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, Corrina talks about her haul from Boston Comic Con, Princess Ugg continues her journey to be a true leader to her people, Sophie looks at a rather confusing issue of The X-Files, and last but not least, Lisa dives in with a one-shot Guardians title. Dakster Sullivan — Princess Ugg #3 written and drawn by Ted Naifeh
Princess Ugg is one of my favorite titles to come out of Oni Press. Actually, with its strong female lead and real-life struggles of young girls when it comes to fitting in and getting through life, it’s one of my favorite titles period. Princess Ugg is not the typical princess. After the death of her mother, she goes on a journey to learn as much as she can so she can one day rule her people to the best of her ability.
Issue #3 reveals what really set her on a path to a school where she is clearly the unwelcome outsider. Princess Ugg’s people are warriors and we learn that war has been her people’s way of life for so long, they don’t know of a time when there wasn’t fighting going on with someone. This was a path that Ugg’s mother wanted to change, but died too early to see to it herself. With her dying breath, she placed the burden to find a new way on her daughter.
Princess Ugg seems to be up to the challenge, but she still isn’t sure if she made the right choice in showing up at the school to begin with. By the end of the issue, we see Ugg make an ally at the school and get her first challenge to start learning what it is she needs to know to help her people.
Age Recommendation: All Ages
Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.
Corrina — Boston Comic Con Finds: Marvel 70th Anniversary Collection, Heralds by Kathryn Immonen, Human Target: Living in Amerika by Peter Milligan and Cliff Chiang, Invaders: The Eve of Destruction by Roger Stern and Steve Epting, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman by various creators I went comic-bin diving at Boston Comic Con, as one retailer was offering “buy one, get two free.” I blame Sue from DCWomenKickingAss, as she urged several titles on me. She was right. One of them, the Lois & Clark collection, didn’t even make it home, as it was gobbled up by my 7-year-old nephew. It’s not a collection of stories about the television show; rather, it’s a collection of the best Superman and Lois stories and those stories are excellent. Look for it used; it’s very good. (Amazon has it for 99 cents.)
I could say the same about all of these titles. I knew that the Marvel 70th Anniversary Collection, first published five years ago, would be good, but I didn’t expect it to include a cracky Captain America and Bucky cross-dressing tale, the origin of Groot, a wonderful story from Marvels about the first Human Torch, and a classic Spider-Man tale. If you’re unfamiliar with the Marvel Universe but love it from the movies, read this book. If you love Marvel already, read this book.
And in the same vein, Stern’s Invaders collection from the 1990s was a terrific, wonderful surprise, with the three main Invaders going up against Baron Von Strucker. (You might recognize the name from the after-credits scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) Plus: It’s an oddball Marvel super-team adventure, set in the 1950s. I love these kinds of stories. Heralds is a terrific contemporary story featuring many women in the Marvel Universe trying to help meld the former Galactus Herald Frankie Raye back into a real person. Hellcat has all of the best lines, but what starts as a fun romp ends far more poignantly, as the cost of heroism becomes clear. I haven’t read the Human Target book yet, but crime noir with Cliff Chiang art? SOLD.
Sophie Brown — The X-Files Season 10 #15 written by Joe Harris and drawn by Matthew Dow Smith
“There’s a lot of history here,” Scully tells us as she makes her first appearance in this month’s issue of The X-Files. She’s referring to Skyland Mountain, the location where she is now standing and from which, almost 20 years ago, she was abducted. However, she may as well be referring to the issue at large. This issue is a veritable treasure trove of easter eggs for fans. There are throwbacks to season two’s “Apocrypha,” season four’s “Talitha Cumi,” season five’s “Patient X,” and many many more. This issue wraps up the season’s second five-part arc, “Pilgrims”—at least it wraps it up as well as any X-Files mytharc story-line was ever wrapped up, meaning that there are a lot of questions left unanswered. During last month’s controversial Issue #14, Mulder was controlled by an alien entity named Sheltem and this month sees him quickly dump our gangly protagonist for reasons that aren’t altogether obvious. Jumping into the body of a local sheriff, Sheltem disappears into the night, but not after leaving behind a somewhat unnecessary body count for good measure.
