GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — April 9th, 2014

Astro City
Splash page from Astro City: Through Open Doors, written by Kurt Busiek, art by Brent Anderson. Image: Vertigo Comics

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 look at the creator-owned series: Skyward, while Corrina looks at Astro City and Aquaman and the Others. Kelly takes us through the world of How i Made the World and Lisa takes a trip down under with the dark hero Dexter.

Dakster Sullivan — Skyward by Jeremy Dale

Skyward  Image: Jeremy Dale
Skyward Image: Jeremy Dale

MegaCon 2014 introduced me to some great independent artists and writers. One in particular that I’ve fallen in love with is Jeremey Dale and his creator owned series: Skyward.

Skyward has a tragic beginning, when Quinn, our young lead character, witnesses his parents murder and goes on the run from those responsible. Along the way, he meets other lost villagers and they run into a conflict that is bigger than any of them imagined.

The story has all of the makings of a fun fantasy filled adventure and after reading the first six issues, I’m hooked. A nice thing about this creator owned series is that it’s released on a monthly schedule and available digitally as well as in print.

Parents will be happy to hear that this is an all-ages comic book and the women are fully clothed (an original idea don’t you think?).

Kids will get a kick out of the “Rabite” race and their furry antics in battle. As a parent, I appreciate that this is a title I can read and enjoy and then pass off to my son to check out. It’s not often we find books we can both read and discuss afterwards.

Skyward is released monthly digitally and in print and is suitable for all ages.

Corrina — Astro City: Through Open Doors written by Kurt Busiek, art by Brent Anderson, due out April 15.

Do you ever wonder how the regular citizens in a superhero universe cope with it? DC and Marvel have dabbled in the idea every now and then, with Marvel’s Damage Control, about a company that cleaned up after superhero/supervillain fights and DC’s Comic Gotham Central, which centered on the ordinary cops in Gotham, but Busiek and Anderson knock the concept out of the park in their own creation, the universe of Astro City.

This volume focused on an ordinary man who volunteers to be an ambassador to an alien who’s just stepped through a portal from another world, and a young woman who’s hired to work in what she thinks is a regular call center but turns out to be a call center to help the world’s superheroes sort out who’s in dire need of their help.

The call worker’s story is wonderful, as she goes from being jazzed that she’s part the superhero universe, to realizing what a responsibility it is and, finally, becoming a hero herself as she tries to fix a mistake in handling a call. There are some great touches in the technology the heroes use to protect the call centers and how they choose their operators.

There’s also a great parable in how ordinary people can do great things in the story: the accidental ambassador who the alien needs to understand the average human, and a side story on how some of the alien tech can corrupt those already close to the edge.

I closed the volume with a happy sigh. This is a creative team that understands what true heroism means.

Aquaman & The Others #1, written by Dan Jurgens, art by Ed Tadeo and Lan Medina. 

I’d no idea what to expect from this first issue of a new series from DC. I’d collected Batman & the Outsiders and The Outsiders in several incarnations so I thought it might be something like that: a superhero team brought together by circumstances affecting them all.

Nope. This is a more complicated plot than a superhero slugfest. It concerns pieces of an ancient and powerful Atlantean artifact that powers various heroes through the globe. Something is draining those pieces of power, leading each of them to meet and confer with Aquaman, whose trident appears to be the most powerful of them.

The new heroes are ethnically diverse, they’re each introduced quickly but with enough space to get a sense of their personality, and they’re instantly thrown into a mystery. Aquaman is nominally their leader but they’re all formidable in their own right.

This story seems somehow separate from the regular DCU and that’s a great thing if you’re looking for a new series that requires no prior knowledge. As for me, I’m hooked and intrigued, far more than I expected to be when this title was first announced.

Kelly Knox — How i Made the World, by Liz Plourde and Randy Michaels (Self-Published)

While it’s not uncommon to find a story that speaks to you and your life experiences, seeing the recurring dream you’ve had since college captured in the panels of a comic book is a unique and somewhat jarring moment. That’s exactly what happened to me when I picked up a preview copy of How i Made the World, due out this June in comic book stores.

