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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #22 [Review]

teenagemutantninjaturtlesidw022City Fall, Part One
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Mateus Santolouco
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Mateus Santolouco
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

Once I originally discovered the original Mirage TMNT comics and could be officially considered “into” them, THE major TMNT story was City at War, beginning with the big #50 issue that saw the return of Eastman and Laird–the characters’ creators–simultaneously to the title. The arc continued for the next 12 issues; 13 chapters in all…easily the largest single arc in the characters’ history to that point.

Now, after five 4-issue arcs and several mini-series, we begin what’s being billed as the largest-yet arc for this current IDW run: City Fall. I’m almost certain the title is MEANT to recall City at War, just by its name…and reading this issue, I can see a sort of thematic connection already. I don’t recall–if I even ever “knew”–how long this arc’s intended to be, but for some reason I have “7” on the brain.

Raphael and Casey are out and about, checking on Casey’s dad…when they’re ambushed by the Foot. Raph escapes, but is unable to take Casey with him–he quickly returns to his brothers, anxious to get back out and rescue his friend. While a rescue mission is mounted, the turtles and Splinter are dismayed at the presence of Shredder himself…a situation that–coupled with Raph’s uncontrolled rage–leaves the entire turtle-family in a far less than ideal situation by issue’s end.

Visually, I enjoyed this issue more than I thought I would. I don’t recall having any real issue with Santolouco‘s art on the Secret History of the Foot Clan mini, and his style works well here. Coupled with the consistency of Pattison‘s colors, this fits in very well with established IDW TMNT visuals; and aside from one panel toward the end of the issue, I have no trouble following the story visually.

The story itself seems to be–based on the credits–a sort of “story by committee,” and if this were DC or Marvel I might be quite concerned to see the book’s editor in the story credits. But I’m already used to seeing both Eastman (co-creator of the characters!) and Waltz credited together…and with Curnow’s history with this property, it makes sense for involvement there as well.

I definitely find myself enjoying the use of continuity…it’s been frustrating in its own way having such short, clipped arcs of “only” 4 issues apiece (notable by the collected volumes popping out every few months). But we’re treated to stuff coming out of the various arcs, as opposed to some floating, “timeless” standalone arc that could happen at “any time.” Recurring characters and events/references come from the various Micro-Series issues and even last year’s phenomenal Annual.

From this issue alone, the story actually feels bigger…and we get a potentially major event in this issue to kick things off with pretty high stakes–I don’t know exactly what to expect going forward…but whatever happens, this issue will certainly be one ripe for lots of further reference as we continue on with this continuity.

The issue’s certainly a treat to me, having been following the entirety of the IDW TMNT continuity since it began a couple years ago…I could say this is my favorite issue of the week, but that’d be a bit misleading, as this is the ONLY new comic I bought this week: the TMNT are a core part of my comics buying, and visiting the comic shop for this single issue–where in the past I’ve skipped a week due to there only being 2 issues of anything out–was totally worthwhile. I’m definitely looking forward to the next issue!

Superior Spider-Man #10 [Review]

superiorspiderman010Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inks: Stegman & Cam Smith
Color Art: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Marcos Martin
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Ten issues in, and now we’re suddenly, supposedly…um, back where we started, I guess. The new, the superior, Doc Ock is Spider-Man, in Peter Parker’s body…and there is no Peter. Wasn’t that what the original premise seemed to be? But then we had Force-Ghost Peter, revealed that last page of #1, and I was excited for this series, beyond the tentative trying-it-out.

So, here we are, tenth issue…11 if you count the Age of Ultron issue I skipped/ignored. And while Ock continues to smooth out his process of being proactively superior as Spider-Man to Parker’s ways, we see a recurring tattoo, obviously a reference to the Green Goblin. And Ock continues improving things in the personal life of Parker, reveling in his solidified superiority. And that cliffhanger…

Well, ok, I admit some sarcasm’s leaking through in this post. Even though I’m being the usual, purposeful vague in summarizing things–I prefer not to spoil an issue, and heck, too much detail in the summary sorta defeats the purpose of you reading the issue yourself. But having read this issue…I’m just feeling rather sarcastic toward the issue, and the series.

