Heroes & Villains: With Invisible Kingdom, G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward Deliver Another Great Berger Book

It’s time for Heroes & Villains! I’d like to hope that you, the reader, already knew that. The statement also functions as a reminder for me, the writer, of what I’m doing at this particular moment in time. I’m honestly flying by the seat of my pants over here and its equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. To be transparent, I always do have a general idea of what direction I’m going to go in from week to week but that’s where it stops.

Luckily for me, we’ve been on a streak of awesome new books for me to read! Onward!

Invisible KingdomInvisible Kingdom #1
G. Willow Wilson (W)
Christian Ward (A)
Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

Out this week from Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint is G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward’s Invisible Kingdom. With the arrival of this book I’m pretty comfortable that we’re in a new Golden Age of sci-fi comics. Much like Astro Hustle (also by Dark Horse!) this book is something I didn’t know I needed until I read it.

I personally feel like mainstream sci-fi as a genre has become pretty…dull. The genre has been riding the Star Wars wave for the better part of four decades to the point where space epics are predictable and common. But then something great like this book comes along and makes me sit up and take notice.

It’s also super cool to see top flight creators like Wilson and Ward doing something that’s completely their own, and their enthusiasm is something you can see on the page. I’m positively ecstatic that we’re getting sci-if books that are colorful and weird for a change. As someone who grew up devouring the weirdest sci-fi paperbacks I could get my hands on, we’re finally getting comic book depictions of worlds we had always imagined.

As far as opening chapters go, we’re given the smallest glimpse of what are to be our main characters and just a hint of how their stories are going to intersect. This is definitely going to be one to keep your eyes on.

Also, homework for you: Read up on Karen Berger and her Dark Horse imprint. I’ve reviewed a couple of the Berger Books (She Could Fly, The Alcoholic) in this column and they’ve all be spectacular to the point of me appearing that I may be shilling for Dark Horse. There’s a bunch more I haven’t had a chance to ready yet, but don’t let that stop you from picking up one (or more) of the books from this line.

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

I saw Captain Marvel and it was excellent. DEBATE ME!

Actually, please don’t. I’d really prefer it if you just kept your opinion to yourself and didn’t spend all your free time trying to shit-talk a movie that’s already an unarguable success. That’s “unarguable” in that the movies has already grossed north of 760 million world-wide in eleven days. “Well actually…the second week drop-off is…”

Shut it. It didn’t work. People still turned out in droves to see the movie.The review bombing of Rotten Tomatoes was such a spectacular failure that it caused them to update their flawed system of allowing people to rate a movie sight unseen. It’s such a weird place to be in…knowing that there are groups of people out there whose entire identity is wrapped up in trying to take down a major motion picture made by a mega corporation because it doesn’t meet with their expectations of what a proper super hero movie should be.

I feel supremely old in saying that “back in my day” we had the four Superman movies, Flash Gordon (with the bitchin’ Queen soundtrack), the 1970’s Spider-Man TV show, Swamp Thing, and the light at the end of the tunnel-  Burton’s Batman. There was also a Fantastic Four movie too terrible to release and Dolphin Lundgren’s The Punisher…and it was all great! Well, obviously, some of those movies were real turds but somehow we survived.

We’re in a position now where we’ve been given everything we could have ever wanted and it’s amazing. I was never an Avengers fan growing up and the extent of my Iron Man knowledge didn’t go beyond the Secret Wars action figure and the one issue of his comic my mother gave me. I think back to the Iron Man movie announcement in 2007 and how I shrugged it off as something I straight up did not care about…only to see it opening weekend and be blown away.

The hits, as they say, kept on coming. A major hurdle for me was the first Thor movie, “if Marvel can make me give a crap about Thor, I’ll know they’re on to something.” I won’t sit here and extol the virtues of each and every Marvel movie…some where better than others. But they’ve all made me excited to see how filmmakers transform comics into reality. It weirded me out to see people going absolutely nuts at a screening of Infinity War. It made me feel like I had an overstuffed longbox dropped on my head circa 1996 and that everything from the last decade was just my brain coming up with the wildest possible scenarios in its last moments of existence. “Guess what? There’s going to be an Ant-Man movie…and you’re going to like it!”

Comics are for everybody. I still find it funny that people were surprised when Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and now Captain Marvel did huge box office numbers. It’s almost like there was a group of underrepresented people out there aching to see relatable content on the screen…

Comics were, are, and forever will be a major part of my life. It’s not something that defines me and I’m glad there are now more people that are interested in comics because that can only mean more of a thing I love.

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