This Week’s Comics

A ridiculously light week this time around.  Here are this week’s new and noteworthy titles…minus Garfield, of course.

  • MIND THE GAP #1 – Not that I know what it’s about, but MtG is running the risk of being dangerously over-hyped.  However, coming out during such a light week (and backed by Image’s insanely good track record lately) I may still give it a shot.
  • PIGS #7
  • SUPREME #64 – Here’s where we really see if I keep Supreme on my pull list.  Alan Moore’s scripts have run out and Erik Larsen takes over the writing details and goes back the “Superman as a dick” mode.  Either he finds a novel new angle or I drop the book.
  • DAREDEVIL #12 – The best comic out right now, hands down.  The only downside is that the crossovers have included $3.99 comics I haven’t picked up yet, so there are still a few issues I haven’t read.
  • TEEN BOAT HC GN – The ANGST of Being a Teen…The THRILL of Being a Boat!  Sign me up!

No reviews this week, but don’t forget this Saturday is Geek Christmas, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

You Should Be Reading: Hark! A Vagrant

I’m pretty bad about reading webcomics.  Sure, I know they’re the big new thing, but with so much other stuff to keep track of online they wind up on the bottom of my surfing pile.  Ironically, I tend to pick them up when the print collections come out because, obviously, I do everything the wrong way.

And so it is with Kate Beaton’s webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, which I just recently snagged after hearing too many good things about it to keep ignoring.  And sure, there are the occasional superhero gags, like this great one about my buddy Aquaman:

But it’s just as likely to be about Canadian historical figures and Victorian literature, as evidenced by this amazing strip based around Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” At first I thought I had to be misreading something, or misremembering some long-ago reading assignment but no, Beaton went there.  And thank goodness she did, because there aren’t nearly enough comics that appeal to the literary nerd in me and still manage to be outright hilarious.

While there’s likely a chance the literary/historical focus could alienate some readers who are more into comics featuring Final Fantasy sprites, I found it a breath of fresh air.  Much like R. Sikoryak’s Masterpiece Comics, I found the pieces much easier to appreciate when I was familiar with the material they reference, but still easy to follow and get the joke even if I didn’t know the Canadian politician in question or (I know, I know) read Jane Eyre. 

Please, check out Hark! A Vagrant.  Besides, unless you’re weird like me, it’s free!

Science FAIL

The best origins (ie: everyone Peter Parker has EVER come in contact with) come from doing science…Or more specifically, doing science badly.  For every functioning Doctor Octopus or Parasite there’s a Human Tongue or Crazy Quilt taking up oxygen that the rest of us could be using.  This week we present Lesser-Known Comic Book Science Mishaps.

If you hang out with this guy, expect a science-related mishap sooner rather than later.

  • Vincent Van Dome’s passion was to build a machine to transport him beyond the vail of life and death and back again. Little is known about what exactly happened. Suffice it to say, he succeeded in inventing a device that gave him a one way trip.
  • Gaining badger powers after a prison experiment gone awry, Rick Jackson fights against crime and for equal rights as the Gay Badger. (Note: this is different from the Golden Age Gay Badger, who had a totally different deal.)
  • Dayshift janitor Wendel Mintz accidentally ate an experimental fried pie at the Hostess Labs. He gained the proportionate strength and digestibility of a high caloric snack cake. Not to mention that he now smells like cinnamon apples.
  • An explosion at the petting zoo gave Milton Koontz the powers of every animal in his exhibit.  Now he fights never-ending boredom (and not much else) as the Heavy Petter.
  • While attempting to stop a robbery at the Purina test laboratories, rent-a-cop Jeff Perro was forced to eat an experimental “vitamin-fortified” dog chow. Never intended for human consumption, the chow altered Jeff’s brain chemistry. He now solves petty crimes with his new hunting and herding instincts as “Golden Retreiver.”
  • When nuclear fallout touches down on Max Danish after an excessively-long bath, his skin becomes permanently wrinkled. Adopting a guise as a senior citizen, he commits crime as The Prune.
  • While doing science in his home laboratory, something happened to Joe Blank when a kajigger went kablewy. The vague accident drove Blank to a life of some manner of crime as “That Guy.” He would later join a group of similarly non-specific villains called “Those People.”
  • An explosion at the library (it happens!) fuses two secret fornicators into one body!  They harness the power of Information Sciences to fight crime (and each other) as the Bibliophile!
  • Inspired by her hero, Ant-Man, Georgette Lewis set out to develop a helmet to allow her to communicate with bees. Her hope was to use them to solve and fight crimes. With limited to no expertise in electronics and micro circuitry, to date the best she has mustered is a helmet allowing her to communicate with other humans.