The art’s pretty much consistent with the run so far, so nothing really to complain about, there. It fits the title, and the story, as it’s been what we’ve had. I have no real issue with it overall, though it’s a bit stylistic and such…not what I’d necessarily choose or want specifically for Spider-Man, but after taking a half-decade sojourn from the Spidey-verse and coming back in for the Ock-and-Parker-Swapped bit…it’s worked.

Story wise…I’m just disengaging. Disinterested. I hesitate to use the word “bored,” but I’m just losing interest so fast in this title, and even the status quo.

I remember reading Amazing Spider-Man #700 at the turn of the year, backtracking almost immediately to #698 and #699, and having to wait til mid/late January for the premiere of Superior Spider-Man #1. but here we are, not even June yet, and we’ve got 10 issues. That’s basically 2 issues per month for January through May…at $3.99 apiece.

That’s 3 1/3 issues’ difference in pricing at this point…or another way of looking at it, for only $1 less per issue, I might go another 5-10 issues before burning out on sheer price point alone.

But I’m no longer impressed. My patience has worn out. And this issue, toted as a jumping on point from what I saw in stuff “about” the issue this week…well, I should’ve left this on the shelf. And while I’d be tempted to at least give it til issue #12… Well, where’s the “wholeness” in 12 anymore, what USED TO be a single, full year of a title…when at this pace that’s a mere 6 months?

TMNT Villains Micro-Series #2: Baxter [Review]

tmntvillainsmicroseries002baxterScript: Erik Burnham
Art: Andy Kuhn
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Tom B. Long
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Tyler Walpole
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

I hate the $3.99 price point. I’ve said that before, and I’ll keep saying it until it finally drives me to actually, totally give up on new comics completely. Broken record that I am, hating the price point is something that’s there, even when I don’t point it out this redundantly, even when talking about comics I otherwise enjoy.

I’m thoroughly enjoying IDW‘s TMNT reboot. I do kinda miss the classic stuff…and yet, we’re getting the monthly TMNT Color Classics series, which kinda scratches that itch. This new iteration is bringing together the strengths of numerous incarnations of the property, and making even the ridiculous, stupid stuff relevant and workable (take Krang and the Neutrinos, for just two examples). And I wish there was more. Maintaining its level of quality I’d be thrilled to have new in-continuity, pushing-the-overall-events-of-things-forward basically weekly.

But since we have a monthly title, I highly enjoy the companion series–first the “good guys” micro-series, then we had the Secret History of the Foot Clan, and now we’re getting a Villains micro-series. So I’m relatively content with that.

All of the above to get to the point here: this is another great issue of TMNT from IDW. Officially a #2 of a series spotlighting villains (the first having spotlighted Krang) this is also “the” Baxter Stockman “one-shot” or “micro series.”

We get some definite insight into Baxter here–but it continues his ongoing “subplot” in this continuity, as he works on tech stuff, assisting in the building of the Technodrome, the infamous war machine fans of the 1980s’ cartoon series will know quite well. But while the genius works on it, we see that he’s not just some simpering lackey, but has purpose behind his actions, and he’s not some fool playing into the end of the world with any true belief that he’d get anything worthwhile out of his current deal with Krang.

We see moments of Baxter’s past, his dealings with his father–who was a profound influence on him–along with the developments of the “present” plot points. We have the signature mousers about him in his lab, and we get a new toy–a “Flyborg,” a mutant fly armed with cybernetics…the fly being an almost too-obvious (to me) “nod” at the ’80s cartoon (and one that led me to fear Baxter’s fate in this issue). By the end of the issue we see Baxter’s agenda advanced, and pieces on the board have shifted ever so slightly as the ongoing battle situates itself for the larger things yet to come.