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How i Made the World, Art by Randy Michaels

The black and white comic book is the compelling, semi-autobiographical tale of Liz. The story is easily relatable to anyone who has sat in the hallway waiting to talk to their college advisor (I could practically smell the old liberal arts hall at my university), thanks to the likable narrator and the book’s conversational tone. How i Made the World includes two tales: one of the journey Liz takes as she works on her sculpture class midterm project, and the other a quick, fun story based on a childhood memory.

If you’ve had enough superheroes in your comics, or you want to be taken back to your own college days, pick up How i Made the World in June 2014.

Lisa Tate — Dexter Down Under by Jeff Linsday and Dalibor Talajic

Dexter Down Under  Image: Marvel
Dexter Down Under Image: Marvel

Dexter creator Jeff Lindsay’s newest chapter in the life of his anti-hero is the five-part series Dexter Down Under, illustrated by Dalibor Talajic (Marvel), takes everyone’s favorite vigilante serial killer and Miami blood splatter analyst (who literally, we find out, wrote the book on the topic) Dexter Morgan to Australia to help local police investigate a chain of murders of undocumented Asian immigrants. There, he meets a tough-talking officer, who is practically an Australian equivalent of his sister back home, and a high-profile White supremacist who Dexter is sure (but can’t prove) is behind the killings. Of course, he holds back just enough info from authorities as he plans on dealing with this suspect himself in his own special way.

Now on Issue #2, Dexter Down Under is much less graphic than the HBO series. Despite a couple of bloody images, this comic is what Dexter would have been like on Prime Time network television; still edgy, but with”PG-13″ toned-down gore and only mild profanity.

What this series really has going is what the final, soul-crushing, and miserable season of the hit television series lacked: the humor and eerily appealing personality of Dexter just doing his thing (with or without his Dark Passenger in tow). No one knows Dexter Morgan like Lindsay, and this series is a darkly fun way to wash that bitter, empty taste left behind by the television series. Dexter is back and ready to be a guilty pleasure once more.

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

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100 Bullets Brother Lono TP
Astro City #11
Astro City Through Open Doors HC
Batgirl #30
Batman Eternal #1
Coffin Hill #7
Constantine #13
Earth 2 Vol. 2 The Tower Of Fate TP
Earth 2 Vol. 3 Battle Cry HC
FBP Federal Bureau Of Physics #9
Green Lantern Corps #30
Jonah Hex Shadows West TP
Justice League 3000 #5
Royals Masters Of War #3 (Of 6)
Scooby-Doo Where Are You #44 Kid Friendly
Superboy #30
Superman Wonder Woman #7
Worlds’ Finest #22
All-New Doop #1 (Of 5) New Mini Series
All-New Ghost Rider #2 New Series
All-New Ultimates #1 New Series
All-New X-Factor #6
All-New X-Men #25
Amazing Spider-Man 2 Prelude TP
Avengers A.I. #11
Avengers Undercover #2
Avengers Vol. 2 The Last White Event TP
Captain America Vol. 3 Loose Nuke HC
Captain Marvel #2 New Series GM
Daredevil #1.50
Daredevil By Mark Waid Vol. 5 TP
Daredevil Epic Collection Fall From Grace TP
Deadpool #27
Infinity Companion HC
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #1 New Series
Iron Man #24
Kick-Ass 3 #7 (Of 8)
Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble #7
Marvel Universe Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. Digest TP Kid Friendly
Mighty Avengers #9
Nightcrawler #1 New Series
Secret Avengers #2
Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #11
Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW
Thunderbolts #24
What If Age Of Ultron #2 (Of 5) New Mini Series
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Deadworld Restoration #5 (Of 5) Final Issue
G.I. JOE America’s Elite Disavowed Vol. 3 TP
G.I. JOE Special Missions #14
Indestructible #5 (Of 6)
Judge Dredd #18
Maxx Maxximized #6
My Little Pony Friends Forever #4 Kid Friendly
Powerpuff Girls #8 Kid Friendly
Rocky And Bullwinkle #2 (Of 4) Kid Friendly
Rogue Trooper #2
Samurai Jack #7 Kid Friendly
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics Vol. 2 #6
Triple Helix TP
Creepy Comics #16
Megatokyo Omnibus Vol. 1 TP (Vol.s 1-3)
Star Wars #16
X #12

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.