Posts tagged Comics
Review: Doctor Who Prisoners of Time Vol.2 by Tipton, Tipton, Bond, Ridgway, Hopgood, Langridge, et. al
Review by: Prof. Jenn
This newest collection follows a mysterious cloaked figure as he ports himself through time to snatch the companions of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Doctors for some nefarious purpose known only to him. It’s a gripping opening sequence as we are walked through several panels of earlier companions, trapped and apparently sleeping, behind glass and fear for the upcoming companions’ fate while waxing nostalgic about the earlier Doctors.
The art in this collection varies widely between the various artists, as you’d imagine, but they’re all equally high quality in both story and art. Well, except for the last one in the collection.
I was delighted to see a story featuring the 8th Doctor–he doesn’t get nearly the attention he deserves in the expanded Who canon, and it was neat to see him pop up after 5-7, right in order. But the art quality of this one was too cartoony without being charming (especially after having enjoyed the previous selections), and the storyline was so cliched as to be eye-rolling.
Bottom line: It’s a great collection, the last story notwithstanding. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Comics Review: Crime Does Not Pay vol. 5 ed. by Philip R. Simon
Review by: Prof. Jenn
I enjoyed reading the 5th collection of Crime Does Not Pay for some of the same reasons I enjoyed Daredevil Battles Hitler: it’s a treat to look back in time with these collections. Just as entertaining as the stories themselves (if not more so) are the vintage ads–it’s fascinating to see the wartime admonishments to conserve, etc. Environmental historians would have a field day with just the ads alone.
The collection is a fun romp through the colorful world of 1930s “true crime” stories, both set in what would have been current times, all the way to retellings of crime from Renaissance Rome. The art is cartoony and fun, classic if you’ve looked at any comics from this era, and the recurring ghostly criminal mastermind character is actually creepy. The dialogue is very 1930s gangster movie (“hey copper, you’ll get nothing outta me, see), and the characters are delightfully stereotypical. Of course these were obviously made mainly for a male child audience, so the repeated warning that Crime Does Not Pay does get a bit, well, repetetive but it’s not really a problem, as reading this collection is more like looking through a time capsule than anything else.
Bottom Line: This is a fun collection, particularly for the fan of history, or crime.
Comics Review: Lenore–Purple Nurples by Roman Dirge
Review by: Prof. Jenn
The cute little dead girl is back, with a newly remastered collection of deranged adventures, the central plots of which surround the ghostly Creeping Creepig. Some highlight moments include: the scene with the Harbinger Chop, the origin story of Lenore’s nose, the Greatest Epic Battle Ever Seen, portal trips into Heck and back, and the gorgeous Bonus Material.
The Lenore series is famously two parts silly, one part cute, and three parts sick and twisted. This collection is no different.
Bottom Line: Purple Nurples is a very entertaining Lenore collection.
Comic Review: “Rat Queens” #1 by Kurtis Wiebe
Review by Prof. Jenn
Here’s a list of why I immediately adore the Rat Queens:
1) They are a very D&D rooted adventure group, and are bad-ass, diverse, and all-female.
2) They are Postmodernly self- and pop-culture-referential.
3) They are exquisitely drawn: action, character, and setting well-rendered. The art is exciting as well as easy on the eyes.
4) They are action-packed as well as hilarious.
5) Publicity copy has called the Rat Queens: “like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!” I wouldn’t actually put the Tank Girl reference in there, though I do see where they’re coming from. They’re not quite as gritty as Tank Girl. They are certainly raucous, boozing, and bantery, but there’s more joy there than nastiness.
Bottom Line: I love the Rat Queens, and I want more!
Comics Review: Two of Doctor Who
Skyjacks #2 by Diggle, Robson, Kuhn, etc.
Dr. Who Classics: “Nemesis of the Daleks” #s 1-3 by Starkings, Tomlinson, Sullivan, etc.
