Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, we have a some reviews as well as a cry for help from one of our writers.
Corrina Lawson – What I’m Reading This Week
Every now and then, a comic blows me away. It happened this week with the Before Watchmen series, Silk Spectre, by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner. I know, it’s a Before Watchmen comic and, yes, I’m aware of the controversy surrounding DC perhaps “cashing in” on a classic property like Watchmen, especially with Alan Moore, the original writer, so opposed. But I picked up Silk Spectre #2 and #3 together because I tend to adore anything Cooke writes.
When I say blown away, that’s exactly right. This is a trippy comic. It’s the story of Laurie, the young Silk Spectre, and how she ran away to San Francisco to build a new life in the era of free love. She’s in love, she’s trying to do the right thing, and the line between the right and wrong thing is particularly thin, especially with drugs. The book makes no statement about drugs overall being good or bad, only that same people use them to manipulate others. And Laurie doesn’t like that and kicks, well, a little more than butt. (This is a comic for mature readers.)
Laurie’s very absentee father likes her new scene even less, leading to a heartbreaking ending for such an optimistic character.
Anything I say about the art would be underselling it. It’s lush, gorgeous, and psychedelic, full of colors and life, and the facial expressions are absolutely perfect. I have to give Paul Mounts a shout-out for the colors as well. I was leery about someone else drawing Cooke’s scripts but this is a winning team.
Smallville #5 is the comic that caused all the controversy because it originally included Stephanie Brown as Nightwing instead of Barbara Gordon and DC’s higher ups demanded a change because, hmm.., basically because they don’t like Steph. Despite the change of name, Nightwing still sounds like Steph to me but that’s okay. Batman’s first appearance in the Smallville universe is terrific, and gives him a very personal reason to head to Metropolis. I love how writer Bryan Q. Miller is expanding the Smallville mythos and hope this comic lasts a long.
The first to the “Zero” origin issues I picked up this month from DC was Earth 2;. The series itself is moving rather slowly so I wondered if this tale would be setup or not. It introduces the villain sure to show up in the present day, one Ozymandias–wait, er, Terry Sloane, who decides the ends justify the means. Interesting but not essential.
Dakster Sullivan – Booster Gold: New 52 Pick up #1
I was first introduced to Booster Gold in the Justice League Unlimited on cartoon network. I wasn’t that thrilled with the character’s attitude towards being a hero. He seemed to want it more for the glory and sponsorships than honestly wanting to help others. When I saw that DC had made him the leader of the New 52 Justice League International team, I thought, “What the heck? Him?” After I got suckered into reading the series because of Batman’s appearance, I started to actually like the character.
Booster seemed to grow as a leader and a hero in Justice League International and I’m very sorry to see the series end. I’m hoping that I get to see more of him in either his own series (hint…hint…DC) or in another team series. I don’t think he would fit on the new 52 Justice League, but I’m sure there is a team out there for him.
I picked up Booster Gold #1, 52 pick up issue this week and I have to say…HELP! I’m lost!! The first few pages of the issue show him standing on a roof top with the Justice League, but among the members are Vixen and Arrow. Huh?? Don’t even get me started on Booster Gold #0 which really threw me off. I understand that Booster is a time jumper, but this is really confusing me.
I did some reading online and found out that issue #0 is a crossover from the Zero Hour timeline, which (according to my sources) happened in 1994. I’ve never read this series, so I guess I know what I’m picking up on Amazon next week. I’m still really confused on the 52 pick up #1 though.
So instead of me writing up a review this week, I have some questions for anyone who can answer them…
First of all, if the New 52 is a reboot, why was Booster standing on top of a roof with a Justice League that is totally different than the one in the current Justice League comic book series?
Second, should I be reading something else first to understand all of this?
This is a cry for help from a comic book newbie and I welcome all the help I can get.
Kelly Knox – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Volume 2 (Library Edition Hardcover)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 continues in this second volume “Library Edition” from Dark Horse Comics. The volume collects issues #11-20 and include appearances by the season’s Big Bad, Twilight, as well as series favorites Dracula and Riley Finn. (Someone out there liked Riley, right? Right?)
