Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dylan's Sequential Theology 07.11.2012

This is my pick list for Wednesday July 11th 2012. So when you're at your local comic shop, give these books a look.

Kirby Genesis #8

It's the final chapter of Kurt Busiek's first arc, and it is most assuredly epic. Every character is punching everything, and gods appear in the sky and look ominous while judging life on this planet.
Nestled within its bombastic fist kicking, Busiek has an interesting idea about the nature of gods, and consequentially the Kirby-verse itself, that really represents what makes this line of comics so unexpectedly compelling for me.
Kirby's original work had very little to distinguish mortals from gods due to his overly operatic, and seemingly techno-organic costume designs and signature facial structures, which tended to transport the reader to another world entirely from the get go. But Kirby Genesis has cracked that nut with the addition of Alex Ross' paintings.  I normally loath Alex Ross' colors because they seem weirdly unnatural, but here they really emphasize the celestial nature of the Primals when they are in the same panel with Jack Herbert's line art. Sometimes a weakness can become a strength and I really don't think I've ever enjoyed his work more than in this particular context. If you're not reading this line of comics, Kirby Genesis #9 would be an great place to start. Just sit back, relax and let the intergalactic insanity sweep you up in all of its chaotic glory.
I know I personally can't wait to read more comics with Sigurd Dragonsbane.

Buffy Season 9 #11
I was so excited by the announcement of Buffy Season 8, and bought the first two story arcs before promptly losing interest. It felt too much like a comic book adaptation of the show, and not the series in comic book form... Confused yet? My big problem with the Buffy comics had always been the constant need to say "What if Buffy were a comic book character?" and not "What if we just kept making Buffy episodes but they happened to be on a two dimensional page with an unlimited budget and word balloons that can act?" That's what this issue was for me. They finally hit that sweet spot of what it was like to watch Buffy. 
This storyline focuses on Buffy getting work as a bodyguard in a world where demons, and vampires are public knowledge, and slayers are no longer humanities secret protectors. Of course, Buffy is terrible at it because she confuses every demon for a potential threat and her boss (another former slayer) thinks she's not cut out for this line of work. It's a fun flip of the status-quo and I'm shocked it never happened in the tv series.
Andrew Chambliss wrote several episodes of Dollhouse, Vampire Diaries, and Once Upon a Time. And his TV pedigree in the fantasy genre, and his work experience with Whedon evident. He has a really strong understanding of these character's voices and his Buffy fandom shines through without feeling like a Joss Whedon imitation. Georges Jeanty's art gives his characters the expressiveness they need and a level of photorealism that is not too intrusive.
I've heard some interesting things about the previous arc that had me intrigued about the series and while I'm coming in late, I'm happy I did.

Massive #2
The first thing I said when I picked up this book was, "this art is fantastic!" Kristian Donaldson brings a Pia Guerra feeling to this book with a somehow colder line. The book focuses on the crew of the Kapital as they hunt for their sister ship The Massive. Brian Wood's main character has devoted his life to saving the world from ecological disaster, and within the past few years every horrible catastrophe has happened all at once. They sale the seas while searching for the Massive, and show what a world would look like after all has ended. Brian Wood has a fun time playing futurist and creates a Hong Kong I kind of wish existed today. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the world has fared, and what else the oceans have in store for the crew of the Kapital. The single issues also have exclusive material in the back which adds additional layers to the story so far so don't pass it over just because it ain't got pictures. This series is definitely worth your time and since it's only on issue 2, how can you pass that up?

Eerie #1
Recently, Dark Horse has resurrected the old Creepy and Eerie line from Warren publishing, and they have taken a brilliant tact with the price/content of the two sibling magazines. If Creepy's $4.99 price point is too rich for your blood, the $2.99 Eerie has sixteen fewer pages, without a single dip in quality. Both are "black and white" anthology titles featuring stories by incredible writers and artists from comic's past and present.
I love horror films, but I am willing to write one off entirely if there is more than two jump scares. Luckily it is nearly impossible to have a jump scare in the comic medium unless it's your big twist. The  stories live and die by their art. The old Warren and EC comics had plenty of amazing artists that were able to give you a grizzly image or a sudden twist that could save a pretty humdrum story, but David Lapham's "A Robot For Your Thoughts" in this issue has done something truly rare and manages to get inside your logic processor and rewire you from within, and it will be very hard for future artists and writers to top it. His twist is not just "THEY WERE PLAYING SOFTBALL WITH A HUMAN HEAD!" but something far more chilling both in thought and... execution.
The other three stories in this volume are a little more standard in their approach, one body invasion chill, one tail of astronauts discovering ancient life on a foreign planet, and one rather haunting Frankenstein inspired yarn written by Bruce Jones and lovingly airbrushed by Richard Corben entitled "Child" that makes this comic three bucks well spent.

What issues are you looking forward to this week?

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