Review by: Prof. Jenn
This is a fun and exciting installment in the 11th Doctor comic series–we begin with the Doctor returning from a years-long mystery trip and it’s up to him and Clara to figure out what the heck is going on. There are friendly military to help (giving yours truly a fond nostalgic think-back to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), and you can’t deny a giant flying robotic pterodactyl. You just can’t.
The art is minimalist, with very thick outlines and a bare minimum of shading, etc. which is quite appealing and effective for the tight storyline.
Bottom Line: Recommended. Actually, I can’t wait to see what happens next!
I do enjoy the classic Doctor quite a bit, as the Old School versions are ones I grew up with, and thereby they hold a special place in my heart. The 7th doctor isn’t one of those in my childhood canon, though I do appreciate those eps in the TV series. “Nemesis of the Daleks” has an interesting premise, as we meet an enemy of the Daleks that could potentially be deadlier to the Daleks than even the Doctor. Absalom Daak is supposed to be charming rogue with a passionate goal of revenge, but he falls way flat as a character. His torrid backstory is cliched and his interaction with the Doctor is like a much less interesting 4th Doctor/Leela dynamic, with the Doctor attempting to make Daak more civilised and not violently impulsive, and Daak insisting his rough-and-tumble ways are best. I just didn’t find the story all that compelling.
The artwork is quite good–a mild Mignola-esque flavor and interesting fight scenes. The 7th Doctor looks enough like the actor that we know who it is, without it being a series of actor portraits, but character illustration instead. The art didn’t save the story, however.
Bottom Line: Skip this one, unless you are the kind of collector that is a completist.
Publisher: Dark Horse
Review by: Prof. Jenn
What a delightful collection this is! It’s a vasty volume of vintage comics from the ’40s starring a bizarrely spike-belted Daredevil, the not-at-all-racist (!) Bronze Terror, the suavely English London, and my new favorite superhero EVAR, Pat Patriot.
What makes this collection so very much fun is threefold: 1) the introduction, which gives us a context and complete background to the social, cultural, and economic background of the world when these comics originally came out; 2) the fantastic vintage ads and extras that they kept in (I have a particular love of the “Punch of the Month” series: “this one’s a tough one, fellas.” LOL!); and 3) the educational aspect of seeing the way in which Hitler and his evil Germans and more so the “Japs” were drawn then, in the thick of WWII.
I would in fact aver that this collection would be a good addition to an historical curriculum of WWII to junior high age and up, in the classroom. Including the introduction, this could be a gem in learning about what the world was like then, what the attitudes of various Westerners were about the war, and etc. Of course, there are stereotypes and racism throughout, but as I teach when I teach Historical Fiction, this can be a good educational aid, with the right discussion and guidance as they’re read. Comic Book Classroom, take note.
Why do I now adore Pat Patriot? Let me count the ways: she’s got an AWESOME costume (which she acquired when she was caught after being in a play)–like a well done female Captain America, she’s honored and accepted by everyone as a hero, even the men. Especially the men. Whenever a too-handsy dude tries anything with her, she basically hip-throws him across the room. And she’s feminine without being sexualized. She kicks ass. I want more of her, and NOT modernized into boobs-and-butt-and-thong, but just as she is, with her awesome ’40s wave and her knee-length skirt.
Bottom line: I absolutely recommend Daredevil Battles Hitler. Just be prepared for some, well, ’40s mores.
Planning on hitting up Stan Lee’s Comikaze this year? You should be. This year looks like it’s going to be spectacular. Just the comic, scifi, gaming, fantasy, anime, and horror expo you’d expect to see from Stan Lee. Take a look into what’s in store for this year:
I love that Dot Com will be there. I hope he gets plenty of “No one can hear you, Dot Com!” jokes.
All in all, it looks like a fantastic lineup, and tickets are now on sale. Beyond that, we have some insider info that they’re having a 72-hour sale on tickets right now. So if you’re planning on going, now’s the time to check out your options – weekend passes, in particular, are a great deal today.
