(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: STRANGE FRUIT #1
SECRET WARS #4
WE STAND OUR GUARD #1
Advance Review: ARCHIE #1
PUNKS: The CBLDF Edition
18 DAYS #1
Advance Review: REXODUS #1
SECRET WARS TRAVEL GUIDE PART VI
New this week!
STRANGE FRUIT #1Writers: Mark Waid & J.G. Jones
Artist: JG Jones
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Reviewer: Optimous Douche (Rob Patey’s best friend)
When I originally heard the name of this title I thought for a brief second Waid, Jones and Boom were going sci fi with some kind of “Planet of the Fruit-People” piece to counter TREES over at Image.
Then, 3 seconds later, I had two near-to-necrotic neurons fire off: A) College, I read something in college…oh shit, ohhhhhh boy… B) Is this the “I’m working on a flood book” that JG Jones has nonchalantly mentioned at the past few Philly Wizard Worlds?
Yes and yes. The strange fruit isn’t strange in the peculiar alien sense; it’s far more the ol’ timey surrounded by racism so we’ll create art to cope sense.
Billie Holiday transformed the poem I read in college to song, and added a new layer of haunting to the already chilling text:
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees
OK, so…a comic about racism. Heady, but it’s important as fervor over the stars and bars still stews in South Carolina. And to be frank, I would look at a book about Hitler raising giant rats if it was JG drawing (two things I personally hate, insert your own fears if you love his comic art Americana as I do).
The flood thing, though--this still perplexed me. The poem title was a clue to the 1920s time period, and then the first pages of Kansas’ golden waves of grain gave me the savior twist that lay ahead. Welcome to Kansas, 1927. A savior will land before the end of the issue, but first you need to understand why that savior was needed.
To save the nation’s farmlands from becoming a bog, a great public works project was put in place to redirect the ol’ Mississippi after she swelled as God’s punishment for our grandmothers being flappers. Just like today, government inefficiency appropriated the funds to a bunch of bigot landowners who pocketed most of the cash, paying the remaining pittance to an easily exploited demographic of workers--that is until one worker, Sonny (Olsen), removes his wooden shoe called a sabo and throws it into the machine…no, that’s “Star Trek”…Sonny is actually unjustly accused for thievery, but before he is placed upon the tree to ripen, the savior arrives via a hurtling rocket ship.
What helps STRANGE FRUIT transcend from another Superman origin pastiche is the fervor, righteous indignation, and humanity the team brings to this piece about a bigger and blacker Superman (If Cards Against Humanity can use the phrase so can I, damn it). The KKK leader, Lex if you will, is humanized before being demonized. Men will do mighty strange things when their livelihood is about to be washed away. I, nor Waid, absolve this ignorantly abhorrent behavior, but hate needs fuel to vest readers. That fuel is showing even the worst of us have families or something we care about. Waid also appropriately uses the “N” word for impact as opposed to sensationalism. Wisely, the first introduction of the phrase was a donkey-punch of imagery to acclimate our modern PC sensibilities to this less gentile time.
Issue 2 is green field; as such, my crystal ball is cloudy. An 8 foot black man in the rural Midwest before the civil rights movement can lead to a lot of tropes (even more if this book was a comedy), but I have faith that even if we go down expected roads, the scenery will be different enough and beautifully rendered enough to keep me until the end.
When Optimous isn't reviewing comics he is making the IT words chortle and groan with marketing for MaaS360, enterprise mobility management www.maas360.com. He also has a comic coming out sometime soon, for updates head to robpatey.com.
SECRET WARS #4Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Masked Man
If you can deal with the fact that the Marvel Universe has been turned inside out, this is a great series--much better than Hickman's last crossover-event, INFINITY, though as we hit the halfway point the question remains: can he bring it all home to a satisfying conclusion?
On a side note, the actual crossover issues seem to be nearly as entertaining as well. The better news is you don't have to read them to understand the main story, as they are all just bits of fun fluff with a wide range of the Marvel characters we all love. Even the worst of them is nowhere near the slap-dash, we all have to fight each other crossover issues of CONVERGENCE. Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here, but A) we all know DC and Marvel have to stop copying each other’s homework, and B) DC needs to learn that it's not ok to create a crossover event overnight, hype it like it will be groundbreaking and expect us to all be happy with it.