The writing keeps to the overall continuity, presents some insight into the character, and reminds me that this is a very good character, and I like it far more than I do the version displayed in the current tv series. I find Baxter far more interesting in control of himself, an intelligent (if a bit mad-scientist-y) individual, clever and not just some whining lackey or mutated bug or bumbling fool.

The art’s not entirely to my liking, though it’s not horrible. It comes off a bit cartooney, if not slightly abstract, and is done a great disservice by the fantastic cover that plants the idea of what the interior OUGHT to be. The story is conveyed and I’m not left scratching my head over what’s going on, really…but this issue definitely is carried on the strength of the story over the art.

Of course, as I’ve also stated numerous times–the TMNT get a sort of “pass” from me on things I typically won’t put up with in any other comics; one of those things is the visuals, as I’m more used to numerous visual interpretations of the characters, even issue-to-issue, due to the simple history of the characters and so many artists working on ’em.

While this issue certainly works best in context of the ongoing continuity, you still get a core story in and of itself in one issue; and if you’re following the TMNT stuff in general, this is well worth snagging.

Finally: this cover would be an excellent poster image…or at least, I’d not be opposed to having a poster of this image on my wall.

Recent Acquisitions: Older Books

Along with the various “free” comics I picked up on Free Comic Day, I also snagged a couple other bargains: a fresh copy of the Superman Tribute issue from Wizard that came out after The Death of Superman stuff; a hardcover The Trial of Captain America, and most surprising of all (to me) a $5 copy of Solar, Man of the Atom: Alpha and Omega still in the original bag with a poster! (originally cover-priced $10 on initial release back in 1994). The Captain America book was also $5, and the Wizard issue was a mere 25-cents.

FCBDnonfreebooksI’d also found myself that Saturday revisiting eBay, checking on the current pricing of the Ultimates 2 hardcover. I’d snagged the first hardcover in early May last year, paying a bit of an unwelcome “premium” for it including shipping, on the expectation that its price would skyrocket with the Avengers movie as “everyone” would want the darned thing. I wound up getting Ultimates 2 (also out of print like Ultimates) including shipping for well under cover price, giving me the two-volume set I’ve wanted to have for years.

ultimatesHaving managed to track down the Ultimates 2 volume, I turned my attention to tracking down the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy hardcover. I’d first seen it at a Books-A-Million a number of years ago while visiting with a friend, and I passed on a $17 copy several years ago at Kenmore. Managed to get this copy, including shipping for under $14.

ultimategalactusandvaliantmastersI also have meant to get the Valiant Masters hardcover edition of Bloodshot since about the time the book came out last year. I wound up finding both it and the Ninjak volume, and got both–including shipping–for little more than cover price of either of the single volumes.

ultimategalactusandvaliantmastersstacked Continue reading

Pre-Selling the home release opening weekend of the theatrical

presellingattheatricalreleaseironman3So, a couple weeks ago, I was amazed to see that Walmart was “pre-selling” Iron Man 3‘s blu-ray the SAME WEEKEND that the movie opened in theaters.

Now, this past Sunday morning, I saw where Best Buy is doing the same with Star Trek. The movies JUST OPENED THEATRICALLY! And these retailers are selling what they don’t even have in-stock, don’t even KNOW WHEN they’ll have in stock?!? And heck, they don’t even list PRICING…probably a deposit of some sort, locking you into a purchase, whatever they decide to charge when the product is eventually produced and released.

Personally, I’m waiting for the Enterprise model/case at Target again that I missed out on with the 2009 Star Trek film. If I could be guaranteed for a reasonable price that “exclusive case” I might give in to the disgustingness of a presell. But to just generically offer an empty, generic case? Ugh.

presellingattheatricalreleasestartrekOh, but I guess they’re selling “bonus” or “exclusive” “CONTENT,” which I can’t imagine amounts to more than a few SECONDS of trailer/teaser material. And frankly, I am totally not the target audience, because I am NOT a fan of a lot of online video stuff: I prefer to read, or have it on a tv screen, and prefer to avoid trailers and such as much as I can (I enjoy them before theatrical viewings of films, but care nothing for every last “teaser” or “trailer” the moment it “leaks” online).