The comic continues to capture the personality and humor of the Scooby Gang from the series, while also taking them new places that the constraints of a television show budget could never have gone. Buffy’s voyage into the future world of Fray, Dawn’s transformations, and Willow’s use of advanced magic are all fascinating tidbits that would have had difficulties if attempted in the series.
My favorite issue in the collection is a small side story where a veteran Buffy finds herself back in the world of the first season at Sunnydale High School. She gleefully gives her mom a hug and heads off to school feeling like the weight of the world is finally off her shoulders, even if for just a short time. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Volume 2 is a reminder of just how far these characters have come and how lucky we’ve been to come along for the ride all these years.
A promotional copy of this hardcover edition was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Kay Moore – Catwoman (2002 – 2008) #10
Issue 10 of Catwoman (2002-2008) is eye-catching–the color palette is distinct and unusual. All the panels have a screen of some color over them, setting a mood and unifying each series of panels by color, according to place or time. It’s a very distinct sensation when reading digitally; I am curious about the perception when reading in print. If you read Catwoman (2002-2008) on paper, let me know in the comments what you think about these muted tones over all the panels.
When I first read this story, I got the feel of a standalone little vignette from Selina’s life, but upon more careful reading it seems this more likely is setting up the next story arc. There is some tie-in with the events from issue 9, and when Selina visits Wayne Manor to ask Bruce for his assistance with a construction project (and coincidentally reveal that she is actually still alive), their by-play is comfortable to the point that she beans him with a muffin.
The story opens with a reminiscence about a girl who had no luck combined with poor judgment… the girl voted most likely to die by bad taste in men. It turns into a flashback that reveals this is Rebecca, Selina’s authority-disdaining schoolgirl friend, who eventually ends up going for a joy ride in a “borrowed” car that involves her in a capital conviction. Six years later, in the current time, Selina attends her appeal. The rest of the story tells about the appeal and its consequences and why Selina feels so strongly about Rebecca after so many years.
I like the character portrayal in this issue; there isn’t much “put character in this slot” like in some comics that take a shortcut to complete a story. This issue shows Catwoman’s dark/light good/bad chaotic/lawful sides effectively and packs a lot of story into one issue’s pages (unlike my complaint last week about too little story for the number of pages). I was a little uncomfortable upon first reading this issue, but now I feel more experimental about it, and keep poking around the colors. The palette and color usage aren’t something I’d ever come up with or gravitate toward, but I am afraid they are like an earwig: one of those songs that won’t leave your head. Do I have an eyewig???
Rebecca Angel – Otomen By Aya Kanno
Oh, silly, silly shojo manga. Silly, but entertaining. My kids and I thought the premise of this one was intriguing: Asuka Masamune is a boy who reads girly comics, creates artistic and delicious sushi, and sews cute stuffed animals. But because he was taught early on that he had to be “macho,” he has embraced the jock lifestyle (number one in dojo) in public to hide his secret feminine hobbies.
Asuka has girls sighing over him everywhere he goes, but he believes if he ever shows his true self, girls won’t like him. So of course, he falls for a girl who doesn’t have a feminine bone in her body, and her father puts macho in his matcha…meanwhile a writer “friend” of his is really using him as fodder for his story.
The art is typical, the writing okay, the kids and I thought the story was fun. This is a comic to escape that heavy non-fiction book you are trying to get through.
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
|Doctor Who Annual 2012
Dungeons And Dragons Forgotten Realms Legends Of Drizzt Omnibus Vol. 2 TP
Rocketeer Cargo Of Doom #2 (Of 4)
Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Annual 2012
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Ed. Vol. 2 Wolves At The Gate HC
Chronicles Of King Conan Vol. 3 TP
Conan The Barbarian #8
Creep #1 (Of 4)
Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #2 (Of 5)
Star Wars Crimson Empire III Empire Lost TP
Star Wars Knight Errant Escape #4 (Of 5)
Star Wars Lost Tribe Of The Sith Spiral #2 (Of 5)
Star Wars The Crimson Empire Saga HC
Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / CP = Combo Pack / PE = Premier Edition