Back to the SECRET WARS: so the universes as we know them have all been destroyed. Dr. Doom, becoming god-like, saved what he could, remodeling it as this Battle World and making sure no one remembered the old worlds. Meanwhile, Mr. Fantastic has managed to save a few Avengers, just as The Maker has managed to save a few villains called The Cabal. Both have found their way to Battle World, and $hit just hit the fan.
Jumping into the spoilers, this issue is a lot of fun. Doom's peacekeeping force (the Thors) have found the Cabal; chaos ensues (there's even a wild boar-headed Thor—again, I feel Hickman is trying to prove he is just as crazy as Grant Morrison). Then Dr. Strange, partner in universe-saving crime with Doom, brings The Avengers to help capture The Cabal as Strange hopes for peaceful cohabitation between Doom and the late arrivals to Battle World. Dr. (or god-) Doom himself finally learns what has been going on and faces off against all the late arrivals. Kneel or die is the order, and the first challenge to Doom's godhood steps up--Phoenix Force-powered Cyclops! Dr. Strange manages to call off the fight, still hoping that Doom will not just kill them all. Well, you all know how much Doom likes being disobeyed. Still, the seeds of Doom's destruction have been planted. Reed Richards is alive, and what will he do when he learns Doom has stolen his wife and daughter?
Hickman and Ribic are just killing this series. It's epic, exciting, and, while totally crazy, well thought out as well. With each issue Hickman tells us more and more about Doom's Battle World and its history, information I'm sure will be used against Doom once it all comes to light. Seriously, the only thing to worry about is, can they stick the landing? My figures are crossed that it will be as exciting as the action in this issue and as thoughtful as all the character moments in this issue.
WE STAND ON GUARD #1Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Steve Skroce
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Humphrey Lee
We all know by now what the Brian K. Vaughan shtick is: Take your everyday “someone should make a book about that” cliché and watch him work magic with material you hear ad nauseum. “I wouldn’t date you if you were the last man on Earth!” becomes Y: THE LAST MAN and its mysterious Y chromosome-killing plague. He decided to be the first guy to tackle the idea of real world superheroics in a 9/11 world with EX MACHINA, and his recent PRIVATE EYE with Marcos Martin is essentially the Facebook Future where everyone has everything about them revealed to the world and now the majority of the populace is going to great lengths to hide themselves from the public. And of course SAGA is…okay, SAGA is just wild, uninhibited brilliance. But this, of course, brings us to WE STAND ON GUARD, the violent end scenario of every “we’ll just go to Canada!” retort to a political event or “they’re not even a real country anyway” butt end of a joke-making spiel. Strap yourself to your moose and hold onto your poutine, we’re going to the Great White North…
With WE STAND we’re standing roughly a century in the future, and things seem like a progression you could envision for North America if you advanced current climates (political and physical) a hundred years. Canada is the land of casual calm we all know it to be and the United States is having its fair share of turmoil, from domestic and international terrorist attacks to severe droughts. Eventually, Canada goes from “neighborly observer to the north” of these events to the target of an “unprovoked” attack from the States, leading to a “War of Southern Aggression” (sorry, couldn’t resist). I use a lot of quotation marks in that last sentence because other than there being large civilian centers blown to shit in Canadaland and being introduced to our protagonists Amber and Tommy, two children orphaned in the initial attacks who grow up to be guerilla fighters, we really do not know shit by the end of this debut issue.
That lack of full insight is where half the interest in WE STAND ON GUARD resonates. Being a BKV joint comes with the knowledge that while things are very much as they seem as your eyeballs soak up the page, the circumstances and influences upon these events could have any number of wild revelations. EX MACHINA was very much a story about the world’s first superhero leveraging his viral limelight as a hero with his major spotlight of saving a Trade Tower during the events of 9/11, but even with the superhero backdrop it became a deep political thriller with some pretty goddamn unexpected machinations being behind the origin of The Great Machine and his powers. All we currently know in WE STAND ON GUARD is that the United States struck first and has not let up for twelve years on being an occupying force, but who knows what intrigue is really at hand? It’s all very nebulous, between the brief nightly news viewing right before Amber and Tommy violently lost their parents and then whatever chatter Amber picks up as she stoically wanders the Northwest before encountering a rather eclectic group of freedom fighters.