I guess the retailers weren’t getting enough sales by offering stupid “exclusives” and giftcards as “bribes” to lure “loyalty” from customers. Now they’ve gotta be “the first” to offer to take your deposit money to lock you into buying the product from them months before it’ll even be available.

Superman vs. Zod TPB [Review]

supermanvszodtpbI bought this volume for full cover price at Book-A-Million a couple weeks ago. Which is something EXTREMELY rare for me to do, as I’m highly disgusted at the (over-)pricing of collected volumes these days.

I look primarily at Marvel (as I have most of what I want from DC, find what I yet want from DC quite reasonably price, and/or don’t much care for their newer stuff). With the Marvel volumes, it seems that where once a 6-issue arc could be had for about $15 (making it a better value than the single issues), now the standard TPB is $16.99-$18.99 and hardbacks $20+ for 4-5 issues, making the single issues an equal or better value.

As such, THE vast majority of my collected volume purchasing is done through Amazon, InstockTrades, CheapGraphicNovels, Half-Price Books, M&P Used Books, bargain bins, or other bargain purchasing conditions…typically seeing me paying only about 50% of printed cover price on average.

Which brings me back around to (ostensibly) the main point of this post: Superman vs. Zod, a new TPB collecting several “classic” Superman-vs-Phantom-Zone-villains stories. Despite my above-mentioned purchasing preferences…I still enjoy taking a peek at the “regular” bookstores (Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million) to get a look at some of these volumes “in-person” in a way that can’t be duplicated by solicitation and other info online.

supermanthemedclassiccollectionsSo I was looking at the Superman volumes, and happened to notice this Superman vs. Zod volume. I’ve been increasingly interested in some of these classic “themed” collections–Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons, Superman: The Bottle City of Kandor, Superman vs. Brainiac, Superman vs. Lex Luthor, pretty sure there’s a Daily Planet volume–so this one being new, I was curious. I pulled it out, glanced at the table of contents (determined it was mainly “classic” material in the vein of these other books), but because it was a bit thinner, glanced at the price–figuring it was a $15 book (the others being a bit thicker were $20 books, I believe).

I was surprised to find that this was priced at $9.99…and bought it. $10 is not nearly as off-putting as “more than $10,” be it $10.99-$19.99 and on upward. And because Amazon and other places often seem to have a $10 minimum–typically I see Amazon at least keeping to the $9.99 pricing on such-priced volumes–I don’t mind “paying full price” on a $10 book that feels worthwhile, as this one did. Had it been even $12.99, I’m quite certain I would have put it back on the shelf. But it had the “magic” reasonable price where the sheer thickness of the book feels worth $10 compared to volumes maybe 2/3 its size commanding twice the price.

The stories themselves were definitely “classic.” We get The Phantom Superboy from Adventure Comics #283 (1961), The Great Phantom Peril from Action Comics #473 (1977), Escape from the Phantom Zone and Superman Meets the Zod Squad from Action Comics #s 548 & 549 (both 1983), Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter from DC Comics Presents #97 (1986) and then jump 21 years to The Criminals of Krypton, a segment from Action Comics #10 (2007).

While I can “appreciate” these stories for what they are–stories involving the Phantom Zone–I was not particularly enamored with any of them. The cover certainly doesn’t quite fit–it’s a very modern take on the characters, compared to the very silver/bronze age art on the inside. Which isn’t to slam the art–it’s a product of its time(s)–but it’s not much a visual style I tend to enjoy these days.

