GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — November 27th, 2013

Harley Quinn #0  Art by Jim Lee
Harley Quinn #0 Art by Jim Lee

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, I jump into Harley Quinn #0, Lisa shows us a darker side with the digital comic book series Aurora Rose, Corrina checks out Zero Year issues of Catwoman and The Flash, and Sophie checks in with Scully and Mulder in The X-Files Season 10. 

Dakster Sullivan — Harley Quinn #0 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner

After hearing that one of my favorite comic book teams, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, were in charge of DC Comics’ newest series, Harley Quinn, it didn’t take much to persuade me to read issue #0. The story is essentially Harley having a conversation with Jimmy and Amanda about how she is drawn and what her story should be like. I know what you’re thinking: Why would that be fun? Well, because for most of the book they’re making fun of either themselves or DC Comics.

I’m not sure what I loved more; the constant, obvious changing of the artists, Harley breaking the fourth wall, or the jokes Jimmy and Amanda made at DC’s expense (okay I’ll admit it…it was the jokes at DC’s expense…).

With each of the seventeen different artists getting one page to play with on this book (yes…17 as in 8 + 9), there was a little bit of art in there for everyone. The most unexpected pages for me came from Jim Lee and Art Baltazar. I’m a fan of both artists, so it was fun reading Jimmy and Amanda’s writing with Lee and Baltazar’s art behind it.

Included in this issue is the controversial “contest” scene of Harley trying to kill herself. I’ll admit, when the contest was announced, it sounded a little weird, but after hearing Jimmy P. explain what they were really looking for and seeing it in this book, it makes perfect sense. Before you jump down my throat, I’ll just say it has to do with Harley mentioning the Suicide Squad and how Jimmy P. and Amanda translated the name.

The only thing that disappointed me about Harley Quinn #0 was on the last page where Jimmy and Amanda promised that the breaking of the fourth wall would come to an end in issue #1. That was one of my favorite parts of the story, darn it!

Overall, Harley Quinn #0 left me wanting more and wanting it fast. Thankfully, issue #1 is only a few weeks away, then the serious Harley fun begins. [Corrina’s note: I totally second Dak’s review. Loved this issue. Just fun all the way through.] 

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

Corrina:

Catwoman #25 written by John Layman, art by Aaron Lopresti and Art Thibert; The Flash #25 written by Francis Manpul and Brian Buccellato, art by Chris Sprouse and Francis Manapul. 

The cover from Catwoman #25, copyright DC Comics
The cover from Catwoman #25, copyright DC Comics

These two issues are flashbacks to the early days of the title characters, part of DC’s Zero Year event that’s centered around a blackout in Gotham City that seems to attract heroes (and anti-heroes) of all kinds. Catwoman fits right into this but a younger Barry Allen, in Gotham volunteering, seems out of place though the story and art are nicely done.

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At this point, Selina Kyle/Catwoman has more origins than she’s had lives. In the 1970s, she was a former socialite turned cat burglar, then in the 1980s, she was a former foster child who became a dominatrix (see: Batman: Year One), then when DC rebooted, she seemed to have ties to a mystical force that saved her life, ala Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.

In this issue, we’re back to basics, with a younger street-wise (but not dominatrix) Selina deciding to make use of her thieving skills to go after one of Gotham’s richest men during the blackout because he unwisely beat up one of the few people Selina likes. Along the way, she acquires one of her signature weapons.

Lopresti and Thibert’s art is a breath of fresh air, making Selina attractive and slinky and yet not exploitive. Selina in a slinky black dress can be an invitation to an artist to go way overboard with the sexiness. Instead, she looks hot and elegant. A fun issue if you’re a Catwoman fan.

The Flash story struck me as odd, though Manapul and Sprouse’s art is topnotch, especially in the various flame sequences. It’s great seeing how Gotham looks through the eyes of someone who’s not from there, like Barry Allen.

However, putting Allen in Gotham just to be part of the tie-in feels forced, and even more forced when we find out the love of his life, Iris Allen, is working at a clinic on an internship from college. I can’t quibble too much about Iris being in the story as she does a better Lois Lane impersonation than Lois herself has been doing lately. Yet the weirdest part is the end, which seems to imply Barry Allen is dosed with a drug which will later be part of his transformation to the Flash. Tying the Flash’s origin to Gotham feels not quite right. I suspect a little bit of tinkering from the corporate offices, considering Barry Allen is soon due to guest-star on CW’s Arrow and then get his own pilot. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this issue turns out to be similar to what happens on television.

Lisa Tate– Aurora Rose by William Wilson and Jason Stevens, art by Taylor Bills

Aurora Rose  Image: Arch Enemy Entertainment
Aurora Rose Image: Arch Enemy Entertainment

I don’t often read digital comics — I need any excuse to get away from the computer — but Arch Enemy Entertainment’s Aurora Rose written by William Wilson and Jason Stevens, illustrated by Taylor Bills, makes for a fun, albeit grisly, work break. Fifteen-year-old Aurora, who has unknowingly been in hiding as descendant of the Knights Templar since she was an infant, gets dragged quickly into the reality of who she really is once the evil monster-raising secret society, Brotherhood of Sleep, discovers her whereabouts.

Definitely not for kids, this series is like a hard-edged Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The scenario is eerily similar but the tone is completely different. Aurora herself, a dark studious outsider who has always felt she took a wrong turn somewhere in the past, bears little resemblance to the pert “America’s Sweetheart” persona of Buffy — that is, until the inborn ability of monster heinie-kicking begins. The action doesn’t really get started until the second issue, but when it does, hang on! Aurora Rose will take you an a fast, crazy ride as the secrets of her destiny unfold. Watch out for the splatter; it can get a bit messy.

