Sunday, 13 August 2017

Comics Round-Up: First in Ages!

I cut waaay down on my comics purchasing this year due to the fact that the things cost an absolute fortune to keep up with. Currently, I have only one item on my pull list: Ghostbusters 101, which I plan to review in full once it's finished. However, I decided to pick up a few one-offs over the last few weeks just to see what new things were on the shelf, and thought it was high time for a little round-up. Plus, I'm going to be catching up on some recommended titles in the trades and graphic novels, for review as well.

America #4 (Marvel) I was so up for an America Chavez series, but this wasn't all that. It's interesting exploring her backstory, and I guess that was always how a series centring on her had to go, but America is one of those characters whose mystery is a big part of her appeal. That, and punching things. Maybe this was an off-issue, but among all the glitzy visuals, the story didn't do much for me.

Astonishing X-Men #1 (Marvel)

The X-Men, who have about twelve series on the go at any one time, get their latest issue one. And, well, it's not bad. There's a strong hook - the Shadow King is making his comeback via the minds of the world's psychics, and almost overcomes Psylocke. She calls out to various mutants to help fight him: Angel, Bishop, Gambit (who comes in two with Fantomex), Rogue and Old Man Logan. There's some very clunky dialogue as different characters (some from different universes) get each other up to speed, but the interplay is pretty fun otherwise. The last page reveal, while a bit predictable, is effective enough.

Bill & Ted Save the Universe #2 (Boom!)

Blast, I missed the first issue. I'll have to keep my eyes open for it. This is a treat. They've been to the past, they've been to the future, they've been all around the afterlife, but one place they haven't been is outer space. Apart from the obvious fun to be had with Wyld Stallyns meeting aliens, this series introduces their long lost mothers into the mix, plugging a big gap in the narrative of the films by revealing that they've actually been travelling the universe to prepare other civilisations for the coming of the Stallyns. Rufus is satisfyingly shifty and the dialogue for the guys is spot on. The art by Bachan and Guimaraes fits the mood perfectly as well. Definitely plan to pick up issue three.

Centipede #1-#2 (Dynamite)

Just out in digital, and this is really pretty good. Adapting an extremely simplistic Atari game into a comic is always going to be a challenge, no matter how much fun it is, but this works, because it allows itself to be a simple tale and focuses on straightforward beats. Elements like the last man alive and an unstoppable threat never get old. There are some great emotional beats in here as well, which come at you in between the highly effective monster attack panels. It's a shame we ca't escape Joseph Campbell even on an alien planet, but this is nonetheless a fun way to spend a few minutes.

Shade, the Changing Girl #8 (DC's Young Animal)

DC's latest imprint includes this new update/sequel to Shade, the Changing Man, and I've only now come round to reading an issue. Young Loma, an avian alien from the planet Meta, follows in the footsteps of her hero Rac Shayde and comes to Earth. I finally picked this up because the cover features rainbow-feathered dromaeosaurs and that is guaranteed to appeal to me. Actual dinosaur content of the issue is minimal. It took me a while to get up to speed with what was happening here, but the disjointed uncertainty of the story is the point. Interesting, probably needs to be picked up as a trade so I can really get to grips with it. 

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