Welcome one and all to the sense-shattering second edition of the all new, not so different, Heroes and Villains column! It’s the time of the week where I get a sneak peek at a pile of upcoming comics and then share my thoughts! This week I’ll be looking at a sampler platter of books from Boom Studios, Zenescope, Oni Press, and Image Comics, so let’s get to it!
This company sent out sample pages, not full issues, so I gave ‘em a quick look and here’s what I though:
My love for pro-wrasslin is well documented, but I have yet to read a good comic about the stars of the WWE. This one focuses on the Shield, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, three guys I don’t enjoy in the ring and had the same feelings about on paper. The pin-ups and alternate covers were awesome though.
Go Go Power Rangers #5
A stylized comic featuring the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Some serious Rita Repulsa intergalactic genocide stuff and a sweet Zord training sequence. Pretty sure I need this comic in my life. More dope variant covers.
Misfit City #8
Zero idea what was going on in this one. Lots of quick cuts around the story. I would have liked to read more to figure out what was happening as their seemed to be a mystery at foot.
Okko: The Complete Series
Badass-looking samurai story. Art was on point. Guy in a demon mask jumping around sword fighting. So down for this book. It’s on my shopping list for my next BMV run.
Featured a purple guy with a mouth on top of his head instead of at the bottom. Points for weirdness… I guess.
Steven Universe #11
A Cartoon Network series and it shows in the style of the story. Funny little bit about pumpkin donuts. Ended with appearance of blue winged person living in a barn. I would read this with my kids.
Van Helsing vs Robin Hood #1
Writer: Ralph Tedesco; Art: Allan Otero
Reading a first issue in this job is really nice, as I don’t have to fill in many story holes… unless its a crossover event between two established characters like this one. Luckily, I get it. Its modern times and we have female versions of Robin Hood and Van Helsing that exist in a shared, vampire-filled universe. It sounds cool and it mostly is… mostly. My first gripe is that in 2017 I think we can all agree that nobody should be wearing a combat uniform with an exposed midriff unless they are bullet-proof; it just doesn’t make sense. Exposed midriffs aside, this was an okay read with good art. Neither of the storytellers blew me away, but they didn’t chase me away either. We get some plot, a meet-up and a last panel where Robyn turns into a vampire, so it pushed the crossover buttons. I would like to know why Robin has a “Cable” style robot eye, but otherwise I’m good to leave the story here.
Rick and Morty #33
Writers: Tini Howard and Magdalene Visaggio; Artists: Katy Furina and Marc Ellerby
Rick and Morty is one of those things that people who kinda know what I’m into always tell me I will like, and I get it. I am actually pretty sure that in my early twenties I would have been all over this show. Today however… I’m not into it. The comic definitely captures the essence of the show, which is I guess the problem for me; I have a real tough time enjoying something where the protagonist is really, really unlikable. In this case, Rick is that character. Actually, most of the characters are pretty unlikable, so that works against it for me as well.
In this issue we get two stories: One featuring Morty’s sister Summer who jumps to a parallel universe where she is popular and a second involving a version of Rick that is a Manatee. I do love Manatees and the Giant Rick and Morty that are eating a city with their butts is the right kind of crazy, but just not for this me. Twenty-something me is eating it up like candy in a parallel universe though.
The Beauty #18
Writers: Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley; Artist: Thomas Nachlik
I got dropped into this one with two characters wrapping up production on a “serial” type of podcast. Two pages in I knew who these characters were and what they were doing. Halfway through the comic the stakes were raised with a mysterious subplot involving “the beauty,” a deadly disease that is killing people and being covered up. The art was grounded and real to match the superb dialogue. A recap page for this one would have been great, but I was totally into this book and will be looking to pick up the trades. Top notch comic on all levels.
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill; Artist: Rhoald Macellius
Another one issue! This story was a visual treat with kinetic art and sharp colours that contrasted well with greytone backgrounds. The silent, enhanced parkour protagonist in the funky helmet zipped from panel to panel and did some really well-drawn face kicking. There were drones, a purple gladiator guy with magnetic boots and a dinosaur themed cyber-punk gang thrown in for good measure. I don’t think I would have picked this one off the rack, but I’m glad I got to check it out.
Savage Dragon #230
All the things: Erik Larsen
I know the Dragon is an Image original, so I was excited to check out my first issue. I don’t know what exactly I expected, but this wasn’t it. Not in a bad way, more of a “huh…” kinda way. Dragon has three kids and is contemplating starring in a reality show. He lives in Canada, which led to a sweet Eaton Centre reference, and he met his wife when they got frisky in an elevator. There was also another story that featured very naked women fighting monsters. The book was crude in a way that makes me think being crude is its thing. Not my jam, but obviously its someones to have lasted this long.
I tried but wasn’t into…
God Complex #3: Art and colours had a real anime feel, but the story didn’t grab me,
Hack/Slash Resurection #3: There were zombies and girls kissing, so I guess that’s cool if you are into that sort of thing. I felt like they were going for a horror by way of Scream kind of vibe.
Redneck #8: A redneck vampire book. Get it? “Redneck???” Sigh. The pun in the title almost got me into it.
Gasolina #4: This book was really well done, but a little heavy for me. Dark stuff, well-written characters and little boy with a monster coming out of his stomach. If I were a darker guy I would read this comic.
With another round of reads in the can, I have to admit that, like Jon Snow, I know nothing about the incredible diversity of comics and the people out there that make them. While I didn’t get into everything, comics are like pizza: Even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good.
Til next time, this has been: Heroes and Villains!