Pointless Nonsense

Posted in comics by Bill on April 9, 2011

Lots of new comics:

Fear Itself is the big new Marvel crossover event, seemingly centered around Thor and soon-to-be-Captain-America-again Steve Rogers*. Stuart Immonen is drawing the main event, which is cool because he’s awesome (see Ultimate Spider-Man or more importantly Nextwave), but Matt Fraction is writing. I do love his work on Five Fists Of Science but I didn’t like his Iron Man one bit. So I entered this with some trepidation, and it was only getting worse when the storyline seemed to focus a lot on Thor, a character I’m not invested in at all and don’t know much about. But by the end, the first issue was pretty damn good, especially compared to other event comics. There are a lot of characters to get involved in these things, but by sticking mostly to Steve, Thor, Iron Man, and Sin/newRedSkull/whatever, the narrative was much nicer. We’ll see if Fraction’s able to stick to that (by the end of Secret Invasion, the storyline felt like it was being pulled in 30 different directions to get all the ancillary characters involved), but I’ll stick out the series and probably read some of the (likely crappy) tie-ins.

* – what a coincidence that they’d star in this summer’s event comic!

Nonplayer is one of several new Image comics that people are all excited about. They are on a roll with putting out interesting new series (Chew, 27, Morning Glories, Butcher Baker, etc), I wonder if it has anything to do with Kirkman?). Anyway, the first thing of note is that the art is pretty impressive. I read an interview where writer/artist Nate Simpson said it took him about six months to make the first issue, and my reaction is both to understand why (because it’s that impressive) and to be pissed off (because I want issue #2 already). Really, the book won me over when two characters were lounging in a Pagoda perched atop an Oliphaunt-like creature. I mean that’s just cool. The story turns out to be trippy SciFi that I think is combining things like direct neural interface, WoW addiction, and when the holodeck characters on Star Trek became sentient and rebelled into a weird, beautifully illustrated comic that I will definitely continue to read.
Blue Estate, another new series from Image, is actually the one I was most excited about. Just from the booze, broads, and bullets type cover, it seemed like the kind of noir-ish thing I’d like. And subject-matter-wise, it’s even more up my alley, with the story set around the Russian mob and Hollywood. But I got nervous when I saw the mess of credits on the title page: two story credits, a third guy did the script, and four artists. This makes it sound like it might be a trainwreck, which it wasn’t, but it was very flawed and very disappointing. The issue starts off well enough*, but then there is this giant chunk of exposition that just drags the issue to a halt. The first two pages of a ten page chunk of backstory are pretty well done, detailing the downfall of a Steven Seagal-type actor and his wife, but then we get 8 pages of mobster and cop backstories, introducing characters like crazy and generally leaving me confused as to who’s who at any time. I liked the non-exposion parts a ton, so I’m planning on re-reading this before I tackle the second issue, and hopefully it will start to make sense. But if the second issue has the same kinds of problems, I will be checking out.

* – except when the narrator does a play on the L&O intro, he’s watching the opening of SVU, which has a totally different voiceover!

I didn’t know anything about Green Wake except it was another Image comic getting a lot of buzz prior to its release. It seems to be a sort of horror/drug thing with art that makes it hard to tell what I’m seeing (vaguely reminiscent of Ben Templesmith, but with more detailed backgrounds). Short of being an anime romantic comedy gay musical* about how delicious spicy fish is, it couldn’t be more outside the genres I enjoy.

* – I wonder if Geebs read this and instinctively clicked on “gay musical”?

One Response

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  1. Pointless Nonsense said, on September 23, 2011 at 2:12 am

    […] is a graphic novel from Viktor Kalvachev, the same guy who does Blue Estate. And he clearly has a style, with sultry femme fatales and all that stuff. But while I can deal […]

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