Sunday, 2 August 2015

Comics Round-Up: August (1)

Tail end of July's releases, with actual August issues to follow. They do keep insisting on publishing cool stuff.

Bombshells #1 (DC)

Considering that this is based on a line of cheesecake statues and posters, it's actually a very strong piece of work. Created by the two Marguerites - writer Bennett and artist Sauvage - this is a feminist take on superheroes, set in a version of the DC world where the first heroes were female. It's clever, taking the anomalous time of WWII as its starting point, where many men were away fighting and women took over their roles in much of society. So Kate Kane is not only Batwoman, she's a batwoman, playing in the Women's Baseball League in the day and fighting crime at night. Her relationship with detective Maggie Sawyer is explored and their views on women in the War, although there's only so much depth it can go into in a single issue. Sauvage's artwork is simply gorgeous. Oh, and Bennett is cheeky enough to have Batwoman swoop in and save the Waynes from the gunman, forever placing her ahead of the grim, cowled one. This is available for download already, for only 69p, with the print run starting mid-August. With more DC heroes to follow in future issues, it's a must.

Ghostbusters: Get Real #2 (IDW)

There's not a great deal of incident here, it's mostly just enjoying the concept and the interaction between the different versions of the characters. Which is just wonderful in itself, really. I tried to explain how wonderful this series was to a friend, who said that of course she watched the Ghostbusters cartoon. After a little confusion, because she really can't be old enough to have seen that, it turns out she watched Extreme Ghostbusters; luckily enough, they appear in this issue, as the god Proteus storms multiple realities with multiple version of the GB team. Pretty much my favourite thing in the world right now.

Lobster Johnson: A Chain Forged in Life (Dark Horse)

Getting the obvious out of the way first: why on Earth do we have a Christmas special in July? With that anomaly aired, this is a good slice of grim noir with the worst of mankind. Troy Nixey's artwork somehow manages to make humans more revolting than any manner of hellbeast. Hellboy in Hell starts up again this summer; until then, this is a fine one-shot.

Mistry, PI #1 (Graphic India)

My random "this looks interesting" pick-up for the month. This is a sort-of Brahman BPRD, set in the streets of Mumbai in a world full of arcane mysteries and inhuman spirits. Ashwin Pande writes, but it's Arjuna Susini's horrifying yet captivating artwork that got my attention and convinced me to take a chance. Paranormal Investigator goes up against demonic forces and hideous monsters (including a truly unpleasant man-spider), with the help of Amos, who is none other than the original Golem of Prague. It has a definite Hellboy vibe but still feels very much its own beast. Some more Indian flavour to the mystical goings-on would be interesting, though.

Avengers Universe #15 (Marvel/Panini)

UK reprints are a great thing to have at a time when the current direction at Marvel is leaving me cold. This issue includes Mighty Avengers  #10-11 and Young Avengers #10-11. Both are far more fun than the actual Avengers run of the time, which means next month will possibly see me jumping off. Mighty sees Luke Cage grilling his father over untold stories, leading to a cool 1970s flashback. (Comicbook chronology never holds water. As with the young Bruce Wayne being saved in 1940s above, in spite of Batman debuting in 1939, here we have Cage's dad as a young man in the same period he made his first appearance.) Shaft-style Blade is awesome, and I'm referring to him as "Spork" from now on. The Bear is better though; a deadly female entity who I can only read with the voice of Jessica Walter for some reason. Young is a very talky instalment, which happens with Gillen from time to time, but is setting up some big things for Kid Loki that bear waiting for. So... yeah, one more issue.

Doctor Who Magazine #489 (Panini)

A new story, "Spirits of the Jungle," starts this month. Jonathan Morris always provides strong, enjoyable adventures, but it's the artwork that makes this one stand out so far. John Ross, who I believe has done work for the Doctor Who Adventures comics for younger fans, has a fun, characterful style and captures the twelfth Doctor very well. It's a straightforward start to a story but looks like it might be going somewhere quite interesting.

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