Wednesday 1 June 2016

Comics Round-Up: End of May 2016

DC Universe Rebirth #1 (DC)

Another year, another DC relaunch. I had no problem with the New 52 on the whole, and cutting back on the history of the franchise to refresh it was a good idea in principle. Individual titles didn't always work so well, but the principle was sound. Now DC looks to relaunch again, by revealing the story behind the previous reboot. Therein lies the problem; DC are so obsessed with their own history, every reboot draws on previous reboots and makes everything more complicated instead of simpler.

Still... this special (and thankfully affordable) issue makes for a very readable excursion. As a Flash convert, bringing Wally West back into the mix from the Speed Force, having him try to break back into the narrative by desperately interacting with other characters, works for me. This isn't very good storytelling, but it is an interesting look at the nature of storytelling, as the relic of a defunct narrative breaks through to a later version, while uncovering the machinations of another narrative altogether.

Still... making Dr. Manhattan the omnipotent mastermind behind the destruction of the DC Multiverse is brave, idiotic and hilarious all at once. Although the G Johns and his guys will need to watch out for Alan Moore trying to kill them with snake magic.

Scooby Apocalypse #1 (DC)

Not content with aggravating fans of Watchmen, DC is utilising its Hanna-Barbera rights to mess with Scooby-Doo. Also out if mega-crossover Future Quest and upcoming is a Wacky Races-meets-Mad Max series, but firstly in the Scooby-Doo universe (the Scooby-Dooniverse?) is this, a reimagination of the basic set-up of those old cartoons set in a near-future on the verge of global apocalypse. What people don't see to realise is that they're taking the piss. This is pretty hilarious, with hipster Shaggy, evil scientist Velma and cerebrally-enhanced Scooby making for a ridiculous new take on very tired material. I like it.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 (Marvel

Never anything less than a joy, this series now sees Doreen face the perilous world of online dating. To be honest, there's not much to say about this plot-wise; it's a series of funny moments between Doreen and her little cadre, followed by snapshots of increasingly terrible dates. The night out with the broken-hearted Sentinel would be the highlight of the issue, if it hadn't opened with a Twitter conversation between SQ and Galactus.

Doctor Who Magazine #500 (Panini)

The anniversary issue hits, lathered in nostalgia. The strip is nothing more nor less than an all-out celebration of the strip's history, since it first landed in 1979 and went off on its own strange tangent to the Doctor Who universe. All the characters are there, with the notable exceptions of Fey and Shayde (we really need to see what happened to them). But seeing them all together, saving the day with the twelfth Doctor, is wonderful, especially seeing Izzy and Destrii at peace all these years after the eighth Doctor comics. Just lovely.

Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters #1 (Dark Horse)

A new three-part Lobster Johnson story, and while there's not much to it story-wise, the artwork is as gorgeous as ever, and the action is is spot-on. Gigantic robot monsters plaguing 30s America is a hard sight to beat. Simple, but fun.

Tank Girl: Two Girls, One Tank #1 (Titan)

Another day, another issue one... this is a fun relaunch though, with Tank Girl's biggest fan nicking her legendary tank and running rampage with it. Dirty and debauched, with plenty of action and unexpected references to beach holidays in Worthing. Always a pleasure.

Overwatch #1/McCree: Train Hopper (Blizzard)

A Comixology freebie, this is the first in a series of one-offs to gain interest for this range. A fantasy-tinged issue is already out, but for now, this is a fun, if brief, excursion across a science-fiction western landscape. I like a hardboiled monologue.

PS - Captain America is a HYDRA agent, if you hadn't heard. Didn't buy it, why bother? The twist is everywhere already.

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