Most of the events of WE STAND take place in that desolate and kind of bleak, snow-covered space and it really gives off a cool but desperate reverse “Red Dawn” vibe. Amber is the focus as she’s separated from her (captured) brother when she runs into both our aforementioned motley crew of Canucks and A GIANT FUCKING FOUR-LEGGED MECH that leads to just a little bit of pants shitting before her hockey-loving acquaintances hop into motion and actually wax the machine faster than a Shea Weber slap shot. Not only is the state of diplomacy dire, but the stakes of warfare have also advanced to a not entirely unrealistic level of evolution of science fiction. The influx of personalities is very welcome, though, as most of these characters add some necessary levity to what could easily be a very dire book. But, again, this is just trademark Vaughan: if you can find laughs in the face of the near end of mankind as we know it a la Y: THE LAST MAN, you can work up some tension-reducing mirth and gallows humor inside the conflict that is the Stars and Stripes versus a Maple Leaf.
Overall, WE STAND ON GUARD begins and ends boiling hot with a little bit of simmering in the middle. On the surface there looks like there should be a lot of ground to cover as this story goes forward. Obviously, at the forefront I would assume would be Amber’s POW brother and his end of the duo’s story. Amber herself seems absolutely hardened from the years, with not a lot of emotion left in her outside of some surprise here and there, just from examining her facial expressions and one particular fit of ruthlessness. Again, being a BKV book, you wonder what else is lurking under the surface with her given the circumstances, as well as Tommy when we finally see the adult version of him. It has been twelve years of fighting after a very traumatizing childhood event (and who knows what happened to them in the decade plus in between as they were teenagers). Between mental battle scars and the conflict itself, there’s a lot of wilderness for BKV and Skroce to wander.
This premiere issue of WE STAND ON GUARD is a very well-paced, hopefully tip of the iceberg starter. If just the shock value of the base premise of the USA being the unprovoked aggressor against our kindly neighbors to the north is not enough on its own to sell you for an arc, then I can easily see mileage varying on this issue and those to follow based on how much you believe in the creative crew. If you are familiar with BKV and the magician’s act he can pull off with such a simple-looking props, then WE STAND and its relatively straightforward approach stands as the first domino in a long line of tiles to fall in all sorts of winding patterns. If this is your first rodeo, I would like to imagine it still holds up in its own closed circuit as a solid wartime thriller with personality enough to carry itself and any fledgling fans forward a couple more issues to see what kind of weaponry it brings to bear. Even if the depth of this new saga were shallower than I’d hope it to be, it feels like it will still be worth the investment just as a guerilla actioner with some colorful supporting characters. Channeling some of that upbeat Canadianity that our brothers to the north exude (and that I swear we would never, ever attack ever…except for oil or water, those sound about right) I’m going to assume that there is going to be some maple syrup-thick plotlines and psychological developments topping WE STAND ON GUARD as it advances. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, unlike a certain reviewer, the most our WE STAND ON GUARD creative team has to lean on “Things Canadians Do” tropes to get by is just the book title.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, Facebookand a blog where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.
New this week!
ARCHIE #1Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Archie Comics
For the past few years Archie Comics has found new and interesting ways to re-brand itself not only to appeal towards a younger audience but for the populace in general. Several changes have been hits, such as the introduction of Kevin Keller and their various horror series like AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE and THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, while crossovers with “Glee” and Kiss have missed the mark. However, their successes have far outweighed their failures. Some of these variations could be viewed simply as publicity stunts, but not when they are done so well. Take for instance the death of the titular character in LIFE WITH ARCHIE that occurred last year. Instead of bringing America’s favorite ginger back to life in some “Death of Superman” cliché with a continuation within the same universe and storyline, Archie Comics decided to reboot the entire Archie series.