The story themselves also are products of their times–particularly the first four, which were largely “painful” to read…the first most of all. The DC Comics Presents story struck me as the most mature of the classic bunch, and actually put me very much in mind of the Last Days of Krypton novel I read a couple years ago by Kevin J. Anderson, making me wonder if he drew inspiration for his story from this one.

These were all stories that I’m pretty sure I’d NOT previously read, except the last one, which I recall as I bought/read the original Annual. I haven’t much cared for all the “going back to silver-agey elements” of the post-Infinite Crisis DC stuff, but can’t deny that its presentation of Non makes that character a bit relatable, rather than just some mindless brute.

This volume’s titled Superman vs. Zod, but seemed to be more generically a Phantom Zone volume. As something involving Zod, I’d’ve expected at least an issue from Byrne‘s run, with the Matrix/Supergirl stuff and the pocket universe, if not specifically Adventures of Superman #453 from the Exile story where Superman hallucinates an encounter with the ghosts of Zod & co. There’s also stuff from around Our Worlds at War with that version of Zod, (which I honestly don’t recall if it was different from the Zod used during For Tomorrow) or not, that seem more fitting to me for this volume, if not as neatly self-contained.

The Zod presented in these stories seemed a bit generic, if not outright a lesser character than Faora. Yet, it seems to me that Zod in general pop culture is defined by Terrence Stamp‘s performance in the Donner films with Christopher Reeve, particularly the infamous “kneel before Zod.” (There was also the Smallville depiction of the character late in that series that may be just as or more familiar to contemporary audiences).

So overall…for a $10 volume, I found this to be well worth the purchase. The stories are a bit on the lame side to me, but they’ve added to the range of Superman stories I’ve read, now, and given me just a little more knowledge of the actuality of these characters; and the more I think about it, the more I do think I rather enjoyed the Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter story (which must’ve come out in that in-between as the original Superman stuff was wrapping up and things were being put in place for the Byrne relaunch and the version of the Superman stuff that I grew up on and consider to be “my” Superman).

This is sort of a “classic-lite” volume–I’d say it mostly fits with those other themed volumes of classic stuff, though it’s far from comprehensive and is not quite as large; but at half the price, not bad to be an “intro” volume. Cover copy suggests “Before Superman takes on General Zod in theatres, read here a collection of classic Zod tales spanning nearly fifty years!” So the pricing and mere existence of the volume seems more a promo type thing to tie in to this summer’s Man of Steel…I would unfortunately assume it’ll be someone “lost in the crowd” of all the other DC books and Superman/Justice League stuff, and definitely be victim to the “spine-only” trouble so many volumes face in comic shops and the bookstores.

Catching up with Valiant: Archer & Armstrong #0 and Shadowman #0

Archer & Armstrong #0

archerandarmstrong000Gilgamesh as told via Armstrong to Archer. Not a bad premise, given Archer’s virtual immortality, and Archer continuing to learn the “real” world after living the “sheltered” existence he had up to the beginning of this series. Though this is a #0 issue, this story fits in the ongoing continuity, as A&A have been through stuff together already, and are now having some downtime before their next adventure.

The art’s the usual enjoyable quality, mixing with a solid story for an enjoyable issue. This could easily have simply been #10 of the series, as a flashback issue…but given the original Valiant‘s penchant for #0 issues (and that in retrospect, 1993’s X-O Manowar #0 is one of the most iconic single issues I recall from my youth) I think it’s kinda fun having these zero-issues for the current Valiant books.

Even if you’re not following the series in general, if you know the basic concept–Armstrong’s immortal, Archer just escaped a cult and is adjusting to the world around him with Armstrong as his truest friend–this is a nice one-shot story that delves into Armstrong’s past, telling a tale that leads into a scene we saw back in #1 and sheds light on Armstrong as well as the Eternal Warrior.

Shadowman #0

shadowman000This was a rather dark (yet illuminating) issue, providing us with an origin story for Darque. We see his birth and that of his sister, as well as how the children grew up, and the events that led to him becoming what he is, and the character becomes slightly sympathetic in that he’s not JUST some two-dimensional baddie. Sucks what he went through, but there’s a motivation there that one can “understand” a bit.

