #2 I finally saw some story setting up. There is actually a mystery, a bit of a twist. Since this started out a bit slow, I think it would make a better trade paperback than single issue by issue comic.
Phonogram, published by Image. I just read issue #1 and found it to be quite horrible. It is one of those comic books that tries to be all “modern” and “trendy” but just seems to be too phony and forced. I have a good vocabulary and don’t expect to need a dictionary to use while reading a comic book. This is a completely unnecessary comic – unnecessary language, unnecessary nudity, unnecessarily wordy. That’s not even getting into the fact that I’m not sure at all where the story is going. I like indie books, but I’m calling this one TERRIBLE.
Elephantman, published by Image. I read the first two issues of this and enjoyed it. Another alternate reality comic, this one set about 200 plus years into the future. There are animal/human hybrids created by some mad scientist that the U.S. government apparently used in warfare, but now they are being integrated into the regular population. It’s a bit “Island of Dr. Morrow,” but not too much so. It provides a nice examination of two things – soldiers returning home to deal with what they’ve seen and been trained to do; and the acceptance, or failure to accept people who are different into a society that has created negative stereotypes of the new people. The book also flips over for an additional short story of similar nature. The art is really good too, by the way. Overall, I’d say this is a solidly good comic.
The Boys, published by Wildstorm (D.C.). Issue 1 is out and 2 is hot on its heels, coming out tomorrow. I have never read Punisher or Preacher, both of which are also written by the writer of Boys, Garth Ennis. But I do know that Ennis seems to feel that “the F word” is an essential part of the English language and has his characters use it as often as possible. The picture at the top of this post is the first page of issue one – so if you don’t like super heroes, you just might love this comic book. I believe there will be plenty of sex, cussing and violence. The Boys are a group of guys the government uses (not hires, mind you, they can’t admit to that) to help them keep super heroes from abusing their power and powers. If you don’t mind reading a Scottish (or maybe English, not sure) accent conveyed in writing, and a bit of sex and graphic violence, then you will probably enjoy this book. It is action pact and a bit sarcastic. But it is NOT for kids!
Justice League of America, published by DC Comics. The first issue is out, and while the book is about the Justice League, we won’t find out until around issue 6 or so who the new JLA will actually be. It had a lot in it, almost too much, since nothing really seemed to happen. But I liked Meltzer’s work on Identity Crisis, so I’m willing to bear with him for a bit. I’m not saying the issue was bad, but maybe just O.K. The one thing I didn’t get was Wonder Woman – I’m wondering if her current comic is in continuity, and if so, is it Diana or Donna who is Wonder Woman in this Justice League? From the dialogue it’s Diana, but based on her current book, Diana isn’t WW.