From page one the new series sets itself apart, and I’m not just talking about Fiona Staples’ departure from the traditional Archie drawings. The comic begins with Archie Andrews breaking the fourth wall, and by page three we are no longer reconnecting with a typical Riverdale High. Archie and Betty Cooper have just broken up. Whether you always rooted for the girl that smelled like “flowers and motor oil” or the vivacious Veronica, starting off with a heartbroken Archie is quite a departure.
The audience address element is an interesting conceit. Unlike fellow high school attention hog Zach Morris, Archie’s breaks in reality are visually played up. Characters continue to interact with him as he opines and the action transitions seamlessly in between his soliloquy and conversations. In fact, visual transitions are quite key to this reboot. For all those that call Archie trite and old, this new series finds way to be energetic and flow. Switching from traditional paneling to avant-garde, constant changes in point of view, and even the simple change of bold facing or increased type fonts for emphasis make the comic “cool.” Obviously, all of this is tied into the new aesthetic brought in by Fiona Staples. I’d compare it to the transition made by BATGIRL last year: a new look for a new generation. Mark Waid’s dialogue feels much more traditional than the new artwork. I’m not sure how many millennials use the term “aces”, but at least vocabulary such as this maintains the voice of the characters even though their looks have been somewhat altered and modernized.
If you’ve been reading the horror spin-offs or ARCHIE VERSUS PREDATOR, then you’ve probably become attached enough to the characters to make the jump to the proto-typical Archie storyline. For those that still hold on to the misconception that Archie is outdated or “just for kids”, be prepared to feel square, because Archie Comics has once again proven that they are still a mainstay of the comic scene.
Lyzard is Lyz Reblin, a graduate student at the University of Texas pursuing a master's degree in Media Studies... which is just a fancy way of saying she plays a lot video games, watches far too many horror films, and then tries to pass it all off as "research."
ONYX #1Writer: Chris Ryall
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewer: Masked Man
Chris Ryall is one of the grand poobahs of IDW (if I may call him that) and he has a new series. Chris' biggest claim to fame is probably ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS with artist Ashley Wood. Here he is teamed with Gabriel Rodriguez, known for his work on LOCKE & KEY. As for ONYX itself, it seems to be a salute to sci fi monster movies, and like a typical sci fi monster movie, its success isn't in its invention but its execution (and the coolness of the monster).
Spoiler time, folks: So in the year 2083 (about a hundred from when a movie like this would have been made), life is fairly awful and the government holds society together with secrets (the ones that cause revolutions, I'd wager). Into this world two aliens have dropped in: one a cancerous mutation turning everything into monsters, and the other an armored clan warrior determined to prevent the monster from destroying another world (three guesses on which planet was last destroyed, and the first two don't count). As the military investigate the arrival of these aliens, the set-up is all laid out for us and the action begins. In typical fashion, the military command is more concerned with protecting the government's interests than saving the world from world-killing menaces. Then, for extra fun, Ryall tosses in the lone outcast psychic girl, and for further texture he pulls a Metroid on us (I'll just let you look that up if you don't know what I mean).
So it's fairly typical and pretty much a set-up issue. The good news is, Ryall just gives it to us. There's no cheese, or lampooning of the genre; nor is there any smarter than it needs to be writing. It's simply a sci fi movie with aliens, explosions and an evil government plot. And as a set-up issue, there is enough action to prevent you from getting bored, especially seeing Onyx in action (so the monster might not be that cool, but the monster hunter is). The action helps tell the story, too—which, if you weren't sure, is the best kind of action! So while there's nothing right off the bat to love about ONYX, there's not a damn thing wrong with it either.
Keeping with the movie analogy, the cinematography and special effects are all quite well done by Rodriguez. All the space marines are cool enough, the monsters are decent as well, and Onyx's armor is pretty awesome looking and, as I mention, in action. Quality-wise, I'd say Ryall and Rodriguez are in step and in synch with each other.
I see no reason why this book wouldn't please a movie/comic book sci fi fan. It's all prime-time work and looks to be a fun ride.
PUNKS: The CBLDF EditionWriter: Joshua Hale Fialkov Art: Kody Chamberlain Publisher: Image Comics
Am I a terrible person if I begin this with an anecdote paralleling PUNKS to CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS? It isn’t what you think, but just the way both stories are rich in the sense of comedic flavour in simplistic means. The kids book was what got me through most of fourth and fifth grade and in typical throwback fashion, PUNKS is aiding me through another decade of living.