Game Tape

There comes a time in a man’s life when he looks back wistfully and reviews the choices that he has made. For me that time happens most Thursday. This is the Game Tape; let’s review shall we?

First up is a look at the best issue of any book that I’ve read in a long time. Goon #39 points out every gimmicky things that Powell sees as being wrong with big company comics today, and for my money he’s not wrong. From reboots and seeming pointless costume changes to poor story craft and jab at a certain rainbow corps, this issue lampoons with a sharp wit.

Next up was an enjoyable done-in-one issue of FF. Without going into detail, this is Peter Parker and Johnny Storm being Peter and Johnny. One’s frustrated, and one is oblivious. I won’t spoil it, but the last two pages are the funniest I’ve seen in a Marvel book since Ego the Living Planet fell in love with Earth. The last page is so great and weird that I’m probably going to use it as my facebook profile pic.

Secret Avengers #26 was fairly meh. It had potential and great art, but it wasted an inordinate amount of time throwing Thor and some b-listers at the Phoenix Force.

All-Star Western #8’s minimal use of the simpering Dr. Arkham was a pleasant read. It’s hampered a little by plot exposition, but it was a decent read.

I also found a copy of Supreme #63. It was as enjoyable as I remembered earlier issues to be. That’s certainly a pleasant surprise, as I’ve recently been burned on things I’ve reread early last decade.

Metamorpho… SECRETS

I haven't hung out with ULTRA the Multi-alien since that time some chippy thought I was his dad. WTH?!?

secret…

Turns out there's a tiny amount of Solaranite in the human body. Yup... solaranite.

Secret…

I love crapping gold nuggets.

SECRET…

I used to like turning into a fart when Stagg and I were alone in an elevator. He hated that.

SECRET…

I hate that Firestorm kid. Puffy sleeves? Really kid?

SECRETS!

This Week’s Comics

Monday in the Spring!  The time when a young man’s thoughts turn to love, and a young geek’s heart looks to New Comic Day.  Here are this week’s new and noteworthy releases.

  • BLOODSTRIKE #27 – I thought the Bloodstrike relaunch was decent, but it’s also the Extreme title that stayed most faithful to it’s original concept.  In most circumstances that would be a plus, but since we’re talking about Extreme here, the more a title strays the better I’m finding it.  So I think I’ll pass.
  • DAREDEVIL #11
  • FF #17
  • GOON #39
  • POPEYE #1 (OF 4) – I mention this specifically for certain Popeye-loving readers of the blog.  I’ll pick it up because Roger Langridge is writing, but it will have to be unquestionably strong for me to keep going with it.
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #9
  • TWELVE #12 (OF 12) – I mention this in the hopes that Matt will let me know how long it’s been since the first issue came out.  It’s got to be closing in on 4 years, doesn’t it?
  • ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #7 – It feels like we’re starting to sail toward a conclusion.  And while that’s undoubtedly a good thing (all stories need resolution, after all), I hope it’s not an ENDING.

I’ve apparently betrayed my inability to repeat myself ad infinitum by not being able to come up with more to say about DD, FF, or TMNT, but rest assured they still come highly recommended. That’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?