The art fit the story, and the story fits continuity. While the Archer & Armstrong issue was sort of a flashback issue where we still saw the contemporary title characters, this is a Darque story, and we don’t actually see Shadowman. Which makes this a fine #0 issue–we get backstory on the main villain of the piece, which takes place long before the series, hence a #0 issue (takes place before the events of #1) and as a #0 issue it’s functionally its own thing and doesn’t take away from the ongoing narrative and throughline of the ongoing numbering.

 

Catching up with Valiant: Harbinger, Bloodshot, and X-O Manowar

Harbinger #12

harbinger012Harbinger Wars continues, but we focus here on the interaction of the usual cast with the freed psiots and how everyone’s dealing with the stress of their current situation. We also see Toyo’s continued machinations as his plans for everyone continue to unfold.

In some ways, for a fairly casual reader, this story’s all over the place. I honestly don’t have a completely clear mental timeline of this “event”/crossover where I could simply rattle off a lengthy summation of The Story So Far.

However, somehow I’m continuing to enjoy the individual issues, in and of themselves, being aware that there’s an overall story going on. It’s sort of like missing an episode or two of a tv series, having read basic spoilers online, and continuing onward. It’ll be interesting to see how this thing’s collected–whether we’ll get a nice, thick 12-issue volume collecting the entire thing, or three separate volumes (one for each series involved).

Bloodshot #11

bloodshot011I’m finding some blurring in my mind as to what’s been happening in this title itself (ditto Harbinger). Yet the story’s been solid–as has the art–and I’m thoroughly enjoying the “bigger picture” nature of Harbinger Wars: the larger story, and things unfolding in three issues per month rather than just one or two.

This issue gives us an expanded scene on the Harada Protocol, where the core of Bloodshot’s programming is to kill Harada–including the use/display of previously unknown abilities including a brainwave EMP and being able to puke the nanites into another person.

The story and art continue to be good, and as I actually read the issue, I enjoyed it; more than I can consciously reiterate details of the plot contained within this one issue. I’ve already been “spoiled” as to upcoming changes for this title that leave me a little curious…it’ll be interesting to see how things go, but it sorta sucks to already be thinking about that with two more issues to go with this current event/story.

X-O Manowar #13

xomanowar013This issue’s–I believe–the penultimate chapter of Planet Death, as I seem to recall #s 9 & 10 were to be “prologue” and the entire thing 6 chapters including those.

Aric finds himself faced with unforeseen choices as what should have–to him–been black and white is muddied gray once he’s had time on the Vine homeworld. There’s something to this issue that reminds me vaguely of classic Superman stuff, with Kandor and all–and it’ll be interesting to see how things actually play out in the next issue, as I think the issue after that involves the Eternal Warrior.

Nord‘s art continues to fit the character well, though I find that some pages seem rather light on detail while others look very good. Overall looking forward to the next issue, and quite glad to see this series last not only a full year, but seeing it on track for beyond.

Another X Book

x2013000I remember 1993 or so–Dark Horse launched their Comics’ Greatest World 16-week event. 16 weeks, 16 books, $16. At the time, many new comics were in the $1.50-$2 range, so even then $1 was a bargain of sorts.

This event introduced a bunch of (I presume) new characters to the company’s stable of titles; each had its own logo and a few actually went on to support ongoing books for a time; Barb Wire I believe even got a movie.

The year after, they did a 12-week single-title series Will to Power, following one character in particular–I believe the character was Titan (one of the characters from CGW).

Anyway, the one that most stood out to ME was X. This masked guy who would “warn” his “victims.” If I recall correctly, one slash across the face was a warning. But when you were marked with two–forming the letter X–you were marked for death. And it was criminals who were marked; X was a vigilante, an “anti-hero” of sorts.

comicsgreatestworldweek01xI recall getting a couple of promo issues with Hero Illustrated magazine, and having an issue or two of the ongoing series. Mostly I was familiar with its existence moreso than the book itself.