If you’re at all familiar with the strange, quirky comic it’s quite obvious why doing a COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND edition is an appropriate gig for the crew. With characters that resemble teenage boys binge-watching far too much BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and art that takes the norm and shoves it right back into the abyss, it’s easy to see what makes this series so unique.
In this edition the gang is left to devise a plot that breaks every rule from the 1954 Comic Code, which is first introduced as a three part system that examines race, religion, language and the black and white notion that is ‘bad is bad, and good is good’. Pretty archaic when compared to the current way of how crime can and be perceived.
The comic begins with Frankie “Da Thief” Smith breaking into the house where he finds Skeleton surrounded by cop hens claiming Skeleton to be “another dead comic book character”. Not actually dead, but rather sleeping, Skeleton becomes ecstatic when he discovers the famous and well-loved burglar stopping by to rob him, and offers Frankie anything he desires.
Abe comes home to find Dog in another room taped to the floor while a group of police chickens have decided to defecate all over him and the room. At this moment, when Abe is wondering about Skeleton’s new friend Frankie, he angrily reveals after finding out who Frankie is that the thief must leave as he’s one of those dreaded Vegetarians (personally, I think they should have gone with Vegans, because if SCOTT PILGRIM taught me anything, it’s that those people are the worst).
Some weird sexual tension goes on between Frankie and Abe, and then of course suddenly a crotch kick/combat between the two ensues. Frankie is thrown to the ground and then enacts revenge by driving away with a racist’s depiction of a Native American man. Absolutely nothing is learned and makes no logical sense.
It’s important to note the little side stickers occurring within almost every panel that state which rule within that panel is being broken. Going through the list to see how a line as simple as “Aha! Precisely what I’ve been looking to go crime for!” might break a code is pretty entertaining, as well as questionable and concerning. The idea of how ambiguous some of the codes were definitely brought forward the kind of restraints creators were faced with, and how consequential they might have been.
Admittedly, this isn’t necessarily a comic for everyone, but the obvious satire attacking a set of outdated rules is an indefinite show of just how much the industry has changed and will continue to do so, and what better way to show that than through characters and a narrative that are punk as fuck?
18 DAYS #1Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Jeevan J. Kang
Publisher: Graphic India
Reviewer: Masked Man
Ok, the cover says GRANT MORRISON'S 18 DAYS, but that's book hype--the book and the story is 18 DAYS. As in the 18 day war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas--I'm sure most of you just went, huh? To the rest of you who understood what I said, I imagine you are as excited as I am.
Without getting into all the ins and outs of the story, this war is pretty much the climax of the MAHABHARATA, the epic India poem that dwarfs the ILIAD and the ODYSSEY. Now screw what I just said, because this isn't about comparing STAR WARS to STAR TREK, it's just an awesome epic tale that any genre lover must read. It's loaded with family intrigue, games of thrones, bad@$$ warriors, good guys, bad guys, greater and lesser gods and deep complex motives. It's a piece of cake to find some characters you'll love in this story, as they are all so unique. Now, to get this story though the lens of Grant Morrison, this should be amazing, because all the ancient astronaut believer talk about high tech weapons in the ancient world pretty much all comes from this story. I can't think of a better comic book writer to tell this tale, except say Jack Kirby.
Some of you may also recall, GRANT MORRISON'S 18 DAYS already came out--kinda. Years back Morrison and artist Mukesh Singh created a bible from which an animated series was supposed to spawn. It never happened so the bible, being amazing in its own right, was published. Now, Graphic India has talked Morrison into turning it all into a comic.
So as I said, this is a massive story, and the climatic war is built upon all the events leading up to it. Smartly, Morrison starts by laying the land and the angle of the story before getting into the plot, as in this is a predestined war which the fabric of the universe hinges upon. Hopefully he will continue to do this throughout the series, as it will really give weight to the battle. As for what actually happens in this issue, not much at all. That's the bad part: this is a set-up issue, pure and simple, as the only real action is the two armies sizing each other up on the battle field. But take it from someone who knows the story, it's going to be frick'n worth it--or it should, lest it go down like M. Night Shyamalan's butchering of THE LAST AIRBENDER.