Comics review: Dr. Who Prisoners of Time #4 by Tipton, Tipton, Erskine and Kirchoff & Dr. Who #8 Space Oddity Part 2 by Fialkov, Domingues, Ponce, Gonzalez and Salmon
Review by Prof. Jenn
Part 2 takes up where we left off, with the Vashta Nerada having stolen the TARDIS. This can’t be good. But the Doctor always has a plan. Or at least, he thinks really well off the cuff.
This issue is a tighly-paced, exciting story with a fun Doctor-changes-history-slightly conclusion with all the fun 11th-Doctor quips and action you want out of a comic. And the moral that violence is never the answer.
The art is colorful and comicky, which is perfect for an action-packed plot like this one. The Doctor is rendered close enough to Matt Smith that we recognize him, without having to be a faithful portrait of the actor, but more an illustration of the character.
Bottom line: Recommended, especially for Dr. Who fans.
Prisoners of Time
What a treat, to see “my” Doctor rendered in comic form! I haven’t kept up with any of the comics featuring the classic Who regenerations, and this issue makes me want to start.
This is a classic 4th Doctor tale, with Leela and K-9 helping him solve the mystery of the problems found on a planet they landed on by mistake. And there’s Judoon, which is cool.
I would actually make the same comment about this art as above: the character portrayal, the bright colors, the tight pace matching the writing…
Bottom line: Highly recommended. It’s like watching a good old ep.
Dark Horse is (kinda) proud to present Buddy Cops, the story of a demoted space cop and 1970s android that hate each other. The problem is that Uranus (the demoted space cop) gets drunk and wild while TAZER (the android) is more traditional and follows the law and procedures to the letter. Somehow they manage to work together despite their differences and immense hatred towards each other. Buddy Cops takes you through some of their adventures as they battle nuclear monkeys and equally ridiculous monsters (“ridiculous” used with the greatest sense of love and affection here). If you’re looking for a fun one-shot comic, look no further than Buddy Cops. Go pick up a copy from your local shop today!
“The Massive gives us a different, and essentially unique, take on the story of the end of the world. It doesn’t revel in destruction; when scenes describing the planetary crisis show up, they make clear that this was a true disaster, not a disaster movie. Millions have died, in dirty, tragic, and decidedly noncinematic ways. Instead, The Massive is a story of the necessity of resilience. While it leads us through the catastrophic aftermath of the Crash, we soon see that survival here is not the purpose in and of itself—it’s survival with the hope of making things better, even while recognizing that the old world’s legacies (in materials and ideolo-gies) yet remain.”
This introduction to Volume 1 of “The Massive,” mirrors the thoughts I shared in my review of Issue #1 back in June (although decidedly with a gift for language I can only hope to one day touch). The only thing I added was how fantastic the artwork was. The superb attention to detail in both art and story continue with the rest of this first collection.
One thing I loved about the first issue of “The Massive” was how the action starts immediately and the reader is thrown into a world where it doesn’t know the rules, but quickly learns. Never confusing, always intriguing, “The Massive” does a fantastic job of taking the reader on a journey through a post-apocalyptic world where two sister ships must find their way back together while also discovering the cause of the event known to us as “The Crash”. The story gets richer with each page, making the reader dive into a world that’s falling apart, bit by bit. As we learn about this world and the destruction it has already seen, we also slowly get to know the cast of characters and how they ended up in the situations we see them face from the beginning of our story. The transition back and forth from past to present keeps the story moving in ways much more interesting than if the author had simply said “this is what has happened, now to continue…” It not only helps with the steady flow of the story, it also engages the reader better than a straight timeline would.
“The Massive: Vol 1″ is a brilliant collection of stories that introduces you to a world of chaos and disorder. It gives you plenty to drag you into this world, while still leaving you wanting more. Just a little more…
The Massive: Volume 1 is available now, so go ask about it at your local comic shop. Volume 2 will be available Dec 2013, and Volume 3 June 2014. Keep with it, because from what I’ve seen so far it promises to be a continuously good read.