I noticed the X Omnibus last year or the year before, and was quite interested recently to hear the character had returned in Dark Horse Presents…and grabbed the single-issue X #0, collecting those DHP-serialized story segments. And then last week despite my usual avoidance of MINI-series and even telling myself to wait for the “graphic novel” edition, I bought X #1.

It took me a few days to get around to reading it, but Sunday night I read #0, then went on to #1, and then just because I had it handy from a recent bargain bin purchase, I read the original Comics’ Greatest World: X issue, and quite thoroughly enjoyed the thing.

x2013001While typing this post, I got curious–I don’t remember ever seeing Comics’ Greatest World itself nor Will to Power collected into single volume editions. While doing a bit of digging, I came across a Dark Horse Heroes Omnibus, that appears to collect both stories into a single volume. Including shipping, I paid about $14, which–when you think about it–is less than the cost of 4 contemporary $3.99 issues.

And there are two volumes in the X Omnibus series (the second seems recent-ish)–near as I can tell, those together collect the character’s ongoing series from the mid-1990s, including those Hero Illustrated promo issues. So I may eventually seek to acquire those. There seem to be several volumes of Omnibii for Ghost, which seems to have been THE most successful property of the 16 introduced in CGW.

Thinking on it the last couple days…X is a character I know next to nothing about, though; I couldn’t even tell you the character’s “real name” if he has a “secret identity” or such; nor anything about his “origin” and all that. Could be a good thing (i.e. this is the beginning of a journey-of-discovery regarding the character) or a bad thing (perhaps the character is actually really boring).

I suppose time will tell.

Molly Danger FCBD 2013 [Review]

mollydangerfcbd2013Story and Art: Jamal Igle
Inker: Juan Castro
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Frank Cvetkovic
Editor: Adam P. Knave
Published by: Action Lab Entertainment
Cover Price: $0.00

I was kinda surprised by this issue’s cover, as it seemed at first glance to suggest that Molly Danger could be a more fantasy-esque series than I’d thought, and that she might have a “sidekick” picked up in a story titled “Princeless.”

However, that’s certainly not the case! What happened here is something that I’m not used to, as I’ve stuck pretty much to mainstream stuff from the big publishers of late. That is, with these “independent” publishers, creators get a lot more freedom to work together, and so in this case, Igle‘s Molly Danger can be featured with Whitley‘s Princeless, and it works.

And that’s what this issue is: we get a Molly Danger story, my introduction to the character–and we get a separate Princeless story (that I’ll cover below).

I’ve heard of Molly Danger–I recall there was some sort of Kickstarter campaign awhile back, and I’ve seen stuff posted online. So I was curious…and here, fulfilling one of the greatest things about Free Comic Book Day, I’ve been given a chance to read a story of the character withOUT having to sink $3-$4 into it.

This story opens with a couple pilots responding to an alert, and reference to something called D.A.R.T.–apparently the group they belong to. We see that the city’s under attach by a large mech, and come to realize that D.A.R.T. seems to be a sort of analogue for Marvel‘s S.H.I.E.L.D., and they ‘support’ Molly Danger, that she’s got some sort of super abilities, but can’t (effectively) do it all herself. When the mech surprises her and knocks her over a mile away, she finds herself in a tough spot–with authorities blocking the area off, she needs to get back in–which is where those pilots come in.

There’s something a lot more fun and elegant to the story itself, that my words do not convey…as with any story: the difference between experiencing it, and being told ABOUT it.

The art has a nice quality to it–something I can’t quite put to words. But it’s good, and IS Molly Danger. I enjoyed Igle‘s work on Supergirl a few years ago from DC, and having sampled his creator-owned stuff in this: I’m inclined to seek out the series itself, and look forward to more of this character.

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