Now Jeevan J. Kang isn't the jaw dropping artist that Mukesh Singh is, but his style and skill are very strong. I couldn't have imagined Graphic India would trust this project to anyone who is less than prime time. He could have gone the extra mile on his non-figurative panels, making them more epic and engaging. But as they are, they are all serviceable. His style is much deeper, but he handles the otherworldly bad@$$ness of these characters, like Genndy Tartakovsky's SAMURAI JACK. I hope his action scenes will be just as awesome.
So grab a couch and some popcorn and screw Edward vs. Jacob--this is Arjuna vs. Karna and should be pretty epic.
New this week!
REXODUS #1Writer: James Farr
Artist: Jon Sommariva
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Got room for anymore dinomania this summer? While “Jurassic World” might have conquered the global box office, REXODUS aims to conquer the galaxy and more. Those military assets InGen wanted to create wouldn’t stand a chance against these gun-wielding, fast-talking space dinosaurs.
REXODUS rewrites the fate of the dinosaurs. Millions of years ago, dinosaurs were indeed on the verge of extinction when Earth was attacked by a dark sentient substance known as the Black Blood. The survivors jettisoned off into the far reaches of space, but one hibernation pod was left behind. Jump to present day and thanks to the floundering of a greedy oil company and a typical lackadaisical American teenager, the last of the Earth-born giant lizards and its mortal enemy are re-awakened. Then the story actually gets interesting.
It is best that REXODUS is being released in a full volume right now rather than individual issues, because the first twenty or so pages of REXODUS are uneven. The characters and events are stocky and expected. Luckily our adolescent agitator, Lucy Dawkins, isn’t a walking cliché. She may have her moments of tropic behavior, but there is enough refreshing characterization to bridge us to the truly entertaining and fresher material.
The human Lucy and dinosaur Kelvin Sauridon are saved just in the nick of time from the Black Blood, though spend the rest of the issue jumping from various frying pans and fires as they face trigger-happy Dinos, mutant vegetation, space travel turbulence, and just about every other complication you would expect from a sci fi action flick.
REXODUS truly does seem to be aiming for a medium jump. The team behind the comic have backgrounds in other forms of entertainment, and the comic reads as a primer for its continuation possibly as a TV show. I’m not saying that the panels read like storyboards, because that would discredit Jon Sommariva’s work. No, what I am saying is that the comic presents a fully-developed universe that cannot be done justice in a couple of lengthy trade paperbacks. The comic doesn’t get to show us the true growth of the dino’s culture, history, and religion over the millennia since they left Earth, but even scratching the surface it is obvious there is plenty more material to delve into. While these aspects do not play a major role in the plot, the work put into developing elements of the world that may not pertain to the story at hand allows REXODUS the benefit of the doubt whenever the material strays too close to resembling other forms of pop culture--not that these comparisons would do the comic any harm. I think any writer and artist would be happy to have their work compared to the likes of FIREFLY and DARK CRYSTAL.
REXODUS is a nice change for me in regards to its writer James Farr. Up to this point I’ve only been familiar with his parody animations such as Super Mario Busters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Koopas, so it is nice to see work of his that isn’t strictly homage and is a creation all his own (and the rest of the REXODUS team). It would be so easy to fill the pages with ridiculous puns, but Farr keeps the cheese to a minimum. Are there jokes about T-rexes and their puny little arms? Yes, but they aren’t toss-away one liners or groan worthy gags--rather moments tied into the actual narrative and characters.
REXODUS works because it takes itself so seriously rather than straying towards parody. It’s got humor, action, and relationship drama. It might be by the book in regards to summer blockbuster narrative structure, but the nuts and bolts of REXODUS are what set it apart.
THE BATTLEWORLD TRAVEL GUIDE PART VIor
DO NOT FUCK WITH GODKINGDOOM!
By Henry Higgins is My Homeboy
Previosuly, on Secret Wars…We’re depending on cowboy hank Pym to stop the Ultrons, the Marvel Zombies, AND the Annihilation Wave. Fuck.
