This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres and companies. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on The Librarians #1, Paklis #5, Rick and Morty #30, Crosswind #4, Spawn #278, Hi-Fi Fight Club #2, and more… be warned, there may be spoilers…
When I only included just a tiny blurb about the release of a Librarians comic book last week, I got more response and feedback than I did for anything I wrote full reviews of, so you know I had to talk about that comic this week. The Librarians, regularly recapped and reviewed here at Biff Bam Pop! by Sarah Hawkins Miduski, is wildly popular, even in the off-season. The show translates well to the page, and the comic itself is structured like a standard episode. It does well what all comic adaptations should do, show us stuff undoable in a budgeted TV arena, and it pulled me right in. This was like getting bonus episodes, loved it. If you’re a fan, definitely pick this series up.
Paklis is an anthology comic by writer/artist Dustin Weaver from Image Comics. Also coloring and lettering, Weaver has a stunning visual style, which is only equaled by his storytelling ability. I loved this comic, and immediately sought out the previous four issues. It took me a while to realize where I knew Weaver’s art from, and that would be the Marvel crossover event Infinity, but he’s only gotten better. In this issue alone Weaver takes us on journeys into science fiction, fantasy, and noir, with solid dialogue and stunning action sequences throughout. And I was blown away by the sparse but effective use of color, Weaver knows how to inject mood. Recommended.
Rick and Morty
The thirtieth issue of the Rick and Morty ongoing comic again, like The Libraraians, covers territory not doable on the small screen. We get a spotlight on Beth and her day this time, that is both endearing and tragic. This looks like just a comic based on an insane, if intelligently twisted, cartoon, but the story here make you really feel for Beth, almost to the brink of tears. There’s also the usual madness of the two title characters in the back-up, but the real story to read is the lead with Beth, great stuff. This is the kind of writing, props to Kyle Starks, that we don’t get in comics enough, let alone cartoon adaptations.
Gail Simone is perhaps one of the greatest, if not the coolest, writers in the comic book field today. That’s an undisputed fact. The problem is not so much a matter of choosing which comics of hers to review, as it is of running out of words to praise her work. Last week she dazzled us with Wonder Woman/Conan #1 (if you haven’t picked it up yet, go now), and this week we have the fourth issue of her Crosswind, co-created by artist Cat Staggs. I’ve talked about Crosswind before, as has fellow Biff Bam Popper J.P. Fallavollita in his The Wednesday Run column here, as well we should – it’s awesome.
Chicago mob hitman Cason Bennett and downtrodden Seattle housewife Juniper Blue have switched minds, bodies, and souls in an inexplicable set of circumstances, and hilarity, as they say, ensues. This issue, as the mob closes in, the two in their new lives and their new bodies deal with their respective -or disrespective- significant others. Seriously, why aren’t you reading Crosswind? And don’t forget the comic has its own theme music from Rachel Miller right here.
I keep looking for some sort of payoff in reading Spawn for this column. If I want dark I can read Batman, if I want crime noir I can read Punisher, and if I want supernatural I can read Constantine. While visually moody and effective, there’s needs to be something more from Spawn of late, especially when we are promised more, and it’s not delivering. I picked this issue out to read based on solicits that promised the beginning of a new superhero. I like superheroes, but all I get here is a Spawn with fluctuating powers fighting the Yakuza in Tokyo. I am sure this was a great issue for Spawn fans, but for me, it was only okay.
Hi-Fi Fight Club
Carly Usdin’s Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 was the best comic on the shelves the week it was released. It was so good that I went out and bought a copy, and put it on my reserve at the comic shop. For those in the know, there hasn’t been more than one or two titles in my reserve for over two years. This add was a landmark. Like Crosswind, this is a must buy book. We left last issue with Chris finding out that her record store staff are not part of a secret band, but a secret mystery-busting club, and they want her to join.
This second issue has all the same grins and smiles and love in it that the first did. This is the kind of comic that makes people fall in love with comics. Great characters, great storytelling, food hands, and a cheese fries non-date – does it get much better than that? Yes, add in some crimefighting and a missing band mystery, and once again, it’s the best comic of the week. Hi-Fi Fight Club gets my highest recommendation.
Other comics out today that might be worth taking a look at include some comics we’ve looked at before here like Destroyer, WWE, Zodiac Starforce, and Hard Place. If you’re partial to the Big Two, there’s Marvel Legacy #1, Kamandi Challenge #9, and the Challengers of the Unknown meet Mystery Inc. in Scooby-Doo Team Up #30. And what the heck, I have no shame, if you want to send us review copies of your new comics for review here at Heroes and Villains, please feel free…