Sophie Brown– The X-Files Season 10 #6 written by Joe Harris, art by Elena Casagrande

The X-Files #6 continues the pattern set by the T.V. show, mixing mythology episodes with stand alone monster-of-the-week stories. The previous five issues formed a single mytharc “episode” but this time we get to see Mulder and Scully doing what they do best; investigating spooky goings-on in spookier places.

The secret has been out for some time now that this issue sees the return of the Flukeman, a favorite (and particularly gross) monster from the show’s second season.

The issue starts out with a quintessential pre-credits intro before taking us back to the J. Edgar Hoover building where Mulder and Scully are just settling back into their new jobs. As we saw on the show, Joe Harris has made a few changes to the Bureau—it has been over ten years after all—but everything fits and feels like a natural progression for the organization.

Artist Michael Walsh has also helped update the old surroundings, and the old portrait of Clinton on Skinner’s office wall has been replaced by Obama.

Soon Mulder and Scully are off in their usual role division: Scully in a Quantico autopsy lab, Mulder ferreting about in as many gross places as he can find, generally annoying any local law enforcement foolish enough to cross his path. This is exactly what I’d hoped for from Season 10. Classic Mulder wit and vague answers, Scully elbow deep in body parts, and some excellent banter between the two. Issue six is part one of a two-parter, so to finish off we get a textbook X-Files cliffhanger. When can I read the next one?!

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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100 Bullets Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 HC
Adventures Of Superman #7 Kid Friendly
All-Star Western #25
Aquaman #25 GM
Batman And Robin Vol. 2 Pearl TP
Batman And Robin Vol. 3 Death Of The Family HC
Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 Demon Star TP
Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 Gotham’s Most Wanted HC
Batman The Dark Knight #25
Beware The Batman #2
Catwoman #25
Damian Son Of Batman #2 (Of 4) GM
Flash #25 GM
Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #2
Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #2 (Of 6)
Green Arrow Vol. 1 Hunter’s Moon TP
Green Team Teen Trillionaires #6 GM
Injustice Gods Among Us #11
Joker The Clown Prince Of Crime TP
Justice League Dark #25
Larfleeze #5
Lois Lane A Celebration Of 75 Years HC
Red Hood And The Outlaws Vol. 3 Death Of The Family TP
Red Lanterns #25
Sandman Overture #1 (Of 6)
Superman #25
Superman A Celebration Of 75 Years HC
Superman H’el On Earth HC
Talon #13
Teen Titans #25
Tom Strong And The Planet Of Peril #5 (Of 6)
Vertigo Essentials Y The Last Man #1
All-New X-Men #19 GM
Avengers Absolute Vision Vol. 1 TP
Avengers Arena #18 (Final Issue)
Avengers Assemble #21
Captain America Vol. 2 Castaway In Dimension Z Book 2 HC
Cataclysm Ultimate X-Men #1
Cataclysm Ultimate X-Men #1 (Of 3)
Deadpool Annual #1
FF #14
Gambit Vol. 3 King Of Thieves TP
Hawkeye #14 GM
Indestructible Hulk #16
Infinity #6
Infinity #6 (Of 6)
Infinity Heist #3 (Of 4)
Infinity The Hunt #4 (Of 4)
Kick-Ass 3 #5
Kick-Ass 3 #5 (Of 8)
Marvel Masterworks Ant-Man Giant-Man Vol. 1 TP
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #20 Kid Friendly 
New Avengers #12
Nova #10
Powers Bureau #8
Savage Wolverine #12
Scarlet Spider #24
Shadow Walk HC
Superior Carnage #5 (Of 5)
Superior Spider-Man #22
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 3 No Escape TP
Uncanny Avengers #14
Uncanny X-Force #14
Wolverine And The X-Men #38 GM
Wolverine And The X-Men Annual #1 GM
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Danger Girl The Chase #3 (Of 4)
Doctor Who #15
G.I. JOE Special Missions #9
Ghostbusters #10
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #6
Half Past Danger #6 (Of 6)
Judge Dredd #13
Maxx Maxximized #1
Mr Peabody And Sherman #1 (Of 4)
My Little Pony The Return Of Queen Chrysalis HC (Rarity) Kid Friendly
Powerpuff Girls #3
Star Trek #27
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #28
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Vol. 7 TP
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Vol. 1 TP Kid Friendly
Transformers Regeneration One #96
Transformers Robots In Disguise #23 (Dark Cybertron Part 3 Of 12)
Transformers The IDW Collection Vol. 1 HC
X-Files Season 10 #6 GM
Zombie War #2 (Of 2)
B.P.R.D. Vampire TP
Best Of Comix Book When Marvel Went Underground HC
Brothers Of The Spear Archives Vol. 3 HC
Captain Midnight #5
Captain Midnight Archives Vol. 1 Battles The Nazis HC
Conan And The People Of The Black Circle #2 (Of 4)
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Vol. 6 HC
Criminal Macabre The Eyes Of Frankenstein #3 (Of 4)
Goon #44
Grendel Omnibus Vol. 4 Prime TP
House Of Gold And Bones TP
Itty Bitty Hellboy #4 (Of 5)
Marvel Classic Character X-Men #3 Marvel Girl
Mass Effect Foundation #5
Massive #17
Mind MGMT #17
Mister X Eviction And Other Stories TP
Never Ending #1 (Of 3)
Nexus Omnibus Vol. 4 TP
Polar Came From The Cold HC
Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #6
Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #1 (Of 3)
Star Wars Legacy II #9

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading 

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.