X-TINCTION AGENDA #2 (Marc Guggenheim & Carmine Di Giandomenico)
X-Tinction Agenda Havok is a DOUCHE. Seriously, he manages to out-douche Hank “Fuck you space-time continuum” McCoy here, what with his sudden sneak attack on the X-Men, who were trying to avoid the Legacy virus. You even found a way to ruin a cameo from Cecilia Reyes, one of my favourite never-appearing X-Men? Goddamnit, X-Tinction Agenda Havok, you’re almost as bad as Adam-X.
A-FORCE #2 (Marguerite Bennet & Willow Wilson, & Jorge Molina)
Have you ever wanted to see Medusa and Dazzler and Captain Marvel straight fuck up a Sentinel? Because that’s what this issue is about. I mean, there’s also a mysterious light under the sea and Captain Universe does her best Charlie Chaplin routine, but all and all? This is a nice world to visit, especially when you take into account all the resident badasses.
SECRET WARS JOURNAL #3 (Frank Tieri & Richard Isanove, Scott Auckerman & RB Silva)
Two worlds, two quick mentions in our trusty little travel guide.
First, it turns out that people have been fleeing their terrible 90s worlds and arriving into 1920s Noir world, where everyone is still just a bit concerned about those Germans and Wolverine is sporting a yellow shirt/blue tie combo as a private dick, because comics are a magical thing.
Meanwhile, in a world near Greenland, therapist supreme Doc Samson is trying to work people through their Hulk therapy, which doesn’t go as swimmingly for everyone as one would hope…
FUTURE IMPERFECT #2 (Peter David & Greg Land)
It’s time for evil Hulk to fight Thunderbolt Thing, and OH MY GOD YES. Ruby Summers is running around trying to mess up plans, and this world just became even more destruction porn-y than before--which, considering it’s ruled by an evil Hulk, is saying something. Meanwhile, Greg Land continues to impress by making me not hate him.
DAYS OF FUTURE PAST #2 (Margueritte Bennet & Mike Norton)
“Days of Future Past” world keeps getting worse and worse for our heroes, as now they not only have to contend with Doom Sentinels (they even have metal masks over their metal masks!), but it’s time for a relationship story! Though admittedly it’s fun to watch kid Wolverine and Kitty Jr. have cute talks about the ethics of genocide, it can be somewhat tedious for your average tourist.
ULTIMATE END #3 (Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley)
Bruce Banner gets to talk to himself in this reality, and not have it be part of his insanity thing, and it’s pretty refreshing to find out that Hulk hates creepy Ultimate Hulk just as much as I do. And it’s also refreshing to see that Ultimate Nick Fury is still the same hardcore motherfucker he was in the old Ultimate books. Seriously, he starts threating to take down 616 Tony who, at this point, has an armour that helped kill an abstract concept. And I swear to god, Bendis, if you kill Bombshell and don’t bring her over to 616 alongside Miles, I’m going to…be very upset with you and complain on the internet. BWAHAHAHA, BEWARE MY POWER!
RED SKULL #1 (Joshua Williamson & Luca Pizzari)
It’s tough be Bucky. Just south of The Wall (I LOVE THIS CROSSOVER SO MUCH), a team has been sent out to verify the death of the most dangerous man to Doom’s rule… Red Skull? Meh, could be worse. But all these villains have been assembled for a suicide run into zombie/robot/bugland, all for committing anti-Doom acts. Except Bucky. Bucky was just being Bucky, coming to fuck up Red Skull. It’s even funnier if you see his face and imagine the sad Charlie Brown music the whole time.
This just in, this just in, breaking news from the main series! We now go live to our man in the field, Chip! What’s up, Chip?
SECRET WARS #4 (Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic)
WOW THOSE ARE SOME VERY DEADED HEROES, AND NOTHING IS BETTER THAN THE FACE GODKINGDOOM MAKES WHEN HE REALIZES REED RICHARDS IS STILL ALIVE OH MY GOD!
BATTLE-WORLD TRAVEL TIP! : Do everything in your power to not be born a Bucky Barnes. Things just do not tend to work out for him.
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
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