Yes, yes, I’m well aware it’s five days overdue. Things kept me, but I still wanted to get this out. I’ll be better next (this) week, I promise. I intend for this to be a weekly thing for me, so feel free to yell at me on @TarunaD if I haven’t done an article like this by the weekend. And I might need to come up with a wittier title.
Anyways, onward we go!
Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Wil Quintana (colors)
Al Ewing is the writer to watch these days, and this comic is no exception. Somewhat of a spiritual successor of his excellent Captain America & The Mighty Avengers run, now he helms yet another team of underrated heroes in Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders. Consisting of Mighty Avengers holdovers She-Hulk, White Tiger and the Spider Hero (though with someone new under the mask) joined with new faces Faiza Hussain, now christened Captain Britain, and Kid Rescue, this is yet another excellent comic from names synonymous with quality.
For a miniseries only consisting of two issues, Ewing manages to fit two or three issue’s worth of story into this first issue. And it’s done so masterfully that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. From a quick flashback to the origins of Ho Yinsen as Rescue, introducing Yinsen City’s heroes and the local Thor, to the surprise visitor and the imminent invasion of Yinsen City, the issue’s pacing is nothing to worry about. I imagine fans of Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts run and Dredd alike will be thrilled to find who Yinsen City’s invaders are. And considering Ewing’s history with Dredd, this should be lots of fun.
The art on this book is what I’ve expected from Davis, Farmer, and Quintana. From the dark tones in Yinsen’s flashbacks, the crisp colors of present-day Yinsen City, to Mondo City’s oppressive dark colors, they all stand out. Mondo’s huge tank loaded with guns and Faiza’s abduction are some of the standouts in this book.
All in all, a very enjoyable book, as I’ve come to expect from a creative team of this caliber. Though it only has one more issue in the tank, I’m expecting another great showing from this band of heroes that I hope will get more love after Secret Wars.
Godzilla In Hell #1 (IDW)
Writing and Art: James Stokoe
Stokoe is back on a Godzilla book and my God, does he impress. The former Godzilla: Half-Century War creator has come back for another dose of the King of Monsters’ escapades….IN HELL. Yes, as the title suggests, Big G is in hell. Why? Read Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #25 and you’ll have an idea.
But that’s not what I’ll be talking about here. This issue, wholly written, drawn, and colored by Stokoe as he did on Half-Century War, perfectly sets the stage for Godzilla’s adventure in hell. The first circle he takes on? Lust. Thanks to the lack of (coherent) human characters, this issue is almost completely silent except for the excellent ‘title sequence’ in the first third of the book. The rest of the book is Godzilla kicking ass in hell…and it is completely AWESOME.
There’s not much to say for this book, except ‘go and check it out’. Even though there are no recognizable kaiju besides Big G himself, this issue isn’t lacking in action. Beautifully written and drawn, this miniseries has quickly climbed the ranks into my top five Godzilla comic books.
Skullkickers #33 (Image)
Writer: Jim Zub
Art: Edwin Huang (pencils), Kevin Ragant (inks), Misty Coats (colors)
Quick primer for those who aren’t lucky enough to taste the greatness that is Skullkickers: Huge bald guy with revolver and grumpy short dwarf (redundant, I know) kick ass in a fantasy setting. That’s basically all you need to know about Skullkickers. Oh, and now they’re fighting this epic battle against mind-controlling…thingies. Long story.
But that’s the beauty of Skullkickers. The plot is so over-the-top, weird, and fun, sometimes you just have to go along with it. Check your brain at the door, because you’ll be in for a /ride/. This issue is basically a great huge bar brawl in a bar that’s the crossroads of the universe. Or genres. Or something. Again, you don’t really have to look into it too much. Just go with it.
By the first half of the issue, the brawl has become, in their words, a cluster-fict. Gangster fiction, sci-fi, robots, even badly-dubbed kung-fu movies join in the fray. From there on out, it’s wall-to-wall fighting, beer pouring, splash screens every now and then, and unicorns. Yes, really.
If you’d like some crazy, balls-to-the-wall action with a healthy dose of humor, look no further than Skullkickers. Issue #100 is coming next! Yes, this is the 33rd issue, but who’s stopping them? I won’t.
PS: If you want to give this great book a try, comic.skullkickers.com has the older issues up for free.
Astro City #25 (Vertigo)
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art: Jesus Merino (artist), Wendy Broome & Alex Sinclair (color art)
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the recent done-in-one Astro City issues, and this one is no exception. ‘Lucky Girl’ tells the story of Amanda Hammacher, daughter of Astro City’s Hummingbird. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Astro City’s lore, only having started exploring this world when this new series came about. In 2013 But the beauty of Astro City is that they all feel so familiar and you don’t really have to question who this or that is, leaving you to enjoy the ride.
Here, Busiek tells sort of a coming-of-age story. A girl gets her powers, becomes a hero, and learns to deal with the goods and bads that come with it as she comes to terms that her powers come at a great cost. The story, while it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, is done very well and hits all the beats.
Guest artist Jesus Merino, alongside colorists Wendy Broome and Alex Sinclair provides the excellent art in a rather throwback style that fits Astro City’s look and feel perfectly. Astro City buffs will have one hell of a time seeing all the cameos, I imagine, but I’m perfectly content to see the pretty pictures for now until I figure out who is who.
Bottom line, it’s another very solid issue of Astro City, and a story you can pick up knowing nothing and still close the book satisfied. A nice throwback to an age of brighter superheroics where the lines were clear and we know who’s actually a bad guy. Perfect for a light read, and obviously a must for Astro City fans.