There’s a really lovely reversal of a scene from season two’s “Ascension,” as Scully looks over footage from an in-car police video recorder to establish what has been happening to Mulder at Skyland Mountain. Her finding him safe and well (almost) at the bottom of the sky tram track feels like them coming full circle too, if we look back to 1994 when he fought his way to the top of the same track only to find her stolen away. The pair of them get to share a tender moment—and a genuine one too, as neither of them appear to be currently possessed or a shapeshifter this time. Scully strikes a somewhat heartbreaking figure as she stands alone, hugging herself and staring up the mountain as they talk briefly of their son, even if their talk is cut short all too quickly.
She experiences a terrifying flashback to the events of “Patient X,” either that or she has suddenly gained some sort of psychic super-sense as she stares wide-eyed into the forest and whispers to Mulder, “Don’t you feel it on the wind?” Away from Mulder and Scully, Krycek isn’t faring so well. Once again under the thumb of the Smoking Man, we get to see a level of violence and use of language that was omitted from the show’s TV days. We finally begin to piece together what has been going on with him throughout this arc, and when really considered, it’s altogether horrifying. Thrown into the events at Skyland Mountain by the CSM’s mysterious new superior, Krycek soon discovers that he might be about to experience a significant change in his life. I’ll be interested to see what direction his story will take now, as his character offers almost endless possibilities.
The issue ends back in the New York offices of The Syndicate. There’s a lot of old faces here, faces who even in silence pose their own questions. With one final throwback to the show, we get to see a final glimpse at the truth behind their re-appearances after the events of the movie and “One Son.” There are more questions here than answers, as always, but there are also new possibilities. Age Recommendation: Teen +
Lisa Tate — Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Marvel 100th Anniversary Issue) written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz and drawn by Gustavo Durarte and Edgar Delgado
The idea behind the release of this comic is more confusing than the story. Released as if it were prediction of what the comic might be like in the year 2069 (a century after the original Guardians of the Galaxy team debuted), it is also billed as a one-shot with an ending that might indicate otherwise.
The comic manages to make The Guardians even more off-beat, and the plot even more “out there” than before, but it isn’t done in such a way that is hard to follow. Duarte and Delgado’s artwork is just plain fun, and the character depictions are well-suited for the story. It was my favorite element of this comic. I can even see some die-hard Groot fans bringing this book to their neighborhood tattoo artist for design inspiration.
The character mashups and reinventions are plentiful: Gamora is Star Lord, Rocket has a trio of alien nephews/sons at his disposal, and Drax has returned to his Martian Manhunter-like old-school look. Iron Man is Tony Stark’s disembodied consciousness in mess of nano-bots. Lanning’s influence also brings back characters Vance Astro and Charlie-72. Cosmo the space dog also makes a much-appreciated appearance.
Galactus, the story’s main threat, has absorbed the Silver Surfer, which has turned him into, not surprisingly, Silver Galactus. There are some problematic story elements, in that those who haven’t followed Dan Abnett’s and Andy Lanning’s 31st Century Guardians series might feel as if they have been dumped in an unfamiliar group with no previous introduction. It’s not too hard to catch on though, and the story is still a fun and fast read.
Those who have been seriously following all recent Guardians of the Galaxy series might not want to take this one too seriously, but fortunately, the writers don’t seem to want readers to do much more than just hang on for the wild ride. Age Recommendation: Teen +
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
|Dave Gibbons Watchmen Artifact Edition HC
G.I. JOE Silent Interlude 30th Anniversary Edition HC
Godzilla Cataclysm #1 (Of 5) New Mini-Series
Judge Dredd Anderson Psi-Division #1 (Of 4) New Mini-Series
Littlest Pet Shop #4 (Of 5) Kid Friendly
Maxx Maxximized #10
My Little Pony Animated Vol. 3 The Return Of Harmony TP Kid Friendly
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #22 Kid Friendly Squidder #1 (Of 4)
Star Trek #36
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #14 Kid Friendly
Transformers Primacy #1 New Series
Transformers Vs G.I. JOE #1 New Series
X-Files Season 10 #15
|Abe Sapien #15
Blackout #4 (Of 4) Final Issue
Creepy Comics #17 Dark Ages #1 (Of 4) New Mini-Series
Ghost #7 Guns Of Shadow Valley HC
Lobster Johnson Get The Lobster #5 (Of 5) Final Issue
Marvel Classic Characters Uncanny X-Men #94 #1 Storm
Samurai Executioner Omnibus Vol. 2 TP
Star Wars #20 Star Wars Legacy II Vol. 3 Wanted Ania Solo TP
Star Wars The Lucas Draft HC
Terminator Salvation The Final Battle #8 (Of 12)
Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback