GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — August 14th, 2013

Gail Simone, The Movement, Freddie Williams II

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. Sit back while Sophie reviews the comic continuation of X-Files, Dakster delves into titles featuring DC’s Big Three superheroes, Corrina looks at DC’s two new “political” books: The Movement and The Green Team, and Melody explores the Galactus love of her two-year old daughter.

Dakster Sullivan — What I read this week

SupermanBatman #51  Image: DC Comics
SupermanBatman #51 Image: DC Comics

Due to a death in the family this past week, I went on a five-hour road trip which resulted in a lot of comic book reading. To take my mind off of the events to come, I picked up several graphic novels from my local library, including three Batman / Superman titles and Wonder Woman: Love and Murder.

Of the three graphic novels I picked up, the issues #51 and #52 inside Batman / Superman: Finest Worlds (written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson, art by Rafael Albuquerque) hit me the hardest. This original Batman / Superman storyline included some of my favorite stories–I really enjoyed the complex relationship that developed as these two very different heroes worked together.

Thanks to Mr. Mxyzptlk, an annoying enemy of Superman’s (though also one of the more lighthearted villains), an alternate dimension’s Justice League falls into our Superman / Batman’s world, and things get weird real quick. Under different circumstances this wouldn’t necessarily have been such a big deal, but this other Justice League is actually a miniature version of the Justice League we know and love, with the size of their fighting matches their height. The enemies in the mini-dimension fight more like bullies on a playground than gun-wielding super villains.

What shocked me most about this issue is that DC would go so far as to kill a miniature version of one of their most popular characters. Okay, so he wasn’t from this dimension…I’m not sure that excuses killing him in “child” form (then again, child heroes are never safe in DC Comics hands: Rest in peace, Damian).

The mini Justice League is at a total loss with how to deal with this tragic death but one thing’s for sure, with their innocence lost,  things will be very different when they get back home…

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder  (written by Jodi Picoult, art by Drew Johnson and Paco Diaz Luque) is part one of a two-part story arc revolving around Wonder Woman’s decision to give up her superhero persona and live a normal life as government agent. Now living as Diana Prince, special agent in Metahuman Affairs, Diana and her partner, Nemesis, are asked to do the impossible: bring in Wonder Woman for questioning in the death of Maxwell Lord (see Wonder Woman #219). No surprise here: eventually things get messy. This ending had me frantically searching the internet for a copy of the sequel, Wonder Woman: Amazons Attack. Thankfully, I found a reasonably-priced copy on Amazon (ironic…) and should have it in my hands in a few days.

[Corrina can’t help interjecting here that Amazons Attack is widely derided as one of the worst crossovers ever, so hopefully Dak isn’t too disappointed…]

I feel comfortable in recommending Batman / Superman #51 and #52 for anyone seven-years old and up but due to some of the content in Wonder Woman: Love and Murder, I would say: save this one be for the ten-and-up crowd.

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Sophie Brown– What I’m reading this week — Killjoys #3 and X-Files #3

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Killjoys #3  Image: Dark Horse
Killjoys #3 Image: Dark Horse

Killjoys #3 by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon
Out in the desert outside Battery City, people are getting restless. Dr D believes something big is coming and Cherri Cola senses it too as he attempts to teach The Girl how to shoot. Val Velocity is seeing red in more ways than one but are he and his gang really fighting for the right thing?

Back in the city Blue has passed the point of desperation and finds herself acting on impulse. She and Red have nothing left to lose but they’re not the only ones who’ve had enough.By the end of the issue it’s becoming less and less clear where everyone’s loyalties lie. Only the droids seem completely honest about their intentions; their talk on what death and the afterlife means to them is fascinating.

It’s a strange world that Gerard Way has created as vanity, vengeance and fear collide but as Dr D reminds us; an eye for an eye leaves everyone Blind.

X-Files Season 10 #3 by Joe Harris and Chris Carter
Issue three of The X-Files season 10 begins to pull together some of the plot threads that have been dangling since the beginning of this first story arc. The intriguing question of the Van de Kamps finds the first hint of resolution, Scully learns something about her kidnapper and his motives, and we find out a little more about the fate of William Scully – although naturally for The X-Files this simply leads to even more questions. Monica Reyes makes her first non-flashback appearance with new partner Special Agent Ellen DeGeneres, I mean Hendricks, and Mulder meets up with an old enemy who as usual teases us with glimpses of the bigger picture.

All in all it would be a great issue if we could just lose the dialogue issues plaguing the whole series.

The clumsy phrasing and odd naming conventions constantly pull you out of the story and will have die-hard fans cursing the pages yet again, not to mention the supposedly profound and enigmatic sound bites that read like a parody of the show. This one has nothing quite as ludicrous as the hidden Arlington base from last issue but I challenge any X-Phile to get past the second panel on page 18 without shaking their heads in sheer frustration at the out-of-character behavior displayed there.

I’m still hopeful about Joe Harris’ ability to keep my beloved show on the straight-and-narrow so I’m hoping that panel can be explained away by those immediately afterward, but with each little problem my belief falters a little more.

Corrina– The Green Team #1-3 by Art Baltazar and Franco, The Movement #1-2 by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II

These two titles were launched by DC as mirror books to each other. There was a great deal of confusion due about their concept and whether it was too political not that I’ve read the books, the premises are relatively simple.

The Green Team is about a rich, smart spoiled young adult, Commodore Murphy, who wants to basically create a team of superheroes to do something worthwhile. Think a young Tony Stark but one who’s determined to create a team. The Movement is set is a city much like Detroit, where the infrastructure of society is crumbling. Government doesn’t work, so those who can try to take the law into their own hands and provide some semblance of security and order.

Green Team #1They’re basically flip sides of the haves and the havenots but it’s not really fair to compare the books to each other, as they’re completely different in tone. The Green Team is more full of fun, winking at some of the superhero concepts and reality show stars, and can be a bit tongue-in-cheek, even as the supposed members are being chased before they can be fully formed.

The point-of-view character, Mohammed, is earnest and determined to make his own name, separate from his father. Murphy’s “entourage” fills out the supporting cast, including Lucia Lynn Houston, aka L.L. But Murphy has cut some costs to secure what he wants for his super-team and soon, super-villains are after him and his team. It’s definitely worth reading and the bright and sometimes exaggerated art nicely suits the story, but I didn’t emotionally connect to the concept as much as I expected.

The Movement‘s concept, however, hooked me, probably just because I’m more interested in how people cope when things fall apart. The art, by Williams, is murky and menacing.

The story begins with two cops trying to hit up a runaway for sexual favors, an encounter that is filmed. The video goes viral, bringing further problems to a police force that’s under-staffed and whose remaining officers are far more like those in the video than those dedicated to serving the community.

But the video is a chance for the self-appointed protectors of the city, the Movement, to make their point. A loose collection of super-powered people who’ve all sort of been tossed away for various reasons, including one who seems possessed by the devil, it remains to be seen whether they’ll be a true force for good or will just use their abilities as a means to an end. Their hearts are in the right place, their methods definitely place them in the gray “vigilante/possibly killers” category. It’s the kind of question I love in my darker superhero comics: at what point does a hero become a villain? And if the society can’t protect the underclass, how far should they go to protect themselves?

So I’m hooked on The Movement, not yet on The Green Team, but I’d recommend both.

Melody Mooney – Ella’s Pull Pile : Spotlight on Galactus

Galactus Squinkie  Image: Marvel.com
Galactus Squinkie Image: Marvel.com

What to do with your two year old who is in love with Galactus? I mean, it seems like a natural pairing, one is a universal god-like figure that drains planets of their living energy, and the other is the center of their own universe who drains their parents of energy.

Still, it was quite amusing to my husband when he took his girl to the toy store to pick out some Squinkies ™ , the teeny tiny soft plastic figures that are collected and traded, and out of all the ones displayed in their large case, she chose Galactus. Well, because he is pink.

This got me thinking, who is this Galactus guy? Luckily we have the comic where he and the Silver Surfer make their first appearance, in The Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), written by Stan Lee and art by Jack Kirby.

This Galactus looks nothing like her pink toy she has been taking everywhere with her. It was curious to find that he made the list of ‘Top 100 Comics Book Villains‘ on IGN.com and that Fantastic Four #48 was chosen as #24 in the 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time poll of Marvel’s readers in 2001. Impressive stuff but still did not answer who or what was he, really? Poking around online a bit more, I discovered that much had been written, discussed and debated about this, the oldest mind in the cosmos. All too much for a two- year old and even a bit more than I was willing to digest. I may have to ask Stan Lee just how and what was the idea behind this power cosmic, shape shifting demi-god. Perhaps a follow up post with his insight will be in the works.

Fantastic Four #48  Image: Wikipedia
Fantastic Four #48 Image: Wikipedia

I decided to show the issue to Ella even with the questions still swimming in my average human mind. Her take on him was “big monster man, big head, scary”. As we carefully flipped through the pages of Daddy’s ‘most expensive comic’ it was clear she didn’t seem all that impressed with him or his powers and asked ‘why he upset mommy’ to which I answered ‘he was just very hungry’. She seemed satisfied and bounced off to play with her tiny Galactus not really caring to make the connection between what we had looked at in print and her new pink friend.

I will not lie that I did indeed breathed a sigh of relief that she didn’t feel called to be the latest Galactus herald and put to rest any notion that my daughter was destined for the villain camp of the Marvel Universe, at least for now.

Wikipedia The Galactus Trilogy is a three-issue story arc in the Marvel Comics comic-book series Fantastic Four, by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack Kirby. The story originally ran in Fantastic Four #48-#50 and introduced the characters Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

Looking for something else, readers? Check out Comixology’s website for a complete list of titles out today!

Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.